Malaysian Taxis – Complaints etc

Pic is for illustrative purpose only

Update: Finally, female only cabs in Malaysia. Available for call-ins only, dial Destination Transport (03) 62531313; Zalnas Sdn Bhd (03) 26945440; or Putrajaya Cyberjaya Radio Taxi (03) 8888 4000 for bookings. As someone who uses public transportation extensively, I welcome this new service happily. Share, share.

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Original post: Kak Rubs sent me a very interesting article about taxi drivers in Malaysia. You can read the article at the end of this post.

And quite frankly I couldn’t agree more with Kak Rubs and the article. Malaysian taxis are horrendous. As someone who plies public transportation all the time, I can testify that whenever I waive a taxi down, I would have to speak to about 5 different taxis before I can find one that:

  1. Agrees to take me to my destination
  2. Agrees to use the meter
  3. Actually knows how to get there

Just yesterday, one taxi driver even brazenly asked me, “How much do you want to pay me to take you there?” WHAT?!!! That’s like standing in a corner haggling for paid sex.

This is the reason why I always call for a taxi instead of flagging one down at the roadside and why I always tip. Whenever I find a taxi driver that fulfils all the 3 above, I tip – and it’s a proper tip, not the keep-the-change kinda tips. I think good work ethics should be rewarded and we should refuse to take taxis that breach any of the above. After all, driving a taxi is an actual job – something that you do for a living.  Think about it, would you continue hiring someone who slacks on the job and refuses to do his duties at his whims and fancy? You’d kick his lazy *ss out the door right this second, right?

And as my contribution, appropriate taxi information below.

GENERAL TAXI INFO

Current regulated metered rates for standard taxis (premier taxis charge higher): RM2 for the first 2 km and 10 sen for every 200 meters thereon. A 50% surcharge is levied between midnight and 6.00am. Additional RM1 is charged for: Phone booking, 3rd adult passenger (max 4 ) and/or baggage stored in boot. Pre-paid coupon system is used for taxi stands at KTM KL Station, KL Sentral, Sunway Pyramid and KLIA.

PHONE TAXI NUMBERS

  1. Public Cab: +603 6259 2020 or http://www.publiccab.com.my/  (online booking available)
  2. Comfort Taxi: +603 8024 2727 or http://www.comfortcab.com.my/  (at time of this post, website was down)
  3. Sunlight Taxi: +603 9057 1111 or http://www.sunlighttaxi.com/ (online booking available)

Ijah’s Note: Above is listed according to my preference and experience based on reliability, availability of taxis and the behaviour of the taxi drivers.  It’s not always 100% success rate but I get a decent service out of these 3 most of the time.

Always allow yourself an additional 15-20 minutes to the estimated duration of your travel when you call for a taxi coz you may not get one immediately. For instance, if you need to get from Sunway to KLCC (a journey that roughly takes 20-25mins if you take the NPE + SMART) by 4.00pm, then call for a taxi at 3.15pm. After you give the operator your details (destination & tel no) they will call you back to give you the status. If a taxi is available, the operator will always give you the taxi’s number (which is the one printed on the top right hand corner of the windshield passenger’s side – not to be confused with the taxi registration/plate number). If the operator doesn’t return the call within 10minutes, always call her back to check the status of your order. Allow yourself longer grace period for peak hours and rainy days.

COMPLAINTS

  1. Entrepreneur and Cooperatives Development Ministry: 1 800 88 9600 or send SMS to 39900. You can also lodge a complaint via its website here.
  2. Commercial Vehicle Licencing Board (CVLB): +603 2698 5022 or email them at: aduan@lpkp.gov.my. There are also other complaints channel for CVLB, please visit the website here for more information.

The websites above are updated and may change its url from time to time, so if for some reason the links no longer work, google is your best friend, my friend.

Ijah’s Note: When lodging a complaint, make sure you have the following details:

  1. Taxi registration/car plate no. Taxis are also supposed to display this information at its dashboard on the passenger side. The name is not necessary, but good to have. This is because sometimes taxi drivers share taxis or sub it out to other people (which is illegal) so the name on the dashboard may not be the actual driver. Moot. Or, just do like me, when you exit the taxi just whip out your phone and click!
  2. Time and date of the incident.
  3. Summary of incident. You can lodge a complaint about any of these matters: if the taxi refuses to take you (yes, it is an offence); if they refuse to use the meter; if they ask you for additional money outside the stipulated surcharges; inappropriate behaviour; purposely using longer routes or excessive braking to increase the metered fare ; suspicion of meter tampering etc.
  4. Email a copy of the complaint to FOMCA nee National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC): +603 78779000 (Tel); +603-78748097 (Fax); nccc@nccc.org.my (Email); you can also lodge a complaint via its website at http://www.nccc.org.my/

MALAYSIAN TAXI HORROR STORIES

And lastly, for your reading pleasure:

  1. Blogs:
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24 Comments

Filed under Go Grr..., Let's Learn!

