Dodgy Taxi Drivers

So I have mentioned this in one of the previous post where the cab driver complained about short rides.

I usually work till quite late and my company has a policy where they will pay for cab rides home after certain hours. Naturally it became very frequent for me to take cab rides home which is roughly a 7-8km ride. Would cost about 25 to 30 depending on traffic condition

Recently I started encountering cab drivers who did not complain about the distance but was obviously not happy about it because they would pretend to use their left hands to cover the metre, reset it the moment the cab stopped and quote an inflated price. Due to me being frugal in my personal life I have the habit of looking at the metre during the ride. So far, it has been the inflated price is +10.

I’m quite annoyed by the behaviour. But at the same time I don’t have the guts to confront them on the spot because to be frank those that behave like that tend to look a lil unfriendly and I don’t like confrontations in general.

So what would you do to avoid or prevent behaviours like this.

Comments

  • +41 votes

    Get the Cab # and report them to either the Cab company, or the authorities. Fudge, I'd love if a cabbie tried this sh1t with me, I would definitely give them a piece of my mind!

    •  

      i actually still have the receipt, just no proof
      Also with reporting, i think it needs to be a concerted effort.
      Obviously its a real issue for many out there, but punishing 1 or 2 drivers for it isn't going to make much impact

      • +1 vote

        Is it a cabcharge eftpos receipt?
        If it is, then there should be ‘(Actual)Fare Amount/Cost’.
        Also the taxi company have all the details, like where you got the taxi, where you got off and if there was any delay in trip…
        If you have Cabcharge Receipt, just ring the Cab Company and report it to them, and to Taxi commission. They can track it and sort it out, I believe.
        I am quite sure if you report it, he/she has to attend the Cab Company/Taxi Commission office. (This was the process 5 years ago).

      •  

        If you complain they might send you a voucher or a refund? They should be able to see that he has entered another job at that time and then you made payment. The drivers are micro managed despite stories as the Taxi companies want honest drivers.

  • +14 votes

    Get Uber instead

    • +9 votes

      ATO doesn't like it, and company can't get the same tax treatment for Ubers as for taxis:

      https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-08/no-tax-breaks-for-emp...

      This month the agency declared on its website that while Uber and other ride-sourcing drivers are taxi drivers who have to register for and pay goods and services tax (GST), Uber and other ride-sourcing cars are not taxis for the purposes of fringe benefits tax (FBT) exemptions.

      Typical ATO wanting to eat their cake and have it too.

      • +7 votes

        this shits me. On the one hand many government rulings that uber is providing a taxi service, yet the ATO decides they're not.

      • +3 votes

        OP should just check with their work whether they would be reimbursed for uber (or ola or bolt).
        If work is fine with it the ATO ruling is irrelevant. My work is fine with rideshare reimbursements and I have not caught a taxi since

  • +13 votes

    Sit in the back and video record the meter as you near the end of your journey

    • -2 votes

      That still involves confrontation

      • +2 votes

        It literally involves zero interaction with the cabbie and therefore no confrontation.

        • +2 votes

          Perhaps I misunderstand. What are you meant to do then? Record the meter, but do nothing with it and still pay the inflated price?

          And what if they catch you recording? Potential for confrontation there…

          • +14 votes

            @John Kimble: That's nothing.

            If I get what I perceive to be a dodgy cabbie in Sydney I enter my destination in Google Maps on my phone and turn the volume up haha. 100% success rate. No dodgy routes.

            • +1 vote

              @zeggie: Hahahah love this. I haven't done this, because the few times I take taxis I tend to be going routes I know fairly well myself (depressingly often better than the cab driver) but I sometimes accidentally (genuinely on accident) have Google maps on for other reasons and notice cabbies giving the phone the side-eye lol.

          •  

            @John Kimble: The taxi is already recording you.

            I'd report them to their company.

            To prevent it happening, when I get in the cab I'd say "Here we go again. If I had a dollar for every time I've done this trip home." If they know you are a regular it might stop them.

            The worst I have had is the driver suggesting we inflate the cab charge price and split the profits.

    •  

      Use as video evidence and report to the taxi commissioner as well as the parent company. Get the cab number and time of ride too

    •  

      One of those "pen cams" would be handy to do that - looks like an ordinary pen but it actually records video and audio

  • +13 votes

    they would pretend to use their left hands to cover the metre, reset it the moment the cab stopped and quote an inflated price

    That has nothing to do with a short ride, that's just a dodgy cabbie. Report them.

    If you ask to see the meter, it will hardly be confrontational. Cabbie will likely fold very quickly.

    EDIT: Try the following line: "Oh wow… I take this trip regularly and it's normally $x. Can I see the meter please?"

    • +30 votes

      I'd just pay it and think of it as a tip for driving you on short notice.

