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Fake Paris taxi driver JAILED for overcharging tourists

You may have read about making sure you go to the official taxi line at Charles de Gaulle airport and get an official taxi (fixed price €50/55 into the city).
This guy attempted to charge two Thai tourists €247. He has now been jailed for 8 months for fraud.

Story here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46316325

Posted by
2456 posts

Wow I hope word gets around. That airport is out of control with people even going up to the baggage claim area and trying to hustle you out on a different floor to a waiting “taxi”. It happened to us in April but we didn’t follow him very far.

Posted by
1841 posts

I love it that the Thai couple got video. And I love it that the guy went to jail.

Posted by
1256 posts

One more thing that would never happen with Uber or Lyft.

Posted by
5552 posts

Man holding Uber sign came up to us in a long taxi stand line in NYC. My spouse told him where we were going and he quoted $40. The taxi cost $12.00. Scammers are everywhere!

Posted by
1256 posts

Man holding Uber sign came up to us in a long taxi stand line in NYC.

Uber does not allow you to book in person, it only allows you to book through the application. These people had nothing to do with Uber.

Posted by
1256 posts

And why does it only allow you to book through the app? So that way there is a verified record generated of:

  • Who asked for the ride. And what their rating is. So drivers can choose to pick up or not
  • Who is providing the ride. And what their rating is. So passengers can choose to pick up or not
  • A comprehensive estimate of charges provided before the ride starts, and a route chosen by a computer not a human so no opportunity to be ripped off there either
  • Automated review of "long" rides where the ride for whatever reason cost more than it should of
  • Panic button for driver and passenger
  • Easy way to report bad behavior to company, which can and does result in banning of drivers.

Any one of those 6 is is far more than you get in any taxi service in the world. Especially #3 and 6

Posted by
1067 posts

"These people had nothing to do with Uber."

So what is different, the scam taxi drivers have nothing to do with the real Taxi companies.

Posted by
1256 posts

I understand I travel a lot more than most people, but I have been ripped off more times than I can count by real taxis, especially those taken from the taxi queues in airports. It has happened here at home in Maui, in New York, Aqaba, Sofia, Seville and even (my favorite) "safe and orderly" Singapore. I've NEVER been taken by an Uber. The difference? Taxis are accountable to no one, often monopolies overseen by corrupt local officials, often linked to organized crime. You have pretty much no recourse, unless you want to get physical with a driver, or spend a bunch of time complaining (often in a foreign language), following up etc ... and 99% of the time you will get nothing but more grief for your effort. Whereas with a company like Uber, you know how much it will be, and what the route is, before you get in. And when the driver takes route B that costs $40 more and takes you on a tour of the boroughs of New York, for example, no need to argue with the driver, no need to put yourself in physical danger. Just report the guy after, say you were quoted $45 and a 14 mile ride from A to B and were taken 22 miles from A to C to D to B (which there is proof of on the GPS track of your ride, which you are sent after the ride, unlike every single taxi in the world) and charged $85 and your odds are quite high that you will get part or all of your money back.

Posted by
30894 posts

I was pleased to see that this scamming driver was caught and will have to answer for his actions. Unfortunately I doubt this case will stop this type of incident from occurring.

I suppose the charges could have been worse if the tourists were picked up by an Uber car under the so-called "surge pricing" (thankfully they won't be able to use surge pricing when they begin operating in B.C. next year).

Posted by
3906 posts

One more thing that would never happen with Uber or Lyft.

Well that's evidently not true. During our recent holiday to Florida we we're ripped off by Uber drivers on at least 4 occasions, all of whom took an unnecessary longer route than was quoted which inevitably increased the fare. Uber refunded me on every occasion when I reported the journey.

Posted by
1256 posts

Uber refunded me on every occasion when I reported the journey

So you weren't ripped off. But point proven about Uber, sounds like. Also, sounds like you are exceptionally unlucky. Four Uber drivers ripped you off in one trip? Wow.

Posted by
3906 posts

So you weren't ripped off. But point proven about Uber, sounds like. Also, sounds like you are exceptionally unlucky. Four Uber drivers ripped you off in one trip? Wow.

Not ripped off? What would you call it then?

I wouldn't consider myself exceptionally unlucky, it seemed like it was the norm, taking advantage of tourists who are unlikely to know whether the route taken was the most direct and efficient. Fortunately we also had a car so it didn't take me long to figure out the routes within the area we were staying which meant that I knew we were being taken for a ride when the driver didn't take the route that I expected him too and also, post trip, when we compared it to the route that the Uber app suggested.

Yes, four Uber drivers ripped us off over a two week period. Why is that such a difficult concept to grasp?

Posted by
17619 posts

In the last five years, I have taken taxis in a number of German towns:
Munich
Lindau (multiple times)
Berchtesgaden (multiple times)
Fischen im Allgäu
Sigmaringen

I don't think I've never been overcharged. (Of course, since the highest of the fares was probably 10€, it would hardly be worth overcharging.) Admittedly, except for Munich, these were all small towns, and most were to/from train stations, not airports. Maybe scammers only pick airports and large towns. Or maybe Germans are just more honest.

In Munich, the driver took a somewhat circuitous route of over 1 km for what would have been a ½ km walk, but I checked it out on Google Maps when I got home, and it was the shortest route by car due to one-way streets and pedestrian zones.

Posted by
7109 posts

JC, with Uber you had recourse and you got your money back. That would never happen with a regular taxi. I’ve been ripped off by Paris taxis. Never with Uber.

Posted by
3906 posts

Susan, yes I had recourse with Uber. I don't have an issue with Uber, my criticism was directed towards those particular drivers however my post was in response to the false claim that you'll never get ripped off by Uber drivers.

Posted by
7109 posts

JC, I understand your perspective.
I read Kaeleku’s statement as, ultimately you do not get ripped off because you have recourse and will get your money back if you are. And I'm confident that any Uber driver that rips you off will be fired, which is a nice bonus.
No refund, and no losing their job with a regular taxi.
But yes, rip-offs and bad people are in every occupation.

Posted by
606 posts

I sympathize with legal taxi drivers. They have to pay fees to the provincial (state) authorities, city, airport and hotels. They pay much higher insurance. The taxi companies are required to provide special vans for disabled or wheelchair passengers. When it is really busy or the weather is lousy, they cannot increase their fees and charge surge pricing. I think many taxi operators wish they could have the freedom and financial advantages of uber.

It is all a matter of perspective. There is very little difference between uber and AirBnB. Both offer cheap and convenient alternatives for users. Think of the lowly taxi operator, the next time somebody buys the house or apartment next to yours and begins to operate it as an AirBnB.

Posted by
162 posts

Once in Dresden, Germany, I got in a taxi and gave the driver the addy of a restaurant I wanted to try. No sooner did I get in when he said "eh, its only 400 meters that way! red building on the right! you can't miss it! go ahead and walk!" Saved me a few bucks when he didn't have to.