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News Forum - Thailand’s taxi troubles: Tourists slam overpriced rides and shoddy service


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Thailand‘s taxi services have received a poor rating in a recent survey conducted by the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), with foreign tourists slamming the country’s taxis for overpriced fares and shoddy service. The survey, which was conducted on 200 foreign tourists during the final quarter of 2022, showed a rating of just 3.5 out …

The story Thailand’s taxi troubles: Tourists slam overpriced rides and shoddy service as seen on Thaiger News.

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If it is a known problem generally, why don't the authorities do something?

Should it always be a fixed price negotiation and no action can be taken, putting a meter in a Taxi is just a waste of time.

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It is not a uniquely Thailand problem, a taxi ride most places outside of Western Europe or North America often starts with a fare negotiatation. What makes Thailand so frustrating is that the ubiquity of metered taxis in places like Bangkok gives the impression that there is some kind of order - which is definitely not the case. Thai taxi drivers are more than happy to break the rules when it suits them - who hasn't heard "meter broken", "traffic very bad", or simply "no"? Any of which would be cause for a licence review at the very least in some countries.

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Well not just taxi .

Police are so corrupted when they stopp u when u drive bike . Every day they stopp u and give u like 1000 baht penalty for license . Man  they just want the money to put in their pocket and tell u go go after they take the money.  

This is amazing no rules in the country about this . Even if u have a drive license they give u ticket once and manny times not they just take money .

Very hungry and corrupted police manny of tthem

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11 minutes ago, mariot said:

Well not just taxi .

Police are so corrupted when they stopp u when u drive bike . Every day they stopp u and give u like 1000 baht penalty for license . Man  they just want the money to put in their pocket and tell u go go after they take the money.  

This is amazing no rules in the country about this . Even if u have a drive license they give u ticket once and manny times not they just take money .

Very hungry and corrupted police manny of tthem

So get a license. 

I've never been given a fine for doing something wrong when I've had a license unless I deserved it. 

And I've been done for drink driving twice, so I know. 

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5 hours ago, Grumpish said:

gives the impression that there is some kind of order - which is definitely not the case

Spot on there mate. It’s the same with many aspects of Thailand. A facade of order hiding a total corrupt mess. 

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Let’s be honest the majority of taxi drivers in Thailand are a disgrace, meter usage at night hardly ever happens they all want 200 baht for a 75 baht trip, one hit on my girlfriend last week and wanted to take her to his place?! She rang me and asked the driver if he wanted to speak to me he replied oh, ok, I take you where you want to go’ i have met some good ones but unfortunately they are few and far between.

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Always found most taxis okay, in Bangkok anyway. Okay, if you're standing outside Cowboy, S4, and go to a waiting taxi, or one of the ones hanging around outside hotels you're gonna get ripped off. 

Just walk down the road a bit and flag one down, it's mostly fine. Never really had any trouble. Definitely not in Nonthaburi where we used to live. 

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12 minutes ago, TheDirtyDurian said:

Definitely not in Nonthaburi where we used to live. 

That’s because Thai politicians and corrupt people like Thai police and scammers like taxi drivers hang out in Bangkok. Those that can’t cut it there, move on to Phuket.

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12 hours ago, Mongo said:

In Bangkok it’s the worst I’ve seen in 20 years, not only expats but the Thais are just as furious. 

I will be interested to see when I am there in 2 weeks

 

I never have much issue at all but may have changed

 

 

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Huh? I believe it but I must have great luck.  When they don’t turn on the meter I just get out, which has only happened to me once in the past month.  Usually they just put it on when I tell them to.  I must admit I don’t use taxis a ton since ride sharing apps happened though.

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Its the failing of the government to make proper rules and enforce them, it would be easy to set up a system to monitor taxis and the meters but then the drivers would just offer a bribe to the enforcers and off they would go. Thailand has this endemic corruption problem which is holding the country back,  law enforcement and above is so corrupt how will they ever change? 

If you challenge them their answer is often "this is Thailand, not your country" so how do you change peoples mentality when there is no shame or integrity?

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I'm with Slibby on this. I've rarely had this issue. On this trip it's happened once in ten rides and I just got out. To the contrary, I find Thai cabs excellent value. 

