Taxi Driver Scams, Kuala Lumpur
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
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
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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
My experiences in KL were not all bad.
Starting off at the airport, you do have to prepurchase a ticket at the airport for the taxis, you head out side to the rank, and just give the taxi-guard the ticket, and he will hail you a cab - it is approx $92MYR to get from LCCT into KL itself. So its nice not having to haggle straight off the plane - its all prepaid.
Once you get into the city... try to avoid getting taxi's that are parked, or outside big tourist destinations - this is where the scammers will wait for you! I tend to walk a few blocks away, and hail a cab.
First question to ask, "are you using the metre" they will probably ask you where you are going, if they offer you a price, smile and say "no thanks" and get out, and find someone who will run the meter. Sometimes it might take a few tries, but it will be worth it.
Also, you will find that the older drivers are less likely to try and rip you off, as they are more oldschool i suppose. Avoid taxi's who beep at you, and yell out - just a scam waiting to happen really.
Enjoy KL :D
Unique Suggestions: So, the best advice i can offer is walk away from the big tourist areas, and hale a moving cab!
Fun Alternatives: KL has some of the best public transport systems in the world. The trains come every 2-3mins... and they have connecting Monorail and Bus services at the bigger stations.
Everything is in English, and very easy to work out which train is going where. I highly recommend using the trains where possible. Cheap too!
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.
Very well decorated but things are EXPENSIVE!EXPENSIVE!EXPENSIVE! Enjoy the place for its embiance - thats it! Do not Buy! Do not pass go (oh well you can hang out there)..do not PAY RM200 (it might cost RM20 elsewhere)
Unique Suggestions: Hang out at the place for its embiance and since its located in KLCC, enjoy the shopping center.
Fun Alternatives: Karyanika handicraft center, Central Market (you can bargain here), or Kg Bahru.
Always, someone is bound to get tricked into getting a taxi by 'touts' as soon as you exit the arrival hall. The authorities have tried to curb this menace, but somehow, these 'touts' are still there. so, below are some tips on how to get your transportation to the city. Mind you the city is around 75km from the airport.
At the Satellite Terminal Building, look out for a currency changer counter(Money Changer) or bank to change your currency to Malaysian currency (RM = Ringgit Malaysia; US$1.00 = RM$3.80 or better). You need RM$ to pay for your train or taxi fare later.
Taxis use the coupon system and taxi booths are available upon exit from the Arrival Hall. There is a choice of an airport limousine service as well as a budget taxi service.
The registered taxis can be boarded after buying coupons from Airport Limo counter at Level 3-Arrival Hall (at the exit immediately after clearing customs). Then queue up near Door 3 at Level 3 to board the registered metered taxis. Show your coupon to a person on duty before boarding a taxi. The taxi journey takes 50 to 90 minutes (depending on the general traffic condition on the roads).
Public bus services to the city are available one floor down from the Arrival Hall.
ERL - Express Rail Link or KLIA Express
After coming out of the exit immediately after clearing customs, you are at Level 3 (Arrival Hall). Take a lift down to Level 1 to take the KLIA Ekspres (trains) to KL Sentral Station.
Cost: RM35.00 (adult, single trip) or RM70.00 (adult; return trip)
There are also promotional group/family rates. Pls inquire at the counter.
RM15.00(child 3-12 yrs, single trip)
RM25.00 (senior citizen, single trip) Please ASK if you qualify for this rate!
☼First Train: 5.00 am
☼Last Train: 1.00 am
☼Frequency: Every 15 minutes
☼Travelling Time: 28 minutes (non-stop)
Whatever you do, do not take the LCCT taxi services! Even in your most desperate moments. The following is a summary of their absolutely degrading, demeaning (for Malaysians) and high handed services.
My flight arrived from Bali (AK 905) on 8th February 2008 @ 10.30pm. There are two passengers (including myself) and 1 large baggage with 4 other smaller bags. Upon queuing up for about half an hour, I was informed that there are no more tickets for budget or (mini van) category taxi's. They offered premier taxi's that cost RM77.30 to the Subang area. The lady at the counter asked me which area I was residing and I informed her it was in the Subang area near Hyatt hotel. She recorded this in the receipt which I still have. Below are more detailed accounts of the whole episode:
1. Walked aimlessly to the domestic counter from the taxi counter which is about 100 meters away. Not a very convenient location.
2. Found the premier taxi's by accident since there were no signs to direct us there. Went up to the taxi driver of a black Hyundai bearing registration number WAQ 5372 and handed the ticket to the driver.
3. Loading of luggage into the trunk of the taxi was done by me with the driver just looking on instead of lifting a finger to help
4. The driver sped to the destination as I think he wanted to return to the airport to get the after midnight 50% extra on picking up more passengers. The luggage in the trunk was thrown around including fragile items that were purchased.
5. Upon arrival near the destination, the driver insisted to drop us off at Hyatt hotel instead of our house which is in Puncak Nusa Kelana Condo. This is when the extortion begins.
Unique Suggestions: con't....
