Singapore has the world’s worst taxi drivers

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x9200
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Post by x9200 » Mon, 30 Jul 2012 7:39 pm

Smilla1978 wrote:having spent ten years getting taxis in Melbourne and 2.5 years getting taxis here, I would say that taxis are many many times better here than in Melbourne.
Out of curiosity, what do they do (or don't) to deserve your opinion?

I would expect the service quality depends mainly on two factors:
- how this profession is positioned among other jobs in the country
- whether the cabbies are trained to know their cities

additionally in Singapore there is another one dragging everything down - no quality demanding market.

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Post by morenangpinay » Tue, 31 Jul 2012 12:05 pm

i also have the unfortunate incident of being made to get off the taxi coz the driver is new and insist he doesn't know the way. Plus he had the gall to tell me he wont charge me for the few mins. that I was in his taxi..

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Post by vishalgupta2 » Wed, 01 Aug 2012 1:28 am

revhappy wrote:Just read the article, wonder why the author favors Indian drivers so much, haha
May not sound like a favor if you read the invisible 'Even'

replace by 'Even' a willing Indian.

This said, I saw and felt this problem already.

I have even came across taxicab drivers who just declined to accept credit card saying their machine was broke. 'course they never told me that when I was getting in the cab and I had to pay for the meter searching for an ATM. They even declined to accept a check.

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Post by JR8 » Wed, 01 Aug 2012 3:36 am

vishalgupta2 wrote:
revhappy wrote:Just read the article, wonder why the author favors Indian drivers so much, haha
May not sound like a favor if you read the invisible 'Even'

replace by 'Even' a willing Indian.

This said, I saw and felt this problem already.

I have even came across taxicab drivers who just declined to accept credit card saying their machine was broke. 'course they never told me that when I was getting in the cab and I had to pay for the meter searching for an ATM. They even declined to accept a check.

I wonder what your consumer rights are on that issue? I cannot see that you should pay to hunt for an ATM, if they have not warned you on getting into the can that the CC payment option is not available (the usual array of stickers in the window suggesting that it is). Hmmm...

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Post by x9200 » Wed, 01 Aug 2012 8:18 am

Reasonably educated guess: your duty is to pay the fare and the means of payment in Singapore is SGD, physical money not some plastic electronic equivalent. This is in that sense that the physical money must be accepted by law, other means are optional. If the label of visa/mc is displayed on the window you can probably sue the driver (or the cab company) for any damages incurred if the plastic payment was denied without a valid reason.
This is at least how it is said to work in EU. Another peculiarity of this type is that the seller/service provider is not really obliged to provide you a change at the spot.

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Post by vishalgupta2 » Thu, 02 Aug 2012 11:42 pm

JR8 wrote:
vishalgupta2 wrote:
revhappy wrote:Just read the article, wonder why the author favors Indian drivers so much, haha
May not sound like a favor if you read the invisible 'Even'

replace by 'Even' a willing Indian.

This said, I saw and felt this problem already.

I have even came across taxicab drivers who just declined to accept credit card saying their machine was broke. 'course they never told me that when I was getting in the cab and I had to pay for the meter searching for an ATM. They even declined to accept a check.

I wonder what your consumer rights are on that issue? I cannot see that you should pay to hunt for an ATM, if they have not warned you on getting into the can that the CC payment option is not available (the usual array of stickers in the window suggesting that it is). Hmmm...
I could have said that I won't pay for the ride to ATM and back to my home, but as a foreigner with just a EP, I did not want to get in a mess and I had this feeling that the poor cabbie driver would have to pick up the tab (instead of the company).

All I expected was a note stuck on the window saying the card machine is broke, that way we could have pulled over at an ATM on the way instead of having to fish for one once we reached (and waste time and money).

My feeling has been that local merchants take it pretty easy if the credit card readers are broken. They casually tell you its broken (some of them apologize while other don't even bother to apologize) and demand cash. My problem is I am just not used to carrying cash. I can be totally wrong as I have not spent enough time in Singapore to say this for sure.

The problem gets multiplied as most local merchants (and cabbies) don't even accept checks.

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Post by sensei_ » Fri, 03 Aug 2012 8:26 am

vishalgupta2 wrote:They casually tell you its broken (some of them apologize while other don't even bother to apologize) and demand cash. My problem is I am just not used to carrying cash. I can be totally wrong as I have not spent enough time in Singapore to say this for sure.

The problem gets multiplied as most local merchants (and cabbies) don't even accept checks.
You have to understand that in asia, people tend to deal in cash (for some reason!). some business even operate in a cash only environment. if you are not carrying cash, then i wonder how you can survive day to day in singapore because off the top of my head there are alot of places that i can see not accepting electronic forms of payment.

and not only singaporean merchants having issues with cheques, even in australia personal cheques are not accepted at all, and even company cheques need prior approval.

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Post by zzm9980 » Fri, 03 Aug 2012 8:53 am

sensei_ wrote:
vishalgupta2 wrote:They casually tell you its broken (some of them apologize while other don't even bother to apologize) and demand cash. My problem is I am just not used to carrying cash. I can be totally wrong as I have not spent enough time in Singapore to say this for sure.

