Taxi scams, Bangkok
EVEN FOR TAXI
try not to take THE BLUE WITH RED (IF I REMEMBER CORRECTLY) THEY ARE FROM THE PIRVATE COMPANY... SOME TIME THEY LIKEs TO GO ROUND CIRCLE BEFORE REACHING THE PLC OR PRETEND NOT TOO SURE ABT THE PLACE.(sometime they really don knoe the plc)
or at the airport they will ask for 300 baht to 400 baht with tax 50 baht.( normally its cost abt 180 to 200 baht with tax form the airport to city) always take the taxi in the taxi stand. and remeber the above advises
TAKE THE GREEN WITH YELLOW TAXI.
its better as these are
driven by the owner
AND ALWAY ASK FOR METER .
before u even step into the taxi
if no meter get out .
Fun Alternatives: sky trian or subway
its the best
All 4 of us came in on different days, same flight/time, however we all paid something different for the cab ride to the hotel from the Airport. Best tip is pass all the taxi drivers and walk straight to the official taxi stand outside at the airport. Get into a metered taxi ONLY and make sure they run the meter. Also make sure the driver is clear on where you want to go BEFORE leaving the airport or Hotel. Many times the staff loading you into the cab will tell you the driver knows where you are going and they have no idea. Trying to point it out on the map on the freeway is not the great follow-up idea. Also, Tuk Tuk's can be fun and the drivers know the local streets much better then the taxi drivers, beware. They often overcharge tourists. But if your cab driver doesn't know where you want to go, after you get to town, switch to a Tuk Tuk. They are more familiar with the city streets. We found this particularly true in Phuket.
To be fair, taxi drivers taking advantages on tourists is not unique to Bangkok. However, the incapability of taxi drivers to understand English may increase your chance to wander aimlessly in Bangkok in a cab. Don't expect they will at least know the English street names. They don't.
Unique Suggestions: Get a Thai name of your destination and present it to the driver.
Glimpse the map to get an idea what direction and how far is your destination. If the taxi goes to a different direction for some time, probably the driver misunderstood your destination or he is not taking the direct route. Don't feel bothered to reconfirm your destination if this happens.
Know where some major landmarks are (e.g. famous hotels) so you will still know where you are after the cab has traveled many streets.
Be sure to have at least 300 THB small notes when u arrive at the airport and take a cab.
The taxi driver will say that they do not have small change and will not give u your change.
Unique Suggestions: At least break the $ when u take the tollway or have 300THB small notes with u.
Fun Alternatives: Ask the driver to drive u to a nearby convenient stall to break the notes.
Please don't ever get a taxi outside your hotel...always walk a little way down the street first. We only ever had troubles with taxi drivers when getting a taxi from the hotel. One guy tried telling us that the shopping centre wasn't open yet...instead he would take us elsewhere for an hour...we demanded he take us to where we wanted to go and when he wouldn't we asked him to stop and we got another taxi...
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you choose a meter taxi and make sure the meter is working...
This is my 2nd experience in Bangkok
At night I thought of going to Chinatown and have a look what do they have there.
The taxi driver told me that Chinatown has closed, nothing there. They said go to Silom Road, there is better. After Bla Bla Bla Bla they started asking whether want to go to massage before dinner & etc. I'm damn frustrated with them. I thought that if Chinatown is closed then the chinese no need to eat? I was damn angry that day. You want to go to Chinatown or not? If yes how much, don't want then said don't want. Then I go to take another taxi to Chinatown.
When I reach the Chinatown, you won't believe it. It just like Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur. If those shops were closed how do the Chinese who open their stalls in Chinatown survived?
I paid 80baht from Mandarin to Chinatown because the driver would not want to go on meter. I took it because it is very jam that day. But I return to Mandarin hotel for 50baht only.
Mandarin hotel is somewhere along RamaIV road if not mistaken
Unique Suggestions: Tell the damn taxi driver where you want to go. And be confident with your primary destination.
BEWARE!! NEVER TAKE A TAXI OR TUK TUK to any shops, restaurants, massage places, tourist attraction (generally anywhere you intend to spend money). The reason are as follows:
1. The taxi driver will deliberately take you somewhere else (regardless of giving him clear instructions of the Street name and Shop name you intend to visit in Thai or English).
2. I took a taxi and gave clear instructions written and spoken in Thai of where I wanted to go. It was Somboon Restaurant (the top seafood restaurant in Bangkok). He brought me to Sombondee Restaurant instead. A very common and deliberate scam. Even the shops and restaurants will be in on the scam. They will lie to you about their address, street name they are on, as well as, shop name just to cheat you big time.
3. Inspite of giving clear instructions, the taxi driver will deliberately sent you to another place.
4. I ended up paying 7,000 baht for a dinner that should have cost about 1,000baht. A US$50 meal ended up costing US$250.
Unique Suggestions: 1. Always take down the full detail of every taxi you take. The licence plate number (clearly displayed on both side of the rear doors).
