When travelling to foreign countries, the most common mode of transportation is often e-hailing or taxi services. Car rental is another option, but it comes with its own set of considerations. Unfortunately, taxi drivers sometimes exploit tourists, hiking up fares significantly, especially when the passengers are foreigners.
As reported by Mothership, a group of foreigners recently fell victim to such a scam in Singapore, where they were charged a staggering $100 SGD for a mere 3-kilometre journey, which took approximately seven to ten minutes. The incident was captured on video, and the conversation with the taxi driver was later uploaded to YouTube.
Filmed on September 18 and 19, 2023, at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, the footage was produced for the Carl Runefelt Vlogs channel and showcased the Token 2049 cryptocurrency conference. The vehicle that transported the passengers was parked in the designated taxi area and displayed a “Taxi” sign above it.
The group, consisting of five individuals, including a videographer, had been trying to secure a private rental car or hail a cab. The video highlighted their interaction with the taxi driver, which escalated to an astonishing fare quote when the video reached the nine-minute mark, the time they were supposed to reach Park Royal Collection Pickering.
The taxi driver, with a censored face, cited the congestion in the area and declared the ride would cost a hefty S$100.
In response, one of the group members proposed booking a private rental car and promptly secured one for a fixed S$20, expressing their reluctance to accept the inflated taxi fare.
Nevertheless, the cab did not arrive at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre because the group had mistakenly provided Marina Bay Sands Tower 1 as the pick-up location.
One of the top comments on the YouTube video is allegedly from the taxi driver. The commenter expressed remorse for the driver’s actions and apologized for the unfortunate experience the tourists had endured.
“I am sorry that such a bad experience happened to you in our country,” the message stated. “Please be aware that the one driver you encountered is not a representation of all taxi drivers in our lovely nation; rather, he or she is someone who has compromised the moral principles that all of us taxi drivers hold dear.”
Another commenter argued that the group had paid a premium because they were unwilling to cross the street to access an alternative private rental car service, which was offered at a more reasonable rate of S$20.