6. From the underpass where he was about to make his decision it was 500 meters to Hyatt and 800 meters to our home. The driver started asking for more money and extorting us threatening not to drop us off at the destination, slowing down the taxi and mentioning that the amount usually charged is RM77 not RM71. He failed to realise that I had paid RM77!
7. I bit my lip and allowed him to drive to our home where I opened the trunk myself and unloaded the baggage with the taxi driver looking on.
8. I then gave the driver a tongue lashing as he was no longer in control of the situation. He challenged me to make a report and took down the condo details. He asked the guards at the condo for my name and unit number and threatened to send "people" over. He said that the amount for this area is usually RM99 which was firstly not communicated to me when I got the ticket and if he had issues he should deal with the company not with the passengers. For another 200 meters the cost is RM20? If that is the case, it is approximately 180KM from my condo to LCTT so using the same costing of RM10 for 100 meters the total taxi cost should be RM18,000! Perhaps the drivers should also consider education at least if not for themselves, for their children; otherwise they would end up with the same mathematical and other mental deficiencies.
Ensure the correct address and fare are printed on teh receipt
Get written confirmation
Get the supervisor contact number in the event of problems
Request for polite driver (if at all possible to find one)
Fun Alternatives: Local taxi with meter
Call taxi from KLIA airports @ 60387778888
The company (at the ONLY counter just after arrival immigration services) monopolises the entire airport area. Because of this monopoly they feel they can operate in any fashion that they desire. This is a farce and giving Malaysia a very bad reputation for tourists especially of being hit by touts as soon as they enter our country! It’s not enough that the tourists are manipulated but the Malaysian's themselves are conned in the same way! LCCT is either just turning a blind eye to this or working hand in hand with these operators as they have done nothing despite numerous posts and complaints. Syabas LCCT...another job well done! Malaysia boleh!
I can be contacted on email@example.com for verification of authenticity of this posting.
I always try not to take any taxi in Malaysia. I thought KL would be better since it is the capital. However, it's the same. I was ripped off by taking a taxi from Puduraya to Kepong. I was quoted by many taxi drivers for RM25. I decided not to use their service. Instead, I got one on the road and I was quoted RM20. I thought I had a deal.
When I got to my relative's house, I was told it should only cost between RM8 - RM10 for that journey!!! I was ripped off. The price difference is just too much. Mind you, I am a Malaysian, just that I do not speak cantonese.
Unique Suggestions: There's a meter for all taxis. Make sure they use their meter. When you board, tell them you want to go by meter, if not, get out of the taxi.
Find out the normal price from someone you know.
Fun Alternatives: Too much trouble with taxis... I will boycott them next time I visit KL again.
Take the LRT.
Take the public buses.
Having travelled around the globe for the best part of 40yrs I recently had the misfortune of visiting KL. My family and I were ripped off 9 times out of 10 in our dealings with these dishonest bastards. On one occassion, because I had the temerity to question why the meter wasnt on I was nearly run over by the driver, this was infront of my 6 yr old son and wife. I have to admit arguing with him before this point but the idiot was a total scam artist nay, criminal. Whatever you do, just try and avoid the cabs at all cost. There is no foolproof way of not getting scammed. You can buy vouchers from taxi cubicles for predetermined destinations. In theory this is the best way...but the minute you are in the cab the driver will start complaining and asking for more money. I really dont want to return to KL because of them and they are an absolute disgrace to their country. If Malaysia hopes to attract tourism one of the first improvement they will have to make is to the "taxi industry"...
Unique Suggestions: Avoid taking taxis at all costs.
Fun Alternatives: public transport or walk, or simply don't stop in Malaysia.
Of all the great experiences that I had while in KL, not once was it with a taxi driver. They all tended to try and take advantage of this tourist.
Before coming here I did note some phone numbers from VT'ers who had recommended some taxi drivers in KL.
In her KL transportation tip, uysijessa wrote that Steve is the guy to call and I don't doubt for a minute that her own experience was a good one.
Mine wasn't. I called Steve on his mobile as listed on uysijessa's tip and I got through straight away. I asked him to arrange a taxi to Shah Alam and he said it would cost RM80. I thought that it must be further there than what I believed so I accepted his quote.
Steve himself couldn't make the trip to Shah Alam as he was off to Melaka so he arranged another taxi for me. The other guy guy picked us up from our condo and within 45min we were in Shah Alam.
I protested that RM80 was too much for short-ish trip but he argued that I had already accepted the quote. I don't go back on my word so I had to (reluctantly) hand over the previously agreed fare.
Anyway, I will leave it to you to make your own decision on whether or not to contact Steve for a taxi.
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.
Look, we can't stop KL taxi drivers from acting unethically and illegally. The city doesn't seem to care about taxi extortion.
But there's an easy suggestion. Just avoid them.
KL's rail coverage is sufficient enough so that you can avoid taxis all-together. In addition, there's a convenient free city bus.
During my 3 days in KL visiting countless sites, I only took the taxi once.
So don't be so lazy. Go out and do some research on riding these forms of transportation. Not only do you get to avoid taxis, you will also experience some local culture.