Tourists in New Zealand charged $930 for 5-minute taxi ride
One couple’s holiday turned into a nightmare when they were charged over $900 for a five-minute taxi ride.
John and Susan Barrett arrived in New Zealand on Jan. 21 for a vacation, but it took an ugly turn when they rode the first taxi parked outside the Wellington Railway station, as per New Zealand news site Stuff on Jan. 28.
The ride only took five minutes from the station to a Johnston Street apartment, but the couple was overcharged by $930. John did not realize his MasterCard Travelex card was charged of the amount, since the taxi meter read $10 upon arrival. The kicker? He also tipped the taxi driver for good service.
“I honestly don’t know what else to do,” John was quoted as saying. “There was nothing at the time that made us think anything was wrong.”
It was only later that day when John discovered the charge because his card was rejected at a supermarket.
John said the taxi they rode was a white vehicle with “Wellington” on its roof sign. He hopes to find out the driver’s identity, but failed to trace the taxi company he wrote on his statement.
He has since reached out to other Wellington taxi operators for help, but to no avail. He also approached the Taxi Federation for advice, but was told it is hard for customers to get compensation for taxi overcharging.
“Under the new legislation, the transport agency doesn’t have any responsibility for that,” Taxi Federation executive director John Hart said in the report. “It has to be referred to the Disputes Tribunal, and you have to know what that is.”
Hart also said the federation receives at least a complaint a week concerning taxi overcharging. Cody Cepeda/JB
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