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Tired of cabs

Seattle, Washington
8 posts
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Tired of cabs

Hello,

Looking for a good driver, I'm sick of getting ripped off by taxis. Please anyone with a reliable driver let me know.

That you

Istanbul, Turkey
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17,579 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Tired of cabs

Why not just use public transport?There are plenty of options covering virtually the whole city and it is clean,safe and cheap.

Seattle, Washington
8 posts
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2. Re: Tired of cabs

Unfortunenly, I'm traveling with my disabled parents. I would have loved to use public transport but don't want to put any hardship on them.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,139 posts
243 reviews
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3. Re: Tired of cabs

Hi Rick, I understand your frustration. After my second day in Istanbul I was so furious I wanted to storm into the office of the Mayor and demand action. My first two taxi experiences were bad. I did not lose any money, but I had to deal with dishonest drivers, and I hate to do that.

We have been here for a month, and we use a taxi at least once a day. After the first 48 hours we have had no more problems with taxis. We even allowed a driver to solicit our business at the Havatas bus area in Taksim, which I always caution visitors to avoid. The driver was charming. He pointed out every single place of any possible interest to tourists and told us about his family. When we reached the one-way street where our hotel was located he turned off the meter. Then he drove for another 5 minutes around six blocks so he could pull up right in front of our hotel....at no additional charge. We then had a lengthy chat about the problem of dishonest drivers, and the belief that they represent only a small percentage of all taxi drivers.

Obviously tourists who do not speak the language, are clearly unfamiliar with the geography of the city and appear nervous, unsure and vulnerable attract dishonest behavior more than average taxi users.

I was ready to rent a car or hire a driver when my husband decided we should give the taxi system a couple of more chances. I am glad I did that because everything has been perfect since then.

So I would do a little reading on how to protect yourself from taxi scams, and I think I would give taxis another chance before you go the route of a hired driver.

The public transportation system is certainly outstanding in the city, and I believe it meets the basic needs of most tourists. Unfortunately it is not often usable for me. I Ido, therefore, understand your desire for transportation by automobile.

If you decide to hire a private driver I would talk to the staff at your hotel. These people are valuable resources for tourists. If they cannot answer a question, they will find the answer quickly. A few years ago we had a good experience with a taxi driver, and we hired him for the following day because it was his day off. It worked well for us, but was exceptionally expensive.

Another year the carpet store owner where we purchased a small carpet provided his new Mercedes and a person from his shop to provide us with transportation on our last day in the city. If you do not have a friendly carpet store owner, and your hotel staff is not responsive to your needs, I would suggest that you pop into a travel agent and ask them for a recommendation.

Seattle, Washington
8 posts
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4. Re: Tired of cabs

Thank you so much for your message. I was just frustrated the first couple days. I am definitely feeling better after your great advice and tips! Thanks again. I plan on doing old town tomorrow wish me luck! If you have any suggestions of tour guides please let me know. Again, thank you for making me feel better!

San Francisco...
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60 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Tired of cabs

Rick, I went on a fantastic walking tour today led by the Efendi travel agency: http://www.efenditravel.com/

I did the half day tour of Old Town, worth it for sure!

PS: I've also been having mixed luck with taxies. Some have been awesome (even charging me less then the meter) and some of have been AWFUL. I've been following Busy's tips and trying to act very confident when I get in the cab, make sure to act like I'm taking a photo of his cab number, checking the meter, and pulling up the route on google maps and showing him so he knows I know the route. Seems to help!

Amman, Jordan
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327 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: Tired of cabs

i can recommend citymobil.com.tr. i have used them and they are pretty good.

Limassol, Cyprus
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398 posts
65 reviews
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7. Re: Tired of cabs

We also had a bad experience - we were going to the airport to fly to Oman (and then we,re flying back into Istanbul for the second part of our holiday).

Hubby agreed a price of 50 TL. Taxi driver even wrote down his taxi number. We drove to the airport. The meter was on, the traffic was busy and when we got to the airport the meter said 65 TL. The driver asked for the 65 TLon the meter, which Hubby paid. But then taxi driver tried to say Hubby had paid him with a 5 TLand not a 50 TL.

Luckily as soon as we kicked up a fuss he just gave up and drove off.!

Is there anybody I can give the taxi number to to complain and maybe stop him trying it on with others.?

Limassol, Cyprus
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398 posts
65 reviews
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8. Re: Tired of cabs

P.s. The taxi mentioned above was number 34 TCE 76.

Avoid like the plague.!!

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,139 posts
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9. Re: Tired of cabs

Hi traceyandpeter, I am sorry that you had a bad experience. A fare of 50TL to the airport is appropriate. If you waited in heavy traffic that can add to your fare. I think the waiting rate is .30TL/minute, so 15 minutes of waiting would cost 5TL. The extra charge of 15TL would have had to require that your taxi waited a total of 50 extra minutes, and I suspect that is unlikely.

I am curious why you allowed the driver to turn on the meter if you had reached a pre-arranged price. On the few occasions when I do this, I do not let the driver turn on the meter, and usually they do not want to turn on the meter because it will reflect less than our pre-arranged price. I have never had a driver quote a price to me that would be less than what the meter would reflect. I only do pre-arranged pricing when I need a taxi for a short distance and no one will take me because the fare is too low. So, I offer 20TL for what would be a 10TL fare so I can reach the place where I need to be.

It appears, however, that you did not actually have a firm agreement with your driver because he turned on the meter and expected you to pay the 65TL that it reflected. I cannot say if this was a legitimate charge. Sometimes if traffic is heavy drivers will avoid traffic and take longer routes that are faster. I probably would not complain about 15TL as an over-charge. My threshold is about $15USD. If it is less than that I have determined it is not worth the increase in my blood pressure.

The 50TL to 5TL switch is as old as taxis I think. It happens in every major city, but Istanbul cab drivers are masters at this game. I identify the bill to myself and have my husband confirm it. Then we both confirm the amount to the driver, and had him the bill asking him if he understands it is a 20TL bill, and right in front of my eyes it turns into a 5TL note. Some of them are so good that I think they ought to leave the taxi business and become magicians.

As you discovered, it is a game which they will not play very long if you do not fall for the trick. The only danger in the game is if you require change. I carry a special "taxi" envelope of money with small denominations of money so that I never require change, and then when they do the 5TL switch, I just smile and leave.

You can, indeed, report the driver. You have the taxi number which is part of the information you will need. You will also need to provide the date and the time of the day you had this experience as well as the point where you entered the taxi and the point where you left it. You really need to report the driver not the taxi because the taxi may be driven by three or four people in a 24 hour period.

The address you will need to use to report this event is contained in Post 12 of the following thread. Please keep us informed of anything that happens after you report this event.

"tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k54…

It is great that you got this number. If every tourist would do this, and then follow up with a complaint we could eliminate this plague of dishonest behavior that taints the city.

Good Luck!

Huntington, New York
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99 posts
139 reviews
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10. Re: Tired of cabs

A different cab driver tried telling us it would cost 65 lira to go from sultanahment 3 blocks from blue mosque to our hotel which was just off the galata bridge in beyoglu. Needless to say we didn't take it. Funny thing is our hotel ordered us a cab this morning to go to the airport as we are now in goreme and the cab fare was only 42 lira.

Personally I'd say if you can get cabs from your hotels you are better off. Golden City Hotel uses the same cab company all the time so the cab company is held accountable