Taxi Driver Scams, Kuala Lumpur

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  • Dangerous Taxi Drivers in KL.

    by shazinkl Updated Mar 30, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My husband and I have been living in KL for several years now. We dont have a car so have plenty of tales to tell about the taxi drivers here. We have met a few honest decent ones but the majority are out to cheat anyone they can. My biggest concern is how quickly they can turn threatening and abusive when challenged about using the meter. As a woman who often catches a cab on my own this is a major issue so I want to warn others.

    Unique Suggestions: If you have to catch a taxi you will probably end up being ripped off no matter how savvy you try to appear. The best advice is just to get out if they wont go on the meter. In fact do your negotiating before you get in as these morons are unpredictable and quickly become abusive and even violent. One of the biggest dangers if you are in the cab is their dangerous driving. Several times drivers have got really angry when challenged about the fare/route etc and they drive excessively fast, often torpedoing along on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic. This happened to me yesterday and culminated in my scrambling out in fear of my life with him yelling in my ears what he was going to do to my Mother....if you get my drift............and all this right outside KLCC, at lunchtime in Visit Malaysia Year 2007..............
    My advise.................go to Singapore instead !

    Fun Alternatives: The problem is that for many trips around the city there really are no alternatives to using taxis. The infrastructure is poor and the monorail and LRT lines are not connected. Walking even short distances is hazardous due to uneven pavements/potholes/no road markings/snatch thiefs and the majority of Malaysians flagrant disregard for the rules of the road eg, they dont stop at traffic lights or pedestrian crossings (many of them will actually speed up as they hurtle towards you) They park on the pavements forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. All of this is compounded by a totally ineffective police force who huddle in little "port-a-loo" type hutches at the side of the roads ignoring the chaos unfolding in front of them. I can only assume these little boxes are high crime areas that so many police can be found in them.....................

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  • longsanborn's Profile Photo

    Check the Meter!

    by longsanborn Updated Jan 18, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kuala Lumpur has one of the most inexpensive taxis in the South-East Asia. The government control the taxi tariffs to ensure tourists and visitors to KL do not get cheated. Taxis required to have their meter on at all time. However, some taxi drivers will try to make a fast buck and will not turn on the meter or charge unreasonable prices. Don't accept such daylight robbery.

    Unique Suggestions: When you enter a taxi, make sure the meter is turn on. Sometimes taxi drivers will refuse to drive to certain areas (usually due to traffic jams, etc.) and will demand higher prices, separate from the meter fare. When this happens, firmly refuse and insist on using the meter. If the driver gets rude, take his details (usually they have taxi license in the taxi) and get out. There are other taxi drivers who are willing to take you to your destination.

    Fun Alternatives: If you are not in a hurry, you can use the public transport such as buses, metros, and LRT (light rail transit) system available in KL. Just ask any local Malaysians for assistance.

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    • Trains

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  • perseushermes's Profile Photo

    KLIA Airport Taxi or the Non Airport Taxi

    by perseushermes Updated Dec 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are always Non Airport Taxi drivers trying their luck to get passengers esp Tourist in Kuala Lumpur for the first time.

    DON"T TAKE THESE TAXIS!!!!

    Unique Suggestions: PLEASE take the KLIA Airport Taxi
    Just get to the designated taxi counter and pay a flat rate for the destination (don't forget the coupon slip)

    You will be free from worries.

    .

    Fun Alternatives: The Express Rail Link is an alternative to the KLIA Airport Taxi

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  • perseushermes's Profile Photo

    KLIA Airport Taxi - Budget or Premier

    by perseushermes Updated Dec 9, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Getting out of KLIA, you'll have a choice of the taxi or the Express Rail Link (ERL a.k.a CAT). Getting a taxi is not a problem.
    However, if you are in Kuala Lumpur for the first time, the people at the Official KLIA Taxi Counter will ask you whether you want a Premier Taxi or a Budget Taxi. Most of the time they will tell you to take the premier taxi - which is expensive comparatively to the budget taxi

    Unique Suggestions: Scenarios that you may encounter at the Official Taxi Counter for Budget and Premier Taxis

    Scenario 1
    They will ask you how persons are with you. If you say 2 or more persons with large pieces of luggages, they will say you cannot take the budget taxi. You will have to take the premier taxi

    Scenario 2
    Other times they will tell you that the queue for the budget taxi is too long and you may have to wait half an hour to 45mins for a taxi. Hence you are advised to get the Premier Taxi. Actually your wait should not be more than 15 mins.

    Scenario 3
    You will be told there are no more budget taxis available.

    .

