We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time we feel 'scammed'

durham, ct
Level Contributor
167 posts
67 reviews
Save Topic
First time we feel 'scammed'

This is our 7th year vacationing in Caymen. Usually we walk to restaurants, as we are on 7 mile central. Tonight we decided to go to Casanova's upon recommendation from fellow guests. We were waiting for a bus, standing in a bus hut.....along with an older Cayman women. I asked if she was waiting for the bus and she said yes. I told her where we were going, that I knew where the restaurant was, but was not sure where was the closest stop for us to get off. She said the bus driver would tell us. We arrive rightat Casanova's , to our surprise, and my husband gives the driver the 5 ca , and she said no this is a taxi, its 12 ca.....my husband said to the other passenger, did you think this was a bus, she replied yes...so he asked if she would be okay, she said yes, but he gave the driver an extra 5ca and told the driver to take care of the women passenger. It all happen kinda fast, but in reflection we were taken....by at least the driver, and who knows, maybe the passenger too. Not a good feeling,and bad for the island if stuff like this becomes the norm. We walked home. Meal was good, service excellent. Can't let this override a pleasant vacation, but fool me once shame on you....fool me twice shame on me! Didnt know I had to be on the look out.....visit NYC monthly, so I do know a scam when I see one!

Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
4,086 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

" so I do know a scam when I see one ! " Well accordingly to your OP..,Apparantely not !

PA
Level Contributor
232 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

Sometimes we know a scam after it's too late to do anything about it. I am just glad that OP posted this issue he had sine we plan to use the buses a lot next month. We will be more cautious.

London, United...
Level Contributor
1,212 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

Interesting, never heard of this one before. Sorry that happened to you. As far as I know taxis can't just pick up people in the street, they are supposed to be called or at a stop like a hotel or the airport. Did you get any information about the driver?

Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
3,671 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

My understanding is that the buses have blue license plates and display a sign/decal with the route number on it. This might be something to verify before entering a vehicle. If the vehicle doesn't have both then you're not getting on a bus. If a driver of bus tries to get more money than the standard fare than he/she should be reported.

durham, ct
Level Contributor
167 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

Didn't know it was a scam till it was time to pay, not suggesting I have never been caught.....point was just to make people a little more aware. I usually check on estimated cost as I enter a cab, but since I thought we were in a bus, didn't bother. My husband's biggest concern was that the older woman who got on with us would be able to get to her destination. We should have looked for id or something, but as I mentioned it all happen so fast, and we were off guard. An extra $20 US is not going to change our vacation. Just trying to put the word out there for others. We have found Cayman people to be extremely polite and friendly in general. What goes around, comes around.

Boston...
Level Contributor
446 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

Sorry that happened. I'll be there in the Spring...then what does a "bus" look like vs. a "taxi" ? Also, what logos and/or permits do licensed taxi drivers have to display, etc.?

Edited: 13 January 2012, 13:15
Trophy Club, Texas
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
Level Contributor
6,621 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

"Buses" do for the most part have blue license plates (I have seen some white ones like tourist rentals) and they will have a numbered/color coded route identifier placard on the front, back and or windshield.

Here is what I could find in regards to images:

http://goo.gl/ETQs6

http://goo.gl/W1SzN

Taxi drivers should have an ID card with a photo displayed in their vehicle.

Both the buses and taxis can look the same, so you really need to look for the placards when wanting to take the bus.

And for the OP, sux your were taken advantage of, but the good samaritan gesture you made for the elderly fellow passenger hopefully set something right in the world.

Grand Cayman
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman
Level Contributor
9,572 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

I know this might sound horridly naive, but the elderly person may have truly thought it was a bus. I spend most of my days at home with two elderly people who get totally confused and are very singled minded when it comes what they think is going on. The driver may have been going to look after the elderly person anyway and really had no reason to be announcing whether they were a taxi or a bus unless asked. . . it is reasonable to think they thought the passengers would know. It was very kind of your husband to give the money and perhaps more than one good deed was done that night. Asking the driver not a passenger is probably best. I don't know that I could tell the difference between an older Caymanian woman and say an elder Jamaican woman as there are so many connections between the two. Your fellow passenger might have been an elderly lady visiting family on the island who knew less than you did and lacked the wherewithall to put it together. Thank you for sharing your story, I guess I would take away is to ask questions of a person who should know the answers rather than a random person. Maybe you weren't scammed at all and it was a lack of communication. I hope you enjoyed Casanova (we love it) and the rest of the trip goes smoothly.

NJ
Level Contributor
1,993 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

I'm sorry this happened. It was very considerate that you inquired about the other passenger. I'd have done the same thing as you in regard to believing it was a bus and I've been on the island many times. The taxis and busses are similar especially in the evening if you're not looking for specific color plates. If you weren't under the hut it'd be another story. It's reasonable to expect a 'bus would stop at a 'bus hut'. It's also reasonable to have expected if a taxi chose to stop at the 'hut' the driver would yell out 'taxi' to distinguish the difference. There's not much difference in appearance since it's usually a van in both instances that pass as bus or taxi.

Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
1,045 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: First time we feel 'scammed'

I'm with you, Retrip. In any event, this doesn't sound to me so much like a scam, much more so like miscommunication (or rather, a complete lack of communication). When I board a bus (or a taxi, for that matter) in an area foreign to me, I always check and agree to the fare before having the driver take me to my destination.

Get answers to your questions about Seven Mile Beach