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:
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:
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.