    Fun Alternatives: So, If you are in Kuala Lumpur, say 2 of you (or less) with 3 large pieces of luggage - you can still fit into the Budget Taxi. (Updated Dec06 - the KLIA airport taxis are slowly converting to the Hyundai cars which may not be able to fit 3 large pieces of luggage. 2 large ones may be just fine. If you find you can't fit in the budget taxi, you can still change. Just a bit inconvenient.)

    Please insist you want a Budget Taxi.
    They may not want a scene.
    Even though they will ask how many persons and/or pieces of luggage you have. Just maintain your stand and insist you want a Budget Taxi. No buts and ifs.

    You should be alright.

    BTW if there are 3 of you with 4 pieces of luggage or more, you may not fit in Budget taxi.
    Anyway, its not as bad as Ho Chi Minh's Taxis

    appreciate your rating :)

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  • cokes's Profile Photo

    High Taxi Prices

    by cokes Updated Aug 4, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Here is the waterfall I visited close to Batu Cave

    Please don`t be fooled by the taxi drivers in Malaysia. If you ask for a place don`t let him show you some brochure of how much other travel tours are charging per person to take you there but simply just ask him to put the meter on. If he does`nt want to then just find another taxi as there is plenty all over Malaysia. I went and saw some waterfall in KL I myself don`t know what it is and been taken to Batu Caves and charged a fortune because I never heard of this waterfall and did`nt have a clue how far this place was.

    Unique Suggestions: Rather just find out how much or less it cost with the taxi by asking someone at the hotel. They`ll be able to give you a estimate. If you want him to wait for you then maybe tell him you know how much it cost and then try and negotiate a price if he stays and waits for you.

    Fun Alternatives: Just ask him to simply put the meter on and just lie to your friend and tell her of the last time you visited here. Maybe he won`t take you on some detour before going to the place.

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  • Taxis in Malaysia

    by dangibas Written Jun 15, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I rely heavily on taxis for my regular journeys to and from my office. One day I was late for work - and I approached a taxi stand outside an LRT station. All too often I have faced the same faces - sitting waiting to cheat pedestrians in this area and would often have to wait up to an hour for a friendly taxi to pass by that will be willing to get me to my office at the legal price.

    This time over I could not wait to get to work - I had had enough of these same taxi drivers disturbing not just myself but the whole community I live in. I decided to take down the registration numbers of all of the taxis, one by one as they refused to take me to my office - I was determined to report them in the hope that one day they wont be sitting outside the LRT anymore but will be replaced by friendly drivers who are willing to take passengers at the correct fares.

    The leading taxi driver began shouting at me in Malay. I looked up to see what was going on... within the space of a few seconds he had grabbed a huge metal pipe from the back of his car and was running at me shouting "You want some?". After dodging a few attacks from the raging madman's metal pipe, I made it to the other side of the street, where I had to wait 45 minutes for a taxi to stop and take me to my office. After all of this the taxi driver that did get me to my office automatically deducted a tip for himself.

    Please report all of your bad experiences with taxi drivers. The information you report will make a positive change. For more information on the crazy taxi problem please see this website...

    www.teksigila.com

    Unique Suggestions: Never ever bargain with a taxi driver - make an angry face and walk off. Every tourist that bargains with them just makes the problem bigger. If you all - allways say NO then one day the problem will have evaporated and they will all use the meter.

    Please report all of your bad experiences with taxi drivers. The information you report will make a positive change. For more information on the crazy taxi problem please see this website...

    www.teksigila.com

    Fun Alternatives: We do not have to put up with the atrocious volume of crimes committed by taxi drivers in this country. It is a subject we cannot simply ignore.

    Please report all of your bad experiences with taxi drivers. The information you report will make a positive change. For more information on the crazy taxi problem please see this website...

    www.teksigila.com

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Work Abroad

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  • Taxis in Malaysia

    by dangibas Written Jun 15, 2006

    I rely heavily on taxis for my regular journeys to and from my office. One day I was late for work - and I approached a taxi stand outside an LRT station. All too often I have faced the same faces - sitting waiting to cheat pedestrians in this area and would often have to wait up to an hour for a friendly taxi to pass by that will be willing to get me to my office at the legal price.

    This time over I could not wait to get to work - I had had enough of these same taxi drivers disturbing not just myself but the whole community I live in. I decided to take down the registration numbers of all of the taxis, one by one as they refused to take me to my office - I was determined to report them in the hope that one day they wont be sitting outside the LRT anymore but will be replaced by friendly drivers who are willing to take passengers at the correct fares.

