Sunday, 15 May 2011

Rogue Driver SHD352T Holland Road

Ms Sarita Tan informs the following on 14/05/2011:
I hailed a Trans Cab taxi at Holland road for a short ride to Minden road. I had my maid and my baby along with me. I hailed a trans cab taxi, I sat inside the taxi after my maid and my baby. After I closed the door, the driver asked me my destination. After I told him I wanted to go to minden road, he asked me where is it. I told him its very close and I will tell him when to take a right turn. He rudely told me to get off the taxi as he was going straight. I told him he should have told me that before we sat down and since it’s a very small right turn off the main road, I don’t want to get off.
He says “ you think you are a star, I will take you to police station”. By now he was shouting and angry and had started the taxi. I had no choice and I said ok lets go to police station. Then he says “ you are acting funny, I will take you to cemetry”. Now I was scared, I panicked and called 999 and complained that I have no idea why and where this taxi driver is taking me so please tell me what to do. The lady on the line took down the taxi no. twice and after I got down from the taxi suggested that I go to the nearest police station. I was in the middle of a road with a baby and another kid waiting to be picked up. The suggestion was good but I wish I had got that before I got down from the taxi. I had to walk 10 minutes to pick up my kid.
Of course in hindsight it would have been easier to just get down the taxi and take another one. But what is more important is to know whether it was right for the taxi driver to stop the taxi and let me sit down if he was willing to go only straight. And if he had that big a constraint and for some reason he had waited till we all had sat down and closed the door, could he have told me to get off the taxi less rudely, if expecting a apology or a smile was too much to expect. Or was it too much of a pain for him to take a short detour to take his passengers esp with a baby instead of shouting and threatening to take to police station and then to cemetery. And then drop me off in the middle of a main road.
How safe was it for him to drive in such a angry state of mind? Should I have just sat in the taxi and gone to police station with him? Why was he willing to take a detour to police station and waste my time and his time, but not a 1 minute detour? What made him so unhappy to take a passenger to the destination after making them sit down? He had the option of not stopping the taxi, or putting up shift change / on call sign. Do the drivers need some training on how to refuse a passenger or how to be communicate clearly and in time without causing inconvenience / insulting another human being.
You should have just called his bluff to 'drive to the cemetery'. Such a lazy driver would not have dared to actually do that - which is obvious from how he changed tact the moment you said alright to driving to the Police Station. As horrendous taxi drivers are a 'normal occurrence', the Police don't really take it too seriously as a matter of law & order. But we strongly encourage you not to let the matter rest as this driver is the type of terror driver that would probably leave someone dying on the road if he were to knock them down. Please lodge a report with LTA through their online feedback form which takes no more than 5 minutes to fill out. LTA has no choice but to take action against such drivers and when there are multiple complaints against a driver, they will be justified in removing the driver from our roads.

Most of these terror drivers are the way they are because they get away without repercussions time and time again because of passengers who are not well-informed or who are too busy to follow-up. Imagine if a rogue taxi driver only gets reported once every 10 incidents. The first time will be a warning, the second a warning again, and the third will be when he actually gets terminated. That means a total of 30 instances of terrorising the passenger before he is actually removed from the roads. And the best part, he will be able to join a second cab company after his first termination. That's a total of 60 instances! If all of us immediately report our experiences to LTA (and not the cab companies), this number can become as little as 5.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Unhelpful Driver SHD3035

Mr Winston informs the following on 18/04/2011:
I like to share with your readers my experience with Comfort Taxi SHD 3035 this morning (18 Apr 11 @ 0730hrs).

I have booked a taxi via Comfort Cablink to the airport for my mother and sister. They have 2 luggages with her. So, the taxi arrived and he opened the car boot. I took my mum luggage to the rear of the taxi, left it there then proceed back to pick up the second luggage. When I'm back with the second luggage, there he was, standing beside the luggages and grunting very rudely "You can't help with the lugagge??? I'm a driver!! I don't carry luggages! I can hurt my hand!!! Can you pick up your luggages??"

I do not expect the driver to help with my mum luggages althought that is a plus point. However, the grunting is uncalled for. I hate to think, the first person a tourist met when he step out of Changi Airport is this particular taxi driver.
Please consider lodging a feedback comment to LTA through their online feedback form as this will elicit the best follow-up from the cab companies. As unfortunate as it sounds, many readers - myself included - are not surprised by this behaviour. In fact, we would be shocked if the driver had been helpful and courteous!

