-Mr.Taxi, Taxi, Horrible Taxi.
26/March/2013 | Everydays, Personal Thoughts
Something horrid happened to me last weekend.
This is already the shorter version of the story, I already cut down on alot of personal remarks, feelings and other relevant details. I am angry, I really could go on and on about how I pissed I am with the taxi driver and how unresponsive SMRT-singapore is. but if you’re expect flawless english, please do yourself a favor, EXIT MY BLOG NOW. bye.
After having supper with my friends at Chinatown, at about 3.30am, I got onto a CHEVROLET EPICA SMRT taxi from McDonald’s along New Bridge Road. The taxi driver is a Chinese uncle in his 40s. I spoke with him in English, he replied in understandable English.
SMRT does not accept NETS and I didn’t have enough cash on me to pay for the taxi, so, I told him “Uncle, could you drive me to a DBS ATM, I need to withdraw money then head to XXXX (my address)”.
There’s an ATM outside The Central along Eu Tong Street, so he stopped his cab along the road. The ATM, which had NO queue, can easily be seen from the road .
Before getting off the cab, I told the driver,
“Uncle, wait for me here, very fast one, I leave my bag here.”
I quickly got out, leaving my Fred Perry bag on the cab. It contained: my house keys, iPhone 5 earphones, sweets/snacks and CASH.
I withdrew money, which took less than 2 mins since there was NO QUEUE. I turned around and to my horror, the cab was gone! He drove off!
I couldn’t believe what was happening, I walked unto the street to see if the driver was nearby.
No SMRT taxi around at all!
Luckily I had my phone and wallet with me. I was in shock but quickly called the SMRT hotline.
I had to hold for about 10 mins before I FINALLY got through to a Chinese female operator. I told her what happened and she simply replied me, “Sir, I shall put you on hold.”
I replied “No, dont put me on hold…!.”
Ok, she already put already put me on hold. There I was waiting AGAIN for someone to pick up.
Adding to my frustration, this Indian operator greeted me with “Sir, you need a cab now?”
I WAS SO PISSED that I had to waste time explaining myself again. What was the first time for? Did the 1st lady even do ANYTHING?! Like use their tracking system? By the time I finish explaining my story for the SECOND time, the taxi driver would be super far away already!
I asked the operator to help me to track down the cab, she said, “Sir, I’m afraid not, the person-in-charge for taxi tracking only works in the day. All I can do is to broadcast a message to all of our drivers.”
HOLY SHIT. SRSLY? Taxi tracking is only during office hours? So if I lose my wallet or phone after working hours, that’s it, I could give up all hope of getting my stuff back already.
I can only imagine my frustration, if say the driver drove off with my passport and I have a flight to catch, or really important documents?! Or if he goes off with my valuables and sells them off?
The operator simply said she will get back to me the next morning if there was any news.
I was kinda taken aback.. the next morning? At this point I already had no hopes of getting my stuff back already. But imagine, if there were really important things in that bag, like camera, laptop, passport or wallet….?
I hung up, i gave the cab driver a benefit of the doubt, i waited at the same spot for about 20 mins, praying that the taxi driver will feel guilty or something, and decide to turn back and return me the bag…
No, as expected the driver didn’t come back.
Now I had to face the inconvenience caused, I lost my keys and no one would be home to open the door for me. I had no choice but to go a friend’s house to stay the night.
I finally got home at 10.30am and called SMRT again since no one had contacted me.
SMRT said they had tracked a few cab drivers who were in that area at that time, and would be calling them.
At 2pm they called me. They asked those few drivers about it, but none owned up (duh).
SMRT said they could do more accurate tracking, but that one needs the tech team and they would only be in on Monday…
On Monday, no calls, no news. 9pm I called SMRT again, the supervisor told me the tech team will only be there tomorrow (Tuesday)… -_-
In all my 24 years in Singapore, I never once heard of anything so horrid happening. This is Singapore, not Bangkok or China pls!
Some might say I am so naive to not take note of the taxi number plate or I should have never leave anything on the cab. Yeah, I know. but I seriously never in a million years expected this, I’ve gotten off cab to withdraw/pick up/drop off things countless times, but never once a taxi driver DRIVE OFF. Never.
Also leaving something on the cab with the driver its my way of assuring the driver that i m coming back for sure. I’ve heard tons of horrible stories about cab passengers cooking up with cash withdraw/drop off/pick up excuses just to ran away from paying the cab fares. i guess i was too juvenile to do so, never again.
I’ve learnt my lesson, never ever leave anything on cab even if it’s a umbrella.
I am very disappointed by SMRT-singapore ‘s response. The operators totally don’t care kind, did they even bother to transmit my message? Becos if they did, if the driver does not have the intention of stealing my bag, would have received the broad cast msg, but no driver own up, that proves the driver is either intentional or SMRT didn’t broadcast the MSG for me… -_- they didn’t even follow up without me having to call them. And how can tracking only be available during office hours?! Seriously? No one lose anything after office hours? What if it’s an emergency? What if an SMRT taxi hit another car/someone and drove off, but SMRT can’t track them?!
After this happened to me, I asked my friends and many said they’ve heard/had bad experiences with SMRT. Losing their things, finding the SMRT staff very unhelpful… Other taxi uncles also told me that if you drop something in an SMRT cab the chances of getting it back are very small.
So take an SMRT taxi at your own risk. Going to avoid them if I can.
Ok, end of story! i still felt super lucky that i didn’t left my phone and wallet on the cab! lucky me~
i used up all the dulan (angry) prince stickers in the narrative post, that kinda prove how dulan i am. lol.