Taxi Scams

An ugly mark ended my short tour recently, and it happened after I had landed at KLIA. I shall relate this tale as a matter of caution as I think that many people have fallen victim to such things in the past. Anyway, the tale has to do with the official KLIA limousine service.

After exiting the arrivals gate, I went to the ticket counter to buy a ticket home. The ticket counter girl asked me how many people there were and how many bags. I told her that I wanted a ticket for three people with three regular sized bags. So, she sold me a ticket to my destination for about RM80+ or so.

So, I happily went out to the taxi queue and gave them my ticket. This is where things started to go south. I was told that there was not enough space in the taxi to carry my luggage. The reason is because they had an NGV gas tank in the boot. They said that they can only carry one of my luggage bags, maybe two but definitely not three. They suggested that I upgrade my ticket to a premium ticket for a larger limousine with a bigger boot. This ticked me off thoroughly and to people who know me, you can probably imagine what happened next.

I went back into KLIA while making a big fuss along the way. When I reached the counter I slammed the ticket on the counter and generally threw a fit. I told the girl what had happened and she told me that a premium ticket would cost me RM30+ extra! So, I got totally pissed off and asked her for an official complaint form. She gave it to me and asked me if I would like to lodge a complaint against the driver. I looked at her wide-eyed and said no, I was going to lodge a complaint against her for lying to me and selling me a false ticket. In the process I told the next customer not to buy a taxi ticket from them because they will lie to you and sell you a ticket for three passengers in a taxi that can only fit one luggage bag.

This got the attention of their supervisor who took me aside and took me out to the taxi queue again. The supervisor told me that sometimes, these taxi drivers were being a bit troublesome and did not want to fit the bags in. He called for another taxi driver and instructed the person to fit the bags in. So this time, all three of my bags fit magically into the boot without any squeezing or stuffing. Honestly, I did not have any big bags with me, just two medium sized bags that weighed less than 20kg and a small carry-on luggage bag that weighed 10kg only.

So, I got my bags into the taxi and got home. I promised the supervisor that I would not lodge and official complaint since the problem was taken care of. However, I thought that I should mention it so that others may know and not be taken for a ride if such things happened in the future.

If they had insisted that I upgrade, I would have told them to shove it and to give me a full refund. I can assure them that I can take any other taxi, including the illegal touts at KLIA. I came to the airport with the exact same bags inside a far smaller KL taxi for a far cheaper price of only RM50+ or so. I don’t see why I should pay RM120+ or so for a much larger taxi for the same sized bags.

On the journey back, the taxi driver related to us how the business works and I really sympathise with them. The taxi drivers have a really hard time and I think that they deserve to have a better deal. Let us open up our KLIA taxis to anyone who wants to provide taxi services, instead of being monopolised by certain companies only – since the monopolies will eventually drive their customers to the touts.

Published by

Shawn Tan

Chip Doctor, Chartered/Professional Engineer, Entrepreneur, Law Graduate.

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