Monday, 9 May 2011

Atrocious Behaviour After Accident SHC8107M

Ms Annie Leo reports the following on 11/01/2011:
Comfort Case Ref 2011/03/3885
Taxi SHC8107M
Driver : NG Juan Khin
Met with taxi accident, I ended up with head and spine injuries etc. Driver Ng Juna Khin was not concerned about my condition after the accident, he cared only for his own car damages. Since day of accident, he had not called me to follow up on this case. For 2 months, I had to suffer and coping with my recovery. When I feel slightly better now, and raised the case to Comfort (with pictures of my injuries, attached), the responses:
From Customer Service (Jean Ho)
Quote [We have conducted an investigation and have issued a warning to the driver for the alleged incident. He has also been reminded to adhere strictly to the service standards as set out by the company. The complaint has been included in his service record and we will monitor his performance closely.]

From other employee (Doris Lim Puay Noi)
Quote [Our driver has reported the accident]
Quote [Please do not construe these requirements as an admission of liability on the part of our insurer]
We are talking about passenger's safety and well-being. Is this not taken too lightly? We are talking about Comfort, who owns the biggest fleet of taxi in Singapore! And I, remained their regular who book taxi weekly before or after these incidents!
I have attached a picture of the driver, who had stayed out of car to discuss his claims for half an hour, until I had to insist for an ambulance. My injury was visually seen, with a hematoma like 10 inches big! And, the driver has never called me to check on my condition, not even on day of accident. And, I believe I was in a LIMO cab!
I really think that such irresponsible and selfish drivers should be not on the roads! And, Comfort Taxi made me feel like my life was worth less than an ant!
It is truly unfortunate that the cab companies do not care enough about passenger well-being. The focus seems to be to earn our money and keep their costs to the absolute minimum. This is the reason why I started the website dedicated to shaming these atrocious elements of society.

Rude Driver SHB5174 Club Street

Ms Sze-Hui Goh informs the following on 14/03/2011:
I am writing in to highlight this particular rude taxi driver who is supposedly providing a "premium" service by driving one of SMRT's black Chrsyler Cab number SHB 5174 (my husband cannot remember the prefix at the end).

This incident happened on last Thursday, 10 March 2011 at about 8.45pm along Club Street right in front of a wine bar called W Bar. My husband met a couple of his friends after work for a drink before coming home for dinner with me, and was already running late as he was supposed to be home before 9 pm for dinner. This cab pulled up along Club Street whilst my husband was waiting for a cab, and several passengers got out of the cab. My husband then got in after the passengers alighted and politely asked the cab driver to take him to Stevens Road where we stayed. The cab driver gave an emphatic, "no". My husband was a bit taken aback as he has never encountered this in the 17 years he's lived in Singapore, and asked the driver, why not? Your light is on, so doesn't that mean that you are taking passengers? The cab driver rudely said no again. This time, my husband said, look, Stevens Road is just round the corner and not far, so why can't you take me there? You're obliged to take me, you are not supposed to say no if your light is turned on.

The cab driver then said, you are drunk so get out of my taxi or I will call the police. My husband said fine, I am not drunk and go ahead and call the police. I will wait here for them. The cab driver then got out of the cab, locked the doors of his taxi and then proceeded to call the police. My husband was furious by this time as he has never faced this kind of attitude in Singapore. He had to grab his computer bag and climbed from the back of the taxi to the driver seat in order to let himself out of the cab. He then stood by the cab and shouted at the driver - what do you think you are doing, locking me in a cab? Go ahead and call the police, I will wait here for them to arrive. The cab driver panicked, hopped into the cab and sped off.

I am Singaporean and having lived here all my life, I have never encountered behaviour like this. If I was the one wrongfully confined in the cab, I would have been so mad there's no telling what I would have done then. I emphasise that my husband was NOT drunk - he's had a few drinks but he does not get drunk so easily within the hour or so spent at the wine bar, especially since he was coming home for dinner. He also called me at 8.52pm right after the incident to tell me what happened to him and why he was late.

In any event, I am minded to make a police report as well as to write to SMRT to take action against this cab driver. This is a case of wrongful confinement which is an offence under the Penal Code. I would be grateful if you or anyone else could advise what sort of action we should take against this cab driver.

