Early this morning I went to PAL Centennial Airport to fetch the significant other who was arriving from Bangkok, Thailand. I couldn’t bring my car because of the ‘color coding’ scheme so I thought that we’ll just get one of those there. True, they actually cost twice as much as the usual taxis but given that you won’t have to haggle with the taxi drivers who usually prey on hapless passenges, I thought that the price is well worth it.
Imagine my surprise when after getting into the cab, the yellow metered taxi driver said that the fare going to my place in Sta. Mesa would cost me P550. I asked the driver ‘Isn’t this supposed to be a metered taxi?’ I don’t know if he heard me or just pretended not to hear because he just went ahead and called his dispatcher using their on-taxi radio. He confirmed with his dispatcher that we will be paying P550. I was about to argue some more but the significant other told me to just let it be.
Now, the fare going to my place only costs about P140. Even if you double that or even triple it, I shouldn’t be paying anything more than P420. But really, that’s beside the point. If you’re gonna tell the world that you’re strictly a metered taxi and that although you cost a few pennies more than the usual taxi, then for Pete’s sake stick to the program. Be a frigging metered taxi and make sure your drivers don’t become mercenaries preying on tired passengers. We already have a lot of those! For all the good publicity that this yellow metered taxis is given, this really isn’t good for PAL heck, it’s not even good for the country’s tourism.
What’s really frustrating about this is that, it’s not just the taxi driver who’s doing the scamming, even the airport operator is in on it too. Which makes one wonder what kind of controls the owner of this PAL accredited taxi service is doing to monitor their operation, or do they even have one?
I see all those stickers on the windshield of those yellow metered taxis in PAL and I can’t help but think BS. Just another one of those despicable practices that ruin the Philippines travel experience. I really hope the management of this yellow metered taxi in PAL Centennial Airport looks into this. These guys are giving the Philippines a bad name.
By the way, if you’re gonna look into this, the yellow sticker on the windshield says 336 and the time we took that taxi was around 4:00 AM (Nov. 12, 2009) going to Sta. Mesa. And yes, I actually heard the driver talking to the guy in dispatch and them agreeing to the amount. The driver didn’t even give me a receipt.
Anyway, for those travelers looking to hire one of these yellow metered taxis, the prudent thing to do would be to insure with the dispatch that the driver will be using the taxi meter. I know you shouldn’t have to do this given that that’s what their supposed to do, but it seems you can not trust people these days to do what they’re supposed to do. So better make sure so you don’t get the kind of drama that I had.
I’m pretty sure that this is an isolated incident, but the fact that the taxi driver connived with the dispatcher, there is most assuredly a practice of this sort going on. I just hope their management looks into this ASAP.
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