    The leading taxi driver began shouting at me in Malay. I looked up to see what was going on... within the space of a few seconds he had grabbed a huge metal pipe from the back of his car and was running at me shouting "You want some?". After dodging a few attacks from the raging madman's metal pipe, I made it to the other side of the street, where I had to wait 45 minutes for a taxi to stop and take me to my office. After all of this the taxi driver that did get me to my office automatically deducted a tip for himself.

    Unique Suggestions: Never ever bargain with a taxi driver - make an angry face and walk off. Every tourist that bargains with them just makes the problem bigger. If you all - allways say NO then one day the problem will have evaporated and they will all use the meter.

    Fun Alternatives: We do not have to put up with the atrocious volume of crimes committed by taxi drivers in this country. It is a subject we cannot simply ignore.

    Please report all of your bad experiences with taxi drivers. The information you report will make a positive change. For more information on the crazy taxi problem please see this website...

    www.teksigila.com

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Work Abroad
    • Women's Travel

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  • stappm's Profile Photo

    City Tour? No Meter.....

    by stappm Updated Feb 8, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The taxi's in KL are unlike anywhere I have ever been in my life. They stop at a Taxi que and ask where you are going, if they don't want to go there, they ask the next person in line, and the next...... Very odd!

    Also, very RARELY do the cabbies run the meter - they seem to want to charge whatever they want and take you on a "city tour" while they're at it. Nothing is worse then trying to get to 1 destination and the driver takes you the other direction to try and get more cab fare out of you........ On weekends cab drivers were a little more likely to run the meter, apparently it's a good 2nd job in KL, so on the weekends you have more drivers and it changes the supply/demand scale a bit more in your favor.

    Unique Suggestions: Ask how much before getting in the cab - and haggle. Don't be afraid to say NO and wait for the next one (it will NOT be a long wait even if a few pass your destination by). Sit in the front seat and be aware of where you want to go (It's fairly easy to see the general layout of the city in your head with the towers in the skyline)

    There are a lot of 1-way streets so sometimes it seems they are going the long way, but they are legitimately trying to get you on the right side of the street.

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    • Women's Travel

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  • Taxi Scams : Errant Cab / Taxi Drivers.

    by DexterTan Updated Jan 9, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It pains me to write about Malaysia as this is my home country. However, even locals are not spared from errant cab/taxi drivers who refuse to charge according to the meter.

    The government had been trying to straighten this out for many years now but to no avail. As a citizen I am dissapointed by the lackadaisical stance taken by the authorities to educate and prosecute errant taxi drivers.

    The problem starts at night, maybe after 9.30pm when the city slows down. Some taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter when ferrying passengers, reasoning that the area you are going to is remote / outskirt and it would be impossible to get passengers/fare for the trip back and you'd have to pay the fare both ways if his service is engaged. This is of course a tourist trap.

    If you are a tourist however, you might be scammed at any time of the day.

    Unique Suggestions: Well at least know where you are going to. You may want to note the take metered fare on an earlier taxi that you had taken a ride in to the area during the daytime. The "overtime unmetered" off-hours fare should not stray more than 50% from the metered fare.

    If you do not want to avoid getting into this predicament, then pick a hotel in the city centre where you'd find many places to unwind at night, or find a place to enjoy yourself near the hotel.

    Fun Alternatives: You may want to stay in a hotel within walking distance to the LRT (Light Rail Transit) station. It operates until 11.30pm (I think). Not all taxi drivers in Kuala Lumpur are scam artists but many of them are. You're wondering about the traffic jam in Kuala Lumpur and why most Malaysians own cars... well here's one of the reasons.

    Insist on the taxi driver charging using the meter whenever you can!!

    Nevertheless... enjoy yourself in my home country. Apart from some tourist traps (which are found in almost every other country or city) its a great place to visit... great shopping and low prices.

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  • Scheming Taxi Drivers

    by snux_849 Written Nov 3, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The taxi drivers tend to over charge so don't be fooled. They will prefer to give you a fixed rate instead of using the taxi meter.

    Unique Suggestions: Ask your hotel's service desk the approximate taxi fare from the hotel to your destination. This way, you will have a guide when negotiation for the fare.

    Fun Alternatives: Find a taxi away from the hotel. Those waiting in queue outside the hotel will most probably charge you a high fixed rate. We tried hailing a taxi a few meters away from our hotel. The driver agreed to take us to the Pasarakyat bus terminal using the meter. We only paid RM4.90. The cab in the hotel was asking for RM15, saying that traffic is so bad that he had to charge us that much.