More importantly, this also serves as a warning to everyone of this cab driver. Thank you.
Do not bother with the cab company as they will just try to spin this as a dispute or disagreement. Go straight to the Police or lodge a report with LTA through their online feedback form. We agree that this could be a criminal offence and the driver needs to answer for his actions or explain himself.

Confrontational Driver SHC9658M HDB Hub

Ms Elvin Chong informs the following on 24/02/2011:
This happen on yesterday 23/02/11 (12.45pm to 1.15pm), my husband and I are on the way to HDB Hub, at the traffice junction my husband was at the lane to turn right, on our left side this Trans Cab SHC9658M last min signal and without waiting just turn in. My husband has to emergency brake & horn at him, luckly the car behind us is not too close to us. My husband get down to clarify with him, he raise his voice said he has the right. Without waiting my husband walk away he just drive away and there are passenger in his taxi.

My husband patience was being challenged, he follow his taxi. He drive into the HDB Hub drop the passenger down, my husband overtake his taxi and park infront of him and claify with him again. Just as my husband get down, the taxi driver get down too. Before my husband open his mouth to talk, the taxi driver use his middle finger point at my husband, foul language scold my husband. My husband ask him to wait here for the policeman, he raise his vocie again and said go ahead I dont scare, call and get the policeman look for me.

While my husband trying to made a call to policeman, his try to block the taxi driver way. But to me surprise the taxi driver drive his taxi trying to knock my husband, luckly my husband move backward. My husband patience was being challenged again, he raise his voice to the taxi driver to get down but the taxi driver never. The taxi was blocking others, my husband has no choice to let him go.

Immediate, I make a call (6555333 - Trans Cab) to complaint at the taxi, they get me to call another number (65556666). But I have been calling for about 1 hr from the incident nobody pick up the call. Send a e-mail using my Ipad to their feedback mail a error. Is there anybody working?? Is the feedback mail is exist??

To be a taxi driver, the requirement as per below. Why there is such kind of taxi driver exist? Is it the taxi driver know that when we made a complaint to their office is useless so they dont afraid?
  • Prerequisites: Singaporean & above 30 yrs old
  • Holding Class 3 license for at least 1 yr
  • Able to Speak & Read simple English
  • (Bring along your highest qualification cert, if any)
This seems like an engineered design to tire the complainant out - if it takes too long, many people will just give up and not complain. As usual, we find many instances which show that the cab companies couldn't be the least bothered to improve the industry practices/behaviour but are only interested in taking our money through the idiot drivers they hire. This is clearly a case of intimidation and attempted vehicular assault so you can lodge a Police report and forward it to LTA through their online feedback form. Good luck with chasing this taxi-driver-from-hell down and we hope you do not give up until you achieve justice.

Errant Driver SHD3260E Hougang

Ms Charlene Chen informs the following on 17/02/2011:
I am writing in with reference to my dreadful experience with errant comfort taxi driver Mr Neo Hock Huat of plate number SHD3260E, 16 Fec 2011, 2141hrs. My friend and I flagged a cab outside NUS. We told him that we are heading two places, Hougang Ave 5 first then Ave 9. We asked him which destination is more convenient and faster. As I frequently take cab from NUS and back home and would think that going AVE 9 then proceed to AVE 5 would be more appropriated however he replied that the time taken for either route are approximating the same, presuming he know the best way, we went go ahead going to Ave 5 first.

He took the farrer road then CTE and here's our dreadful experience begins. Upon reaching Braddell Road (Comfort Delgro), he did not turn exit out to enter CTE. Instead he went straight to Braddell underpass -> Bartley Road -> Upper Serangoon Road. We confronted him asking why he did not take the CTE and exit Ang Mo Kio Ave 3. His answer was this way faster. However this is not the case, if you stay near the area you should know that the road is filled with traffic lights and minor jams. Reaching Serangoon MRT, he asked if want to go to AVE 9 first and he was about to turn to Yio Chu Kang Road and we stopped him. We told him to go AVE 5 if proceed in his way it be a big detour. Bypassing Kovan MRT, I told the taxi fare is a lot higher than the usual fare. He responds was we did not tell him which route to take and how to go.

