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British Tourist Charged $930 For 5-Minute Taxi Ride in New Zealand

Most taxi drivers in New Zealand are independent, which makes complaints about overcharging all the more difficult to solve. According to the Taxi Federation, this one Brit’s case was a very lucky one.
New Zealand independent taxi driver charges British tourist $930 for 5-minute ride 29 photos
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John Barrett was in New Zealand earlier this month and he hailed a cab from the Wellington Railway Station to his rental: the ride was very short, of under 5 minutes, and he paid for it with his credit card. Later, he was shocked to see he had been charged $930 for it, so he filed a formal complaint.

It’s just now that his case has been solved, after the Federation was able to track down the driver. He claimed the whole thing was an honest mistake, since he forgot to input a digit: the ride had actually cost $9.30, stuff reports.

Honest mistake or not, Taxi Federation Executive Director John Hart calls this the worst case of overcharging he’s ever heard of among independent taxi drivers. Most of them do it because they know they’re difficult to track down when anyone reports them and, it turns out, they’re right. This is what makes Barrett so lucky.

“We're receiving complaints every day. Barrett has been very lucky to get his money back in this case,” Hart says.

To find the driver, the Taxi Federation turned to Wellington Taxi, a company that rents EFTPOS terminals to independent taxi drivers on a short-term basis. Hassan Mohamed, who was assigned to the complaint, says it only took so long to find the driver because he didn’t show up to collect his pay for the week, after the ride. So he had to check every EFTPOS machine and see which one had recorded a $930 ride.

Now that he was found, Mohamed made sure Barrett was refunded via PayPal. He also threw in $50 compensation for the inconvenience.

 
 
 
 
 

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