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A far more frequent occurrence is having to tell your destination before you get in, which Thais do also almost habitually (and have witnessed them getting refused service plenty of times), which is against regulations also.

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I've been a fan of GRAB for years now. For the following:

Honest taxis.

Recourse process when problems occur (I've never had a bad experience myself). 

I use a foreign credit card that's registered with the company. Every ride is cashless.

Service in loads of Thai cities but also, I've used the same app and account seamlessly in Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam. I may sound like an advertisement but I am happy with the system. It can be a little difficult to get rides during rush hour but, for me at least, it's never been a crippling issue

 

 

 

 

 

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Forgot to mention. Tourists can sign up, load the app and be up and running in minutes. I've had visitors sign up ahead of time before heading over

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1 hour ago, duriangrower said:

Forgot to mention. Tourists can sign up, load the app and be up and running in minutes. I've had visitors sign up ahead of time before heading over

Couldn’t agree more with what you say. Truth is, this is the entire future of the taxi system. Anything that is more convenient, more reliable, doesn’t require the hassle of making sure you have change, often cleaner and is far far safer, is going to prevail over hailing a cab on the street. I use it whenever it’s available in the town or city I’m in. As you say, it can be a little slow in peak times, but that’s also true standing by the road in the heat or rain trying to flag a cab down. 

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On 2/7/2023 at 4:40 AM, BJoe said:

Bangkok is bad, but Phuket and Pattaya are by far WORST.

I am in the minority but I have been coming to Phuket for 18 years and lived there briefly and I don't have any issues with "taxis" in Phuket

 

I use the "limo" service from airport and I find the 700baht fare for a 40min ride in a nice car with a nice driver reasonable

 

Once we are at hotel, we always find a driver that we use throughout the trip, if needed

The one night we go to Bangla, we always find a private taxi to take us back to, usually Kamala, the 20min ride for 500baht is fine by us

 

 

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1 hour ago, Marc26 said:

I am in the minority but I have been coming to Phuket for 18 years and lived there briefly and I don't have any issues with "taxis" in Phuket

I use the "limo" service from airport and I find the 700baht fare for a 40min ride in a nice car with a nice driver reasonable

Once we are at hotel, we always find a driver that we use throughout the trip, if needed

The one night we go to Bangla, we always find a private taxi to take us back to, usually Kamala, the 20min ride for 500baht is fine by us

I think you’ve explained yourself why you’ve never had a problem. Limo services and drivers you use regularly are not where these problems occur. They are the ones flagged down in the street and try it on with people.
 

The main thing however is that this is not just something they do to foreigners. They also try it on with Thais and if it’s a single woman on their own, they aren’t averse to really trying it on. I would never allow a wife/GF/daughter of mine to get in to a cab hailed off the street in Thailand or anywhere in the world. If they really have to, my advice is send a snapshot of the cab number (on the side of the door) to a friend and pretend to be on the phone. Don’t strike up a conversation. Rare events, but not unknown. 

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First time visited Thailand as the retired couples. We got ripped off from taxi and tuctuc for the first 3 days.  We were aware off the taxi and tuctuc  overcharged from warning YouTubers, but still unable to avoid it.  We asked them to use meter but they rejected to use it and gave us the total fees amount if we want to pay then take the offer. Otherwise we have to bargain the prices.  The tuctuc are even worse then taxi, we took tuctuc just around china town only several blocks to our hotel knowing that we can walk but my husband foot got hurt then we decided to take tuctuc,  first he told us 200 baht , then after we gave him the china town hotel address he said it’s a bit further then charged us double 400 baht.  What a ripoff but we still couldn’t not get off because my husband foot was in pain.  After all this ripped off I found out the GraB app from a tourist friend and started to use them and not afraid the overcharged from taxi and tuc tuc. Tourists travel to Thailand should feel safe and comfortable when they need to take ride to places. 

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Some people never heard of Uber. Brilliant service don't know how the make money - 1600bht from Pattaya to Bangkok to Ratchatewi road area - top quality Toyota Fortuner, driver good english and collected from condo !?!

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