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Taxi Nazi: No Taxi For You!

The other night I went out to dinner with my friends Ayngelina  and Stephanie. We decided to try a place called El Obrero way out in La Boca.

La Boca is a sketchy place at night. We knew this. However, because all of us think we are above danger, we took buses there. Stephanie arrived on her own while Ayngelina and I walked together. As we wandered the poorly lit streets and avoided shady characters hiding in the shadows, Ayngelina and I realized something.

This is exactly the kind of stuff we tell our readers NOT to do.

We made it to the restaurant just fine but we decided that we should be safe and get a taxi to take us back to a safer area where we could catch a bus home. I called Radio Taxi and used my phone name, Teresa. (Rease is a weird name everywhere, but Argentines have an incredible amount of trouble understanding it so for phone situations, I simply say my name is Teresa).

We get into the taxi and I made sure the meter started where it should and settled back into my conversation with Ayngelina and Stephanie. We spoke rapidly in English because as long as I know where I am going, I have no problem letting the driver know I am foreign.

The Scam

When we arrived at our bus stop the meter said $19.30. I handed the driver 20 pesos and kindly told him he could keep his coins, which are hard to come by here. He turned around and took just a split second to long to think about what he was about to say. It was so clearly rehearsed. He informed us that we actually owed him 3 pesos more because we called the cab.

Luckily, none of us are fools so Ayngelina immediately started exiting the cab as to avoid any potentially ugly situations. This was obviously not my first time being scammed so I confidently argued with him in Spanish:
“No. I am not an idiot. I am not a tourist, I live here. When you call a cab you must have a minimum 12 peso fair, ours is 19, I gave you 20, goodbye.”

I could still hear him arguing as we exited the car. As Stephanie slammed the door I gave him one last assurance “No soy una tonta! Vivo acá y no pago más!” (I am not a fool, I live here and I will not pay more!)

This should have been the end of it. His scam failed and he should have just moved on. Of course, that’s not what happened.

The three of us walked to our bus stop and proceeded to wait. The driver followed us, pulled up next to the stop and rolled down his window.

 

No Taxi For You!

 

As this man continued to yell at me, I bit my lip, trying not to laugh. He looked as if his head would simply explode as he screamed at me

“You are not an idiot, you are a bitch!”

It made me laugh that he felt the need to note that my intelligence has nothing to do with it. Thanks for that, taxi man. I continued to repeat myself, telling him to move along, that I would not pay him a cent more.

This scammer was angry. He screamed at me:

You will not call Radio Taxi anymore! You will not get taxis! You cannot call for taxis!”

I managed to yell a quick “go to hell” at him before I cracked up laughing. You will not get taxis? Seriously? Obviously that man did think I was an idiot if he thought that threat would work. No more taxis? Oh my goodness please let me pay! I simply cannot be banned from taxis in the entire city of Buenos Aires!

So, let me get this straight- you, taxi driver scammer, are going to radio in to all your taxi buddies. You will then describe me to them: female, short, dark hair, dark eyes, tan skin (otherwise known as a typical Argentine female). You will tell them my first name, Teresa, which was a fake name in the first place. Perhaps you will use your secret spy equipment to track my prepaid cellphone. Oh yes, I can see how bad this is going to turn out for me.

Of course, this Taxi Nazi was all talk. Yes, it was only 3 pesos, but it is the principal of the matter. The scam was offensive, but this man’s persistence was downright comical.

So, here’s to you, Taxi Nazi- No Scam For You!

 

20 Responses to Taxi Nazi: No Taxi For You!

    • Rease K says:

      In case you were wondering, I did write down that guy’s taxi number and call the next day to complain. The guy on the phone got feisty with me too! I told him off as well. I don’t like being scammed!

  • T-roy says:

    LOL, to funny and love his line of being banned for all taxis! Anytime something like that happened to me while in Thailand, I would get out and take a photo of the license plate with my cell phone and when he’d stop yelling to ask me what I was doing, I’d just tell him I was taking the photo to give to the Police and Taxi company that he works for. 99% he’d shut up and leave ASAP. Never mind that I never actually took a photo and just acted like I did it! 🙂 Funny write up and i got a laugh out of it.
    T-roy recently posted..Why I Travel- 7 Degrees of SeparationMy Profile

  • Carmie says:

    This is one story that I didn’t hear from Ayngelina. As I mother I am glad the three of you were together, but on the other hand it made me laugh!

    • Rease K says:

      haha yeah this would have been scarier if one of us was alone or pretty crappy for someone who didn’t know how to argue in Spanish.

  • That wasn’t a scam. I thought exactly the same after a cab driver added “a 4 pesos plus” to the fare.

    Since March 1st cabs are 20% more expensive from 22 to 6, and there’s a plus for calling a cab. And they add that to the fare when the ride is over.

    • Rease K says:

      The added boost in fares at night has been valid for awhile. I did call Radio Taxi to complain and they tried to convince me of the law as well. However, when a law like that goes into effect it must be posted. I told him that’s all fine and great but until I see a posting in a cab I will not be paying anything that is not shown on the meter.
      Just for frame of reference, it’s also a law to pick up after your dog’s crap. Anyone who has walked through Buenos Aires knows that one hasn’t taken effect. No postings, no following.

      • Eugenie says:

        You’re right! If it doesn’t show, you don’t have to pay it… they have to change the meters.

        However, they don’t have to post it in the taxies, law comes in force a couple of days after publishing it in a dairy called Boletín oficial.

        Argentina is so dual. On one hand people are really nice to europeans (I guess to americans/canadians as well?) but on the other hand, they think you have a lot of money and they want to have their share (oh, how I hate this).

        By the way, a diferent price for Argentineans and others nationalities is forbidden by law, except when they have an authorization (like the flying companies), so if they want to charge you extra in a hotel, don’t buy it, it’s illegal!

        Ley de defensa del consumidor: artículo 8 bis
        “No podrán ejercer sobre los consumidores extranjeros diferenciación alguna sobre precios, calidades técnicas o comerciales o cualquier otro aspecto relevante sobre los bienes y servicios que comercialice. Cualquier excepción a lo señalado deberá ser autorizada por la autoridad de aplicación en razones de interés general debidamente fundadas”

        • Rease K says:

          If they would add it to the meter, I would pay it. I accepted the raise in start price at night because the meter simply starts higher. Anything off the meter just isn’t happening. Locals refuse to pay and I am a local so I will continue to refuse as well!

    • reasek says:

      It’s always the case! But it’s good, because that’s usually when you need it most. I’ve gotten what I wanted plenty of times by whipping out the angry Spanish.

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