Transcab Driver is a Cheat + Was Vulgar

I flew back to Singapore at 1.40 in the morning today. Our Jet Star flight was delayed, David and I took separate cabs so he could get straight home to sleep instead of detouring and dropping me off first (he had to wake up for work at 6).

I know that taxi drivers have to queue up at the taxi ranks and they want to have a long ride instead of taking passengers close by to places like Pasir ris, Tampines, Changi. That's why I always tip them generously, over and above the surcharge that all passengers (regardless of how close of far a destination) will have to pay.
As I wheeled my luggage to a red transcab, the driver, all smiling, takes my bag from me. As he was putting it into the boot, I told him I was going to Pasir ris.

He tells me angrily, "Alamak you, Taiko lah. Kapala Bhutoh you!"

And slams my bag into the boot. I don't know what Taiko is. I think Bhutoh means cock/penis.

I am an idiot. I should have got out of the cab immediately. But I didn't. Then I suddenly thought, OMG, I better have small change for this guy because he's going to shout at me again if he has to break a $50.

I looked into my wallet, and saw plenty of tens, so no problem, then I look at the meter, and noticed, the surcharge was $9 plus. This was just barely 30 seconds of being in the taxi.

I thought it was strange, but I didn't pursue the matter. He was driving very rough and fast. Obviously pissed off with me living in Pasir ris. Then a call comes in, he speaks on the phone (handsfree), and he speaks loudly, but in Chinese (maybe a dialect), and all I could recognise was - Hijack, Pasir ris, nabei, Cha bo, Bhutoh.

When coming off the expressway, he shouts impatiently, "Exit where!?"

By this time, I had already taken down his license plate number .

When I got back (whole drive was barely 5 minutes). The fare came up to $6.70, plus the surcharge and midnight charge it was a total of $17.20 . I suspect I have been cheated at the initial starting point when the starting surcharge was already $9plus.

(I asked David later on how much the starting surcharge in his cab was, he said $4.80. )

Anyway, I gave him $20, and said he could keep the change. I did not get a thank you, he was still just pissed off, didn't bother to get out of the cab to get my luggage out (but I was expecting that he wouldn't help anyway)

As I exited the cab, I left my passenger door open, because quite frankly, I felt like he would just drive off before I can fully get my heavy luggage out of the boot. So I thought if the passenger door is opened, he can't drive off.

Then When I got my luggage out of the boot, instead of shutting the boot and the passenger side door, I just felt like.. WTF, he's so rude to me, cheated me, I let him keep the change, and yet he is still so hostile towards me. He can shut his own damn doors.

So I just left.

As I got into the lift, I could hear him slamming the doors shut.

I got home, and lodged a complaint with Transcab. The staff said that I would get a response in 7 - 1o days. That's a long while. But I don't mind, as long as they really look into it and not sweep it under the rug.

I've never been in such a hostile situation before... but I wish I had stood my ground sooner. I wish I had got out of the cab that very moment when he scolded me with vulgarities instead of putting up with that shit. Also, why am I such an idiot? I should have asked him to verify the surcharge.... and made a fuss about it.. instead of letting him keep the change some more. I was just too shocked and scared

Whatever, I hope I never see this asshole driver again.

Also... now I am scared to take taxi from airport!!

UPDATE: 02 Jan 2012
Shin Min newspapers picked up this story today, was on front and second page.
Wish they chose a nicer pic of me (lol).

And my friend Kuen told me that UFM100.3 was just talking about my taxi ride.

I still have not heard from Transcab, it's been 7 days since my complaint.

Update 22nd Feb
Finally got a response. Someone rang to say the driver has been "counselled" and that they are returning me the excess that he charged me (I don't know how much this is). 


  1. Anonymous6:58 pm

    maybe it took into account the $5 surcharge from the airport, while the other cab didnt? (i think some cabs dont reflect it on the meter immediately)

    1. Anonymous11:09 am

      I am also a cabbie myself.
      To clearify your surcharge doubt, it's as following:
      Airport surcharge: all time at$3/- except on weekend 5pm-Midnight, Friday to Sunday, $5/-
      Peak hour additional fare indicated on top left corner of the meter is 25% of the actual fare. Implement from 6pm-midnight 12/sharp.
      Midnight additional fare is 50% on top of actual fare.

  2. yup. it's the airport surcharge.

    But I did tell the staff tht when I called in to complain abt this driver. and no, the surcharge is never as high as $9plus when u step into a cab.

  3. Thing is they just don't appreciate having business. If he really wanna pick someone up to a far away places, he should have just put the plate to where he's going but probably for the next 1-2hrs or more at that timing, he wouldn't have anyone to pick up at all.

    But actually i thought they prefer shorter distance because the initial charge is already $4.80. If for example, he is just driving to the destination for 5mins, he earn that and the distance travalled. So every 5 mins he pick up someone, i'm sure he'll be earning 12 x ($4.80+distance) in an hour and that's more than just having 1 passanger for that 1hr isn't it???

