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Taxi fare issue

By ozmackem 17 November 2009 38

My elderly mother was at Belconnen Mall a few days ago, and after missing her bus home became a little overwhelmed by the heat and decided to get a taxi home.
The taxi was from the mall to Flynn and she was charged $70. I don’t travel very often by taxi myself, but know that this fare must be a lot more than it should be.
We’ve suggested she take a taxi whenever she feels the need, but in her two years in Australia this is the first time she has felt she had to. She’s on a UK pension which equates to around $270 a week, so I can’t see this episode pursuading her to use cabs more often. I have emailled Canberra Elite to politely enquire how this fare could have been charged, but have had no reply.
Anywhere else I can pursue this?

What’s Your opinion?


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Taxi fare issue
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bronwynjb 2:57 pm 03 Nov 11

call their admin line with as much info as you can get (car type, taxi plate number, time etc) they can only do so much from their end but also make a complaint on their website!

Skyring 10:27 pm 22 Nov 09

There are various additional fees:
1. The airport pickup fee. This is $2.00 for going through the boomgates from the cabyard, recoverable from the passenger. You should always ask for the GST receipt issued by the machine, and if the driver cannot produce it, don’t pay the extra two dollars. Some cabbies avoid the fee by slipstreaming on the cab ahead, or by swinging in from the airport loop without going through the gate. If they try to charge an extra two dollars, they are ripping off the passenger.

2. The Silver Service booking fee of $11.00. This is ONLY for fares where you have rung Silver Service directly and arranged for a pickup. If you get into a Silver Service cab on a rank, or you ring Canberra Cabs and get a Silver Service cab, or you hail a Silver Service cab off the street, you only pay the normal cab rate. One exception is if you select a Silver Service cab on a rank instead of taking the first one. In that case the driver is entitled to charge the booking fee.

3. There are various charges for fitting baby capsules or wheelchair loads.

4. If you are paying by card, there is an 11% surcharge.

5. There’s a higher rate for late night, weekend or holidays, but this should always be shown on the meter. If you get in a cab during normal hours (0600-2100 Monday to Friday) and the meter is not showing Rate 1, then ask him why before he switches it on.

stace8383 7:59 pm 20 Nov 09

OverreACT said :

That is a complete rip off. It is definately no more than roughly $20!

How dare they take advantage of an elderly patron.

I know I have been in a cab before and they switch the meter off straight away as soon as we get to the destination and I have noticed it would say something like $25.65 and they would say oh that’s $31.65 or something.

In this case I think it’s something to do with a booking fee and/or extra fee for going to or from the airport.

rossau 6:35 pm 18 Nov 09

I have often been vocal about taxi fares in Canberra, in a very negative respect. So,
1. the instant case: error or theft
2. the usual case: inflated and authorised theft
BUT
3. How did my wife travel fro the airport to Kambah last week for just $37 ?
Geez, I might even use a taxi if I could expect reasonable fares as a service to the public.

Devil_n_Disquiz 10:52 am 18 Nov 09

el, et el

Sometimes people will hand over cash and say “keep the change”. Not say this happened here and I fail to see how it could have. But it does happen from time to time giving the driver an unexpected windfall.

I know of an occasion whereby a driver took a couple from Kingston Rank to some poorly lit Yarralumla Street. Fare was $13.75 or there abouts. PAX handed over what they thought was a $10 note and a $5 note, said “Thanks for the lift, keep the change”

It wasn’t till much later that the driver find out that the $10 note was in fact a $100 note.

I am wondering if what is being suggested here is that in a case like I just mentioned, that the driver locates the pax the next day and to verify that a $100 note was offered or a mistake was made OR to ‘keep the change’ as was requested ??

I know what this driver did…..EXACTLY as he was told.

cleo 12:38 am 18 Nov 09

I rarely get a cab, but have paid two different prices to the same place, I hadn’t got a cab for so long, and could not believe the price hike, well within a month the price went down, and I asked the cabbie about it, and he said no, you should not have paid that amount to the cabbie, it was only a few dollars more, but still, better in my pocket than his.

el 11:47 pm 17 Nov 09

bd84 said :

Anyway, I would tend to concur with the people saying she may of misheard the fair of $17 as $70.

I’m struggling to see why the cab driver wouldn’t have given change when given $70 – and why people think this is OK?

bd84 10:42 pm 17 Nov 09

georgesgenitals said :

CapitalK said :

who carries $70 + cash in their wallet/purse anyway.

Me. I’m surprised people don’t carry this much cash. Maybe if people paid in cash lines at checkouts would go a bit quiker.

