Handling HK Taxi Cabs 101

Posted: April 3, 2015 in discovery, POV
Tags: , , , ,

I notice Hong Kong cabs slowly mimicking their Macau counterparts – asking exorbitant fares to travel short distances and cherry picking clients.  You see this fact unfold in plain sight of police officers on any given Friday and Saturday night in LKF.  Good luck convincing a taxi driver to cross harbour or go to the New Territories.

I took a cab from Elements to Ktown with explicit instructions to use the Western Tunnel on a Saturday night around 2am.  The meter read $60 but the driver elected not to add the tunnel fare but he asked me to give him $170.  With me being of unsound mine after consuming alcohol I paid the fare.  Prior to leaving the cab I asked for a receipt and this is where it goes sideways.  He tells me his machine is out of paper.  I told him as the fare was big I need a receipt.  All of a sudden he resets the meter and gives me a receipt for $22 but offering to write the fact I had paid $170.  UHHHHHHhh.  I don’t think this would pass muster with the company’s accounting dept.  But here we see his machine does indeed work and he did not want to give me a real receipt.  I took a picture of his photo found on the dashboard and left the cab.

Hong Kong taxi cabs

HK Taxi Cabs, the best selling car in all of HK

He followed me in his cab pleading to please stop as if I report him he would run into issues with his taxi license.  Drunk brain takes over.  I tell him I will pay him a visit on Monday morning over this incident of both cherry picking and charging exorbitant fares to which he will indeed run into licensing issues; unless of course he returns all my cash.  Done.  He gives me the full $170 in return and drives off fuming.

  1. Take a photo of the taxi driver’s dashboard picture showing his name and license.  He won’t allow you to take it but he will also do nothing to stop you.  Typical HK, all growl no bite.
  2. Take a photo of the meter showing the amount you owe.  At the very least if you lose you’re on the hook for X amount rather than arguing.
  3. Call the police in the event of any settlement issues.  These guys are preying on those that don’t know better.  The police would quickly put them in their place.
  4. If you don’t feel the need to call the police, just start walking away to see if the guy will give chase; if so, throw him to the ground.
  5. Pack small bills.  The unscrupulous drivers will always lack change
  6. When in doubt, just leave.  I have had taxi drivers tell me they can’t break 1000 but it’s not my fault.  I leave the cab and taxi drives off.  Free ride.
  7. Don’t bother trying to rob the taxi driver.  They don’t own the cab so it’s not likely they have much money.

I had planned to out the taxi driver in question but after considering the ramifications, there’s no need to cause harm.  The majority of the guys you meet will be fine, it’s just a few bad apples ruining the bunch.  They do a tough job that requires long hours.  Luckily with Uber now in the mix, consumers have other options.

  1. leggypeggy says:

    I’m forwarding this to friends who are on their way to HK now. Thanks.

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