Taxi drivers provide an invaluable service to cities and towns by driving passengers to their destinations. Taxi drivers work night and day, with shifts exceeding 8 hours, on a regular basis. To their credit, taxi drivers are usually more experienced and reliable than Uber drivers. However, regardless of the circumstances, it should never be okay to take advantage of a passenger.
Cab drivers can take advantage of exchange rates to trick tourists. Tourists could be misled if they can't read the primary language of the country they are visiting. The 1834 invention known as "Hansom cabs" propelled passengers by a horse. Now, cab fares are slightly more complex. Those who pay in foreign currency or underestimate the accumulation of the taxi-meter might find themselves with a sizeable bill.
There are more ways to take advantage of cab users than you probably believe. There are a plethora of circumstances in which cab drivers have taken advantage of passengers who were merely trying to reach their destination. Some are subtle and often happen to people, and others are less apparent making it exceedingly difficult to catch drivers in the act. We compiled a list containing 25 things taxi drivers do to take advantage of their passengers.
25 Don't Leave Valuables In A Taxi
Keep valuables on your person at all times during a taxi trip. A taxi can shake during a trip, so make sure all items are with you before leaving. Check your seat if necessary because taxi drivers (a small percentage) have been known to take valuables from passengers and claim the valuables were never there in the first place.
It's difficult to prove that you left items in the car, so take a glance at the backseat before moving.
Most of the time, however, if someone leaves items in a taxi, they can retrieve them by calling the taxi company's lost and found number.
24 You Ask If You Should Get Out And He Doesn't Reply
Sometimes a cab driver is unresponsive and may be upset with you. It could be related to the cab fare's transaction or something else. Cab drivers can be strange people who are not friendly.
A bad sign that your cab driver is about to yell at you or do something unpredictable is that they do not answer you when you ask if "you should get out."
If they don't respond, after you've asked more than once, get out of the cab and call a new one. It's not worth getting into a dispute with a cab driver in any case.
23 A Taxi Driver Could Ask You To Leave
You decide to take a cab rather than Uber, and you are just sat down in your new arrival. You tell your driver that you don't need to go far and provide him with an address.
Taxi drivers can make excuses to let go of customers if they have a more profitable fare nearby and don't want to spend the time driving you.
Practices like these are prohibited by most taxi companies and can result in suspension of taxi drivers. If you call for a cab and they refuse to drive you, leave, but make sure to file a complaint because they should be off the road immediately.
22 They Take Passengers A Few Blocks From Their Destination
Some taxi drivers are selfish and will take passengers a few blocks from their destination to save time and gas money. Taxi drivers don't drive for the thrill of it and need to earn money, but where to drop a passenger off, even a few blocks from their destination, in the middle of the night, is unfortunately, entirely up to them.
Perhaps there is construction on an avenue, or there is heavy traffic in a particular area, sometimes, it's even because the place may be too dangerous.
Whatever reasons taxi drivers have for dropping people off before their destination is silly. Request a new driver if your current one isn't willing to make the trip.
21 Watch Out If A Driver Asks If "Ever Been There Before?"
A red flag that you should maybe call for a new driver is if your current one asks if "you've ever been there before." Perhaps they are making conversation. Indeed, a taxi driver who has GPS and drives for a living does not need directions.
The fact that they are asking you if "you've ever been there before" could indicate that they are attempting to choose a longer route in order to take advantage of a passenger.
A longer route for a taxi driver means more money for them. Watch out for silly questions because a taxi driver probably wouldn't, but could take advantage of you.
20 They Overcharge Customers
Paying attention to the meter will help prevent passengers from being overcharged. In some cases, taxis offer discounts at certain times of the day, and even at night. Double-check to make sure your cab driver put the correct type of ride into the system. If they accidentally categorize your trip as the wrong type of ride, the bill can be higher.
Asking the driver about payment before departing is smart.
That way, you won't have anything to argue about once you reach your destination. It could ruin one's day and week if they were overcharged for a short taxi ride.
19 Malfunctioning Taxi-Meters
Your taxi finally arrived, and it's time to hop in the cab. You only brought $18 with you, so you cross your fingers hoping the meter doesn't exceed your budget. Taking a taxi on a budget is a reality for many of us.
Keep a careful eye on taxi-meters because they can malfunction and taxi drivers will be reluctant to fix them if they are accumulating coin in their favor.
Maybe the taxi driver has tampered with their taxi-meter or put a false one up; it's difficult to know for sure. Ask for an estimate before departing. Surprises are the last thing you need when riding in a yellow cab.
