Getting Scammed in Thailand
We hadn't been in Thailand for 10 minutes before we got scammed.
We were in the airport and I had just gotten some money out of the ATM. We needed to get to a cheap hotel called "D&D Inn" which was recommended to me by my buddy Ben from Brisbane, Australia.
There were some guys on the floor above us looking down at us saying, "Taxi!" So we went up to follow them to their taxi.
First red flag - none of these guys had any official taxi company logos on their shirts and none of them were wearing an official badge.
But I kept following them thinking that it's just done a little differently here in Thailand.
Second red flag - we got to the car and it was unmarked.
This looks shady as heck. I told the guys, "Look, this car doesn't say 'Taxi' on it." They ensured me that it was the official airport taxi, that's why. William had already put his bag in the trunk. A little hesitant, I slid into the back of the car.
Third red flag - all three of the guys that were taking us to the car got in with us.
That was it. Something seriously wrong is going on here. The car started to pull out but I demanded that they pull over and let us out. They acted all confused but eventually let us out.
One of the guys kept hassling me all the way back inside the airport. We eventually lost him though.
William and I got a drink of water and then headed back out to see if we could get into a car that actually said, "Taxi" on it with a single taxi driver.
We were met by some other guy who tried to get us into another unmarked car. I told him that I was only going in a car that said "Taxi" on it. So he took us across the road to several marked taxis. There stood the shady guy who hassled me into the airport. It was the guy's friend I guess.
He told us it'd be $20 USD to get us in D&D Inn. All we had were baht (Thailand's currency). He said, ok, just 1,500 baht then. At the time I didn't do the math, but 1,500 baht is the equivalent of $42. Rip off.
So we get in and the hassle guy got in with us. As the driver started to drive away from the airport the hassle guy started saying, "You pay now! You pay now!" We were like, "Dude, chill!" And then he made the taxi driver pull over and demanded that we pay $1,500 apiece.
I was like, "Hail-no! You told us 1,500 baht total, not 1,500 baht apiece." He wouldn't move until we paid. So, just to get out of the situation, we agreed to pay a total of 2,000 baht ($57 USD) which is way more than you're supposed to pay for a taxi here.
I gave him 1,500 baht and told him we'd pay final 500 baht when we got to the destination. He didn't like that deal, but he took the money and got out of the cab. Then the taxi driver took us to the hotel where we paid him 500 baht.
Then the taxi driver tried to hit us up for more money saying that he paid two tolls on the way over and we owed him 70 more baht.
I obviously didn't give him anything more.
A few tips when you travel to Thailand:
- Get a random taxi off the street - not one that someone suggests to you.
- Insist that the taxi driver use the meter. If he say's it's broken, find another cab.
- Some taxi and tuk-tuk drivers will tell you that some special attraction is open today only for a special holiday. They're full of crap and trying to scam you.
- If you want to get from the Bangkok airport to somewhere in the city, it should cost around 300 baht ($8.50 USD).