How it works:
- Version 1: drivers claim that the meter is down, and charge you an inflated flat fare. In fact, in Jan 2019, two tourists were charged $887 for a 5 minute ride in Wellington! However, there was suspicion that it might have been an illegal cab.
- Version 2: they claim that their EFTPOS terminals aren’t working, and swipe your credit card through the old fashioned manual machine (seems to be common in Melbourne). If you are not looking, he can easily flip your card and note the 3 digit number behind it for future use.
- Version 3: drivers use receipts from earlier trips with higher fares and charging you for that.
- Version 4: taking a longer route to inflate the fare.
Places to beware:
- Gold Coast
What to do:
- Avoid: taxis at tourist spots.
- Photo: take a photo of the taxi number and driver’s license.
- Overcharging: ensure meter is turned on or research a fair price to negotiate with – check online fare estimators, your hotel/hostel staff or taxi booking apps (e.g. GoCatch, Uber, Taxify, Ola, DiDi, HOP, InGoGo).
- Longhauling: be very clear when communicating your destination. Check your phone’s GPS to see if you are headed in the correct direction, though detours may be taken to avoid jams.
- Card: watch how your card is being handled. If you smell a rat, check your card statement.
- Alternative: GetYourGuide (leading day tour platform) has 30+ transport options.