Apr 12 2011
As recently as two years ago, the most frequent complaint by visitors to KL was about the city’s taxi drivers. The biggest single problem was the refusal of drivers to use their meter, insisting instead on outrageous fixed fares. In the end, the situation became so bad the government had to act. It adopted a largely effective carrot-and-stick approach, boosting meter fares on the one hand and strictly enforcing rules on the other. The most visible sign of all this is a list of guidelines, for both passengers and drivers, which must be displayed in all cabs.
Although things have improved greatly, some rogue cabbies out there still roam the streets. Here are some tips to avoid being ripped off:
Avoid taxi ranks.
This might seem like odd advice, but as a rule of thumb, taxi ranks are where the lazy, dishonest drivers hang out.
Never go with a taxi driver who approaches you.
Hard-working, honest drivers do not need to tout for business.
Treat touts with the contempt they deserve.
By their very nature, they are liars and cheats.
It’s wise not to try to get a cab right outside a major tourist attraction.
Take a short walk, to the nearest main road if possible, and try their instead.
Coupon kiosks, where they exist, are a generally safe bet.
You end up paying more than the metered fare, but buying a coupon can save a lot of hassle.
Older drivers are much less likely to rip you off.
And they usually know where they are going too.
Do not enter into negotiations.
Tell the driver where you want to go and if he starts talking figures, close the door, and hail another cab.
If the driver sets off without putting the meter on, remind him politely, but firmly, to do so.
If he refuses, tell him to stop, and get out.
Do not get into a cab where the meter has been covered up.
The same goes, if the driver’s ID is not clearly displayed.
If an attempt is made to cheat you, note down the number plate, and make a complaint to the CVLB.
One of the obstacles to ridding KL of rogue cabbies is the lack of reporting of incidents, particularly by tourists.
Text message: Send “LKDP Aduan” or “SPAD Aduan”, followed by your complaint, to 15888
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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