24 responses to “Malaysian Taxis – Complaints etc

  1. myds

    i have once ride a taxi from midvalley to our home in PJ. The taxi driver knew that i was a foreigner and they told me how many person that would ride his taxi. As i pay he charged me with 20 Rm fuck off its only 7 rm from the destination. when i told the driver why are you charging me with that amount he told me he said that to me i only have 16 rm as i give it to him. he threw the money on my face what a shame and rude driver. i told him i dont have money left he then he take the money. and hit his taxi hard so fast.

    what an unforgettable and regretful experience..
    shame on you drivers in malaysia.

  2. That’s a terrible experience.

    Next time if the taxi driver doesn’t want to use the meter, don’t get into the taxi. Getting in is the same as rewarding bad behaviour. If enough people refuses to take taxis that behave this way, eventually the message will sink in.

    If he tells you that he will charge a fixed price only after you have sat in his car, ask him to stop the taxi and get out. If it’s after you’ve arrived at the destination, only pay for the metered fare and not more. If he insists, tell him that you will pay him but in exchange he has to give you his full name, IC no and driver’s licence.

    I know the last suggestion is hard to do, but I have tried it and nothing sobers up a greedy taxi driver than a passenger who knows her rights.

    And yes, please exercise your right to complaint. The link to NCCC that I provided above actually will publish your complaints online. Just remember to get the details.

    I hope you’ll have a more pleasant taxi experience next time

  3. PC Ng

    This is so embarrasing to our country. Malaysia memang boleh. My Singaporean colleague was the one that told me about it this morning. So shy okay…

  4. polyphagia

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 18, 2008 (AFP) – The ads promoting “Malaysia: Truly Asia” aim to welcome visitors with a warm smile to a prosperous and modern nation, so the taxi fleet branded “the worst in the world” can come as a bit of a shock. ADVERTISEMENT Even the locals are not spared the shabby service of unkempt and hostile drivers behind the wheels of decrepit vehicles who refuse to use the meter, overcharge and pick-and-choose which destinations they will travel to.At the popular KLCC mall under Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers is a typical scene, as a gang of cabbies negotiate with a young Norwegian couple just metres from a signboard warning against “taxi touts”.”Flat rate, flat rate, no metre,” one driver insists as the tourists try to find a cab to take them to their hotel, less than two kilometres (1.2 miles) away.Anxious to escape the baking heat, they agree to pay 25 ringgit (7.22 dollars) for a trip that would have cost less than three ringgit on the meter.”Is it expensive? We don’t know, we thought it is normal here,” said the woman as they piled in with their shopping bags.More frequent visitors, however, are vocal in their criticism and say that aggressive and unprofessional drivers are tarnishing the nation’s image as a squeaky clean and hospitable destination.”I first visited Malaysia in 2006 and I was impressed by everything I saw except for the worst taxi service I have endured,” said Kabir Dali, an Indian tourist waiting in vain for a metered taxi at another mall.”I paid a whopping 260 ringgit (74 dollars) from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to town and was later told that was twice the proper amount.”Complaints about taxis are common in many countries, but in Malaysia it has escalated to an outpouring of frustration, on blog sites and in letters to newspapers.In a survey by the local magazine The Expat, some 200 foreigners from 30 countries rated Malaysia the worst among 23 countries in terms of taxi quality, courtesy, availability and expertise.The respondents lashed the fleet as “a source of national shame” and “a serious threat to tourists — rude bullies and extortionists”.Salvation is in sight though, as a number of smaller, up-scale operators enter the market to provide a more expensive but quality taxi service for frustrated visitors and locals.The uniformed drivers, behind the wheels of smart new multi-purpose vehicles and sedans, switch on the meter as a matter of course and do not refuse destinations — surprising and delighting commuters in the capital.Abdul Razak, operations manager for Dubai-based Citicab which launched here in January, said that even in poorer nations such as Thailand and Indonesia, taxis are smarter and the drivers far more courteous.”I would say it is the worst in this region, undoubtedly. I have travelled to all countries in this region and our company operates taxis in many parts of the world. The situation here is the worst I have seen,” he told AFP.”The vehicles are in shabby condition, the driver will take you if he likes your face — that is, if he agrees with where you want to go for the price he insists on.”The government has called on taxi firms to lift their standards, but various campaigns have achieved little, and many blame the lack of enforcement on rampant corruption in the police and bureaucracy.”It is difficult for the roads and traffic department to take stern action,” said a security officer at one city mall as he watched the touts swoop.”Taxi operators and the company which hold the licences are all linked to some politician or another,” he said. “Drivers here are ruthless because they are unchecked by authorities who are almost non-existent.”John Koldowski, from the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said that “less than desirable” taxi drivers have an outsize impact on a nation’s image.”The first contact a tourist gets with locals is often during airport transits to hotels and it creates a very, very strong first impression, either be good or bad,” he said.”Authorities certainly need to do their jobs and act upon any complaints strongly, quickly and visibly.” “

