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Taxi scam?

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EADG
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Taxi scam?

Postby EADG » Tue, 21 Mar 2006 11:24 pm

so last night we get in a taxi, street pick up in front of Emerald Hill, heading to Clark Quay

30 seconds into the ride, a white Merc, and I see $10:00 on the meter, naturally I ask what's up

says it's a limo, that's the standard fare

I say that's illegal, he suddenly becomes apologetic and offers to take us for free - upon arrival we offer him money (what it would have cost), he refuses

tonite leaving Boat Quay (I must sound like a real typical foreigner), about 10:30, no taxis, walk outside Circular, a guy standing outside a white Merc asks me where I'm going (about $3:50 away from there), I tell him right off I live here, I'm not a tourist

he still 'offers' $10 to my destination, I told him to take a walk

so, coincidence, or is something brewing?

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Postby k1w1 » Tue, 21 Mar 2006 11:42 pm

I have had some very crappy experiences with these cabs in the last few days: they have arrived when I ordered cabs or they have stopped while flagging a cab down. Either way, I didn't ask for a Merc cab and so I don't see why I should pay extra for it. One driver threw my kids things all over the footpath when we pulled over, and then proceeded to fanatically clean his boot, huffing and puffing all the while. :x I called and complained (after yelling at him and trying really hard to make him lose face - which he ignored completely).

You can't complain without the driver number, so next time: GET A RECEIPT.

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EADG
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Postby EADG » Tue, 21 Mar 2006 11:50 pm

k1w1 wrote:I have had some very crappy experiences with these cabs in the last few days: they have arrived when I ordered cabs or they have stopped while flagging a cab down. Either way, I didn't ask for a Merc cab and so I don't see why I should pay extra for it. One driver threw my kids things all over the footpath when we pulled over, and then proceeded to fanatically clean his boot, huffing and puffing all the while. :x I called and complained (after yelling at him and trying really hard to make him lose face - which he ignored completely).

You can't complain without the driver number, so next time: GET A RECEIPT.


hmmm...reminds me of last week when I called for a cab, which they said was 'a normal taxi' (they even asked me if that was ok, which I thought was strange at the time, never having been asked that before)

a white Merc arrived, so when I got in, I called to ask why I was misled - yeah, only 20 cents, but it's the principle

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 6:59 am

Yes, it sounds like the guy was trying to scam you.

The Mercs cost the cabbies $120 per day to rent as opposed to $90 for the regular taxis so they need to make more money.

It is legal for any cabby to flat rate you a fare, and the Mercs charge a flat $35 from the airport as opposed to about $18 on a metered fare.

However, if they choose to take a regular call or a regular pickup on the street they must use the meter fare unless prior arrangements are made. I've never been charged more than standard meter fare when taking a Merc, so I reckon your experience is a valuable one... got to keep an eye on those guys.

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Postby sapphire » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 8:39 am

EADG, I have never had this problem. Seems to me that the cabbies in Singapore have developed a dislike for you. :lol:
It's not getting any smarter out there. You have to come to terms with stupidity, and make it work for you.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 8:47 am

I have been involved a number of times with dinners for US servicemen here in Singapore. We get an e-mail from The American Association when a ship is at port here, and families have the option to host a few sailors for dinner. Probably 7 times out of 10 times, may be more, the guys get ripped off by the cabbies who pick them up at the base. They are usually told the fee is $10 - $15 per person to get them from Sembawang to town. Shameful.

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Postby skye » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 6:33 pm

Another recent scam - picked up a taxi from an Orchard hotel and was surprised to see he had put a phone booking fee on the meter. Queried it and he said the hotel had booked him. Pointed out that this was unlikely as he wasn't "on call". Further enquiries showed that this so called booking was the doorman putting on the flashing "taxi" light at the hotel entrance. Told him I would only pay the extra if he gave me a printed receipt and he immediately decided he had made a "mistake". I have to say though that this is very unusual as I take loads of taxis and 99+% are absolutely fine. The base at Semabawang had a big notice up last time I was there advising visiting servicemen of the average taxi fare into town and how the peak hours/phone booking supplements worked. Guess anywhere can have a few chancers.

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Postby T2K » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:00 pm

Mercs that pick you up on street hire or come when a regular cab is called are routine. They cost the same as a regular cab. So, consider yourself lucky when that happens, it's a "limo" ride for free.

You should, of course, be aware of this and not pay any extra. I've never had them try to get any extra though.

However, beware that a Merc cab sitting there waiting for a passenger may try and negotiate a flat rate. Don't just hop in and assume it's a normal meter fare, clarify that first.

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Postby superfurryanimal » Wed, 22 Mar 2006 10:26 pm

If you manage to flag a Merc on the road, you don't have to pay anything extra. but if you pre-book a Merc you should expect to pay a flat $8 booking fee. If you hire a Merc at the airport or from places in the City (Suntec or Orchard Road) the booking fee is $16.


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