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Tab on bad cabbies

Kajal Grant Hindocha
Thursday, July 31, 2014

THE Consumer Council says it is aware of cases where taxidrivers have dishonestly charged tourists and taken alternative routes to drive up taxi fares.

This comes after concerns were raised with the council on taxidrivers trying to cheat tourists in Suva by not taking the most direct routes to destinations.

"Taxidrivers who take longer routes do so with the aim to make money from tourists; they are dishonest and create a bad impression about Fiji to our visitors," Consumer Council CEO Premila Kumar said.

"While government and other stakeholders work hard to attract tourists, such actions only paint a bad picture.

"The tourism industry contributes significantly towards Fiji's economy, therefore, it is everyone's responsibility to help build this sector and sustain it."

Tamsyn Harris, a volunteer with FRONTIER, was outraged when she was charged almost triple to get home to Brown St from MacArthur St in Suva.

"I felt very uncomfortable and scared that night when the taxidriver kept taking us the wrong way," Ms Harris said yesterday.

"I had to direct the driver to my house, and had to keep reminding him where we were.

"It was obvious that because he thought we were tourists, he treated us differently."

Fiji Taxi Union general secretary Rishi Ram said it was hard to streamline and control all taxidrivers as they were of different ages and backgrounds.

"If you are a daily traveller and you know the price from point A to point B then you should give them that amount, and be sure to write down their registration number." Mr Ram said.

"This issue is one that is hard to combat but if a visitor takes down the registration number, time of the incident, pick up point, drop off point, and name of the driver then it will decrease the amount of unfair treatment experienced."

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