  5. Hakeem

    I will like to lodge a complain about the taxi driver around subang jaya USJ 14,they hurt my feelings of staying in malaysia imagine,i’m an international student and whenever i want to take a taxi to my school or anywhere its a problem because the place that supposed to be RM 10 Malaysia Taxi will charge RM 25 most especially some bunch of idiot in front of MYDEN USJ 1 AND SUMMIT,the moment they see you as a foreigner its a problem.I stay in Court 9 and whenever i want to take a taxi from MYDEN is a problem because if you refused to enter the first one that over charge well non of them will take you and you will have to leave that environment to look for another taxi.I’ve been complain about this people and their giving my life tough time by over charging me.Myden to court 9 is a treckable distance in which the normal price is less than RM 3 but Malaysia taxi driver will be charging you Rm 8-10.I have some taxi driver plate number that i’ve lodge complain on and i dont think any action has been taken on this because if you people have done something,i know they wont continuing doing this
    (HWC5711 this occur on 31 March 2009), (HWC8416 this occur on 1 March 2009).There are several others but one thing that i’m still contemplating on is that,are this taxi driver treating their local this way but i dont think so.

    PLEASE DO SOMETHING BEFORE THIS BUNCH OF IDIOT TAXI DRIVER SPOIL MALAYSIA IMAGE.

    THANKS.

    • Sorry to hear about your experience; and I am even sorrier to tell you that this is not unique. While it is easy for me to say that we should not support these taxi drivers and just refuse to use them; situations sometimes warrant us surrendering to their extortions simply because we did not have any other alternatives at our disposal.

      But, as much as possible, please try not to use any of these taxis if they are you for additional fare (such as asking you to add RM2 to the meter, although this is the lesser of the two evils); or if they fix a rate (exorbitant or otherwise) and stick to metered taxis only. If we all start to use less of these extortionists, someday they will run out of business. Accepting their fixed fares are just feeding fuel to the whole situation.

      My other suggestion is that since you use taxis on a regular basis, why don’t you strike a deal or a standing arrangements with a taxi driver to pick you up every morning. It can be at a fixed rate or using meter; I have done this many times before and it is a very convenient way to ensure that you always have a ride by a reliable, and honest taxi driver. I usually offer them such arrangements at the end of the taxi ride if I am satisfied with the service that they provided. Try it.

  6. Jo

    i want to share my terrible experience with you all, i’m an international student. yesterday, i rode taxi from bangsar to damansara jaya which will cost 8-10rm, the taxi driver told me that he knew the road up to tropicana city mall and i will tell him the rest of the way, halfway to tropicana city mall, he took the wrong road and he admit that he is wrong when i ask him and he know the alternative road to get there, what he actually did is taking me on a city tour which double the normal price to get there (19rm). when i reach my destination, i told him it is too expensive and what he did is wrong (i paid the full taxi fare) and slammed the door really hard when i got out. the taxi driver got mad and get out of the cab, scolding me that i am disrespectful and then he hit my back and kick my leg, luckily it wasn’t hurt at all. i didn’t fight back because i don’t want to get into trouble since i’m an international student. after that, he went to his taxi and took something, i thought he was going to grab a weapon, i ran away. i was right, he has a KNIFE!!! in his taxi, is it even legal to bring a weapon as a taxi driver? i forgot his taxi’s plate number. i really want to sue that fu*king driver, what kind of a taxi driver to bring a knife and threaten its passenger when he is wrong. its better to take bus next time.