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  • iris_e's Profile Photo

    One of the Worst Taxi Experiences I've Ever Had!!!

    by iris_e Written Jun 9, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Jalan Tun Razak

    I'm aware of how taxi drivers in KL would take advantage of tourists. But experiencing it at a time when I'm in a hurry or too tired to walk and find another cab makes the experience much much worse! I hate their cab drivers! I hate hate hate them! Of course there are exceptions. (Usually if you ask the hotel get a taxi for you, you get the right rate - using a taxi meter.) One scam of taxi cabs in KL is offering you a rate that they say is reasonable. Example: From Petronas to Puduraya Bus Station. We hailed a cab in front of the Petronas. The cab driver said it's RM10 to Puduraya. I'm aware it's lower than that but not sure by how much. We said it's too expensive. He said that rates are normally RM8.00 but since we didn't hail him at a taxi stand, he said it's RM10. Duh. We've been walking around KLCC for almost an hour and were too tired to argue. There's 3 of us so that's RM3+ each.

    Another incident was when a cab driver who's supposed to take us to Merdeka Square from the Train Station (rate should be RM5 or less- i asked at a Cafe) took us to Times Square instead. Not only that but he gave us a complete tour around KL (took the longest routes and round and round and round) until our fare reached RM10!!! My friends and I were too scared to argue with them drivers because they look so hostile. Not hostile really, but scary-looking.

    Actually, it's pretty easy to do a walking tour around the city if you have the stamina. Take the MRT/LRT or Monorail instead of taxi cabs. We learned the hard way. I thought that since we also look Asian, they wouldn't be such a nuisance. What a mistake!

    Unique Suggestions: If you're coming from your hotel. Ask the doorman or whoever is in charge to get a taxi for you. Also, take note already of how long the trip will take to your destination and the usual fare also from the hotel information office. If you really have to hail a taxi and they quote an exhorbitant rate, subtly argue and don't shout. If you're not in a hurry, best to take a cab from a taxi stand and ask to use the meter. Some will readily use the meter while others will give you their own rates. Look for another taxi instead.

    Fun Alternatives: Walking around is a good alternative! Get a map at the visitors center at the airport - it's free! And find out if the places you want to go to are near each other. You can ask the officer at the visitors lounge how far apart each destination is. What's good with walking is that you can appreciate the other sights of the city outside those normally visited by tourists.

    Take the bus. From visitors centers' representatives around the city, ask for bus routes to and from specific destinations.

    Take the monorail/MRT. The map of KL which can be obtained from KLIA for free also shows the MRT/monorail routes. By checking what station your destination is nearest to, you can take these alternative modes of transportation and get to your destination at the least possible time.

    Remember: Most tourist sights in KL are very near each other. A lot are walking distance from one another. The drawback: since it's really really warm, you'll get all sweaty when you get to your next destination.

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  • Bargain Taxi rates

    by anandm Written May 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Taxi rarely run by the meter and the drivers usually try to charge you up to 5 times the correct rate.

    Unique Suggestions: Check with the hotel staff on the rate for the place you are visiting and bargain with the driver before you even get in. Fix the price and then get into the cab. If the driver asks for too high a price, just go to the next taxi.

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    The 'its peak hour so its double the cost' trap

    by travie Written Apr 4, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is no such thing as the 'oh, its between 5 and 6 pm and its peak hour so it is double the cost for this taxi ride'. I don't think of myself as really stupid but it was my first time overseas and i was by myself so i actually did pay double! Very very dumb! I know it is not true because i have friends in Australia who are from Malaysia and they just laughed when i told them and said that there is no such thing!

    Unique Suggestions: Taxi drivers are generally ok but just to make sure that you are paying the right price make sure that the driver switches on the meter (and starts it at 0) before they start driving.

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  • gripdxd's Profile Photo

    RIP OFFS

    by gripdxd Written Dec 14, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Every cabbie is pretty much trying to rip you off, so be aware of your prices. If one charges too much just let them pass you on by. There will be another one. It's like a living down there. You will probably get ripped off once and then you quickly learn.

    Unique Suggestions: Hold your ground and haggle let them know you know that they're ripping you off. Some will come down, others will just drive off. Let them keep on driving. Negotiate!

    Fun Alternatives: Walk and sweat it out or take the subway.

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  • njay22's Profile Photo

    KL Taxis are the WORST in the world

    by njay22 Updated Aug 21, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The taxi drivers will do anything to rip you off in KL. They will press buttons to increase the fare, take the "scenic" route, try and overcharge, argue, fight and fuss

    Unique Suggestions: Insist on using the meter. Always keep your eyes on it (sit in the front passenger seat) and have an idea of the route to take.

    If they give you trouble then write down the taxi number and complain to the taxi authority - you have to help stop this - dont just ignore it.

    Fun Alternatives: At the airport you can get a fixed price taxi to KL and back. Taxis have a 50% surcharge from midnight to 6am.

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