Beware Melbourne Taxis skimming credit cards

Milboo

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I have a Sam in Melb - same set up as Jimmy. Did this after one too many trips holding my breath for the trip into the city or to the airport.
 

Berlin

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Uber, Lyft, Didi, Ola... Any of them is better, safer and cheaper than those dodgy old taxicabs in my opinion/experience. Only was reminded of this simple fact again last month in Europe where some places have carved in to the taxi lobby and keep the ride share apps out- what a nightmare the experience was as a result!
 

travelislife

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The taxi industry and it's drivers don't help themselves.
I had a ridiculous situation with my family where I ended up on 000 whilst in the cab, the red flags were there from the second we got to the rank. Basic story goes...
  • Arrive Jetstar T4 approx. 3pm 29/12/18. I.e. Saturday afternoon.
  • Couldn't use Uber due to travelling with infant. So cab it was.
  • Only one cab at the rank at T4.
  • Said we were going to Moonee Ponds.
  • Driver then argued with attendant about it being a "short trip" and wanting to skip the queue. Attendant said no.
  • As we drove out he asked how we were paying as his "credit card machine was playing up with the weather" Seriously!
  • Said no problems, was paying cash.
  • I don't catch many cabs these days, mainly uber, but thought the meter was ticking over extremely quickly.
  • I then notice it was on surcharge, Peak No. 3 on the meter. Read on the sticker on the window that this is for 10pm-4am and specific public holidays.
  • We obviously weren't in this period.
  • I didn't say anything, but took a couple of discrete photos of the meter.
  • Got to our destination. Wife and child got out of the cab.
  • I then politely queried the driver on the rate in the tariff and that it didn't seem right.
  • He then flipped his lid, saying he needs to feed his family, what's it matter to me, etc. etc.
  • At this time I very politely said I would be reporting him to the directorate and handed over cash for the fare and also asked for a receipt so I could dispute it.
  • He aggressively said to me no change, no receipt. I said I am not getting out of the cab until you give me my change (it was only like $5) and a receipt.
  • He then proceeded to drive off leaving my wife and child on the side of the road.
  • We weren't at our house or final destination, were just picking up a car here, so my wife and child were literally stuck on the side of the road with nowhere to go.
  • He said "we are going to the police station", which I responded I was happy to do. Problem was I had no idea where he was actually going to drive me.
  • His driving was very erratic and the threats became extreme - "I will take you and bash you, etc, etc."
  • Remember this is all at 4pm in the afternoon in a residential street.
  • I then called triple zero, as I had no idea what this guy was going to do.
  • I stayed on the phone to triple zero and gave the cab registration number. He continued to abuse me, but it toned down once on the phone to the police.
  • He pulled in to a petrol station about 1km down the road, went inside, got enough change, came out, gave me my change, printed and receipt empty the boot of our bags and dumped them at the petrol station and drove off.
  • Now I was safe the triple zero operator transferred me to the local police station.
  • I spoke to the petrol station attendant and asked him if he could mind our bags whilst I walked the 1km back to my wife and child and got the car to come back and get our bags.
  • Wife was obviously concerned (as she couldn't get me on the phone as I have been on 000 the whole time), but all safe in the end.
  • Ended up lodging complaint with CPV, had phone interview and had to submit stat dec with the above.
  • Driver was interviewed in person by CPV. Acknowledged fiddled with the meter. Penalty notice issued to him. Was 'placed on notice' that another infraction could lose licence. Saying that, I feel like he just got a slap on the wrist for what pretty much amounted to kidnapping for a period there.
It wasn't about the money, it was the principal of it all. So many tourists must get ripped with this stuff. As such I avoid cabs at all costs, but it's hard when with kids as cabs have much more relaxed regs with no car seats required, etc.
 

travelislife

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Yep Silver Service at standard taxi rates - Uber / DiDi / Ola ok for solo pax or when out and about on the town but totally unsuitable to / from airport with 2 or more pax with luggage as you have no idea what little shiit box might turn up - and as for Uber / DiDi / Ola drivers - no better than taxi drivewrs on average.

Of course if you don't want quality transport at affordable rates go get an Uber

Whilst the drivers with Uber may be similar to Taxis, the security of Uber's payment platform and tracking of trips, drivers etc. is streets ahead of taxis. This is a major difference in the 2. The driver not having control of the payment mechanism (and no surcharging for CC!) is a big one.
 

Melburnian1

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...I admit to not watching the driver the whole time when he took my card, as co-workers were checking which bag was mine etc. Whole thing is a pain, the sooner Melbourne gets a train from CBD to airport the better.

Hear hear, but it needs to be a separate tunnel (or overhead) all the way, not as part of an existing rail line to Sunshine, which is what the cheapskate Vic Dept of Transport is considering despite the generous Federal funding. Nor ought Melbourne Airport be allowed to have a stake in it.

Victoria Police has long advised not to tap our credit cards, but to insert them that in most cases then requires one's PIN number. This is good advice that I slavishly follow everywhere.
 

Melburnian1

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The taxi industry and it's drivers don't help themselves.
I had a ridiculous situation with my family where I ended up on 000 whilst in the cab, the red flags were there from the second we got to the rank. Basic story goes...

