Have you had the misfortune to unwittingly flag down one of these SMRT’s so-called premium limo black cab, thinking it will probably just cost a little more than the regular cabs?
How wrong can you be.
The flag down rate for this Chrysler Orh Chia (黑车 or Black Cab) is S$5. In addition, surcharges start at S$4.75 IMMEDIATELY. That’s not all, the meter ticks up at S$0.30/unit instead of S$0.20/unit.
Comparatively, a white Mercedes cab cost $S3.20 for flag down, but the metered fare is the same as other basic cabs at S$0.20/unit.
I kanna one of these Orh Chia some time back, on the way to the airport with my family. The fare came to almost S$40 compared to under $20 normally. The cab driver did not informed us of the much higher fare upon boarding, although I did saw the S$5 flag down rate However, I failed to notice the higher metered fare and surcharge until we were already on the expressway.
The ride was no more comfortable than usual and the drive was no more polite either. We certainly did not feel anything “premium” about the whole ride other than the price.
We treated it as a lesson learned not to ever flag this kind of Orh Chia if we see it on the road again or in a taxi queue.
Just two days ago, a friend of mine, Mint tweeted how she kanna one of these Orh Chia unwittingly and ended up paying a much higher cab fare than expected.
A search on Google for the term “Black Chrysler Cab Singapore” revealed many other such unhappy experiences by other commuters:
That got me thinking… shouldn’t it be the onus of the cab operator to properly inform the consumer of the kind or services and fees we should be expecting when we flag down a cab? Yes, I know there’s a sticker on the windscreen stating the flag-down and metered fares on individual cabs, but is that enough?
I know these cabs are marketed as premium limousine cabs for premium commuters. There’s nothing wrong with charging a premium price for those who SPECIFICALLY requested for such a service. But flag-down commuters? It is not the same isn’t it?
At the very least, this Orh Chia should be banned from taxi queues where commuters may feel obliged to ride it even when they know the cost is much higher.
Consumers’ rights are trampled upon everyday in Singapore.
The least I can do to protest against this SMRT’s unscrupulous Orh Chia is to KPKB on my blog and hope to educate a few more Singaporeans so they won’t fall into this same trap.
For a 90-minute taxi ride from Changi Airport to Jurong West, Mr A. Kochumadhavan paid $82.59.
On Dec 23 last year, he arrived at Changi Airport Terminal 3 after a 27-hour flight from Lisbon, Portugal, and got into a black SMRT Chrysler cab, unaware that such taxis command premium fares.
Traffic on the ECP was heavy, and Mr Kochumadhavan arrived home 90 minutes after he had entered the cab.
Cabbies whom The New Paper spoke to said that this is the steepest fare they have heard of in all their years of driving a taxi.
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