I’m Never Getting in a Taxi in Vienna Again!

I should never say never, but I’ve had it with taxis in Vienna and their odd pricing. Just the other day, I had to get from the Vienna train station to the OAMTC to get a International Driver’s Permit (I’ll explain why later). Anyway I was in a rush and so I just hopped in a cab outside for the quick 9 min ride as seen on the map below:

OAMTC

I was a little busy taking care of work emails on the way, and did not notice until later that the meter in the car didn’t seem to be functioning properly (the fare never changed from 8 euro). I didn’t make much of this because my previous 2 cab rides also didn’t seem to have moving meters.

After arriving, I got out the 8 Euros I thought I owed the driver, but he nonchalantly yelled 20 Euros. At this point I was a little irritated, and I politely asked him to show the meter. Instead of doing so, he seemed to want to mutter in German and yell 20 Euros. I mentioned that my previous ride in a cab from the Park Hyatt to the station was only 13 Euros. He yet again yelled 20 Euros and seemed to want to make a scene.

I didn’t exactly have time to argue so I paid the fare and he virtually zoomed off before I could even completely shut the door.

Remembering the incident, I ordered myself an UBER on the way back, which showed a fare estimate of 5-6 Euros.  The driver showed up maybe 8 minutes after the ride request in a Mercedes E Class and drove me back over to the station within minutes. A few moments later I saw a notification with the following invoice:

 

uber oamtc

 

Every time I get in a cab nowadays, I get the same feeling as when I walk out of a car dealership: that someone had just conned me. I’m increasingly leaning toward using UBER and Lyft not just for convenience sake (credit card acceptance), but out of principle: at least you know that everyone gets a similar rate.

It’s a sad story when a certain percentage of cab drivers ruin the scene for legitimate drivers who go by the book and make a living from driving taxis. However this has become increasingly common in the realm of taxis I’ve been in recently, especially in the United States. There needs to be a proper regulatory action regarding taxi meters, otherwise I don’t see any just grounds for taxi drivers moaning about UBER and Lyft taking all their business. Anyway we all know that I ramble, so I’ll leave it at that.

What are your thoughts? Have you had this happen before?

If you have the license plate information, how do you report such incidents?

TAKEAWAY: As a rule of thumb,  don’t get in a taxi while in Vienna . Always wait for an UBER. It seems too often that the cab fare is based on how much the driver feels he should get paid, rather than the meter. 

  • Kasperlos

    Two months ago: From Wien airport to about 1 or so miles past the city center the cost was 45 Euros, the ride back was 30 Euros. I agree, taking a cab is a risk to your wallet. I’m shocked that cabbies, with cell phone camerascommon, are brazen, bold enough to rook people. But that is a sign, possibly, that the taxi regulators don’t do much regulating. Like much of anything these days, it’s a racket – globally. The city hikes medallion/permit/license fees on cab drivers and some drivers essentially resort to robbery to pay.

    • grabamile

      Wow that’s quite a bit. My UBER ride from the airport to the Park Hyatt Vienna (in the centre) cost 30 Euros and that was with 4 passengers and luggage. I even tipped the guy 5 Euros, and he was super happy.

      In general, I’ve found that Spain does a good job regulating its cabs esp in Madrid and Barcelona where there are no UBER or Lyft, but some seemed to want a hefty tip….

  • Tania

    We had this experience also, just yesterday.
    Not happy at all.
    The driver first up pretended to not know the street, have any english, or have a GPS ? He took us for a long ride.. we knew the trip as we had done it a few times already and even offered to SHOW HIM THE WAY! He just ignored us and took lots of turns in the long direction.
    So appalling.
    I will never catch a cab in Vienna again, EVER, It was a black cab. What is the name of that company? We wish we got the number plate to complain, but too late. Tomorrow I will try UBER in Vienna always reliable so far in Australia at least.
    Carry a MAP and your knowledge when you catch a cab in Vienna, because they will assume you are a dumb tourist. sad and not at all hospitable.

    • Sad thing is the backlash they receive from taxi drivers everywhere.