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Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

Perth, Australia
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Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

We got a taxi from the airport to take us to the Swissotel Merchant Court at Clarke Quay late at night. Although I had the street address the taxi driver claimed he did not know where it was and would use his GPS.

It was night so I was not so familiar with the areas and as he kept driving I noticed a sign saying Clarke Quay a few streets over. He kept driving and I noticed he had the GPS switched off. I said I think this is the wrong direction and he said he knew where he was going. About 20 minutes later he pulls up in the middle of a residential area and says this is where the GPS says it is.

He then apparently re programs the GPS and we finally get to the hotel. He said he would give us a discount because he got lost, the fare was $33 so he said he would do it for $30. I knew we were getting ripped off but my husband did not want to argue with him.

Our return fare to the airport $18 from the same hotel.

Clarke Quay is a very well known area of Singapore and the Swissotel Merchant Court is a large hotel. I knew there was another Swissotel in Singapore but I told him a couple of times it was the one at Clarke Quay.

In future I will take a printed map of how to get to the hotel so this does not happen again.

Crooks preying on tourists. We started our Singapore holiday with a bad taste in our mouths.

Singapore
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1. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

Taxi fares can vary greatly depending on the day and time due to surcharges. Your $30 fare is plausible. Taking a taxi from the airport is always more expensive than going to the airport because there is a $5 airport surcharge on top of the fare. Also, since you said it was late night, there is also the midnight surcharge which is 50% of what it says on the meter.

Can you share what time and day you took the taxi from the airport? The return trip cost $18 because it's likely you took the cab in the early afternoon. If you had taken a taxi at night from the hotel to airport, it would cost around $25, with $3 central business district surcharge and peak hour surcharge of 25% of the meter.

Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

if u check www.gothere.sg the fare comes up to about $22 including airport surcharge and assuming u are taking the taxi right now at 11:30pm. Beyond midnight there is a 50% surcharge. so u probably got ripped off $8... naughty driver...

Clarke Quay maybe a familiar name here, kind of touristy popular area with expats, tourists n youngsters, but not that well known among older folks and the non-party types... the place is dead boring during the day...

Edited: 28 April 2012, 16:26
North Yorkshire...
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for Singapore, Rhodes
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3. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

There are crooks everywhere in the world ''preying'' on tourists, and Singapore differs only in the likelihood of it happening.

Most Singaporean taxi drivers are scrupulously honest, imho and experience, but as previously stated there are heaps of price variations, time, traffic, tolls etc.

I'm not saying you weren't ripped off, but if you were then you were very unlucky. Alan

Luzon, Philippines
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for Philippines, Bandar Seri Begawan
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4. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

I am thankful that out of my more than 50 taxi trips in Singapore over the few years I had never encountered that kind of driver and I am confident that on my next 50 taxi trips I would be fine.

Perth, Australia
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5. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

Thanks for your feedback.

I searched and found the Singapore Taxi website quoting fares and put the information in about our trip and it said the fare should have been about $25 so we were still ripped off but by less than I thought.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

I generally let the driver know very early into the trip that i am a regular visitor to singapore simply by saying how great it is to be back, he will naturally ask you are you a regular visitor to which you always reply yes, I guarantee you then will not be taken on a sight seeing tour of the area, I slipped up last year on my way to swissotel merchant court from the airport and forgot to drop the hint early, it was not untill we went past maxwell st. food court and kept going that i said something and he made a sharp right turn into the far end of chinatown and proceeded back to s.m.c, i gave him $25sin and said keep the change, i dont know what was on the meter but he didnt say anything, it was a midweek day around 11am, this was the one and only time i have had any problems with taxis in singapore, my wife and i have been coming here for the past 5yrs and will be back in october

Singapore
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7. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

Before you post this, couple of question should be asked: have you ask for receipt? If yes you can see the charges breakdown. Do you know there are few charges at different hour of taxi ride in Singapore? Guess you dont do enough research or know about the place you plan to travel too.

Perth, Australia
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8. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

The other thing we found with Taxis on this trip is there are different types of taxis that charge different fares.

Their are the new more up market cars that charge the most through to the old rattlers that charge the least.

We found this out when we were standing in a long taxi line and the woman in front of us stepped aside when the taxi came and offerred the taxi to us. The taxi was a new car and charged a higher fare. We learnt from then to ask for the cheaper taxis.

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

Andyng, what does a receipt have to do with it it only shows the fare, what it doesnt show is the route the driver took ,what if the driver takes the passenger all over singapore? to be fair maybe they should do what they do in kuala lumpur and you go to a counter tell them where you are going, they give you a figure , you pay that ammount give the voucher to the driver and off you go, if he wantts to sight see who cares , also the last time we had to go to the airport from the swissotel at 5.30am the driver did not charge us any surcharge for early hours, i think the meter showed $20 i gave him $25, my logic is you if you think it is good value you pay and reward good service

North Yorkshire...
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for Singapore, Rhodes
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10. Re: Be aware of Taxi Drivers, we got ripped off

''at 5.30am the driver did not charge us any surcharge for early hours''

In Which case the driver broke the law and could have his license revoked, there should have been a 50% surcharge at that time of day, Midnight until 05.59. It's not his job to decide if a surcharge is appropriate, the law does that, and you certainly didn't complain you were undercharged, nor would most of us, I might add, but it was stupid of the driver not to charge appropriately. Alan