Tuesday, November 18, 2014

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Cheated by a Taipei taxi driver

11/18/2014 Taiwan Explorer

Yesterday for the first time since I moved to Taiwan I was cheated by a taxi driver. He drove me a much longer route, and I noticed it too late, because I was immersed in my phone. When he was close to my neighborhood, he drove through small lanes instead of the main road to extend the ride and charge more. I was in a rush to reach home as fast as possible, so when I realized what he was doing, I was massively pissed off. I could've exploded, but I was afraid that it would escalate and he'd throw me out, so I called my wife instead. She first asked me to put her on the speaker, she wanted to argue, but I was afraid he will pretend dumb, say he didn't understand "the laowai" (which was clearly not the case). Then she advised me to take a photo of his profile which is found at the back of the front seat, and take another photo of the car from outside after I exit. Once he reached close to where I live, I asked him to stop next to an MRT station, I've had enough, and wanted to go out. I usually pay around 170 NTD, but the meter was already at 240 NTD, and I was still 10 min away from home. I didn't care about those 70 NTD I had to pay extra, what pained me the most is the fact that I thought such things don't happen in Taiwan, the image of the honest Taipei cabbie was shattered in my mind in that moment. It was a massive disappointment. After I paid my overcharged fare, I couldn't help but ask (with an angry tone) why he drove all around instead of directly, and as I expected he pretended dumb. I told him my wife will call his company, and left the car. I took a photo from outside, and then hopped on a bus home. Whether this will help to change his behavior the next time he drives a foreigner is highly questionable. I do have to add, though, that I usually have no problems with cabbies. I've taken around 20 cabs in the past 2 months, and this is the only bad case. I hope it stays this way.