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The dishonest official Paris taxi drivers

Recently I took taxis from and to CDG. From the airport I got a cab from the official rank, the driver turned on the meter half way to central Paris then took me on an unasked-for tour of Paris. I speak basic French so when we arrived at the hotel I told him the official rate was 55 euros, not 78 as the meter said. So, one for me!
On my return, I asked my hotel to get an early morning taxi. The driver drove me speedily to the airport but once there he demanded 68 euros. I told him the official price was 55, but he refused. So I was very tired and weary and paid the higher price. Final score— one for me, one for the relentless dishonest Paris taxi drivers. I am disgusted.
Next time, I will confirm the standard price before getting in the taxi, even if it is at the official rank. And if I call or have the hotel call, I will ask that they send a driver who will accept the official rate.
Wish I could use the RER and Metro but being 70, and with my one piece of luggage, I can’t manage.

Posted by
4010 posts

Another first post complaint.

It's possible there was a surcharge for the early morning ride. I know in some places night rides are higher.

Posted by
1975 posts

This 70 year old is always far more tired and weary on arrival than at the end of my trip.

Maybe next time you can take one of the shared shuttles from and to the airport.

Posted by
4819 posts

To be honest, I am not sure how the flat fee works in relation to surcharges, but typically you would see a surcharge for pre-ordering a taxi, as opposed to hoofing it to the nearest taxi rank. Many places (Rome for example) also have a surcharge for early morning hours. It is possible you were hit with both.

I will edit my above response, in looking at the G7 website, you were required to pay a 7 euro pre-book fee, so at least 62 euro, plus they can charge for wait time (you said 6:00 AM, you get to the taxi at 6:10 AM) so that is a possibility...so not a scam.

In the case of your arrival, no need for them to turn the meter on, that is when you should have verified price, not to mention when you entered the cab.

Posted by
11428 posts

There is no set price from Paris TO airport - only from airport to Paris .

68 is about normal price( depending on pick up location ) if early morning surcharge is included , plus when you cal a taxi in Paris they turn on the meter when they are dispatched to your location so arrive with usually 4-7 euros already in meter .

Posted by
346 posts

Paris is the only place I have ever had a Taxi driver over charge me. Hamburg. Amsterdam, London, Nice, Munich, etc never a problem. Paris I have had at least three different issues. 4 if you count the over charge the day my dad was really tired and I accepted the ridiculous quote was just to be easier on him then walking to the next taxis. (Sometimes it is just not worth the cost to argue)

Posted by
455 posts

not sure where you were leaving from, but we took the Le Bus Direct on our most recent trip, and it was quite enjoyable and comfortable at 18 Euro one way.

Posted by
1341 posts

If it makes you feel better, taxi drivers are scam artists everywhere. This is like the one thing I have never cracked the code on. Also the reason why Uber or services like them will continue to expand and dominate.

At the end of the day, it's not even $20, I would just forget it. The fact is modern Western society is just one big long legalized scam, if you only get ripped off $20 a day you are ahead of the game.

Posted by
1653 posts

The comment above stating that there is no set charge from Paris to the airports is incorrect: the fare is the same both ways.
But a prebooking costs 7 euros, and waiting time is extra, so 68 euros sounds like a legitimate fare... Or a very "light" scam at worst.

Posted by
1162 posts

I guess that's why I schlep the bags on the RER or bus into Paris, especially with the Navigo pass. Less convenient but saves me money.

Did you hear that in another thread?

But can't you settle on a price before you get in the cab? If so, let's all do that from now on.

Combien? 55 euros, ca va? Ca va.

But then again, if the guy runs the meter or charges you according to whatever and it is more, and you pay only the 55 and walk. What happens then? There's no proof that you settled on 55.

Schleppers-R-Us.

Posted by
20624 posts

....Wish I could use the RER and Metro but being 70, and with my one piece of luggage, I can’t manage......

You paid for the convenience. You need to chime in on the other thread discussing time vs money vs convenience. I am thinking there are better scam examples. Feeling that you may have been treated fairly. Had you been a regular viewer here before, you might have read that often there are additional fees for an early taxi and for booked pick up. Please do not call everything you don't like or don't understand a scam.

Posted by
197 posts

My taxi scam story - Barcelona. Driver ran my credit card, then told me the charge did not go through, so I then paid in cash. Guess what charge was on my credit card? Yup, the taxi. I disputed the charge, which my credit card company ruled in my favor, but my mistake was not asking for a receipt for the cash payment. Driver acted like he did not speak English, though, so who knows if I would have gotten a receipt.

Had a bad experience at the official taxi rank at CDG. My family of 4 was put in a tiny car similar to the Flintstone mobile instead of a van. We could have ridden a bike faster to central Paris than that driver pedaled. Took an hour! Also ripped off by a taxi driver in Sorrento, and one in Rome tried. Seems like the more I travel, the more I experience dishonest taxi drivers. That is why I try and stay near the main train station in many cities so I can just walk it. Wish LYFT was in Europe, though I have used Uber in London.

