BAD Taxi Driver

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Jul 28, 2002
A beautiful Saturday afternoon (5pm or so) at Clarke Quay, I was playing host to my visiting cousin from Hong Kong. Flagged a taxi at Clarke Quay, told the driver "Chinatown" (in English) rather than the typical "Buffalo Car Water" which typical Singaporean would say in Mandarin/Hokkien.

The taxi journey started from Clarke Quay, passed by Robertson Quay, then Century Mall as shown in the below picture. Along the road near MOM (Ministy of Manpower), I told the driver I wanted to go to "Temple Street" (in English) with a little bit of Mandarin.

The correct route to Temple Street is "Turn 1" as Temple Street is single traffic and going "Turn 2" way would be against traffic of Temple Street.

But, taxi driver drove pass "Turn 1". Nevermind, I thought he would make "Turn 2" and drop me by the main road but I would have to walk in to Temple Street.

To my horror, he "missed" Turn 2 as well and drove head on to Raffles Place/Lau Pat Sat direction.

Immediately after the taxi driver missed Turn 2, I asked him in complete Mandarin this time "Do you know where you are going???".

To Chinatown, the taxi driver said.

I pointed to him Chinatown was there and said to him you missed 2 Turns already. I asked him to quickly make a "Right Turn" but he instinctively made a Left Turn (See dotted line), which is the CORRECT WAY back to the heart of Chinatown as my suggested right turn would bring me to the far end of Chinatown.

I asked to stop at the main road (right side, near the Indian Temple). Dare he still wanted to charge me full fare of $5. I said $4 (thinking to myself I won't pursue the case if he agreed). He said ... little money only ... and wanted the $5. Then, he continued to hagger and negotiate to $4.50. I said no need, charge me $5, I have already taken down your car plate number (which I cleverly did ;p after he missed "Turn 2") and told him I will give the appropriate authority a call.

Quickly gave him a $10 note expecting a $5 change, he gave me $5.50 change instead and said "if no money, don't take taxi!!!". I alighted the taxi with my cousin, walked off and explained to my cousin what actually happened. Taxi driver lowered down his side window, mumbling, nothing good or pleasant I was sure, and drove off.

I sure wanted to teach him a good lesson, to spank him to realise what is right and what is wrong... and not taking advantages of tourist (I believe he mistook me for a tourist. I probably spoke and dressed like one that day)

I wanted to give his Taxi Company a call but I also do not want to put his livelihood on the knife edge, knowing that a driver his age (early 50s) and to find a decent job elsewhere is not easy for him.

Anyway this aside, next time when I am in a tourist spots again taking a taxi going to another tourist spot, I will use English or a language that is not typical of Singaporean and see where the drivers will bring me to.


Senior Member
Jan 20, 2002
jasphotography said:
I wanted to give his Taxi Company a call but I also do not want to put his livelihood on the knife edge, knowing that a driver his age (early 50s) and to find a decent job elsewhere is not easy for him.
That's what I find curious about many Singaporeans: they talk and talk and complain and get upset, and then do nothing constructive about it other than just tell other people about how they were 'victimised'.

Whilst it's obvious that you're a kind person at heart, calling the cab company is not a selfish thing. If he is daring enough to treat you this unfairly, I am sure he will be courageous enough to face the consequences.

Sometimes, these people need to be yelled at, told off, complained about. You'll be doing OTHER people a favour by getting him reprimanded so that he may understand the error of his ways. Do you think you're the only one he'll ever treat this way? It doesn't matter how old he is. In my books, the older the person, the better he should understand that what he did to you was not fair; and the more he understands the consequences.

"If you can't do the time, don't do the crime" is a good maxim.

Not an attack on you Jas, please don't take this the wrong way....


New Member
Nov 2, 2005
You should go ahead and report to the authorities. They will decide on the best course of action.

Generally, the one of the following could happen:-

1. Authorities do nothing. This is often the case in light of limited manpower, got some things more urgent to do, etc..

2. The authorities catch him and suspend his license, fine him and jail him. Well, not so bad, but clearly something has to be done.

3. If this is the first offence, then the authorities will issue a warning and some counselling. After all, they are an understanding lot, so under the enourmous pressure of a taxi driver's daily life, one can't help but understand that sometimes one does get carried away.

Don't feel bad. I think that his career as a taxi driver will only end if he has done this many, many times before, and almost every day people are complaining. However, someone should talk to him and wake him up. Hopefully the right people will take up this matter and resolve this issue fairly.


Senior Member
Feb 25, 2002
Just call the cab company and complain... better still write them a letter with your illustration!


New Member
Jan 27, 2005
Copy and paste your post with more info on the reg number in a mail to be sent to the taxi company. No use ranting.

In any case, is there a GOOD Taxi Driver? When you tell them they took the wrong way they challenge you. Driving without due care for other motorists. The list goes on....


New Member
Mar 5, 2005
jasphotography said:
I wanted to give his Taxi Company a call but I also do not want to put his livelihood on the knife edge, knowing that a driver his age (early 50s) and to find a decent job elsewhere is not easy for him.


Write in , not to the forum but to the relevant taxi company. Rattling in the forum will not help you nor future passengers. Take decisive action to resolve the issue.


Senior Member
Jan 6, 2005
i think you should HIGHLIGHT this to the company...

let them know this driver did this..

i did before and all they do is ONLY sent me an e-mail saying this mattar has been recorded and file in that driver record..

nothing more..