Said we were going to Moonee Ponds....

Won't suit everyone, but every 15 minutes on weekdays and half hourly on weekends there's the 901 SmartBus from the T4 car park (under cover) to Broadmeadows station and then Metro Trains to Moonee Ponds. Cost per adult A$4.40 with a myki smartcard (or use one's smartphone to pay via Public Transport Victoria), cost for very young children nil.

No aggravation from taxi (or Uber) drivers and far cheaper. Train is every 20 minutes (weekday peak periods more frequent.)
 
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Melburnian1

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And to think Reg Kermode skimmed everyone in broad daylight for years which continues on to this day.....

Thanks to the previous Victorian Coalition Government's groundbreaking Professor Fels report though, at least Mr K's ripoff was reduced from 10 to five per cent. NSW eventually reduced that surcharge, following Victoria's lead.

And IIRC, taxi touts at Melbourne Airport were made illegal by the Coalition Government in about 2012 (?) but the Labor Government (elected 2014, and 2018) has made it legal again (as Mattg pointed out).
 

cambriamarsh

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Yep Silver Service at standard taxi rates - Uber / DiDi / Ola ok for solo pax or when out and about on the town but totally unsuitable to / from airport with 2 or more pax with luggage as you have no idea what little shiit box might turn up - and as for Uber / DiDi / Ola drivers - no better than taxi drivewrs on average.

At least ALL Jimmy's associate drivers are TOTALLY PROFESSIONAL - so again as a community announcement if you want quality transport at reasonable rates SMS Jimmy with your name / pick up address / desired time / destination and he or one of his associates will be there 5-10mins earely - GUARANTEED.

When arriving back into MEL prior to dep flt sms Jimmy with your flt no. and he will be waiting - once you collect luggage send another sms stating 'Leaving Terminal Now' and walk across to Pre-Booked Taxi waiting area NE end of T1, T2, T3 car park - simple

View attachment 194706

View attachment 194707

Of course if you don't want quality transport at affordable rates go get an Uber
Thanks CE, added to my contacts
 

coriander

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Sheesh,I wish I'd known how bad taxis were before reading this (/sarcasm off :) ).

I'd taken taxis to/from Peter Mac to home weekly for about 8 weeks. I was avoiding public transport because of my then non-existent immune system. (I start my round of "baby shots" in December.)

Consistently, taxis cost $22-24 whereas Uber is always $28-$32 (yes I do check). Every taxi I've ridden in has been spotlessly clean, odour-free and the drivers totally professional and knowledgeable about destination and short cuts.
The one Uber I did take was with a driver with a terrible cold who kept coughing, sneezing and wiping his nose on his sleeve (I offered him tissues which he declined - I don't think he got the hint.) I gave him one star rating.

Either the airport taxis are different or I live in a parallel dimension.
 

Melburnian1

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Sheesh,I wish I'd known how bad taxis were before reading this (/sarcasm off :) ). ...Consistently, taxis cost $22-24 whereas Uber is always $28-$32 (yes I do check).

Coriander, hope your treatment (continues to) go well.

Is this because Uber is (in a minor way) adopting its infamous 'surge pricing' at the times you travel? I thought more often than not taxis were more expensive.
 

Melburnian1

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Airport authorities should invest in security guards to really crackdown on taxi touts waiting in the arrival hall - it makes for a very ugly stain on the travel experience when a visitor's first impression to a city is being harrassed by charlatans.

MEL had these when touting was made illegal. But now it's again legal.
 

puchu

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Yep Silver Service at standard taxi rates - Uber / DiDi / Ola ok for solo pax or when out and about on the town but totally unsuitable to / from airport with 2 or more pax with luggage as you have no idea what little shiit box might turn up - and as for Uber / DiDi / Ola drivers - no better than taxi drivewrs on average.

...

Thanks CE - at risk of taking this off-topic, you don't happen to have a recommended driver in Sydney do you?
 

Mrmaxwell

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That is what I always thought, but according to Westpac, lastest method can copy by tapping (a reader on back of the apple pay or credit card machine) copies the NFC signal

When using Apple Pay each transaction is encrypted and your actual card details are never transmitted only a random transaction ID which changes with each transaction. I suggest that a more general NFC device is being used to copy card data but don't confuse this with Apple Pay.

Chip and PIN is the way to go if skimming is suspected.
 

Tuppe

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Thanks CE - at risk of taking this off-topic, you don't happen to have a recommended driver in Sydney do you?
Thanks for Melbourne recommendation Cruiser.
Apologies for further off topic, but would appreciate similar advice for Perth.
Thanks all.
 

nutwood

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I must confess to taking a ride with one of the "touts" at Melbourne. Was asked politely, by someone speaking excellent english, whether I was needing a taxi. I did, so accepted the offer. Ended up skipping the long queue and travelling in a nice new Merc. I put his number into my phone and every time I need a taxi in Melbourne, I ring ahead and he meets me. Same price as normal taxi.
Basically, he runs a premium chauffeur business but when it's quiet, moonlights as a taxi. Probably illegal but it's only Uber, without the middle man. Works for me and it's a much more pleasant experience.
 
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