Friday, June 29, 2007

Taken For A Ride?

The other day when I went to Penang, my nephew was unable to pick me up from the Sg. Nibong bus terminal so, I had to take a cab. The driver asked for RM20. Wah… come so expensive I asked him and I then tried to haggle with him. Nope, he was not interested. I looked up the sky and it did not look promising at all…..the clouds were thick and heavy and threatened to break any minute and left with a Hobson’s choice, I climbed into the not-too-clean excuse of a cab. The driver was a chatty fella and he was telling me that here in Penang, nobody uses the meter and they would be put out of business if they go by the meter and bla…bla…bla… I then told the driver that my bus fare from KL to Penang in a big and comfortable and clean air-conditioned bus only cost me a mere RM26.80. Aisehman…how can he charge me RM20 for a journey of about 10km. He thought it was a funny joke or something…he just laughed. Nah…he was not interested in what I had to say.

I came back to KL by bus too and at the bus terminal, I was approached by a cab driver – he asked for RM25 to send me from Bangsar to PJ. I said thank you and walked away. I finally managed to hail another cab, a more honest one…the fare was only RM10.

Yesterday morning, I sent my son’s car to a car workshop in Shah Alam to do up some small dents. Ya, it’s a bit way out from where I live but this place comes highly recommended by a good friend. The clerk at the workshop then offered to call a cab to send me back to my office in Petaling Jaya. Wah…..the asking fare was RM40! I gasped….wahh….this one, the mouth as big as the buaya lidat. No thank you….I decided to just walk a short distance to the main road to hail another cab that would be more willing to use the meter. Then I saw the familiar RAPID Bus..the public bus that charge a flat rate for a whole day’s ride. I hopped into the bus and paid a princely RM2 for the comfortable ride back to PJ. I felt very pleased with myself.

Now, it looks like you got to have some money and more to be able to afford to ride on a cab. And it's sure gonna make the wallet much, much lighter if the fares they asked for is anything to go by. Taken For A Ride?

posted by nyonyapenang at 10:49 AM, |


  At 11:28 AM Blogger famil said:
Yeah la, penang cabbies always overcharge.. They charge RM15 from Komtar to Citibank.. gila.. I usually walk saja. Somemore, if you took the ride, they will pick up additional passengers along the road.. scary...
  At 11:49 AM Blogger U.Lee said:
Hi Nyonyapenang, wow! Those taxis sure don't fool around, huh? Rgt 20, 25 and 40? And to think my time once upon a time only rgt 6 to PJ from KL.
Nyonya, what about trishaws? Ooops! On second thoughts, not a good idea, what about a bicycle? Ha ha, just kidding.
Gosh, eat lunch for 2 cost rgt 25, take taxi go lunch rgt 20. If date a SYT go see movie? Then go eat ice cream, banana split?
I better save somemore before balek kampong. Ha ha. UL.
  At 12:07 PM Blogger angel said:
Can I ask Uncle Lee to bring lots lots of $$$$ when he balik kampung?? But he no need to pay for taxi cos I can taxi him hehe...

I think I want to start bicycling again la... but then... under our weather... I hv to think many times... sienz...
  At 1:18 PM Blogger AceOne118 said:
You want personal cab anot? Mine is clean wan geh. Only charge you 20 cent per KM. Apa maciam?
Hey I had that same experince in Penang too. From Gurney Plaza to Mutiara Hotel cost me 50RM !!!
Kena ketuk big time !
What to do as I need to get back to the hotel and like you the sky was going to pour.
Penang is a tourist destination. So, the taxi drivers try to make as much money as the tourist are willing to spend. And the locals suffer for it.

Hmm hope you have a nice weekend with out any more 'rides'.
Cheers !
  At 2:33 PM Blogger ilene said:
NyonyaPenang, it's lidat wan! You know, even the 'lung cheah' also charges exhorbitantly. Aiyah ... what to do lei? When the government come down hard on the cabbies, macam macam hal come out from them. Some more visit Malaysia year. Sometimes I feel so sorry for the foreign visitors. Luckily you know how to take the RM2/= rapid. Worth it hor?
  At 3:05 PM Blogger Helen said:
During my short stay in KL, I've encountered so many greedy taxi drivers I'm afraid a little more I'll turn into a taxi-driver-serial killer.