Jul 28, 2002
well, I didn't say I won't call the TAxi Co. I will decide when/what to do that is best for me or for the situation. Busy hosting now lah....

This thread is not about me ranting or complaining to forumers and to pity me being
"victimized". $5 is really nothing to rant about. His act didn't unnerve me or a need for me to challenge him verbally at that point. I know the easiest way is just a phone call away...


Senior Member
Apr 20, 2003
yo jas...

yeah u seem compassionate about someone's rice bowl, but then that really puts the icing on a cake. how can someone like him take his ricebowl in such a slipshot manner. given, in their days, anythign goes, but it's not like this anymore and they have to learn, that customer service is important and not only that, it's IMPERATIVE.

so while it MIGHT affect his ricebowl, i think it still has to be done. it's not only poor service, it's BAD attitude. as u said, if he just admitted his mistake and collected just 4 bux, u would not even bother to open this thread probably.

if me, he apologises and admits his mistake, heck i'll just pay him the 5 bux, as u mentioned it's not a big deal.

and i just can't HELP but comment on the way taxi drivers drive. sorry man, this is one stereotype i CANNOT get rid of. *shakes head* they surely dun have a good reputation on the roads.....


Senior Member
Oct 26, 2002
Singapore / Japan / China
i emailed both taxi company and LTA when something like that happened few weeks ago. (i got a taxi receipt.) their responses was fast. LTA asked me if I'm ready to go court if the driver disputes my complaint. the driver most probably gets warning letter or demerit points, or worst, vocational license suspension.

Seriously, it's a must for taxi drivers to know at least the city area well.

And the famous places, toursit attractions, or landmarks.

Like I've asked a taxi driver to take me to Chinese High a few years ago. He doesn't know where it is. Luckily I do, or else I'll be late!


New Member
Aug 2, 2005
i also flagged for a cab near middle road at bugis area on last friday nite 11pm. there were 3 of us and going to 3 locations along north line. once we bumped in the cab, the taxis driver said he cannot go 3 location as insisted he can only go 2 locations at most. so we decided to jus stop at 2 locations and take train home. this is my very 1st time encountered this kind of cab driver as i remember i even tried took a cab and stopby 4 locations. is there any new rules around which i am not aware of ?


Senior Member
Jul 24, 2002
Planet Eropagnis
Jason, dun give chance. COMPLAIN.

By NOT COMPLAINING to the taxi company with full details, u are allowing that fella to go scot free and allowing him to chop more tourists heads.

Understand that u dun want to break ppl's ricebowl, but imagine if one day u start hearing ur friends abroad asking u whether all taxi drivers are dishonest ppl den how? Die lah izzit?

Better kill 1 to nip the problem in the bud den to let it poison the entire hedge.

And BTW, u could have easily NOT PAID by using the following method:
- Getting the taxi driver to pull up along the side of the road along a busy junction and paying by credit card saying that u do not have cash.

The trick is this: Credit Card payment is only available for taxi fares above SGD$15. This will add onto his difficulty. To further add on, some taxi drivers do not know how to operate the VISA machine (or at least they give excuses that the machine is spoilt. And its ironic that I know how to operate the VISA machine even though I'm no staff of any taxi companies!). And by paying thru VISA, it will take up to 3 working days for the taxi company to clear payment with the CC company and deposit the money directly into the cabbie's bank account minus the 10% admin charge.

In short, no immediate cash for them for the next 3 days. U make their life extremely difficult as well as u teach them a good lesson.

The reason why most cabbies prefer cash over credit card (and they make 'the face' when u try to pay them by card) is becos some of them need immediate cash and things like dat. ;)

Its bad I know. U guys must be cursing me in ur hearts that I'm a blady black-hearted chap to be able to pull off such a stunt. But dat's me. I basically quite chin chai. But try to pull stunt on me, I stun u back with a bigger stunt.


Senior Member
Feb 16, 2004
Perhaps the most potent way for the service standards of the taxi services in general to improve is to weed out those who are not service oriented. While commending exemplery drivers is an excellent way to motivate other drivers to follow suit, disciplinary measures must be taken to ensure a balance in a system of rewards and punishments.


New Member
Aug 29, 2004
I think you shld tell the taxi company.
trust me the most the guy will get is a warning.
and 3 warnings he's out of the taxi business..
why would I report?
because its unfair for the other hardworking taxi drivers who are earning a decent living and a honest income.
likewise for taxi drivers with race car tendencies i would report also.
then we can all act to reduce the number of taxi drivers that kill other road users..
if its jus customers trying to tekan the taxi driver it would take 3 who really dislike him to get him jobless and if this is the case I think that the driver needs to wake up his idea anyway.


Staff member
Nov 22, 2003
Since you got the number, why not go report him? It's these 'give chance' cases that results in these idiots going on and on ... trying to 'con' people. These are the irresponsible ones ... we don't need them. Period.


Senior Member
Aug 16, 2005
Do everyone a favour, take up a telephone and phone to the company and complained. Should give this kind of driver a lesson. I don know how many innocent people or tourists gana cheated by him.


New Member
Sep 8, 2004
near the Equator
I once had to tell a cabbie three times where I am going.First in English, then in Hokkien, then in Mandarin.

Really made my day I tell ya..


Senior Member
Jun 9, 2003
And I thought 150km/hr on CTE at noon time today is bad enough...

Guess I dun really look like a tourist...


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