  7. Dessy

    Would love to share my terrible story bout malaysian taxi drivers . They are just all so rude. Was on my way home from KL to Jb taken this stupid rude driver car number is HJA 1144 there’s a short cut to my home but instead he took a longer way to reach upon reaching my place he ever scolded me in his super bahasa malaysia. I wish i can report this idiot to some board or something . how can he be given the license to drive when he’s got such an attitude.

  8. Jo & Dessy, I am sorry to hear about your terrible experiences with cab drivers. I hope you were able to take down the taxi details and lodge a report. Your mobile phone is your best friend, use it. Take photos as evidence and always be ready to dial a friend or the authority when you feel endangered.

  9. The links for the COMPLAINTS are not working

    • Thanks for letting me know. It didn’t work because both agencies have changed their URLs; so I have updated them to reflect the new websites. There is also a procedure to lodge complaints in CVLB website, have a look at it because it details the documents and report needed in order for them to take action.

  10. jamal abdull nasir

    this happend occurs on 23-1-2012 this is latest report for me i m a tourist from dubai i sat in taxi near mcdonald bukit bintang i said him take me to ampang he said ok 30RM i replied i will pay u to see ur taxi meter then pay u that amount he refused that and said to get out from my taxi driver is ( TAMIL indian ) i said ok i will call police u r not using ur taxi meter he just stopped taxi while its started and u know he took some iron from under his seat and want to hit me its very embarrasing very sad i feel very ashamed so i go to police unit its just oposite to mcdonald then finally i had reported a police complaint. now see the behaviour of there peoples in malaysia i think i must tell this story to all my freinds in different countries so everyone must know how they behave with their tourist guest. by by malaysia bulshit

    • I am sorry to hear about your experience. I suggest you scan the police report and email it to the authorities (see above article to get the email addresses) so that they can take disciplinary action or suspend the taxi driver. It will help us to send a message to taxi drivers as well as assist the authorities in catching all these bad apples.

  11. ong

    On 8/4/12, I was travelling from Jalan Duta to Jalan Semantan, a reckless taxi driver, presumably drunk (because he was swerving in and out of the lane) during 12.30pm afternoon cut into my lane from the left, it got really close so I horned, he got angry and overtook my car from the right lane. His vehicle got really close to my car again and I once again horned. This time, he purposely rammed into my car. My car sustained light scratches as I managed to swerve to the left side in time. I stopped my car to check on the damage while the taxi driver speed off. I could not take a picture in time but I got a glimpse of the Taxi plate number. It was an old proton saga (red) with dark tinted windows with the plate 4081. Is dark tinting legal for taxis?Dangerous drivers like these are not suppose to be on the road. Irresponsible, reckless, gangster taxi driver like these are what ruining our country. I have made a police report shortly and felt that is just not enough. What else could I do to make sure this taxi driver will not harm another fellow driver?

  12. gaucho

    hi, i have been staying in Malaysia for almost 8 years and i am so pissed with the malaysian taxi drivers, especially to mention INDIAN TAXI drivers, those are mostly found in SUBANG JAYA area, few years back we can still cooperate with them, but from last 2 years i have been noticing that they are out of their mind, they are so rude with you while you are telling them your destination, they will take longer route , they will tell you they want extra 2 rm on the metter if they are using metter , mostly they dont wanna use metter n they will tell u the price double of the metter. why malaysian government is giving them license if they dont even know whether they can behave like a taxi driver, their should be some way to control them. we are standing in rain n hot sun waiting for taxis to stop n after they open their bloody mouth for the fare its out of reach, and they pretending to you as they are doing some favor to you, if they bringing you in their taxi.

    i hope there will be some solution for them to monitor , why its written on the taxi doors that its a mettered taxi and haggling is prohibited , they actually they never actually use it, government should take out those bloody metter those are never used and should put price map in it, and should punish these kind of taxi drivers and there should be some page where we can send those taxis number plates and some action should be taken against them.