Posted by
5433 posts

There is no set price from Paris TO airport - only from airport to Paris .

This is absolutely incorrect. The set fares are valid in both directions.

To the OP: I am very sorry that this happened to you. I am glad you were able to hold firm on one trip, and that stinks about the extra money you had to pay on the return.

To be noted: there is no surcharge for nighttime or early morning trips to the airport.

The only surcharges are:
7€ to reserve a taxi ahead of time
4€ to reserve a taxi for immediate departure
4€ for each person in excess of 4 persons

You got scammed and that stinks. I am glad it wasn’t for more of a loss although paying any more at ANY price still stinks.

Posted by
4819 posts

To be noted: there is no surcharge for nighttime or early morning trips to the airport.
The only surcharges are:
7€ to reserve a taxi ahead of time
4€ to reserve a taxi for immediate departure
4€ for each person in excess of 4 persons
You got scammed and that stinks. I am glad it wasn’t for more of a loss although paying any more at ANY price still stinks.

The early morning charge was mentioned as a possibility by me as an example, but dismissed. However, several posters, including myself have pointed out that the charges likely add up, ordering a taxi to your hotel incurs surcharges above the flat rate.

The OP clearly stated that she had the hotel arrange a taxi for the morning. This most certainly incurs the 7 euro charge, so at the minimum the fare will be 62 euro. They are also allowed to charge for wait time, the OP has not chimed in and given any other details, but is reasonable to assume there could be some wait time in there to the tune of another 6 euro....So likely no scam. If the OP wanted a fare with no surcharges, she would have had to walk to one of the official taxi ranks. Maybe the driver tried to explain this to her, maybe the driver was one of those "snooty French people", or maybe she was being an "ugly American". Who knows, there are precious few details, but right now I am giving the driver the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by
16769 posts

Last year I asked reception staff at the Holiday Inn Paris - St. Germain des Près (staying there on brother's hotel points) to "please call a taxi" for Orly airport. Knowing there was a flat rate of 30 euros by taxi for that route, that's what I expected to pay. But the car that arrived did not have an official taxi sign and at the airport asked for 10 euros more. We argued about it, and I talked with his dispatcher, but the bottom line was that this was the flat rate set by "their service" (unnamed) and the 10 euros seemed to be a kickback to the hotel. The hotel didn't say anything about the price nor that they worked with a service other than regular taxis. Ultimately I blame the hotel for being greedy, but also know that I should have questioned the unmarked vehicle when it showed up.

Posted by
3318 posts

If one has the hotel reserve a "taxi", one never knows what one will get. It may very well be a regular taxi, or a car service, or the desk clerk's brother-in-law. Happened to us once but there were four of us and only one brother-in-law so we didn't have a problem reaching a meeting of the minds regarding the fare. Not really a big deal, just something about which one needs to be aware.

Posted by
875 posts

The one and only time that I've been scammed by a taxi driver was, yes, in Paris, about 3 years ago. Sister and I did a day trip to Chartres, out of Montparnasse train station. We were staying in a b&b very near Pont Neuf on the right bank. That's a distance of probably 1.5 miles, a straight shot up one main street. When we arrived back at Montparnasse after dark, we took the first taxi in the taxi queue (all markings on the car looked "official"), and he took us on a rambling tour of the right bank, through the 15th arr., from below the Eiffel Tower, and all along the river front. When I questioned him, he stated that he always drove along the river. Right!! I was looking at a paper map as he drove, and he could see that I knew that he was scamming us. The fare on the meter when we arrived was 3x what it should have been. He was, however, a rather scary guy. I handed him a middle amount, and we got the heck out of that taxi.

Posted by
440 posts

One of those things I suppose. It depends on how far away your hotel was from the Airport, maybe that is why it was a higher price than the €55 you thought it would be.

Posted by
1878 posts

Maybe with surcharges it was legitimate, but maybe not. In Krakow you have to watch for off meter fairs. I.e. the driver cheats both his employer and you by charging an inflated fixed fee. When you call for a taxi you may have some protection because the taxi company knows a ride was provided. I had the same thing in Nice when a taxi driver took one look at my wife with her overpacked 25” bag and knew we were going to get into that cab whatever the price. Cost me 15 Euros for about five blocks. To be fair, he did say the price before we got in but we did not realize our hotel was so close. They never understand when you point to the meter. Or rather feign that they do not understand. I have generally had good results in some cities though.

