Samui cabbies told to use meters, end euro rip-off

Samui cabbies told to use meters, end euro rip-off

A fare chart hanging on the seat of a taxi on Koh Samui shows identical rates in US dollars and euros, even though the euro is worth $1.14 at current rates. (Photo supplied)
A fare chart hanging on the seat of a taxi on Koh Samui shows identical rates in US dollars and euros, even though the euro is worth $1.14 at current rates. (Photo supplied)

SURAT THANI: Taxi drivers on Koh Samui have been ordered to use their meters instead of charging fixed fares that are identical in dollars and euros — effectively ripping off Europeans.

Local authorities met at the Koh Samui district office on Friday to discuss complaints that have proliferated online about cabbies setting fares by themselves.

Sutthipong Klai-udom, the deputy governor of Surat Thani, said an investigation had found that taxi drivers on the resort island had devised a set of fares for numerous destinations, with prices quoted identically in dollars and euros.

But given the prevailing exchange rate, passengers using euros end up paying substantially more than those using dollars for the same trip. A ride priced at $100 works out to 87 euros, but a European would be charged 100 euros just the same.

Cabbies usually displayed their fare charts when serving foreign tourists arriving on luxury boats, Mr Sutthipong said.

As a result, local authorities have issued a fresh order to prohibit local taxi drivers from imposing their own fares. In order to ensure fair treatment of all visitors, they must use their meters only. Otherwise, their licences would be revoked at once, he said.


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