  4. Hi HJ,

    I live in Pasir Ris as well and I fly quite often in a year. I, too, give taxi drivers at least $20 or sometimes $25 to make the trip from the airport to my home.

    I have to say I have never gotten a taxi driver as rude as the one you encountered! It is truly shocking and horrific. Rest assured, this is a one off case but thanks for sharing your story cause if it ever happens to me, I would do as your instinct probed you to.


  5. Anonymous8:52 am

    Dear, u did the right thing not to confront the driver upfront after you have gotten into the cab. U were all alone and he cld have harm you. Some drivers r crazy!!!

  6. Complain to LTA directly. Cab coy sometimes brush off the punishments etc. LTA doesn't give face and make sure the drive gets it.

  7. Anonymous3:48 pm

    I agree with Tommy. even taxi drivers told Mr they go straight to lta if they want to lodge complaints against other fellow taxi drivers because taxi co just let them off lightly, most of the time not even going in to details and simply pacify those who complained on the facade.

    1. Anonymous11:22 am

      To tell the true, especially my experience with this CabCo., They rather to keep the driver then to maintain principles. They could even willing to condom a fabricated accident report of their driver just to keep their record clean with the insurance company.

  8. CeLesTina4:40 pm

    You are not the only one who encountered this experience.

    I knew a fren who stay in Tamp shared with me after his terrible encounter with the taxi driver, he rather dun take cab if given the opportunity.

    At the time when he told me i find it difficult to believe. After reading yr experience, i finally understood

  9. I reside in Changi and I almost never take a cab from the airport because it's very aggressive when they realise that the drop off is so close. Actually recently, I took a merc cab for $45 (limo service) when I got back at midnight because I didn't want to go through the hassle of being shown a black face etc. I fly quite often too - x1-2 a month, usually I get my best friend to pick me up.

  10. Anonymous12:32 am

    Hi Holly Jean,

    Thanks for sharing. I take cabs frequently and I certainly wouldn't want to be in a confined space with a maniac like that.

    I'm posting this to my Facebook, and I hope that pond-scum driver gets eaten by a guppy.

    I hope loses his license before an innocent passenger loses his life. Perhaps put more emphasis on his dangerous driving when reporting to LTA? ;D

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday though!


  11. Ok i didn't exactly hear that they mention your name but i guess it's after they came across Shin Min regarding your taxi ride. So i was right about shorter distance earning them more money. The taxi driver that called in said your driver was probably angry not cos of the distance but cos of the queue for customers or something like that, but i still don't get why that would make him angry.

  12. Anonymous7:31 pm

    After today, you will get your reply from them haha. It's good they put the cab company cos i think service standard has to improve. I don't think they will fire him for this cos it's his own business he is running in a way and it's just his bad attitude but he might just implicate other drivers in the same company.

    1. Anonymous5:19 am

      In Singapore, many still have impression that cabbie were Cab Co staff. But turning around, Cabbie were the one keep the Cab Co booming. They R cash cows to the company. How could the Co break it's own rice bowl unless deem necessary?

  13. Anonymous9:18 pm

    Hi Holly Jean, just saw your news in the paper yesterday. I think I encountered the same taxi driver a few years ago. He did the same thing as I recognised he was also talking on the phone in dialect with his friend about how unfortunate he was in the cab and using vulgar words. I was so shocked when he did that and upon arriving at my house, I threw my money at him and after retrieving my luggage from the boot, I slammed the door to show how displeased I was by his service.

  14. Anonymous1:44 pm

    Why at super market in photo? Got trolley aso?

  15. Dunno why they used tht pic.. i was in supermkt in spain. lol

  16. I lodged a complaint with Transcab before. Not only they were slow in relying, they dealth with the matter that didn't satisfies me.

  17. Anonymous8:18 am

    dear holly, rach here!
    sigh...i feel for you.
    and i truly HATE taking cabs in general now. and i do have a phobia of hailing a cab from the airport! which is a NEED sadly.

    i had my fair share (gd amount) of experiences as i use to be a cabin crew PLUS i reside in that area.
    complains are fallen on deaf ears and robotic "standard" replies from cab companies if im lucky.

    honestly, courtesy and customer service is ZERO and non existent in our country sadly.

    hope you're feeling better! xo

  18. Anonymous11:59 pm

    I got this shit from transcab before. I was running late for work one morning, so I had to cab to work. Cabbing to working isn't new to me and usually it takes 10 - 15mins for me to reach my work place, and the route that the cab driver always took is more or less the same. So that morning, I flagged a transcab. The cab driver was ok initially, and then I notice that he took a totally different route. And the route he chose is a route with major traffic jam. Last thing I need is a traffic jam as I am running late for work. If I can afford to sit through the jam, I wouldn't have pay 10times more for a cab.

    1. Anonymous5:42 am

      Transcab is a branch out from CityCab which is also CDgo. U should know who is the background Lo.