      That is literally why cabs exist. Do you tip shops for allowing you to buy goods on short notice?

  • +9 votes

    Every time I arrive at the International airport in Sydney it's the same story: The taxi driver wants to do the loop-de-loop instead of going past domestic, which is shorter.
    One of the Taxi drivers, despite me telling him clearly to go via Domestic, "accidentally" took the wrong turn and "Had to go" the long way.
    I clearly did tell him I would not pay for that "extension" so he stopped the meter about 5Km out from the destination.

  • +21 votes

    Tell him you expect the ride for free or you'll report him. They'll agree.

    Then report him anyways.

  • +13 votes

    Also had to do a short trip to a client yesterday. Asked around 3 cabs at the taxi stand and none of them wanted to take us because "The trip is too short".

    Told my team I was ordering an Uber, loud and clear, in front of the drivers. Two minutes later my Uber was here, the car was clean and the driver was polite.

    It looked like they would rather stand around and talk to other drivers, instead of actually doing what they've signed up to do.

    Utterly disappointed.

    • +18 votes

      Any time a driver refuses you, walk to the front of his car, take a photo. Send to the taxi authority.

      • +6 votes

        Good tip :)

        Though I don't think I would take another taxi. They don't seem to understand the concepts of indicating and lanes.

    • +1 vote

      As a former driver, I can understand this - you wait, sometimes for over an hour, just to get a $5 fare.
      I usually tell the front driver if I've got a short trip that I will ask the end taxi - gives them a chance to get a better fare and avoids an unpleasant ride.

      • +9 votes

        As a former driver, I can understand this - you wait, sometimes for over an hour, just to get a $5 fare.

        Part of having a taxi licence. You get special benefits (bus lanes, T# lanes, ability to be flagged down, etc), comes with special obligations.

        •  

          I'm not arguing about the obligations - I never refused fares, because - as you say - you do have obligations. Just pointing out it only takes a few seconds to be empathetic.

          • +1 vote

            @trilby: But you're supposed to take the taxi at the front. I often walk to the front of the rank to respect this system. Plus, if there are a few taxis, do you go down the line asking each one? I'm sorry but if I'm taking a taxi, part of the reason is for convenience.

            I can understand empathy, but it's a business and this happens all the time. Plenty of businesses spend time fielding calls and queries that don't turn into any kind of work or income.

            •  

              @HighAndDry: Don't know if that's enshrined in law - I've done it on many occasions. You would only ask the front driver, if the other drivers were curious they could ask the front driver. Anyway - doesn't cost anything, only takes a second and could make someone's life just a little better. If someone told me how I could make these other business practices easier without costing me time or money, I would probably to that too.

              • +1 vote

                @trilby:

                Don't know if that's enshrined in law - I've done it on many occasions.

                Fair enough, but commonly accepted etiquette is commonly accepted because it's a shared understanding of how it works. I go to the first taxi in the rank as a common courtesy and part of respecting that etiquette. The least the driver can do is follow the law.

                If I had to ask because the last taxi in the rank is more likely to accept my fare, I'd just do that every time. Pretty sure the other drivers wouldn't be too happy - at me or that driver.

                As for what is enshrined in law though:

                Taxi drivers who are available for hire must accept a hiring immediately when offered

                From: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/media/d...

                • +1 vote

                  @HighAndDry: I find it funny that it says:

                  There are no longer requirements in law in relation to a taxi driver:
                  - keeping the taxi clean

                  Good to know they don't have to be clean anymore…

      •  

        Yup i understand this too.
        I specifically asked him if he was OK going to my suburb.
        He said yes, not sure how long he has been waiting.
        Well obviously after thinking that he could just inflate the fare by $10…

  • +16 votes

    Things like this are exactly why uber/ola/etc exist.

    So many times I had atrocious service, and then drivers wonder why people jumped ship so quick.

  •  

    I live in the cbd and have found this issue with short lifts across town and normally I would :
    If there is a big line of taxis on the taxi rank walk to the next corner and flag one that’s driving past down. Cabbies get mad if they have been waiting in line for and hour and someone jumps in for a $8 fare.
    Use Uber especially Uber pool you may have to walk a little but is really cheap and easy, rare to have to pool with someone.
    Often with Uber in the city I get free upgrade to Uber black as cars are in cbd anyway.

    •  

      my brother loves Uber pool, due to the interesting diversity of fellow passengers that come and go as the trip unfolds

  • +2 votes

    Ask your work if they will reimburse you for Uber / Ola?

  •  

    But at the same time I don’t have the guts to confront them on the spot because to be frank those that behave like that tend to look a lil unfriendly and I don’t like confrontations in general.