  13. Iskandar

    There’s a better way to hail and a cab and report those rude, cut throat drivers — by using the taxi apps. Unfortunately it is for those with smartphone.

    http://hotelinkl.com.my/blog/7-best-apps-when-travelling-around-kuala-lumpur-with-a-taxi-or-train-theyre-free/

    • Thanks for the note, it’d be useful for those who like apps. I prefer phone calls; haven’t had any bad experience with taxis lately as I always refuse to take taxis that don’t use meters or quote me a fixed price and I always call beforehand which ensures that I get a metered taxi. I tip generously and I don’t mind paying the RM2 surcharge. I won’t say the standard has improved, but I would say that I know better how to manage my taxi experience so that I can avoid the bad apples. Thanks again Iskandar.

  14. Anonymous

    There’s an Android app you should add to your post. It’s called “Report Malaysia Taxi”. Link here : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sweetiepiggy.reportmalaysiataxi

  15. angry taxi passenger

    to all taxi passengers, do not climb any red colour taxi from bus terminal bandar tasik selatan kuala lumpur especially if the driver is a chinese man around the age group of 30-40’s because you will never know which chinese taxi driver is a robber. my brother just got robbed by a taxi driver who drove a red iswara taxi and this taxi driver uses a parang to robbed my brother. this is the type of taxi drivers in malaysia because the taxi associations of malaysia is not doing their job to screen their drivers background before issuing them a permit to drive taxi. worst still there are taxi drivers who rent their taxi to a third party when they are not working and for all you know this third party don’t even have a permit to drive taxi and could even be a criminal. because of such acts, the taxi association don’t even have a proper record of all those who have permits to drive taxi in malaysia. even the taxi company don’t have records of their taxi drivers because if they have the records, complaints and reports on bad taxi drivers can be resolved immediately. the taxi driver was lucky because it wasn’t me in the taxi that time or else I’ll chopped both of his hands with the parang he used because he wouldn’t know who he is messing with. and to all kl taxi drivers above especially located at bus terminal bandar tasik selatan, i’m keeping an eye on each and every of you until I catch the bloody culprit who robbed my brother and you better watch your back every second of your life because I am coming for you.

  16. Anonymous

    Shame on the Malaysian government for allowing these atrocious taxis to get away with murder. Malu!

  17. Anonymous

    6592,light green almost old CAB, approximate time was 16.20
    taxi driver of Indian nationality, he is fat and has gold earring, beside taxi meter he has a statue of Chines God Hottey .he did Increase the price on the Meter just at the point of the end of my jorney by 2MYR for nothing. It was 11MYR from TAMAN PERTAMA(Cheras) to KL SENTRAL(suasana loft),But at the end it becames 13. He were almost wanted to fight and made me scare by threatened.

    P.S. I tried to sens sms to the number of 39900- it failed, hence passengers are not protected anyway

  18. I am very happy to see this blog, since I have had the worst experiences with taxi drivers, rude people, some of theme mentally sick, therre is no other way to describe their behaviour. They do not see passangers as clients. I do prefer walking 30 minutes than taking a taxi, but some times I am so tired that I have to take a taxi, and most of the times I regret it afterwards. They seem not to know the city, if I tell them what roads to take they get angry. I understand why most people have their own cars in this country. Public trasportation sucks (exept LRT), and specially taxis. I guess those people are taxi drivers because they are not good for any thing else, but it is a complete disapointment.

  19. Sonia

    Hi
    We shifted to Malaysia 6 months back but yesterday i had a horrifying experience with one taxi driver. His name is Marshall and Taxi number was HB(dont remember correctly)6591.
    I took a taxi from Pelangi Utama till LRT Taman Bahagia. While getting into taxi i told him to go via uptows as i have to drop my baby to day care and then go. When we reached day care he asked me to pay 2RM extra, i agreed. i just took 20-30 sec leaving my baby in day care and came back. When i came back he restarted the meter all over again. When we reached LRT he asked me to pay 8.5RM(Day care to LRT)+ 4.5(Pelangi Utama to Day Care). when i resisted he started abusing me badly. He was talking to me as if he is some mafia. I called SPAD and when i was talking only he started the taxi and started driving so fast. i shouted for help , the lady talking to me heared all my screamings. This guy said he is taking me to police station where he will resolve everything. He stopped at Traffic light where i opened the door and ran away.
    Today morning he was standing in front of my society and was waiting for me. My Husband tried to talk to him but he was not ready to listen. He started abusing us so badly and created a big scene there. He even tried to thrash us. We are so scared and don’t know what to do. I dont want to involve police in this case but seems like he has not left any option .
    I have started liking malaysia in last few days but this incident is forcing me to rethink about my decision to stay here. I want to go back as soon as possible.

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