Posted by
16824 posts

Back before Washington, DC, switched from zone-based fares (mileage outside the city) to meters, I was overcharged traveling from National Airport to my home about 100% of the time. The cabbies must have realized that someone going to an apartment building was a not an out-of-towner (this was well before Airbnb), but they had no shame. Or maybe that's why the overcharge was usually just $3 or so. Those experiences made me leery of using cabs from train stations and bus stations in Europe. I've occasionally needed to do it, and I have gotten overcharged a substantial percentage of the time, but only by a few dollars.

In an obscure Ukrainian city I asked my hotel the evening before my departure to arrange a taxi to the bus station for early the next morning. When I went outside (early), the car was already there. Unmarked. My thought was something along the lines of "This may not be good." I assume the fellow was someone's brother-in-law. He didn't seem to be at all happy to be up and out around 8 AM, which worried me even more. But it was fine. The charge for a 15- or 20-minute drive through deserted streets (so not a terribly short trip) was some paltry amount, well under the equivalent of $5. And who knows how far he had to drive from his home to the place I was staying. I gave the driver quite a nice tip, and I don't care whether it was culturally inappropriate. He seemed thrilled.

Posted by
7680 posts

This only works on the CDG to Paris route but I type out the name and full address of my hotel and tape it to a 3x5 index card. Out beside that I write Taxi - 55E flat rate. When the manager signals me to a car, I hand this to the taxi driver when we are outside the cab so he knows I know he knows...well you get it.

One time I didn't do this and encountered very heavy traffic into town. I know the route, the driver was not "taking me for a ride" and about 3/4 of the way there the meter clicked over from 55E and started counting. I thought...hmmm, I wonder how this will work. When I got to the hotel it showed maybe 62E. The driver pointed to the meter and made a motion with his hand and said No, wrong. Only 55. He was very honest. My back up plan if there had been an issue was to go into the hotel and see if the person at reception could come help me as at this particular hotel they all speak English.

Posted by
5433 posts

It depends on how far away your hotel was from the Airport, maybe that is why it was a higher price than the €55 you thought it would be.

No, no, no!!! It is mandated by the authorities that the flat rate is 50 euros for the Right Bank and 55 euros for the Left Bank to/from CDG.

Don't speculate on things you don't know about!!!

Posted by
4819 posts

No, no, no!!! It is mandated by the authorities that the flat rate is 50 euros for the Right Bank and 55 euros for the Left Bank to/from CDG.

  • *Immediate Booking fee of 4 euro, Advance Booking fee of 7 euro will apply, if you order a taxi rather than go to a taxi rank.
  • *If you order a taxi and the driver has to wait for you, they are allowed to charge for wait time

FTFY....thought the fine print in addition to the flat rate is important to know.

Posted by
10784 posts

Good G-d is it so bad you have to plan ahead with index cards and backup plans? If that's true, I'm not going back to Paris. Two bad posts about Paris in a week. Last time I was there was 5 years ago, and things seemed better.

Posted by
346 posts

Well the last two years (17 &18) when we were in Paris the taxis drivers we had spoke as bad of French as me (and I suck at it, but at least what I say sounds like French words) and several of them didn’t seam to know the city very well and they ALL used GPS.
So yes having an address written down was a huge help

Posted by
10784 posts

No, its this part that is unfortunate

Out beside that I write Taxi - 55E flat rate. When the manager signals
me to a car, I hand this to the taxi driver when we are outside the
cab so he knows I know he knows...well you get it.

I have pronounced my address to taxi drivers in Hungarian 100 times, but last week I still ended up going the wrong way; so, I get that part.

Posted by
30 posts

I have been to Italy, France, Spain and Montenegro. The only place I have ever encountered being overcharged by a Taxi was in Paris. The four of us were one of three van taxi's for our group. The other two arrived at the hotel within minutes of each other with no issues. Our driver decided he didn't speak any English (but did when we were loading into the Van) and then refused to speak to the Hotel Lobby personnel when we called to complain that we were being taken for a Tour of Paris. I guess he suddenly stopped speaking French too.

We ended up at the Hotel when we threatened to call French Police.

We arrived one hour later than the first two Vans. We reluctantly paid him the official price without a Tip obviously.

Posted by
25 posts

I had the same thing in Nice when a taxi driver took one look at my wife with her overpacked 25” bag and knew we were going to get into that cab whatever the price. Cost me 15 Euros for about five blocks. To be fair, he did say the price before we got in but we did not realize our hotel was so close.

Ha! Sorry i have to be a "Topper" On our honeymoon (Barbados) we decided to go to a nice joint for a beautiful dinner. Before internet when the dinosaurs roamed the earth. We did not bother with the front desk asking about the location. We thought it would be in Roadtown a few miles away. Taxi is waiting outside the villa most of the time. We get in & tell him our choice of place to eat. He's a bit surprised and says...Are you sure?" We say you bet and settle back for a nice ride....next door! We paid & laughed the whole night. We walked home though

Posted by
1949 posts

Mark--

Rarely does a post here result in me laughing out loud. Your post, sir, made me do so.