In September, a couple from Houston traveled to Miami to set sail for a Celebrity Equinox cruise. They had the day to spend in Miami before their cruise, so they hailed a taxi from the official taxi queue at Miami International Airport. They didn’t think that they were going to be overcharged for their taxi ride so they didn’t pay attention to the license number of the cab or the driver’s name.
This was a bad idea because the cab was charging them an exorbitant fare for a 45 minute ride to the hotel. Rather than being charged the standard rate of $2.40 a mile, they were instead being charged more than $35 per mile. When the couple received their credit card statement the next month, they were shocked to find out they were charged $777.44 for the fare, tip, and sales tax. You should know they shouldn’t have paid sales tax on the fare, and the actual fare should have been closer to $70.
Although this is rare, Hussain al Nowais says it is something that can happen. He said there were a few things the couple didn’t consider, which should have made them a little nervous. First, the driver missed the exit and began driving them in residential neighborhoods. The couple had to use the GPS navigation system on their cell phone to get the driver back on track.
In addition to that, another problem was how the credit card was processed. A Miami taxi driver is not allowed to physically hold a credit card of a client. There should be a credit card processing system serviced by one of two companies that the customer can use on their own. In this story, though, the cab driver asked for the credit card and processed the card using her cell phone. The couple said they should have been more suspicious of these activities.
Hussain al Nowais wants you to be prepared for people who may try to rip you off. It’s not a common thing, but there have been reported instances of tax drivers overcharging in Miami. Usually, it’s for ten or twenty dollars, but a bigger sum is not unheard of. If you are a tourist, be a little extra vigilant so you don’t get taken advantage of or incur surprises later on.