    Unless you get violent first, the cabbie is on the vulnerable end of the deal. He can get into trouble if you report him, you don't have much to lose by standing up for yourself.

    •  

      While true, people who get violent aren't usually acting rationally. Especially late at night, (and even more so if OP is a woman, or smaller of stature, etc) might not be worth the risk.

      I agree with you personally - I'd confront or not confront depending on how tired I am, not because I'm worried about my safety, but hard to speak to OP's situation if I'm not there.

      • +2 votes

        I'm a male, pretty big in size, but small at heart so its just me personally not liking any form of confrontation with anyone.
        honestly if he was violent i could probably be more violent than him but i just dont like losing my cool
        i'd rather avoid it so its partially my own making

  •  

    Had a cabbie a couple months ago insist that I pay $40 up front, then he would refund the difference because "how could he know that I had money in my account"

    • +2 votes

      Must be uncomfortable for him to work as a cabbie all day sitting down… with balls like his ahahaha.

    • +1 vote

      What time of the day/night was it?
      Melbourne cabs are allowed to collect pre-payment between certain hours, and it is labelled all over the cars.

      • +2 votes

        Probably 11pm, but in Sydney. Never heard of it before and it certainly wasn't labelled. Maybe he'd been in Melbourne before. It screamed scam and i'm really surprised it's allowed.

        •  

          Tell old mate it's not happening.

          If he insists, get out of the cab, making sure to leave the door open.

          I'd also offer gratuitous comment on his character at this point.

  • +7 votes

    Why not just say at the start of the journey that - hope you don't mind, buy my work has insisted we take a photo of the fare when we arrive to double check that the amounts match. No confrontation, you get to blame your work.

    •  

      I like the thinking but 2 months ago I found out they could change / reset such that fare starts at something different from the $4.70.
      I found out because this particular guy pretended to talk to me, and then i noticed his hand reached out to the meter and added $10 to it (again!).

      •  

        I would think that would go in the extras column - once you had a photo of that you could alert the authorities. Surely they just can add amounts to the total without recourse - that would be a terrible situation.

  • +2 votes

    I recently had to take a cab and was not too happy about it. Absolutely despise cabs and cabby attitudes here in Australia. Someone I was speaking with mentioned black and white and yellow cabs now do fixed price prepaid rides.

    So I called them, got the price quoted at $48 and prepaid it. Cab arrived three minutes later, clean as and super friendly bloke!I couldn't believe it.
    Anyways the cab meter was running through the ride and we were still 1/3rd way from destination when the fare exceeded the $48 at which point the driver turned the meter off. No more to pay and a surprisingly good cab ride.
    Maybe try the prepaid option sometime if the quote suits you!

  • +2 votes

    There is no doubt that Uber has made things tough for Taxi drivers, regardless I have always found the drivers that will ‘suddenly’ get a phone booking because my trip was too short.

    The Taxi industry saw Uber coming and did not react, their vehicles are often old and grubby, booking them is a hassle etc etc.

    I would say the same about Foxtel but they might be finally waking up to a new reality. Progress is not about protection it’s about innovation otherwise we would still have dinosaurs ……

  •  

    I don't mind confrontation.

    A cabbie has never attempted to cover or hide the display when quoting me the fare, instead, they leave it there for me to see.

    So if they reset it before I paid, and I thought it was intentional, I'd explain I'm happy to pay whatever is displayed, and if that's the starting price then that's what I'll pay.

    Alternatively, I'd offer to have him drive us both to the police station to resolve the issue, knowing the driver won't waste their time doing that.

  •  

    I've had them hit various buttons at the end and the meter jumps $4 even though we didn't go through a toll road. I didn't fight it though. I just haven't got a cab since.
    Had an Uber in Spain take me the long way. Through their app you can get it corrected. Took less than a minute to do and fare difference instantly refunded.

  • +4 votes

    And this is why uber took off so easily…

  •  

    I look at the line up of taxis on Friday and Saturday night on North Terrace in Adelaide and wonder how these people make money. Unless there's a sports event on the line up of taxis is often 30 cars deep and very few people approaching taxis. Meanwhile on the other side of the road there are always a few young people waiting for their Uber. It must be so frustrating waiting an hour in line only to discover your customer just wants to go 3km.

    I just hope Uber doesn't burn through their cash stockpile before they manage to get a viable self driving car on the road.

  •  

    Take an uber

  •  

    One time I had to take a taxi to the hospital about 2km away to go to the emergency ward. The driver drove weird roundabout routes and ended up with a $18 fare.

    Never again. Only themselves to blame if they go under.

  •  

    Why not use gocatch or rydo?

  • +2 votes

    get another job further away obviously

  •  

    I also drive a cab once a week, and I never refuse any customer. I know many drivers do this and it makes angry each time because it not always about money it about your responsibility.

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