No joke. That is why, if I am not in a hurry, I take the bus. I cannot say much about Ipoh buses, but KL buses are OK. :-)
  At 3:24 PM Blogger Jonzz said:
Haiz, there are so many unscrupulous ones who will overcharge, irregardless of whether if the big cities or the smallest towns. Sien di, I rather drive than take a cab.
  At 4:18 PM Blogger J.T. said:
On one of my trips home, I needed to take a cab from Subang Parade to PJ Hilton. All the cab drivers, who were waiting like vultures there, wanted RM15 for that short ride. Finally, I hailed down one. The driver was a young girl - not more than 25 years old. My first question was "how much do you charge to PJ Hilton?". I figured even if she could not understand the first part of my sentence, she would hear the word "PJ Hilton". I was pleasantly surprised when she replied, "it all depends on what my meter shows when we reach there." Sold!
I got in and by the time I reached PJ Hilton, the meter had clocked just under RM7. I mentioned to her that she was brave to work as a cab driver with so many dangers out there. She told me that it is a chance she takes. When she does not feel right about a passenger, she tells him she is not going his way. She was a well-spoken Malay girl who went to Chinese schools all her life. ;)
Anyway, I was so happy with her honesty, I gave her RM10 and told her to keep the change. I felt she deserved a bit more.

I get tired of cab drivers trying to stiff me when I am in Malaysia. I know they have to make a living but these people are not giving honest cab drivers a good name.

If possible, when in Malaysia, I try to avoid going to places where I don't have an option of other forms of public transport. No matter what they say about the trains (KTM, LRT, STAR), I will still take that over a cab, if I can help it.
  At 5:17 PM Blogger William said:
Hi, you're back!

All the cabs I've hailed this year have all used the meter. Maybe some refused to take me due to jams only. But never due to the fare.
  At 5:23 PM Blogger may said:
really taken for a ride, with all those cab charges! "simply come wan", as they say in Chinese. here it's strictly by the meter... I think! and very expensive too, unfortunately...

Wah... those cabbies really wanna tok people, hor?

I remember, we take cab from MidValley Megamall back to Jalan Universiti in PJ, at the most only RM6.00.

But then, RapidKL buses still not very efficient, their services. :(
  At 6:51 PM Blogger Chen said:
many are draculas
ketuk and suck blood kaw kaw wan
and they dowan to use meter
  At 7:36 PM Blogger Sasha said:
eh shah alam. i work here. i send u back ma. u got my number ma remember?
  At 12:07 AM Blogger ah nel said:
i oso same same wan as wont pay much on ride wan n willing to walk for bout 15min to LRT station... ;)

if my fren ask me find cab i oso bargain the price for them then i take marnee from them n pay to cab ppl coz they owes wana chop mat salleh wan then i ask my fren no paying the cab liao...
  At 10:17 AM Blogger a^ben said:
that time i reach sg nibong stesen, the taxi driver said "rm 10" :x

tsk tsk tsk tsk!

that time i earned a paid "cuti-cuti malaysia ala taxi style" in kl! DANG THAT IDIOT driver~! hahahahahahha
The horror stories of cab drivers...
Honest drivers are hard to come by
Crazy lah, daylight robbery!
hi famil,
those that pick up additional passengers are the taxi sapu, ya?
gua tak berani naik these types lar.
Hi Uncle Lee,
Those unscrupulous drivers sure come with a huge chopper lar. I was taken aback at the asking fare.
But that ride in Penang from the bus terminal, I was left with no choice as the local public bus service is simply horrible. I would love to ride on a trishaw then but, there were none at the bus terminal.

And no worries about your taxi fares when you balek here. Angel has kindly offered her free service. hehehehe....
hi angel,
i am sure Uncle Lee would be delighted with your offer. and to safe further, can i tumpang jugak? :P

bicycling ar? err...perhaps can start within your compound first. hahahaa...
you sure or not? don't just talk nia lar. afturds i call you, then you said raining cannot come, traffic jam tak mau jalan, etc..
hi aiyah nonya,
the public transport (buses and taxis) in Penang is horrible. Re: the RM50 ride you took, I guessed it's got something to do with you staying in Batu Ferringhi Mutiara...this one 5-star hotel...mesti KETUK kuat liao.
And honestly, it's quite a distance from town too and I think the taxi charged you for a 'round trip'.

