Traveller calls police over high fare charged by Phuket taxi driver

Photo via Facebook/ ปชส. จังหวัดภูเก็ต

If you’ve been to Phuket, you’ve probably paid way too much for a taxi. Now, one Thai traveller claims a Phuket taxi driver ripped him off by charging a fare of 600 baht and even got the police involved to sort out the situation. He filmed confrontations with the police and taxi driver, posting the videos on Facebook and drawing criticism on the island’s notoriously high taxi fares.

The traveller had tried to book a ride through the application Bolt to get back to his hotel, but he says the driver refused service because he was afraid of the taxi drivers in the area. He tried booking a Grab, but the same thing happened and the driver refused service. He and his girlfriend then decided to hail a taxi, but the driver charged them 600 baht… much higher than the 168 baht fare listed on Bolt. The 21-minute drive was around 12 kilometres from Cafe Del Mar in Kamala to a hotel near Patong Beach.

In the video, the man who appears to be the driver yells that the fare is 600 baht. He added that he wasn’t scared of the police, daring the customers to call and saying he and the police are friends. After talking with the police, officers called the driver to the station. Reports say that the driver insisted that 600 baht was the standard price and that no one forced the traveller to use his service.

Since it was late at night and the trip was quite far, “the price at 600 baht was responsible”, the driver reportedly claimed, adding that he would increase the price with more passengers.

The traveller is the son well-known dentist who has a large following on TikTok, so his posts drew a lot of attention on social media. Some commented saying they’ve had similar situations in Phuket.

Phuket officials reviewed taxi rates in July of last year after some tourists under the Sandbox, or the island’s pilot reopening programme, reported high prices. The Phuket Tourist Police Department then announced maximum taxi fares for rides from the Phuket International Airport and encouraged travellers to report rip-offs. For a roughly 20-kilometre ride from the airport to Surin Beach, a taxi driver can charge up to 550 baht. Read more about the maximum taxi fares HERE.

Taxi in Phuket
The customer also added that he was scared of Covid-19 as the taxi driver didn’t wear a face mask.

SOURCE: Bright Today | PR Phuket

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.