A friend just told me about a new scam reported in the Chinese news in Beijing.
Some Kunming taxi drivers have been found to be using some kind of electronic gadget that increases the meter fare automatically without you knowing about it. Has anyone heard of this or even experienced this? If so, how can you tell that a driver is using this?
old news - km taxi drivers - the corrupt ones - use all sorts of tricks to artificially increase the fare. The old complaint line used to work well, but since they put in that automated robot hell call system - I've found the attitude of the complaint center .... lacking. Who do we call to complain about the complaint center? The word "impotent!" springs to mind...
i have never been cheated on km taxis before, but i also use them rather sparingly. however, recently i've known of at least three separate occasions where the customer was taken for "a ride" before arriving at the destination (this happened to overseas chinese and a local kunmingese girl). i only heard about this after the fact and they didn't take down the license plate #'s so we couldn't even file a complaint(s).
maybe you could just spycam with phone? to answer the OP's question, you can always baidu your route as there's an approx. taxi fare you can check.
Never been cheated in a Kunming taxi and I use a taxi often and have so for the last 10 years. Some people can get cheated if they dont have a clue as to where they are or where they are going. Taxi drivers will sometimes ask the passenger which way they want to go. The longer fast way or the shorter slow way. Some people dont have a clue as to how to answer this question. I always sit in the front of the taxi and never in the back seat. This way I can monitor the meter and see if it does not function properly. I think many people THINK they have been cheated but they do not how to prove it. If anyone wants to know what being cheated in a taxi really means then go take a ride in any Anning taxi. Most people do NOT have a clue as to what is the basic fee/distance for a meter or when the meter begins to charge. They just FEEL cheated.
I take enough taxi's to know what the fares should be. If the driver gets lost, which they do, and my fare is too high, I pay them what it SHOULD have cost. They don't like it, I tell them to call the police. They never do.
Drivers taking the wrong route rarely take the wrong route. If they do I will let them know asap, and if the fare goes over the normal I complain before the taxi journey ends. While the driver is driving he is distracted and cannot use all of his faculties for arguing. I do this politely, and always get a lower fare and part terms amicably.
The trap to avoid is thinking that everyone is always cheating you. Very often, as HFCAMPO said to, 'people feel cheated', very often when we feel cheated we were not. You can go through life feeling cheated and bitter all the time, or roll with the punches. How we feel about shit is one of the few things we can control here.
That does not mean you should not be vigilant.
Actually I started this discussion talking about a device (reported in the Chinese news) that the drivers use (so far only in Kunming) to raise the meter price for two reasons. One was the find out if anyone had seen or heard about this, and the second one was to warn you to the possibility that this could happen.
I didn't want this discussion to turn into a 'complaints department' about unscrupulous drivers because I often think it takes two to tango — I am actually very happy with the drivers in our city. I think if they chose a route that we don't like for whatever reason, it's my and your obligation to tell them so.
Have never been cheated in a Kunming taxi, in 10 years, either. Lately there have been occasions when the driver has taken an alternate route, sometimes slightly longer, but this has apparently always been done at time of the day where particular areas become jammed, thanks to the ominous and destructive idea that everybody who can possibly afford to buy a private car should do so.
I suggest that the taxi-cheat fear that may be quite justifiable in many cities is rarely justified in Kunming, so keep the lid on it before you start insulting drivers & making things difficult for everybody.
Having lived in both Beijing and Kunming, I can say that Kunming taxi drivers are worlds more honest and fair than Beijing drivers.
Never been cheated by Beijing taxi drivers - I used the prolific "black taxis" until I found an honest driver (not from beijing). Kept him for 3+ years. BJ taxi drivers are great if you want to seriously learn how to cuss people out in local Beijing dialect (but be prepared for either a violent fight or a serious beating).
I've NEVER used a black taxi in KM - I window shopped a couple of times - got VERY bad vibes, so now just wave them off as a matter of policy.
i hate KM taxis so much - I prefer to ride (and it's faster and healthier - PM2.5 aside).