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Savona Taxi Rip Off

Ayr, United Kingdom
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8 posts
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Savona Taxi Rip Off

Just been ripped off for a taxi from Savona Cruise Terminal to Genova Airport.

Arrived on a cruise ship to find chaos at the taxi rank (which, believe me, is typical. They seem incapable of understanding that passengers disembarking from a large cruise ship are going to need a lot of taxis and planning accordingly).

When we did manage to get a taxi the Driver insisted on using the meter. We soon found out why since the fare came to 130 Euros as compared with an advertised price of 90 Euros.

Total Ripoff!

Brookline MA
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1. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

Where and who advertised the price?

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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2. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

Savona is not very big, so I would think that it does not have many taxis. The cruise ship and the cruise port cannot produce taxis by magic.

It is 50 km from Savona to Genoa, so €130 seems a bit on the high side.

Ayr, United Kingdom
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8 posts
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3. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

It is advertised on the board beside the taxi rank.

Ayr, United Kingdom
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8 posts
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4. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

Yes I know the port of Savona quite well having visited it on cruises several times.

My point is that the cruise terminal was moved there from Genoa so presumably someone should have thought about issues like this before doing so.

This has all the hallmarks of a greedy local monopoly, providing a totally inadequate service, at rip off prices.

Imperia, Italy
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for Italian Riviera
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5. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

As in Britain, the number of taxi licences issued by local councils in Italy is restricted to a number designed to provide what is deemed an appropriate income for taxi drivers throughout the year. Sporadic and seasonal traffic, such as passengers from cruise liners, is a problem for this system.

Predicting the demand is difficult as Costa runs its own coaches direct from the Savona Cruise Terminal to Genoa Airport, Nice Airport and to one of the main train stations in Genoa, and these are the obvious transfer choice for many people. There are also local buses (and taxis) to the nearby Savona train station.

Booking a taxi or a hire car in advance ensures you pay an agreed rate. Unfortunately, when you do not do this and there is too much demand for taxis, you may be at the mercy of the taxi driver - who did at least charge you an official rate, though not the one you or anyone else would have wanted.

Ayr, United Kingdom
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8 posts
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6. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

I'm sorry but I can't accept this.

These ships don't just turn up out of the blue unannounced. They call at least once per week, even in winter, the voyages are planned months in advance and are very precisely timed, so they are certainly not sporadic or unpredictable. Admittedly some passengers will use the ship's transfer buses but these have to be booked in advance so the numbers who will leave by this route are known. Perhaps this information could be shared with the taxi company if it is not already? Similarly, some passengers will have their own cars or be collected by friends but it should not be too difficult to factor this into the calculation to produce a reasonably accurate estimate of the demand for taxis at the port on a particular morning.

Not sure what you mean by "the official rate" but the rate that was advertised at the Taxi Rank was 90 Euros, which is roughly what we have paid for similar journeys in the past. Unfortunately, I stupidly agreed to pay a metered fare on the basis that it would be "about the same" By so doing I did, as you rightly say, "leave myself at the mercy of the driver" who took full advantage of this to charge an extra 40 Euros for the journey. I hope he enjoyed it!

As to the suggestion that one can't expect a decent taxi service in such a small town, the Savona Taxi Website (http://www.taxisavona.it/index.php/en) actually shows a photo of a cruise ship in port on its front page. It also claims to combine "the taxis of the City of Savona and Albisola, thus being able to count on a considerable number of cars that can reach quickly the most diverse parts of the city" and to try to meet "the most demanding needs of users".

The same website also offers a pre-booked fare of 84 Euros for the transfer to Genoa Airport and I shall certainly take advantage of this when we next cruise to or from Savona.

Brussels, Belgium
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7. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

I'm afraid it was your mistake, based on an incorrect assumption. Wherever there is a flat-rate fare, this is by definition cheaper than would be the case using the meter, so you should ensure that that is what you are getting. Unfortunately you didn't know that, but now you do!

I understand your feeling ripped off - I felt the same when dealing with a train company in the UK. I asked the ticket clerk whether there was a day-return rate, was asked which trains I was thinking of taking and given a price based on not fixing the return train. Only afterwards did I discover that it would have been cheaper to do so, which of course the clerk didn't mention. But that is my fault, I should have either researched prices in advance, or pursued my original question and asked about different options, irrespective of the queue behind me. I'll know next time!

Imperia, Italy
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8. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

You may not accept what I wrote, but it was essentially correct. Cruise arrivals are certainly sporadic in the sense of being irregular and in winter infrequent, as they are largely seasonal. This does not imply unpredictability - indeed the annual economic consequences for existing taxi licence holders of increasing the number of licences can be broadly predicted.

Return journeys on Costa's coaches can be booked on the boat - this further increases the daily unpredictability arising from the range of alternative transport options.

The Savona taxi website (whose claims should be given as much credence as those of any other website) does not belong to one company that can simply direct its taxis wherever it wishes, but to an association of independent taxi owner-drivers who go where they choose.

As you have looked at the website, you will also have read that the taxis are used for a variety of purposes "including hospitals ... dedicated services for families, professionals, students, pupils with special attention to the elderly and disabled. Service 24 hours on 24, pet, documents and home delivery drugs." These needs do not cease when a cruise ship docks, and may be repeat local business and already booked, rather than cruise passengers whom the drivers may never see again and who wish to take a taxi on instant demand for what can be a two-hour return journey.

Certainly the existing taxi owners do have a licensed monopoly. If you wish to affect this, you might do best to complain to Costa, who may have the political clout necessary to put pressure on Savona's council to increase the number of licence-holders for the benefit of its customers. I also suspect that Costa could do more to advertise its own transport more effectively.

The rapid expansion of the cruise business and its creation of major irregular peaks in demand has given rise to transport problems in many ports, not just Savona.

Edited: 19 April 2014, 13:05
Boston...
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9. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

I'm sorry you were taken advantage of. The traveller shouldn't have to know about every nuance of every transaction. Those who depend on the travel industry should have a sense of duty to deal fairly.

I vote for putting the blame on Costa for not taking care of their customers. Costa uses its marketing to sell the carefree vacation, and then cares not what happens after the gangplank.

Clearly there can't be enough taxis available to handle the sporadic demand. Next year in La Spezia the world's largest cruise liner will dock and the cruise line is promoting that the passengers can see Cinque Terre. Except the boat holds over 6,000 passengers, about 40% more than the population of all five CT towns! Since they can't travel by bus, the SP-CT trains will look like the interior of a sardine can.

Edited: 19 April 2014, 13:34
Imperia, Italy
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10. Re: Savona Taxi Rip Off

And la Spezia has only 44 taxis, some of which will not be available,.

The remainder will be in demand by both those cruise passengers who cannot walk to the train station and by those who want longer instant taxi trips elsewhere e.g. to Pisa or Florence for which Royal Caribbean somewhat ingenuously claims la Spezia as the port..