Anyone in procurement who has visited global suppliers without the red carpet treatment has been taken for a ride in a taxi in some global locale. It's part of the adventure. I remember nearly a decade ago when I was in India with my long-time friend and Transpac Access co-founder, Carl Greppin. We took two taxis from the Taj in Mumbai to the airport. I got there first and knew how much it should cost. Carl got their second and right when the cabbie asked for about 10 bucks more than he should, I snapped the money out of my good friend's hand and gave the driver the correct amount.
This story repeats itself thousands of times a day. I've had cabbies in China, Thailand, India, Central America and Europe try to take me for a ride. In Bangkok, I even had to wake a taxi diver once at 4:00 in the morning while he was driving 55 MPH on the highway. And it even happened to me in Chicago last week (I had a cabbie whose meter was fast). But where are the worst of the worst locations for taxi rip-offs. The above linked MSNBC article has some great stories and examples. In it, the authors note specifics on what threats to watch out for in different countries.
To wit, "What should you worry about most? The Mexican kidnappers? The Russian thugs? The Sao Paulo gridlock? Collisions with elephants in Thailand? In reality, your biggest problem will be simple scams or miscommunications that escalate into shouting matches hindered by language barriers. Taxi drivers around the world have perfected the art of loud righteous indignation that's meant to intimidate, especially when they attract a crowd of curious onlookers who back them up and enjoy the show. It's up to you to decide when to cut your losses, pay up and get out of the situation."
If you have a few minutes, this is a pragmatic article to curl up to. Trust me, knowledge will save you money, hassle and inconvenience. And don't miss the interactive slides. That's where all the meat of the individual country intelligence is!
- Jason Busch