March 16, 2007

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American sailors fall foul of Hong Kong's most notorious, says the SCMP:

What started as a show of old-fashioned American hospitality has revealed a dark side to Hong Kong's normally professional and respected taxi drivers. Sailors who caught taxis from Fenwick Pier in Wan Chai to the American Women's Association "meals in the home" programme last week were charged hundreds of dollars extra for short trips.

One driver claimed he would call police if the sailors didn't pay his overpriced fare, while another charged a group of sailors HK$483 - providing a fake, written receipt when challenged - for a ride that would normally cost about HK$40. Another group was stung with a HK$100 "night" surcharge, while yet another driver asked sailors to pay an additional "per person" charge on top of the HK$60 on the meter...

Mrs Ryback said the sailors were told not to get into trouble while ashore, so they usually paid rather than have the police involved."Not only does this hurt the visitors, it's worse for the majority of hard-working and competent drivers in Hong Kong," she said.

One hopes the good ladies of Fenwicks and Wanchai are paying attention.

It's probably time to add to my Hong Kong taxi guide.

posted by Simon on 03.16.07 at 12:09 PM in the Hong Kong people category.


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