Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Taxi Drivers from HELL

Where can I get bad-mannered taxi drivers? Right here in Singapore. I guess I might be the best person to answer this question because I took cab everyday from home to office, vice versa and anywhere I go.

If given a choice… I will never take TAXI. This is just 2 examples out of approximately 62 taxi drivers I meet for a month.

Hell Driver 1
Recently my colleagues and I decided to go to Holland Village for lunch. After much waving of our hands, we managed to get a cab and 4 of us hop in. We told the driver where we were heading, straight after we told him the destination, he apologized to us. He said, “I got a call.” [On Call] What the hack!
He stopped the damned taxi when we flagged and now he tells us he has a call?! I was pissed off. Apart from that, he is also obstructing the traffic. There is a long queue of cars waiting for him to shift his damned taxi.
Then I realized his so called “on call” is actually the road in front of us. How can a taxi be so irresponsible?
Imagine we have missed the other on-coming taxis just because of his greediness and hunger for money.
Imagine having this kind of drivers on the road… it will definitely be painful to drive on the road.

Super Hell Driver 2
This one I filed a complaint to the Cab company.
Credit cards companies have actually come up with lots of promotions or discount treats for their card members, taxi fare discount are actually one of them. I got on to a cab feeling great about getting the discount because I travel from work to home everyday, usually taxi fare cost me $13-15. That means I could actually get up to $1.50 off the meter fare. This is a good saving for me if you wanted to calculate it in a long run. However, when I told the drivers about my discount, the drivers’ face changed. It was so OBVIOUS. Their service attitude changed 180degree. A few drivers even made sarcastic remarks to me that:

1. I should not ask for discount if I claiming the fare from company
2. I should not ask for discount if since it is only “a few cents” – as a matter of fact, the meter shows $13.60.
3. Some even told me, it is not worth claiming unless I took cab from the airport. - This is absurd! The credit card newsletter told me I can claim anytime, anywhere.

I don’t understand. If it is only “a few cents”, instead of giving me the discount that I am ENTITLED for, they made such sarcastic remarks to make me feel as if I am a stingy housewife bargaining in the wet market.

What has happened to the friendly, responsible taxi drivers in Singapore that we used to have? Is the bad economy that makes them penny-pinching the wrong way? However, I still believe there are still polite and reliable taxi drivers out there… as I have met quite a few handful of them. I can’t imagine if it is acutally tourists that hired the cabs I mentioned above, how will they think of Singapore?



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