A few weeks ago I had lunch with some Indian business partners. During the lunch they told us that upon arrival from Mumbai, they had paid RMB 626 for a 19 minute taxi drive from the Longyang Road Maglev Station to a hotel in the Pudong financial center. They knew the amount was too much, but the driver had used the meter, and the figure was indeed RMB 626.
I asked them for the receipt, that they had luckily kept. It turned out that the driver had added RMB 600 in toll fees to the actual amount of RMB 26. Because the receipt is only in Chinese they could not read that of course, and they had paid up.
One of our people then called the taxi company, to complain about what had happened. We faxed them the receipt (the fax number is still written on the receipt), but they later replied that the taxi driver’s identification number is not correct. This means he probably changed his ID number in the taxi meter software.
I hate it when these things happen, it gives Shanghai a bad name. You read about cheating cabbies in the local paper sometimes, but normally only when there is a crackdown. I assume the reports are just some isolated cases, and this happens much more frequently – especially at Longyang Road station where lots of foreigners arrive and there is no supervision like on the airport. Too bad we could not nab this taxi driver.