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Author Topic: HANOI AIRPORT TAXI SCAMS, BE CAREFUL!  (Read 4789 times)

mjoelvoss

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HANOI AIRPORT TAXI SCAMS, BE CAREFUL!
« on: January 19, 2014, 06:42:01 PM »
Been there, done that...

Flight arrival delayed and finished with baggage and customs around 11pm....

Guy wearing green jacket approached and said official airport taxi and showed ID. Appeared very friendly, asked where we are from, welcome to Hanoi, etc. Showed the way to the money exchange and ATM. Even chatted in Vietnamese with the teller of the money exchange. He said 800 dong to Old Quarter, very far away, around 1 to 1.5hrs, lots of other people waiting outside for taxi, late at night, etc. Teller hears the amount he said and did not comment about the price. I asked again if the price was ok, teller did not say anything contrary so we thought it was the norm. Green sweater guy then called someone to bring over the taxi.

He carried one of our backpacks and ran to the taxi, so we had to chase him. He got inside and asked for payment immediately. Said don't worry I know your hotel, I will give you receipt and I will sign the receipt... Thinking about 'meter accelerators' and night differential (not followed in Vietnam btw, unlike in Malaysia and Singapore), feeling very tired and sleepy, we agreed...

Since he knew we were not used to the currency, he grabs the money from our hands and says, I will show you (this btw often happens in Vietnam, they would even pull out the bills themselves from your wallet, saying I show you).....He then attempts to pocket 500,000 dong while he confused us by returning the smaller denominations rapidly...and gets 800,000 dong (around 40USD for what we found out was only a 300-350,000 dong ride)...

After getting the money, he steps out of the cab quickly without a word...here comes another guy...Green sweater guy says need not to pay anything, gives receipt, says new guy will take you to the hotel - all from outside the car and runs away...

Taxi speeds out...so no time to chase green sweater guy or ask, new guy barely speaks English...
Once out of the highway, takes us to poorly lit area, minimal cars passing, what appears to be a toll gate a few meters ahead....stops the taxi, says pay 900,000 dong for toll for another highway...says in broken English can not pass unless pay...shows a ticket showing 900,000 dong (entirely in Vietnamese).... says if you not pay can not pass, 800,000 only for taxi, you pay me, pay me, shows empty wallet, yells and finger points to toll gate, yells some more in Vietnamese..

We said ok we will pay, just pass thru the toll gate and we will pay the toll fee directly to the teller if there is...he screams some more...some other cars arrive...he finally moves the taxi and we pass the gate but man at the gate did not collect anything from us nor from the other cars following our cab...

He then takes us to a road more poorly lit than the previous one, below a bridge with one long wall covering the other lane, no houses ahead, only one side open but that is the one open to the river...got really afraid, I think this would have been the worst part - he would have pointed a gun or a knife...luckily, a group of students in bicycles and motorbikes came and when he tried to slow down and let the students pass us, other cars came and by that time, we were already at a well-lit area...

once we reached the hotel, we said we would ask the concierge about the toll fee and the taxi fare...later, we found out there was no toll fee, we took the long way, and they charged us more than twice the amount... Even if the hotel guards intervened, taxi guy says it was another person who took our money, his pockets are empty, and he was not asking for any additional money...

MODUS/TOTAL SCAM ATTEMPTS:

1. OVERCHARGING

2. MONEY GRABBING and POCKETING

3. BOGUS TOLL FEES

4. LONG ROUTE

5. possible meter accelerator

6. GUN or KNIFE THREATS

7. INNOCENT PLEA, other guy not working with me

LESSONS: Book the hotel taxi, arrange the transfer service in advance via reliable taxi company like Noibai Airport Taxi, ( at www.noibaiairporttaxi.org) go only for metered taxi monitored by the government (Mei linh-green and white, Hanoi, and Hanoi tourist), pay in smaller bills, know the currency and conversions, ask usual fare, ask usual route, bring a map, insist on the change, ask to be brought to the hotel and pay there, know the phone numbers of the police, hotel, etc., ask a buddy to take note of the taxi plate number or better yet take pictures of the cab and driver...

Hope this does not happen to anyone else...Thank you and travel safe.



duniamenjawab

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Re: HANOI AIRPORT TAXI SCAMS, BE CAREFUL!
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 10:33:13 AM »

An interesting discussion is worth comment. There’s no doubt that that you need to write more about this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically folks don’t
discuss such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

Dunia Menjawab - Biarkan Dunia Yang Menjawab

 

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