2. The driver details on the front passenger side.
3. Use a camera phone to record every trip just to be save.
4. If you are con, report the case to the tourist police at 1155 or 678 6800 http://www.thailandguru.com/thailand-tourist-police.html
5. Alternatively, you can report to the taxi company (there is a white paper with the contact detail when you arrive at the airport regarding how to complaint about taxi drivers).
Fun Alternatives: Pay with a credit card and call your credit card company to cancel the payment. Tell the card company that you didnt sign for the charges.
Most taxis in Bangkok runs on meter. When i say most, i really mean it. A lot of taxi driver will try to quote you a steep price when you get to their taxi for a short distance. Look for the this sign. If its lighted up means they run on meter BUT make sure they turn on the meter when they start moving. If not, ask them to do so politely and if they start to quote you a price, just get off the taxi and get yourself another one. If the signed is not lighted up, just forget it. You will be amazed how cheap it is to travel within the city but be prepared to pay a net price for your ride after midnight especially when you have just finished having a good time in a pub/club
Don't be fooled by taxis with meters! Some are notorious for accepting passengers and levying a "certain" additional or a fixed fare when you call out a specific destination. Even if meters are running, they will cite and demand that you pay that or take another cab. We've taken green/yellow and pink fuschia cabs with the same scams. So, it is not entirely true that green/yellow cabs driven by owners are safer and more honest to passengers.
Unique Suggestions: Once you jump inside a cab, demand for meter use after stating your destination. If in a bind, like heavy traffic or rushing to airport, at least agree on a specific fare. Airport bound? Make sure you agree if tollfee is already included in the arranged fee or will be shouldered by passenger.
Fun Alternatives: We were bound for Suvarnabhumi on Valentine's Day around 7pm at the corner of MBK road. After getting inside a cab with horrendous cabfare demands, we decided to not be held up by driver's absurd demand (THB500-600). Got off and found the nearest MIB (Men in Brown) Tourist Police right outside Maboonkrong mall. We explained the situation and he was more than happy to hail a cab and arrange for an acceptable fare THB400 inclusive of toll and tip. He hailed and gave tickets/charged to 2 cabs before finally giving us a safe and honest cab.
It seems these cab drivers are fearful of the MIB lot so try to make use of these Men in Brown.
While we were travelling in a taxi we were frequantly checking the meter we knew that the meter starts from 35 baht.
When the journry get to an end the Meter was displaying 51 baht and suddenly the driver press the accelerator and it went to 53 baht and within a second he reset the meter and said 100 baht.
we were keeping an eye on the meter so we said it was 51 baht. he againg tried to cheat and said "ya ! ya! 61 baht"
we were really disappointed when he tried to cheat us twice. So we left the taxi by giving him a note of 50 baht.
Unique Suggestions: keep an eye on the meter of taxi. try to check it frequently. cuz they make you busy in the buildings and all that kinda stuff so try NOT to put your attention any where else beside the meter.
Fun Alternatives: As far as possible try to travel by BTS!
Its fun as well as quick and accurate
I was told to beware of taxi drivers in Bangkok as they try to negotiate a fee instead of running on the meter. I took a taxi from the Hotel Intercontinental to the airport and the driver tried to ask me to pay 400 baht but I asked him to put on the meter but he kept saying that it was a "hotel taxi" but I insisted that he put on the meter. When we reached the airport the fare was 201 baht and I know that the toll charge should have been 70 baht but the driver told me to pay 300 baht in total. I asked him why isnt the toll charge 70 baht and asked him for the toll receipts but he said that he didn't have them even though I saw him receive them at the toll points. I ended up paying the 300 baht and even though it's only 29 baht which is only about 60 pence and I usually leave this as tip to honest drivers, it was the fact that he continually tried to cheat me out of money.
The drivers details are:
Name: Meena Somkheat
Driver Number: 81206
Please beware of this driver.
Unique Suggestions: Ask for the meter to be put on in the taxi and for the toll receipts as soon as he receives them.
Fun Alternatives: Take the MRT which is quick and quite convenient.
Thailand is well known for its scams (especially Bangkok), so there's a fairly long list of warnings, but if you have your wits about you, you will be fine.
Some things you should be aware of -
If you take a taxi in Bangkok, make sure the meter is on! If the taxi driver refuses to put it on, get another taxi. Elsewhere (where metered taxis may not be available), agree a fare before setting off.
At the bus stations and airport, make sure you take an official taxi and don't go with a tout, they may rip you off.
Don't believe tuk-tuk drivers when they tell you an attraction is closed, they are probably going to try to take you to a shop (from which they collect a commission). This is especially true if they only ask for a cheap fare. If your guidebook tells you an attraction is open and someone tells you it's closed, go check for yourself - the guidebook is probably right! Sometimes drivers will also tell you a guest house is closed or 'dirty', if a different place will pay them commission - if it's somewhere you want to go to, again, it's worth seeing for yourself.