  19. Anonymous12:00 am

    cond't- Hence, during the jam period, the uncle kept on complaining to me, "Miss ah, this route very hard to drive ah!" I replied, 'Mm." and nodded my head slightly. But the uncle just doesn't stop right there, he continued complaining, sighing and tsk-ing throughout the who jam journey. To make the matter worst, he just deliberately jerk and sudden brake throughout the jam period. I was annoyed. Every second the meters are ticking and monies are pouring out from my pocket to his! He is working now and earning money, so I simply don't understand the whole ho-has about that jam. So I just simply keep quiet about it.

  20. Anonymous12:01 am

    cond't - That morning is the first morning that I swept through the whole of orchard road in my whole life. Next, came the big thing. He walkie talkie-d with his fellow colleague, and the following comment rub me off the wrong way. "Wo eh mia jin pai. qi zha buay zha diao eh orchard road" (I lead a poor (sad) life. Early in the morning, stuck at orchard road)

    I can understand that it is inevitable to bad mouth your customer, but it is definitely a wrong move to bad mouth it when the customer is still there! In addition, he is the one who took the wrong route, he is the one who did all the complaining, and he is the one who earn the money out from my pocket. Why am I the one who took all this insult?

    In the end, I was 10mins late for my work and I paid at least $5 more than my usually cab fare. I march up to my workplace and start dialing their hotline. Hotline busy, so I left a voicemail, informing that I will raise this issue to the media if I dint hear from them within 5 mins.

  21. Anonymous12:02 am

    cond't -I receive a callback from than in less them 1 min. After giving them my feedback nicely, I told the customer service officer that I understand the day after tomorrow is a public holiday and I understand that they need time for investigation, I nicely ask her if they can revert back to me the following Monday, she agreed.

    I waited for their call the whole day on Monday, and they did not call me back. So I called to their hotline and demanded to speak to their manager. Their manager gave me the reason that the investigation is still ongoing, hence they did not call me. What a weak excuse, so I fumed and reasoned that I can understand that they need more time for investigation, however when they did promised a callback, they should at least give me a ring or drop me message that they need more time. So, the manager promised that they will revert back to me on Thursday. Fine!

    I waited till 5pm on Thursday, they did not call at all. I called back, demanding for a reason, guess what did they feed me with that time. "Our satellite is down, hence we are unable to call you." SATELLITE? Who cares about whether your satellite is down, transcab for all I know, operates in Singapore, what the heck is satellite doing in this aspect? In addition, they should work with internal server and I believe that they should be able to retrieve the call information as when I provided them with my contact number, they still can tell me that the investigation is still ongoing.

    Now, there is a problem with their cab driver AND their customer service!

    So, the customer service officer was trying to explain to me weakly that I should understand that most of their cab drivers did not receive proper education, hence they are not that well verse in providing good service. WHAT THE HECK IS WITH THAT EXCUSE?!

  22. Anonymous12:03 am

    cond't There are so many people out there who did not receive proper education and yet are still able to provide good customer service. So what kind of weak excuse is this? In addition, I did not expect a good service from cab driver, if they cannot strike conversation with me throughout the journey, I am fine with it. I have my mobile, I have my mp3 to keep my entertain. All they have to do is to fetch me to my destination, end of story! What does that mean that they can be funny just because they did not receive proper education? My parents are not highly educated, but they have good upbringing. So what message are they trying to convey?

    So I wasted 2 hours of my time trying to talk sense to their team leader on that day. That team leader, whatever her name is, was snorting and giving a lot of rude noises while I was complaining. I seriously have a big problem with the way they dealt with customer.

    So, a few days later, they called me, asked me to provide them with my bank a/c number and inform me that they will refund me with the overcharges amount and also inform me that they have placed that cab driver under probation. So explanation was given and they just closed that case hastily.

    After that experience, I rather wait for other cab or pay more for premium cab than to board transcab.

  23. Anonymous8:17 pm

    Hhahaha sorry to hear about your misfortune. I don't know about taiko but the other two words sounds like kepala bodoh in malay. kepala meaning head, bodoh meaning stupid.

  24. Hi Holly Jean, i ever read this news on the papers and wow, suddenly chanced upon your blog going to be enrolled as a taxi driver soon.
    Anyway, i think the driver did not overcharge you when you reach your place at Pasir Ris with the total fare of $17.60

    Assuming you stay in the middle of pasir ris, which is roughly 8km from the airport:

    -Flat fare -$3.00
    -Airport Surcharge - $5.00
    -8km fare+some waiting time- ard $4.40
    total=$12.40+50% midnight charge = $18.60

    But what im disgusted is the way he treat his passengers. It is true that waiting at the airport during midnight is tiring but i still feel he is too much.
    Its good that you complained about his service to his company as he's a black sheep in the industry. Luckily he did not intentionally overcharge you if not he would had been terminated instead.

  25. Anonymous9:55 am

    Holly Jean lucky newspaper took her news if not transcab will never reply to her complain.Transcab never reply to any complaint they couldnt care less and will reply only if you complain thru the news or lta.

  26. Anonymous5:59 am

    Hi holly jean ... please help me to call this transcab taxi driver license 5944... i cannot remember the letter ... he took the money.i am his passenger before ..his phone number 83010037. .. thank u


Post a Comment