People generally take more time fishing through handbag to find their purse, then fish through their purse/wallet to see if they have enough cash, decide whether they first need that cash and then search for a bit of change to make it all even. The number of times I’ve stood behind someone in the supermarket doing just that.. These days a eftpos card/credit card with a pin is much quicker as the machines have improved a lot in the past couple of years.

Anyway, I would tend to concur with the people saying she may of misheard the fair of $17 as $70. If you do think she was ripped off, you would probably need to know the cab number date and rough time, the company should be able to help you there if you don’t know. I don’t think they would ignore it, though TAMS is the regulator and you could contact them if you have no luck.

Skyring 10:33 pm 17 Nov 09

Here’s an example of a taxi receipt, showing the fare from the airport to Campbell.
http://www.facebook.com//photo.php?pid=2549560&id=686386900&comments=&alert=

vg 7:58 pm 17 Nov 09

hellspice said :

it may have been an honest mistake, all taxi drivers are new to the country they are struggling to get a drivers licence, cant speak english and have never seen currency before let alone Australian currency, i caught a cab the other week and had to ask the driver twice to stay on the left side of the road and not drive in the middle. At least your mum got home safe. You have to keep in mind the poor taxis in Canberra are the hardest done by service ever !!

All reasons why they should not be driving taxis in the first place….and I have no doubt what they have done is rip this poor lady off. The cab company will be able to tell you exactly what driver did it too, don’t be fobbed off by them

georgesgenitals 6:52 pm 17 Nov 09

CapitalK said :

who carries $70 + cash in their wallet/purse anyway.

Me. I’m surprised people don’t carry this much cash. Maybe if people paid in cash lines at checkouts would go a bit quiker.

Devil_n_Disquiz 6:28 pm 17 Nov 09

Ozmackem,

I can’t add anything to what has been already said. Perhaps, though, I would reinforce the point made by my colleague Skyring, to always take note of the taxi number you are in.

Sorry that this has happened to your Mum. Kangaroos are a great equalizer, Karma will get him.

hellspice 4:30 pm 17 Nov 09

Postalgeek said :

hellspice said :

Postalgeek said :

No-one’s looking to hammer honest taxi drivers, but corruption (or costly gross incompetence at best) in any service needs to be resoundingly crushed and ground into a greasy smear on the cement.

and if that was applied to the taxi service we would be left with a computer booking system 2 call center chicks and 5 cab drivers.
as for the $17 versus $70, i think maybe the cabbie said 700 Rupees which = $16.36 Aus

I’m trying to figure out if that’s a serious comment.

totally serious, im gussing you havent caught a cab in a while. Getting back to ozmackem problem, i have a friend that used to be a cab driver and thinks you have buckleys chance of getting anything done about it and complaints will end up in the same bin. As Skyring said, best to err on caution and vidoetape the whole event maybe a little prayer to the taxi god that you get one of the few decent cabs around.

CapitalK 3:45 pm 17 Nov 09

who carries $70 + cash in their wallet/purse anyway.

Postalgeek 2:35 pm 17 Nov 09

hellspice said :

Postalgeek said :

No-one’s looking to hammer honest taxi drivers, but corruption (or costly gross incompetence at best) in any service needs to be resoundingly crushed and ground into a greasy smear on the cement.

and if that was applied to the taxi service we would be left with a computer booking system 2 call center chicks and 5 cab drivers.
as for the $17 versus $70, i think maybe the cabbie said 700 Rupees which = $16.36 Aus

I’m trying to figure out if that’s a serious comment.

anonymous gungahlian 2:23 pm 17 Nov 09

Hmmm, if she misheard $17 for 70, should’nt the cabbie just give her the change?

Skyring 2:07 pm 17 Nov 09

p1 said :

Are taxis able to issue receipts, as a general rule? I assume that they are, as a fair bit of taxi travel is for business purposes? I think in the future I will just ask for one no matter what.

Taxis can give receipts. In fact, it’s the standard whenever anyone pays by card. Half of my work is driving businesspeople or public servants around, and they all want receipts “to keep the accountants happy”. Ghod, what miserable lives accountants must lead!

But for any fare – in cash, on a card, on a docket – the cabbie can give you a receipt. It has the time, the amount, the cabbie’s licence, his ABN, sometimes the pickup and dropoff points.

If he can’t or won’t give you a receipt, whip out your phone, start the video record, and ask him to explain why.

neanderthalsis 1:52 pm 17 Nov 09

p1 said :

Are taxis able to issue receipts, as a general rule? I assume that they are, as a fair bit of taxi travel is for business purposes? I think in the future I will just ask for one no matter what.

Taxis will give a receipt if you ask for one. Although in this case I doubt it would make any difference, the receipt would say start and finish destinations and the meter readout. All the driver would have to say is she gave him $20 because his takings add up and she must have lost/dropped/fed into pokies the other $50.

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