Xiamen Taxi Service
The taxi service in Xiamen is improving and if you are living in Xiamen, you will notice that the taxis are being replaced almost yearly, take for example the new Sonata on the picture above.
Although the service in Xiamen is being improved, there is still room for improvement on:
- Reckless driving
- Impolite drivers
- Traffic safety/speed regulations
What you should know
When taking a taxi in Xiamen you should take note of the following:
- The taxis are colored differently but they all have the same flag-down price.The color-coding was done for easy traceability of taxi companies.
- When seating in front, you should put on your seat belt - the city now has imposed a certain fine for violators.
- Complain - there is a complaint telephone number on the taxi tickets for you to complain taxi drivers who don't want to give you a ride or for you to complain those drivers who don't give you the service you think you deserved.(Get help from your hotel receptionist about this). Also note that the taxi's plate number and the flag-down as well as the flag-up times are also on the taxi ticket, so be sure to get a taxi ticket before you get down from the taxi.
We'll be citing some tips on how to get the most on the taxi service in Xiamen. As you get more experience traveling within Xiamen, you'll find different 'models' of cab drivers - you would be experiencing the good, bad and ugly taxi service in the city, but, hey, lighten up, there are some workarounds on the different taxi service experiences that you would be encountering. OK, let's take a short walk on the streets and get a cab and talk some real life experience and tips about the taxi service within the city:
Always check the meters before beginning your 'taxi journies'. There might be a time when you did not notice that the cab driver had the meters already 'prepared' for you - to site an example - say you just called a Sonata from the street with excitement and the 'friendly' cab driver threw 'sweet smiles' while you take the back seat. Hmmm, smell something? Look around, specifically at the taxi meter up front or below the dashboard!
Never lose sight of the meter, it might be already running or flagged-down before you even took the back seat. Say, 324.00 RMB? Be on your guard! Question the cab drivers - if you can not speak the language, point at the damn meter and question, question, question, why the ##^@#!*^ meter is so high!!
Most probable 'escape answers' you're gonna get from the driver: I have a passenger who has rented the cab for a day and I (the cab driver) am out for my favorite lunch to pick up my favorite passenger, later. Well, I just wanted to earn some 'extra bucks' before the pick up (and now I have you - Little Red Riding Hood). I can not give you a ticket at this time, so I'll give you a discount instead. How about a custom ticket?
DO NOT fall for it!, let the driver stop the cab, and get down immediately, jot down the taxi's plate number and report to the proper authorities - the personnel at the local hotel where you stay, or your friends could help you out forward the complaints to the proper authorities.
When you are trapped
Alright, you were 'trapped' and you are half way to your destination when you noticed that the meter ran faster than your heart beat (350 RMB?).What do you do? Don't panic, still try to stay friendly until you reach your destination. If you have a digi cam, take a quick picture of that questionable meter and upon reaching your destination, get somebody from your office or hotel personnel to help you out and explain why you think you were cheated. Ask them to help you out with your complaint to the proper authorities - check the taxi tickets, the complaint telephone numbers are printed on them.
NEVER, EVER, forget to get the tickets before you even leave the cab. This is your 'ticket' to win the cheaters and so to speak, "Win the day!" It might even let you feel comfortable and reduce stress after a bad 'taxi' day knowing you got hold of the full record on the cab and driver which gave you a bad experience - and you're ready to do that taxi service complaint to the proper authorities anytime. Those tickets could also help you out with your travel expense reimbursements : )
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