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Dawei3

Cab drivers who deliberately drive the wrong way

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Dawei3

What can you say to a cab driver that is deliberately driving you the wrong way? 

 

I try to take mass transit as much as possible. However, sometimes I need to take cabs. In Shanghai, one deliberately drove the opposite direction of our office despite that the hotel attendant had confirmed he knew the location. I repeated the address more & more emphatically. He continued to drive the wrong way, despite my protestations. Fortunately, he got stuck in traffic traffic when he tried to get on the freeway and I jumped out. He had gone 10 minutes in the wrong direction.  

 

What can you say to forcefully push a driver to go to the right location? I know they have their photo & identification so you can report them, but this wouldn’t have helped if he took me an hour in the wrong direction (which would have happened if he gotten me on the freeway).

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abcdefg

When I see this happening, I ask something along the lines of "师傅,火车站 (or wherever you are going) 不是那边?(Point where you think it is.) Might follow with something like, "我觉得设往那边。“ (Point again.) 

 

In Kunming they often appear to be taking you on a round-about route because many streets are one way and it's often very difficult to make a legal left turn. They aren't really trying to cheat you; they must just take detours to go where you want them to go. 

 

In your example, I would have said, "师傅,停车吧。你知道我想去哪里吗?“ Or something along those lines. Stop and get some clarity before proceeding. 

 

Quote

I repeated the address more & more emphatically.

 

That's not enough. He was probably going to the general area where he thought it was, not where he should have been going. Need to confirm with something like "你知道吗?

 

I sometimes say, ”师傅, 我经常去,我带你去吧,好不好?“ And then steer him with a series of simple instructions. "前面的红灯,请右拐。

 

Plus, obviously always have your destination written down. If you think it might be in the least obscure, also have something well known that is nearby written down as well. ("Next to the Hilton.") 

 

I usually sit in front in a taxi. Easier to talk with the driver. Easier to "participate."  Easier to escalate is necessary: "师傅,你去哪里?“

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DavyJonesLocker

That why I use DIDI, just less hassle and price is pretty much fixed. Come back service if he pulls a fast one. 

 

Main reason I suppose is that street taxis in Beijing don't have seatbelts which I really dislike!

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889

In a huge city like Shanghai, you can't expect all drivers to know all routes everywhere. So as soon as you get in the car you need to take charge and tell him the route you want to take, using that commanding no-nonsense I'm not a tourist voice that comes in handy sometimes.

 

As to the expressway, some drivers like to take the expressway and figure you do too, even though expressway entries are so placed that, yes, you may end up going far in the opposite direction just to get on the expressway.

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abcdefg
4 hours ago, 889 said:

So as soon as you get in the car you need to take charge and tell him the route you want to take, using that commanding no-nonsense I'm not a tourist voice that comes in handy sometimes.

 

Well said. That's what I usually do, even here in Kunming. 

 

Cannot just sit back passively and expect to be effortlessly delivered to the destination as if by magic. 

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ChTTay

Also useful to learn the road names and tell them which specific roads you want to take. 

 

Usually drivers know major roads if not your exact destination. Knowing the roads also shows you’re not a tourist. 

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suMMit
19 hours ago, abcdefg said:

In Kunming they often appear to be taking you on a round-about route because many streets are one way and it's often very difficult to make a legal left turn. They aren't really trying to cheat you; they must just take detours to go where you want them to go. 

I agree with this.

 

I take taxis in different cities around China nearly every week (for years) and this is usually the case. There is also frequently construction that makes route changes necessary. Sometimes they are avoiding heavy traffic streets.  I honestly think this is a bit of an overblown 老外 complex that they are going to take you on a roundabout route. They wouldn't really stand to gain much from it anyway.

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Dawei3

I should have given more  details. The office was only 15 minutes SW of the hotel in a low/no traffic area.  It’s a very simple route on just 3 roads. The hotel attendant had confirmed the route with him (I heard and saw). 

 

However, he went north and east for 10 minutes.  When it was clear he wanted to go east on the freeway, I knew he was dishonest. He was clearly taking me “for a ride.” 

 

After I left his cab and found another, the 2nd cab took me the exactly correct route with no closures and minimal traffic. 

 

I think the taxi drivers are facing pressure from Didi. The day before another taxi took me to my hotel OK, but he kept asking if I wanted to go to the airport (a very long drive from my location). He asked 3 or 4 times, but he had clearly understood what I said because he took me to the correct hotel. Even after we got to the hotel, the hotel attendant asked me (likely at the drivers behest) to you want to go to the airport?  I think it was just wishful thinking on the driver’s part (and this didn’t bother me). 