There are lots of fakes about - fake labels, fake fabrics (especially silk) and fake gems. Almost everything cheap is a fake or unbranded, but not everything expensive is real, unless you are in a 'reputable' shop (eg the Nike shop in Siam Square is definitely for real!). Take care when buying; one thing to bear in mind is that refunds are *very* hard to get.
Also, be especially cautious of anyone who approaches you in the street; chances are that they will be a tout or a con-man; get even more suspicious if they want you to go somewhere with them - if you want to chat, suggest going to somewhere public like a cafe or coffee shop. Gem scams in particular start like this (or with a tuk-tuk ride); you can read all about these at this excellent page at 2bangkok.com.
Taxi driver has to open-up the taxi-meter. They usually try to charge more and ask for higher prices. So when you get on a taxi, ask the driver to turn on the taxi meter. Do not bargain for the price. Call the taxi from your hotel or a shopping center. For example if you are walking on the street, go to the nearest hotel or shopping center, they will call a taxi for you. Usually the taxis can not bargain when they get custumers from such places.
Unique Suggestions: If the driver refuses to turn on the taxi-meter. Or they sometimes turn it off during the travel and ask for more money. If you face such a situation, don't bargain. Just tell the driver to go to the nearest hotel (or your hotel). When you arrive, get of the taxi, and tell him that you will pay the money on the taxi-meter. He will not dare to argue with you at the hotel. The hotel will get you another taxi.
Fun Alternatives: Get on taxis from hotels and shopping centers. Plan your trip. Try not searching for a taxi in a rush hour.
Most taxi scams target tourists especially at the Airport, Bus Terminals, and Hotels that many tourists and foreigners stay. The quickest way to spot them is that they are usually old and dirty looking. Moreover, there will be someone to call them up for you. Beware of the bellboy or concierge staff. The reason behind this is because the flagfall starts at 35 baht for all metered taxis. So the old taxis are facing difficulties getting enough passengers to make a living. They find a way to survive by forming taxi ranks to charge fixed rate from tourists. If you dare to tell them to use the meter, they'll definitely ignore you. Or worse, if u get in, they'll drop you off in the middle of the road. Many of these taxi drivers will usually tout you to go to places where they get commission. It will be quite an annoying experience.
Unique Suggestions: When you face such a scam, please remember one thing, you have the right to refuse them once you haven't gotten on the taxi. But if you face such scams when you are already in the taxi, write down or remember the taxicab's license plate or the taxi radio code that appear on the rear windshield. If it is in the day time and the area you'll get off is crowded, try getting off near the police booth, mostly located near the intersections. You can go to report such scam to the police. If it was at night, your safety should be your first priority, just do anything to avoid conflict. If what they wanna charge you is not too high to accept, just pay them, then report the incident to the police later or call 1584 to report your bad experience to the department of Land Transportation. They will be able to punish the violators.
Fun Alternatives: My tips to avoid the scam are the followings:
1) Try to flag down passing taxicabs and not just ask someone to do it for you especially when you need a taxi to the airport or long distant trips to upcountry.
2) Taxi fares to upcountry are fixed rates and quite reasonable. You should asked for fixed rate price list that is issued by the Department of Land Transportation for reference. All taxis are required to have that pricelist inside their taxis.
3) Try hailing rather new looking taxis and if possible pick the GREEN ones, and notice that they have radio antenna on the rear trunk. Taxis with radio are rather safer since they are being dispatched by radio call center. They are professional drivers that make their living from providing service not like taxi drivers who line up in taxi ranks waiting to rip off tourists.
3) In my experience, GREEN taxis are the most reliable taxi company in Bangkok. They are exclusively chosen and trusted by many five star hotels, hospitals, and big corporations in Bangkok to provide taxi service to passengers. Their drivers wear uniforms and seems to be more polite and patient. One of their drivers told me that they have to use meter only and if they get complaints they can no longer serve the passengers at the ranks. I think it is pretty good set up for passengers especially tourists. Taxicabs themselves are quite new and clean.
Overall, we had no problems with the taxi drivers in Bangkok at all. Some even gave us little tours and were quite friendly. However, we did have a problem at the MBK Center once. On the ground floor along one side is a taxi queue. After waiting about 10 min. we got our taxi but the driver didn't put the meter on. We pointed this out and told him to put it on. First he pretended like he didn't hear us or notice us pointing at the meter, which was very annoying. Then we were forcefully telling him to put the meter on. After that he told us it would be 200 bahts (and we knew it was 50 tops) to our destination. By this point we were angry and yelling at him to let us out. But he wouldn't!! Instead he tried to bring the price down to 150 and then 100 bahts. Yeah, right. I was angry and a little scared. Finally my husband opened the door even though he was picking up speed and he let us go. What a jerk. Just be sure they put the meter on. Also, make sure you can point out your destination on a map, that helps too because a lot of drivers have very poor or no English skills and possibly can't read. If they can read then it helps to get a business card from your hotel written in Thai (if that's where you are going).