The locals? They hardly ride on the legalised taxi but more so on the taxi sapu.
hi ilene,
not many locals in penang ride the langchia anymore. so the langchia ah chek survive mostly on foreign exchange.

as for the taxis in KL, the brazen ones are actually giving a bad name to the honest cabbies. they asked for an arm and a leg for fares and i can tell you, with the better and cheaper RAPID buses, these cut-throat cabbies are actually putting themselves out to pasture.
hi helen,
ya, i have read in your blog too about those unscrupulous taxi drivers. lucky thing you are game for bus rides here. i personally find it so much improved from those mini-buses days.
seriously, if the public transport is improved further and more co-ordinated here, i don't mind giving up my car.
hi j.t.,
i have met many honest and pleasant taxi drivers too...but so far, have not rode on one driven by a lady; and i do tip them a bit.

just like the honest langchia ah chek in Penang...I tipped him generously for his good service and he is soooo honest and did not try to chopped me straight.
hi william,
well, there are the not too good ones running around trying to fleece unsuspecting passengers.
hi may,
when i hail a cab during peak hours or late night, i willingly pay the surcharge. it's just this 'simply come wan' that annoys me.

ya, taxi are not cheap overseas but at least they go strictly by the meter and not simply hentam and ketuk the kepala.
hi day-dreamer,
you are lucky you managed to get a cab from MidValley. Oftentimes, I see the queue, I also mau pengsanssss.
and RM6 sounds just right.
dr chen,
if they just ketuk lidat, how many people will ride on the taxi leh? then they go around and moan that tak cukup makan and wanna naik harga summore. :(
hi sasha,
aisehman, gua pun tarak tau your ofis kat shah alam. if not, gua boleh ajak lu pigi mum-mum. which part of shah alam may I ask?
hi ah nel,
the problem is that the LRT & Monorial and Komuter reaches only certain areas and many times, the places i go to is not within walking distance of the stations.
hi a^ben,
RM10? then it must be a short trip away from the station.

most times when you visit KL, you have many FRA (friends, relatives and associates) to help bring you around ya? and also i believe you are quite familiar with KL so you won't be that easily ketuk by the taxi drivers lor. :)
hi king's wife,
ya lar...gua pun hak tou lar...RM40! wor.

hi yenjai,
it takes a few bad apples to tarnish the name.
So expensive, RM$50?! take airplane ar? I taken the LRT in KL, they are quite good. the taxi situation is the same as in bangkok, whenever need to go anywhere, need to bargin the price till ok then can get in even though they hv the meters too. However, I think over the years situation in bangkok getting better, more taxi drivers have been using meters.
  At 11:19 AM Blogger jazzmint said:
aiyo..thats why lah never take public transport
  At 6:09 PM Blogger sengkor said:
once i wanna take a cab from klcc to lot 10.. and that bugger taxi driver ask for rm10. i told him i m not a tourist, then he says ok, rm5. i stepped back and bang his door. then he showed me his middle finger. ahh... that life. haha..
hi winniethepooh, are right...take the low-budget airline...can visit Bali also or Cambodia or Bangkok lar..

they should go by the meter, then the passengers won't be afraid that they will be fleeced. but then, there were some incidents whereby they tampered with the meters.
hi jazzmint,
well, sometimes i am left with not much choice.
hi sengkor,
the taxi driver must have mistaken you for some hansem Korean actor lar. hahahaha..
You should have told him you'll sign your famous name, 'Kwon Seung-kor' or something Korean-sounding on his taxi and then he give you a free ride.
  At 4:56 PM Blogger ehon said:
don't u hate it?! i know i do! grrrr.. i hate taxi drivers who don't use meters!! cheaters!
I thought I was ketuk by taxi-drivers whenever I was in KL because I'm a tourist. Locals also kena!? Wow.

I don't know how to take bus in KL leh, so have to stay near LRT and I only go to places that have LRT stations. hahaha....
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