I have a love-hate relationship with taxi drivers. There are those I love, the ones who have taken us on tours and one who even invited us to his home. But, there are some I hate, the ones who con me, thinking I’m a dumb tourist who’ll never know the difference!
I’ve been cheated by taxi drivers all over the world, from Houston to Macedonia. Then, I got smarter and started using a system to check their honesty. Until I started using this method, I was never sure if I was being had. So, here it is…. I promise it works!
This system works best in countries where the taxi drivers don’t use meters, the kind where you ask a driver his price, you haggle a bit, then hop in, hoping you got a fair deal. It may take you a little longer, but you won’t get bamboozled!
Step 1: I hail a taxi and ask the driver how much he’ll charge me to take me to my destination. I verify the amount. Sometimes, I even have him write it down on piece of paper. Then, no matter what price he quoted, I tell him “No Thanks” and let him drive away.
Step 2: I hail another cab and ask the driver how much he’ll charge me to take me to my destination. I verify the amount and compare it to my first price.
If his price is higher than the first guy, I know he’s trying to cheat me. At this point I can either negotiate down to the first driver’s price. Or say “See Ya!”, letting him go, if he won’t budge on his higher price.
If the second taxi is lower, I know the first guy was trying to trick me, and I can either haggle some more, or hop in, content that I got a better deal the second-time-around.
Getting cheated stinks! Royally! But, I’ve found that using this system helps.
There are a lot of travelers out there. What do you do to keep from being cheated?