The problem gets multiplied as most local merchants (and cabbies) don't even accept checks.
You have to understand that in asia, people tend to deal in cash (for some reason!). some business even operate in a cash only environment. if you are not carrying cash, then i wonder how you can survive day to day in singapore because off the top of my head there are alot of places that i can see not accepting electronic forms of payment.
But the taxi advertised that it accepted electronic payment. I've heard "the machine is broken" more than a few times myself. Actually, more often than I've successfully paid with a card.

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Post by Smilla1978 » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 4:18 pm

x9200 wrote:
Smilla1978 wrote:having spent ten years getting taxis in Melbourne and 2.5 years getting taxis here, I would say that taxis are many many times better here than in Melbourne.
Out of curiosity, what do they do (or don't) to deserve your opinion?

I would expect the service quality depends mainly on two factors:
- how this profession is positioned among other jobs in the country
- whether the cabbies are trained to know their cities

additionally in Singapore there is another one dragging everything down - no quality demanding market.
The areas where I find they are better than Melbourne taxi drivers are:

1. a far greater proportion of them know where they are going
2. they are generally more polite and friendly

I'm not saying they are perfect. I estimate that one in five need assistance in finding the destination (in my experience). Some are rude, some are nosey and some are obnoxious - but on the whole they perform their job better than Melbourne taxi drivers (most of whom are international students or migrants who haven't lived in Melbourne very long and don't know their way around).

Something I disagree with in the article is his assumption that because a driver asks you which way you want to go that means they don't know the way. This is often not the case. Occasionally I suspect they are just testing you to see if you know the way. Other times it becomes obvious that they know the destination but are nervous of going the wrong way (some passengers are antsy about taking a route they consider to be fastest)

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 4:48 pm

Most of the time, though, it's because they want to see if they can take the long way around.*

The rest of the time it because they are used to locals whinging & beeching because the fair was 30 cents more than it was the last time they did it. When they ask me, I'm usually on one side of the island and heading to the other side (Bkt Batok area Industrial Park to Serangoon North). I tell the "You drive the roads professionally all day long, you know the traffic loading at any given time. Take me the "fastest" way. Which is, of course, not always the shortest distance. But, my time is worth more than the taxi fare difference, at least from my point of view.

*This normally only happens at the airports though.
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Post by nakatago » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 5:48 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Most of the time, though, it's because they want to see if they can take the long way around.*

The rest of the time it because they are used to locals whinging & beeching because the fair was 30 cents more than it was the last time they did it. When they ask me, I'm usually on one side of the island and heading to the other side (Bkt Batok area Industrial Park to Serangoon North). I tell the "You drive the roads professionally all day long, you know the traffic loading at any given time. Take me the "fastest" way. Which is, of course, not always the shortest distance. But, my time is worth more than the taxi fare difference, at least from my point of view.

*This normally only happens at the airports though.
Something similar here, too--I tell the cabbie to take the fastest route (but I talk out loud contemplating all available routes I know just to send a signal). I'm already paying so much (compared to public transport , that is), I might as well get the value-add of getting there faster.
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Post by Smilla1978 » Thu, 16 Aug 2012 6:06 pm

Hahah yes same here. I usually say "whichever you think is fastest. Hmm don't know today, maybe XXX or XXX. What do you think?"

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Post by movingtospore » Fri, 17 Aug 2012 1:20 pm

Been away...catching up on things here. I thought the article was perfectly reasonable. What's the big deal? Such a bunch of babies here sometimes. The taxis are useless, I'd say 50% of the time. Overpriced too, with the most comically complicated pricing structure. Sporeans complain about it as much as anybody. They just don't like it when someone else points it out.


You know, in Hong Kong, local papers etc are filled with all kinds of rants about all kinds of things and nobody wigs out. They just rant back. It's called discussion...

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Post by x9200 » Fri, 17 Aug 2012 2:39 pm

Smilla1978 wrote: The areas where I find they are better than Melbourne taxi drivers are:

1. a far greater proportion of them know where they are going
2. they are generally more polite and friendly

I took taxi in Melbourne only twice so no statistically relevant (it was ok) but actually our areas of hate do not overlap so this is what I don't like in the Singaporean cabbies:

- very, very frequently they don't stop at your waving
- they think they have right to reject your destination if this is not convenient to them

These are the two most annoying. The 2nd one you will probably only encounter if you live or work at the areas far from the central part.


Something I disagree with in the article is his assumption that because a driver asks you which way you want to go that means they don't know the way. This is often not the case. Occasionally I suspect they are just testing you to see if you know the way. Other times it becomes obvious that they know the destination but are nervous of going the wrong way (some passengers are antsy about taking a route they consider to be fastest)

I don't agree with this part neither. In many cases they do it just to be on a safe side so later there is no argument whether something was cheaper or faster. I would not be surprised if this is a policy imposed by their companies.

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Post by v4jr4 » Fri, 17 Aug 2012 3:38 pm

x9200 wrote: ...

I took taxi in Melbourne only twice so no statistically relevant (it was ok) but actually our areas of hate do not overlap so this is what I don't like in the Singaporean cabbies:

- very, very frequently they don't stop at your waving
- they think they have right to reject your destination if this is not convenient to them



...
For me, this kind of scenario is even worse on Saturday :mad:

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