 

With the unethical driver: he didn’t care what the route was. Talking to him about the location didn’t matter. I’m so used to positive experiences in China, I’m not well equipped verbally for difficult situations. 

 

I need stronger verbal judo judo for something like this. Hence, my question. 

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mackie1402
17 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

That why I use DIDI, just less hassle and price is pretty much fixed. Come back service if he pulls a fast one. 

 

 

This.

 

17 hours ago, DavyJonesLocker said:

Main reason I suppose is that street taxis in Beijing don't have seatbelts which I really dislike!

 

And this.

 

I don't think I've taken a regular taxi in about a year, I always get Didi now. The fact that they use GPS and you can even select the route you want to the driver to take is great. Being able to review the drivers after each ride really helps, as they having something to lose so to speak. 

 

There was one time a guy didn't want to take me, so while I waited in the rain, he drove close enough that he could say he had arrived, but was in fact down a different road. He wouldn't answer my calls or texts, then when it said "Your driver has been waiting for 3 minutes, so he can now cancel for free.", guess what, he cancelled. After contacting Didi support, who also spoke English when they found out I was a foreigner, send me some 30rmb vouchers. Most of the time though, the drivers are great. I usually buy one of those cards up front for like 3000, then they give you an extra 400 or 500. 

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mackie1402
4 minutes ago, Dawei3 said:

I need stronger verbal judo judo for something like this. Hence, my question. 

 

I usually find taking a very obvious picture of the ID and the guy driving helps. As a foreigner, they expect you won't do anything or don't know how to report them, but just seeing you take the first steps by recording who the driver was, they usually seem to listen.

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DavyJonesLocker

I can understand a driver taking a fairly different route only if there is a very good reason. For example here in Beijing it's common to take a ring road for a long journey (10k or so) that might add 20 or 30% distance to a journey but the time saving is considerable. Amaps , baidu ditu would also suggest this as the " best route"

However there is no excuse for  driver not being able to take an "appropriate"   route especially in the age of GPS on a phone. 

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mungouk
On 9/12/2019 at 5:15 PM, DavyJonesLocker said:

That why I use DIDI,

 

Same here.

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889

 

"I usually find taking a very obvious picture of the ID and the guy driving helps."

 

I would regard this as seriously hostile, to be done only if there's very evidently a big problem at hand.

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mackie1402
13 minutes ago, 889 said:

 

"I usually find taking a very obvious picture of the ID and the guy driving helps."

 

I would regard this as seriously hostile, to be done only if there's very evidently a big problem at hand.

 

Yeah it's not something I've done in years, nor would recommend lightly. 

 

I feel like it's appropriate for OPs situation, considering they ended up jumping out of the taxi when stuck in traffic. If they haven't listened after repeating the address again and again, then surely somethings wrong. 

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abcdefg
On 9/13/2019 at 11:14 AM, Dawei3 said:

I need stronger verbal judo for something like this. Hence, my question. 

 

Not sure any kind of verbal judo would be sufficient if you are being almost kidnapped or at least being taken for a major "scenic tour." Seems to me you did the right thing by effecting an escape. 

 

Did you toss some money on the seat to pay your fare as you exited? Did the driver get out and try to become combative with you on the street? 

 

 

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Dawei3
14 hours ago, abcdefg said:

toss some money on the seat to pay your fare as you exited

I just got out of the cab & didn't leave any money.  He was in the far left lane and traffic was at a stop, so there was little he could do.  This is also why I could get out (we weren't even moving a little).  I walked fast the opposite direction, not to get away from him, but because I had to get to a meeting.  There was no way he could turn around both because of the traffic and because the traffic was just one direction, 3-lanes parallel to the freeway).

 

I wasn't thinking about what his reaction might be.  I was angry at what he was doing and I was mostly thinking:  how do I get out of this situation? 

 

I haven't used Didi.  Are the drivers reasonably safe?  (I realize cab drivers can be unsafe)

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mungouk
1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

I haven't used Didi. 

 

Get into it. As we've all said, it's much more convenient.  

 

You don't even need an app, or at least my version of WeChat has a Didi mini-program built in.

 

The only time I use normal taxis now is at airports, or when I'm coming out of IKEA... places where there's a taxi stand with lots of cars waiting and Didi drivers can't easily get into anyway.

 

 

 

 

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