18 They Leave When It's Convenient For Them
Some cabbies only collect fare when it's convenient for them and wait for passengers when they feel like it. Taxi drivers drive for a living, and it is not their responsibility to wait for customers who decide to take fifteen minutes inside their home. Tell your cab driver how long you'll be or find yourself stranded when you return.
If a taxi driver receives a call for a new fare, and there is nobody around, there is a strong chance they will leave.
It can be selfish, but sometimes being selfish is the right thing to do. Depending on the situation, cab drivers can be blamed for leaving unexpectedly.
17 Taxi Drivers Sit Outside Locations Such As Nightclubs And Bars
You frantically stumble out of a bar and different locations, slightly altered and eager to find a way home. Taking your car is not an option. To obtain more customers, taxi drivers are known for waiting outside locations such as bars and nightclubs knowing that people need a ride home.
They do a tremendous service for the community, but some see it as taking advantage of people.
It's possible people would have found an alternate way to get home if they didn't decide to take a taxi. Either way, taxis sitting outside locations in excess can be distasteful. Most people have cell phones and can call a cab, so it's not necessary for them to wait outside venues.
16 Driver Asks For a Fixed Price
Some drivers ask for a fixed price to avoid having to run the taxi-meter. Choosing a fixed rate is beneficial in some cases, but taxi drivers take advantage of customers who agree to a fixed price that ends up being more expensive than what it could have been with a meter.
Often, it is best to avoid a fixed price unless the driver is offering a reasonable discount.
Fixed fares are a suitable option for those who want to budget their money beforehand. Just watch out for fixed fares that are charged in excess, and you should be fine.
15 They May Take A While To Pick You Up
A large percentage of us have been in a situation where we called a cab that takes longer than their time estimate. Many taxi drivers are out doing other fares or travelling long distances before accepting a new passenger.
Sometimes, taxi drivers, purposely, take a while to run errands that they didn't need to do.
Maybe they stopped off at a convenience store to buy a drink. The circumstances of what taxi drivers do before picking you up can vary. Halloween and New Year's Eve are peak days for taxi drivers and cities may feel like they have a shortage of taxis during those days.
14 They Can Charge More To Tourists
Less developed countries found throughout the world have drivers who take advantage of unsuspecting tourists. Watch out for drivers who have a story as they may try to deceive you. There is not always an abundance of taxis in foreign countries, so make certain that trips are planned accordingly.
Those who carry high-valued currencies like the United States dollar may not mind paying extra in countries where the cab fare is priced reasonably, and they know this.
Due to fluctuating exchange rates, it can be difficult to know what is the correct payment. Unless your trip is in a rural area, taxis will most likely be able to calculate your payment.
13 They Take Advantage Of GPS
Taxi drivers can choose longer routes when it's convenient for them. However, do we know if taxi drivers are manipulating GPS settings to work in their favor?
It is entirely possible that taxi workers use GPS to their advantage.
So what can people do to prevent GPS to allow them to take longer routes? There is not much we can do but pay attention to the driver's routes and provide suggestions. If your driver is taking unwanted routes without reason, don't be afraid to speak up or grab a new cab. An old GPS system could work to a driver's advantage.
12 Taxi Drivers Will Charge More Unless You Negotiate
Taxi drivers tend to charge a standard rate for their ride, but sometimes, a cab driver will offer a discounted ride so that they can get the business. Negotiation with cab drivers does work in rare cases.
A cute smile probably won't affect the cab driver's decision to offer a discount, but it doesn't hurt to ask.
The most objectionable thing they can say is "no." In places like New York where there are a plethora of cab drivers, it might be easier to convince a cab driver to offer a slight discount. Maybe cab drivers are overcharging in the first place.
11 They Can Give You A Low Estimate For A Ride
Some drivers will provide low estimates so they can lure customers. Even though cab drivers know their estimate is low, they provide a low estimate so people will ride in their taxi; it's a way to deceive passengers.
There is not much someone can do to spot which cab drivers are providing accurate estimates. You could ask them, and they may be able to explain why their estimates are valid, but for the most part, we are at the mercy of cab drivers. Those who are experienced with yellow cabs surely have an advantage since they know how much an average ride cost.
10 A Taxi Driver Could Try To Charge Per Person
In an attempt to gain extra money from a group of people who want to use a driver for hire, taxi drivers will sometimes try to charge per person when they usually offer a shared fee.
Watch out for taxi drivers who attempt to charge per person since that is almost unheard of in the United States and most other areas of the world.
Phone the cab company to double-check if you are unsure. The only case when charging per person is okay is when it's a van taxi with more than four people. Usually, its only people above four people that are charged.
9 They Wait Outside Airports When They Are Not Supposed To
There are designated places where taxis can wait for people, but places such as airports often prohibit taxis from parking at terminals with the intent of getting customers. To obtain a yellow cab taxi at an airport, do not approach a random vehicle outside as you would only be encouraging the act.
