Related News

Home » Metro » Public Services

Taxis scam with dodgy meters

SOME taxis have installed devices in their cabs that make the meter tick faster or increase the distance traveled, local quality authorities warned yesterday.

The Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Inspection's taxi meter test office said it had found nearly 80 such devices in taxis in January and February, mostly targeting foreigners and tourists from other provinces at airports and railway stations.

Officials said even taxis from reputable companies were involved.

It's hard for passengers, especially those in the backseat, to know what's happening because drivers can control the devices by remote control or with a thin wire hidden under the gear stick.

Ren Yushi, a middle-school teacher, told Shanghai Daily it usually cost him about 30 yuan (US$4.40) to travel home from school, but one day he had to pay 40 yuan when the traffic wasn't bad. He didn't find out what was wrong until he compared the receipt with the one from the previous day.

"For the very same route, the receipt showed 3 kilometers more than usual," he said.

Officials said the devices are available at some auto part stores for only "several dozen yuan."

"Every taxi will come here for an annual test," said Xu Ping, director of the office. "The cabbies remove the device before sending their cars here but sometimes they forget."

The Shanghai Traffic Law Enforcement Team said it often inspects taxis around the city's two airports and railway stations. They will also crack down on people selling or manufacturing the devices.

"Most Shanghai people know about taxi fares but those who come to the city for the first time don't," said team official Wu Runyuan. "And they won't be aware of their rights after leaving the city."

Officials said consumers with receipts can call the city's consumer hot line, 12315, if they feel cheated. They will contact the consumers' rights watchdog to trace the suspected taxi.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend