The Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou has issued a stark warning to American expats: beware of taxi drivers in China.
The alert was issued via email on October 27. It reads as follows:
“THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES IN GUANGZHOU IS TRANSMITTING THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION THROUGH THE CONSULATE WARDEN SYSTEM AS A PUBLIC SERVICE TO AMERICAN CITIZENS IN CHINA. PLEASE DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE TO ALL U.S. CITIZENS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION OR NEIGHBORHOOD.
“Taxis are typically a safe means of transportation in China. However, recently there has been an increase in reports of some taxi drivers attempting to charge inflated fares for relatively inexpensive trips, in some cases resulting in verbal or physical confrontations when customers refused to pay these fares. When using taxis, please avoid any altercations with the driver. Rather, attempt to remove yourself from the situation. If a driver refuses to use the meter, take another taxi. Should you feel threatened, please make note of the driver’s name and license number and report the incident to the taxi company and/or police. Likewise, avoid unlicensed cabs.”
The email concludes by urging American citizens living in or visiting China to call the local police at ‘110’ if they encounter a dodgy cabbie. You can also report an unscrupulous driver via WeChat (in Guangzhou), for which we have a handy guide.
The fact the Consulate General of the United States in Guangzhou has issued such a warning should come as no surprise: Guangzhou taxi drivers have something of a negative reputation, commonly associated with scams, fare-hiking and rigged meters. Most recently, a Canadian citizen was assaulted by an angry taxi driver only a block from the American consulate in Guangzhou, allegedly without provocation.
READ MORE: How to Check If You Are Taking a Fake Taxi
[Image via www.toutiao.com]