Upon reaching our first destination AVE 5, Mr Neo Hock Huat wanted to use his detour tricks again. He wanted to go by Ave 8. I told him to U-TURN and take the AVE 4 route. Furious that he's detouring, I question of his errant act. His attitude was rude and kept mentioning that I did not instruct him which route to take. I was fumed with this answer. As a commuter, am I suppose to instruct taxi driver which is the best route to take? As an experience taxi driver, shouldn't they know on the routes better than us? I told him I will lodge a complaint for detouring and he can drive me to the police station as I'm reporting him as errant taxi driver. Upon hearing this, he stopped him meter and he responded by saying he will not charge me for the fare. I rejected him down and will still pay him the usual fare and still file a complaint on him. Mr Neo chided me telling me to go ahead with the complaint. The fare was $17.60 the fare could be higher if I have not stopped him from detouring. In the end, I paid him $14 - the usual taxi fare.

I urge the company to take disciplinary actions on Mr Neo to help the taxi industry weed out these errant drivers that have damaged the reputations of all taxi drivers.
The fact that he was willing to forego the fare when threatened with a complaint suggests he wilfully tried to take a longer route. It is rather amazing how these drivers do not have a basic sense of integrity or at least fairness in taking the route they know is best.

Uncivilised Driver Silver Cab 6091 Thomson Road

Mr Ophiucus Asclepius informs the following on 31/01/2011:
To everyone out there, if you happen to see a Toyota Crown Silver Cab with the licence plate number 6091, do not take the cab, unless you want to have the same bad experience as I had. His identity was neither displayed on the windscreen nor was there any terminal on the dashboard to display his identity.

It was on Sun 30 Jan 2011 at about 7.30 pm when my wife and I took the cab along Thomson road. We have explicitly told him the route we wished to take. There was no response whatsoever to the instructions that we gave him. Very often he would "act blur" and tended to take a longer route. Before every turn, we had to direct him back, otherwise he would stray somewhere else like a stray dog. At one point, he ignored my direction and drove on with a forceful acceleration. When I repeated my instruction to him, he suddenly hurled a lot of Hokkien vulgar words and demanded in Mandarin, "Why, you not happy, ar?"

It is sad that a World Class city like Singapore can have such uncivilised taxi drivers on the roads. I hope the authorities would take steps to remove these creatures before they do any greater damage to the country. They are a real disgrace to the country and should not even be allowed to stray into the frontline service industry.
The cab companies have no interest in making Singapore a better place - only in making money. Sadly, there are many of these drivers behave as though we have hijacked and forced them to drive us somewhere. The best course of action would be to lodge a complaint with the regulatory authority through their online feedback form.

Reckless Driving SHB8859 Yishun Ave 4

Mr Gary informs the following on 08/01/2011
I am writing in to lodge a complaint against a reckless taxi driver.
Taxi Registration: SHB8859. Cannot remember the last prefix, should be H or B.
Date and time of incident: 08 Jan 2011, 0140hrs
Location: Along Yishun Ave 4
Here is my report on the incident: I was driving along Yishun Ave 4 , a Blue Comfort Taxi suddenly serve into my lane without giving the intention by signaling .My car was almost bumper to bumper with him , I swerved to the right while sounding my horn to avoid his vehicle hitting mine. I almost hit the right side of the kerb. . Instead of going back to his lane after I sound my horn, the next moment without warning he jammed his brakes and I swerved to right to avoid a rear end collision resulting in my car skidding and almost hitting the center divider.
I followed him and he stop eventually. I was surprised that a passenger was in his car. I asked him why he was driving in such a reckless manner, the answer I got was "Not happy ah? Call police lo". I walk away at this point of time. It seems that your company has trouble conveying this view to your drivers.
I would wish to see appropriate actions taken against this driver by your company in the next few days, if not I regret to inform you of the following. I will report this case of of reckless or negligent driving I witness from representatives of your company, I will write to following parties.
1. CEO of Comfort Taxis
2. The Traffic Police
3. The Land Transport Authority
4. The office of the Minister of Transport
Regards, Gary
It is amazing how nonchalant these drivers are with their dangerous driving. In any other profession, such an attitude would be stamped out immediately but the cab companies turn a blind eye time and time again. We don't expect a different response than what is normally given and sincerely hope that you will pursue the matter with the higher authorities. However, if you do not, then we hope you will at least proceed directly with an LTA complaint using their online feedback form.

Let's get interactive

Owing to all the visits and comments received via email, I think it only makes sense to migrate to a blog-like interface. Hence, here is the new Singapore Taxi Driver website from 2011 onwards.