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Fake taxi fiasco

By Albigeois - 3 June 2008 19

To all Canberrans reading, the fact that there is a post on the RiotACT about taxis shouldn’t come as a surprise.

My complaint, however, is not quite the norm. This morning I took a taxi in which:

  • the driver did not display ID (and when asked, said that it was not required in ACT – bulls–t!);
  • the driver answered a call and talked on his mobile phone without handsfree (having a “speaker” function is NOT the same – you still hold the phone up with one hand);
  • the seats were faulty (pitched forward and not at all stable); and finally
  • the seatbelts didn’t work (the one in the back right did not work at all). 
  • I have tried complaining to the relevant taxi company, but so far have got nowhere.

    Therefore, I turn to the forum to alert all who may end up in a taxi to check that the driver has ID displayed and pull him up if he drives recklessly or illegally – i.e. by talking on the phone, holding the device in one hand while cutting someone off taking a round-a-bout at speed (as happened this morning).

     *NB. I have not mentioned which taxi company this driver purported to represent in order to give the company a chance to respond. If they fail to respond adequately, I will by all means name them. In the meantime, please do not speculate as to the company or ask me to reveal its name.

    What’s Your opinion?

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    19 Responses to
    Fake taxi fiasco
    RuffnReady 6:51 pm 04 Jun 08

    Man, I hate to hear these stories. I drove from 1994-2000 and took great pride in my work, as did most of the other cabbies I knew (which probably amounted to 50 or 60 drivers).

    Unfortunately, the industry has gone to hell, and it has nothing to do with over-regulation, it has to do with wages and the increasing difficulty of the job attendant with a more abusive society. Fares have increased about 80% in the 8 years since I drove, and the number of taxis has increased by, what, 60? However these guys are still making the same money I was 8 years ago.

    As for that maxi driver, he’s an idiot. He was probably worried the $6.60 would come out of his pocket, but he should have just made a note to the owner on his takings envelope at the end of the night. He should have looked at the 4-5 of you and told you to take the first cab on the rank, as is the custom.

    vandam 1:50 pm 04 Jun 08

    I’m glad this topic came up, because on Saturday Night a few friends and I had a run in with a cabbie.

    We got into a maxi cab at the cab rank which was sitting behind another cab waiting for a fare. We all realised that we could fit into a car that someone was driving so we hoped out before everyone had got in and were seated. The taxi driver abused us and said he’d already started the meter and wouldn’t let us leave until we paid him $6.60.

    Whats the deal with this. One of my friends ended up paying it, albeit with a bit of abuse.

    MelonHead 9:57 pm 03 Jun 08

    There was an episode in the late 80’s where a dude from an interstate town nearby had acquired an ex Aerial Taxi complete with meter and dome light. I think he had a scanner of some sort to listen to voice dispatches. In those days all ACT taxis had a yellow plate with black lettering. Starting at TX1 and finishing about TX130 excepting TX 13 (bad luck and all that) This dude’s got himself NSW plates (black letters on a yellow plate) along the lines of TXI 175 or something. In the dark it looked close enough to the real thing. He worked the late night ranks in Civic and Manuka, and stole radio jobs in the quiet times. I remember it took a shirt load of complaints and much Guvmint stuffing about to get this dude off the road at the time. Maybe he’s baaaaaccckkk!

    bd84 8:59 pm 03 Jun 08

    OMG it must have been a Canberra Cabs or a Cabexpress car!

    Oops is that speculating?

    I don’t think you’d gain much from having the identification shown anyway. Firstly It’s pretty easy identifying taxis in the ACT, identified by the numberplate and it also shows you inside the taxi, the drivers (should) have their own login into the company’s network where they can identify the driver and thirdly all cabs had surveillance cameras installed from memory.

    As for the safety of the taxi, you also have the option of reporting it to TAMS

    or to the RTA

    seekay 6:38 pm 03 Jun 08

    Can you please give me the contact details for this person. I’d gladly patronise them over Canberra Cabs and its affiliates. The sooner our over-regulated, entirely inadequate and customer-loathing taxi system is done away with the better.

    Mike Crowther 6:18 pm 03 Jun 08

    I had my parked motorbike reversed into by a taxi. No number plates.
    A very well managed system indeed.

    el 5:37 pm 03 Jun 08

    RE the question about a late-night operator, this guy was middle-eastern in appearance and accent but i’m really bad at picking those kind of things.

    Sounds like he’ll be easy to find!

    Aurelius 4:05 pm 03 Jun 08

    Roadrage – sounds like a classic Cindarella scenario to me!

    More seriously though folks, if you ever get a cabbie who drives in a reckless manner, simply ask them to take it easy “because you’re making me feel ill”
    Taxi drivers want nothing less than to spend a shift driving around in a car that smells of spew. So it’ll make them drive calmer.

    AG Canberra 3:57 pm 03 Jun 08

    You actually do have to have a valid endorsement on your licence to drive either a taxi or chauffeured hire car in the ACT. To get the endorsement you have to do a theory and practical test with the RTA. You also need to have a mediacal done (in the first instance) with a gov doctor to prove you are fit enough to do the job. How some of those blokes that can barely fit behind the wheel pass this test is beyond me!

    Either way the comanpy involved won’t be rushing out to get rid of the above mentioned driver – getting anyone to fill these shifts is near impossible.

    Albigeois 2:42 pm 03 Jun 08


    I have talked to the company and discovered that:


    The taxi company I spoke to wants to change this and has been lobbying the ACT Govt for the past year or so. At this stage, however, ANYONE can drive a taxi, as long as they have access to the physical car (which is subject to a specific licence and owner).

    This is a ridiculous situation. For safety reasons it is ESSENTIAL that our taxi drivers, and not just our taxi cars/vans, be accredited and easily identifiable to to the consumer. I don’t know who in the ACT government should be contacted about this – but something must be done! Any ideas?

    PS. As I am satisfied with the taxi company response, I’m going to leave it at that and not mention their name.
    PPS. RE the question about a late-night operator, this guy was middle-eastern in appearance and accent but i’m really bad at picking those kind of things. Also, this was not a late night pick up – it was 10am from the airport on a weekday!! Always be vigilant.

    stereo henry 2:08 pm 03 Jun 08

    Sorry about the doubles… just wanted to post this as well.

    stereo henry 2:06 pm 03 Jun 08

    stereo henry said :

    Unlicensed cabs are also found among the Amish of rural Pennsylvania. Old Order Amish do not drive, but will hire a van or taxi for trips which they cannot use their traditional horse and buggy transportation.


    stereo henry 2:04 pm 03 Jun 08

    Unlicensed cabs are also found among the Amish of rural Pennsylvania. Old Order Amish do not drive, but will hire a van or taxi for trips which they cannot use their traditional horse and buggy transportation.


    Roadrage77 2:03 pm 03 Jun 08

    Did the driver by chance have a shaved head, tattoos and a penchant for techno music? There is a very dodgy late-night operator who preys on young intoxicated girls in the Civic/Kingston area. He abused my girlfriend the other night because she wanted to pay via eftpos to the point where she was so petrified she ran from his cab to the safety of a service station, even leaving a shoe behind in his cab. He proceeded to chase her and scream abuse until the service station employee intervened. Seriously doubt whether he is a licensed cabbie. I intend on bashing him next time I come across him.

    Skidbladnir 1:37 pm 03 Jun 08

    Are you sure you didn’t catch a false-liveried gypsy cab* or a hackney cab instead of one of the real ones?

    * = I mean no offense to any actual gypsies, thats just what they’re called.

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