Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shanghai Taxi Regulations... glad I read them.

From the posted regulations in some of the taxis in Shanghai:
The passenger is entitled to refuse payment under any of the following circumstances where the driver:
1. smokes in the car, uses a cellular phone wislt driving, spits or litters out of the car.
2. abuses the passenger, behaves rudely and does not use the polite expressions of the taxi company (For example: good morning/Afternoon/evening, thanks/thank you, goodbye/bye-bye.)
3. does not wear the uniform of the taxi company.
4. does not accept the taxi card of voucher
5. fails to comply with the passenger's request on the Air-conditioning or the sound system.

I'm not sure if the regulations are for all taxi companies, or just for that company, but I found them very interesting. Especially since my second last day in Shanghai, a taxi driver tried to scam me. He wasn't wearing a uniform, and was trying to sell me handbags and watches, like many of the people that approached me on the street with photo cards. Every other taxi driver that I had, was wearing all white, or some sort of suit. Many of them even had white gloves on. I was going the exact opposite route that I had taken that morning, and noticed that the meter started going up at a very fast rate, right from the beginning. By the time I was back at the hotel, the meter read more than twice as much as I had paid that morning. (I only paid the basic fare of 11 Yuan that morning). The meter had to have been tampered with to have done that. I asked him about the total, he motioned that to go the other direction it was a shorter distance, as the way we had just had to take was a round about way. I'm not stupid. Even a round about way would not have more than doubled the distance gone. I showed him my map and said that he was wrong. I said I was not stupid and was not going to pay that much. I showed him the reciept from my morning taxi. He just laughed and said okay.
Maybe some people never think twice about what the meter says. That taxi didn't have the regulations posted, as it was a different cab company, but it came to mind during the ride, and made me pay attention.
I tried to tell someone in the hotel about it, trying to report it, but they just shrugged their shoulders.

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