Monday, November 10, 2008

Even now...the taxis try to rip you off!

Wow...what an experience. I am always amazed at how the cabs try to rip you off. I don't often take taxis in Italy. I prefer to walk and enjoy the city. That noted going to and from the airport I take a cab, getting from the train station to my hotel, and if I have to get across town in the rain.

Kristen and I picked up a cab on Saturday morning to go from Rome to the airport. We picked up the cab at the piazza at the top of the Spanish steps in front of our hotel. The taxi stand has a sign stating that rides to the Airport are 40,00 Euro and luggage is free. I knew that the rate to get to and from the airport was set by Italy at 40,00. The cab driver placed our bags in the trunk, got in and started the meter. I knew he was going to try to get more out of me than the standard rate. He took the longest way to FCO that I have ever seen, he went through the FCO cab stand to get his ticket, then he dropped us off. The meter read 67,00. We quickly jumped out of the car and grabbed our bags. I went into my wallet and discovered I only had a 50,00 bill. I told the driver the regulated rate was 40,00 and he went into the BS about it being so early, and he placed the bags in the trunk so that changed the standard fare to a metered fare. I gave him my 50,00 tried to get change (knowing that wouldn't happen) and walked away.

Another time in Rome we jumped in a cab from Fiori to get to our hotel at the top of the steps. It was raining and we had a few drinks so we didn't want to walk. As we started to drive away I noted the meter was running with 6,50 on it. I didn't say anything, but when we got to our destination I only paid the delta between 6,50 to 10,00 and just walked away.

Another time in Rome walking from Termini (train station) to the cab stand a guy walked up to Kristen and me and asked if we needed a taxi. I had no intention of taking his ride, but decided to see how bad he was going to try to rip me off. I told him our destination and he offered 30,00 Euro including the bags. The fare in a taxi picked up in the taxi line would only be 15,00 or less so I laughed and walked away. He offered to lower his fare to 25,00.

Taxi Tips:

1. Ask how much the fare will be to your destination before you get into the car.
2. Don't take rides from unauthorized cars at the airports and train stations.
3. Always get in the cab line to insure the car is a real taxi.
4. Pay only the standard fare of 40,00 euro to and from the airport to the center of Rome.
5. If the meter is running just pay the difference between the cost and where the meter started.
6. Pay and walk away. They know they are ripping you off and won't do anything if you pay and walk.
7. Have change so you don't have to give a larger bill. Harder to get change back than pay less.
8. Bag charge is BS. Don't pay it.