The proper way to get a taxi from an airport would be to call one on your cellular phone or go to an information desk. An information desk can also provide options for shared shuttles and limousines. Some airports have official queues which are also acceptable.
8 You May Ask Them To Wait While You Run In A Store, But They Leave Instead
Often when people take taxis, they need to make more than one stop before arriving at their final destination. It would ruin just about anyone's day if their taxi left while they ran into a store. But why would a taxi driver leave? Maybe you didn't tell them how long you would be or, they accepted a fare from a new customer.
It is important to be vocal with your drive if you plan to leave the vehicle for an amount of time. Taxi drivers may appear to be sitting in their vehicle, but they are busy people and need to gather enough fares to earn a living. Hopefully, something important came up.. Taxi drivers can walk too, so they can tell you if they are leaving.
7 A Driver May Drive Without Their Taxi License
Regulations require that taxi drivers have their driver's license displayed inside the vehicle at all times. It would be surprising to find out that your driver's license was non-existent or expired.
If you discover that your driver doesn't have a license, immediately leave that vehicle and report your cab driver.
You wouldn't want them driving new customers with an invalid license. Reasons for why a cab driver would drive without a license vary, but none of them would be acceptable. It's reasonable to ask to view your driver's license if it's not displayed appropriately.
6 They Sometimes Don't Carry Change On Purpose
Cab drivers rarely keep change, and this can work to their advantage. Although many cab drivers have a POS, some dated cabs do not. A strategy used by deceitful cab drivers is to not carry change so that passengers are left with no choice but to pay with a whole bill denomination.
Cab users who are not looking to lose their entire $10, $20, or $50 bill should ask drivers if they have change before setting foot in a cab. You probably wouldn't want to be left with an ultimatum at the end of your cab ride.
5 They Might Ask To Take You On A Date
Cab drivers are people, and there is nothing wrong with gifting your driver your phone number. Generally speaking, cab drivers do not engage in idle conversation with passengers unless they initiate it. They know each passenger is different and they don't want to make anyone uncomfortable.
Would it be the end of the world to accept a phone number from a taxi driver? It is unprofessional on the part of the cab driver to do this, and many will feel taken advantage of for having been asked the question. Taxi drivers are usually more professional than Uber drivers, so most can feel safe that they won't be asked on a date.
4 Cab Drivers Use Worn Tires In Snowy Weather
Professional taxi drivers use winter tires during the winter season to avoid being stranded. Hopefully, you didn't land the cab driver who has frugal habits and chooses ageing all-weather tires for their yellow cab.
Snow tires offer better traction in snow and ice. Not only can one avoid being stranded in a frigid blizzard, but they are also practicing safe driving by purchasing snow tires. Even people who commute to work purchase snow tires during the winter season. Every taxi driver should make the investment if they operate in a region that receives snowfall.
3 Driver Tells You That "You're Going To Be Late!"
One of the last things you would want to hear from a cab driver is that you're going to be late. You took the time to call a cab but may have waited too long to call them. Don't expect a taxi driver to arrive right away since they could be busy and seldom take less than fifteen minutes.
On average, cab drivers take longer than Uber drivers to arrive, but taxis do have their advantages. There are far more regulations for taxi drivers, and they tend to be more experienced in their jobs. Inspections are done regularly so that passengers can feel safe. However, watch out. One thing you might hear from more taxi drivers is that "you are going to be late!"
2 They Might Hand You An Expensive Bill By Swapping The Original
Those who do not watch the taxi-meter could find themselves with a higher bill. A taxi driver can see passengers in the back and the most dishonest ones will attempt to hand you a larger bill. Glance at the taxi-meter several times during the ride.
Make sure the taxi-meter is recalibrated to zero when you arrive, check on the meter a few times during the trip, and as you approach the destination, take a glance to ensure it hasn't suddenly increased. Also, once the meter reaches its maximum and you've arrived at the destination, check the bill to make sure the numbers match!
1 Follows The GPS When He Knows A Faster Route
To take advantage of passengers, cab drivers can select longer routes, so the taxi-meter is active for an extended period. Cab drivers drive around the city for a living, and many of them know the fastest routes for trips.
Despite knowing the fastest routes which, for example, avoid traffic and drive through fewer traffic lights, cab drivers usually trust GPS devices. GPS provides driver support for locating quick routes in the shortest distance, but devices have limitations such as micromanaging trips. If a driver knows the fastest route, chances are he will stick to the GPS. Don't be afraid to inform your driver that you know an express route.
References: usatoday.com, globalnews.ca, usatoday.com, theguardian.com