Still no sympathy for Indonesian taxis

Vicissidude

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I rarely use taxis these days because I have my own motorbike. When I'm out of town I usually use Gojek, Grab, or Uber, usually airport arrivals being the one exception. Today I used a normal taxi for the first time in a while, and was reminded why they suck so bad. Dude took a wrong turn, forcing us to take a long loop around and wait through the same macet again. Then when we finally got to the destination, he of course didn't have enough change. Of note, I would have had exact change if he hadn't taken me on the annoying detour. I considered just paying him that, but didn't want an argument and it's definitely possible that it was an honest mistake.

I'm not totally irate about this or anything. It's a mild example of the kind of shit they pull every day, and I've encountered much worse. I'm just blown away by how they can be angry, organizing protests that turn into riots, blaming "taxi online" for their struggling business. You can't treat customers poorly and expect them to return. We were given a better option that doesn't rip us off at every turn.
 
It would have been difficult to get a GRAB in N Jakarta this morning...they were on a rally which nearly turned to be a riot...
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/06/28/angry-grab-drivers-rally-against-suspension.html

Interesting. I was just in Jakarta and used Grab without issue, though not in North Jakarta.

I'm curious what kind of "manipulations and ethical code violations" those drivers are suspected of. Maybe this means Grab are actually holding their drivers accountable, unlike the taxi I rode in today..
 
My wife does not put up with the "no change" thing. She tells the ass-hole to go to the nearest warung and get change while she waits. More often than not, change suddenly appears.
 
My wife does not put up with the "no change" thing. She tells the ass-hole to go to the nearest warung and get change while she waits. More often than not, change suddenly appears.

Before I had a car myself I used to do the same thing, and I would also make sure that they would turn off the meter which otherwise would keep running while they're searching the change.
 
Do I understand that Grab guys are ordinary drivers in private cars or are they taxis drivers who use Grab?
 
My wife does not put up with the "no change" thing. She tells the ass-hole to go to the nearest warung and get change while she waits. More often than not, change suddenly appears.

Reminds me of my youth & mates a bit, tell the ass - hole to get change at a warung then if & when he does,..... do the runner … perfect.
 
I'm turning into a tourist in my own country. The last time I took a taksi in Jakarta I actually tipped the driver, maybe 5K. I think I paid around 50K for an hour-long trip, that's less than $4. The driver's share is less than half, so she's probably making $1.50 for that trip. Her entire take home pay for the day would be around $8.

It's hard for me to get upset about taxi fare change in Jakarta, considering I paid close to $30 for a 15-minute taxi ride to the airport here. Last Sunday I paid $34 just to park for 3 hours in downtown Chicago.
 
I realize the money is small potatoes. We just don't appreciate being jerked around, even for small change. If the driver bulks at making change, he will end up making change and getting only the exact fare; if he offers change, my wife almost always says, "Keep it," unless he was an ass-hole in other ways, for example sleeping at the wheel, taking a circuitous route to pad the fare -- most of you know the usual ploys/problems.
 
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Same here, I don't mind & do tip drivers who are real but otherwise they can hardly expect sympathy.
 
I realize the money is small potatoes. We just don't appreciate being jerked around, even for small change. If the driver bulks at making change, he will end up making change and getting only the exact fare; if he offers change, my wife almost always says, "Keep it," unless he was an ass-hole in other ways, for example sleeping at the wheel, taking a circuitous route to pad the fare -- most of you know the usual ploys/problems.

Same here, I don't mind & do tip drivers who are real but otherwise they can hardly expect sympathy.

Yeah, I know some of them can be assholes.

By 'tourist' I mean having a mindset that I'm only in country for a couple of weeks at the most, so I refuse to let a minimum wage guy hustling for an extra 50¢ ruin my good mood. I'm not spending $1200 for plane tickets just to be pissed by an extra buck here and there.

The joke is actually on them. By sheer luck I wasn't born to their parents, so here I am and there they are. Life has a twisted sense of humor.
 
I understand your frustration completely @Vicissidude. When I first got here, I would boil over with rage at all the bullshit I was experiencing in taxis. Most often, taxi drivers will refuse to listen to my instructions. I speak Indonesian well enough to give clear and concise directions, as well as talk about alternate routes/traffic, etc. but whenever I'm in a taxi, it seems the driver is insistent on doing things his way. Yes, I know they are drivers and understand the different routes, but if I tell you not to take that turn or to take the toll road, then do it! More frustrating still is that when I'm with my husband, this is NEVER a problem. They don't argue or insist on a different way, they simply comply. :mad2: It was exactly the same with the change situation. Once, I even asked the driver for change, which he insisted he didn't have. My husband happened to be coming out of our apartment and came over as I was talking to the driver. What do know, all of a sudden the driver found change right in his breast pocket.

Once I started taking app-based transportation, my stress level reduced dramatically. The routes are recorded on the app, the fare price is set, and I have all the driver's information on my phone, which I also send to my husband if I'm riding alone. Overall, it makes me feel less stressed and safer.

I do know that Blue Bird has teamed up with Go-Jek so that if you order a car with them, you will either get a Go-Car or Blue Bird, whichever one is closer. So, perhaps this is an indication that taxi and app-based companies are going to start figuring out how to coexist without any uproar?
 
I have lived here for three years and used bluebird all the time until GRAB came along. I dont and wont drive in Jakarta despite owning two cars. So i have to use cabs if no one is available to drive me.

I can only recalls three occasions where a driver has tried to rip me off.

The rest have taken the most direct routine or asked to take an alternative in traffic. I have never asked for change because I glad to be travelling in some of the world's cheapest taxis and always give a 10 to 20% tip on the meter price. The Toll out my way has some of the worst Jakarta traffic so if we are sitting the cab for about 2-3 hours hours I always give a much bigger tip.

These guys guys work for next to nothing so I am happy to pay a reasonable fare to get home.
 
I agree being a taxi driver is a shit job, sitting in traffic jams hoping to get a customer must be pretty soul destroying, I always round the fare up or give 10%, anyone remember the old President cabs, now they were crooks
 
I agree being a taxi driver is a shit job, sitting in traffic jams hoping to get a customer must be pretty soul destroying, I always round the fare up or give 10%, anyone remember the old President cabs, now they were crooks
Yeah, I remember President Taxi, my parents had one in the 80's. It was basically a franchise where each vehicle was owned independently, so there was no quality standard beyond the argometer. Some of them were so crooked they even tampered with the meter, people called it a horse meter (argo kuda), as it rolled fast like a horse.
 
I understand your frustration completely @Vicissidude. When I first got here, I would boil over with rage at all the bullshit I was experiencing in taxis. Most often, taxi drivers will refuse to listen to my instructions. I speak Indonesian well enough to give clear and concise directions, as well as talk about alternate routes/traffic, etc. but whenever I'm in a taxi, it seems the driver is insistent on doing things his way. Yes, I know they are drivers and understand the different routes, but if I tell you not to take that turn or to take the toll road, then do it! More frustrating still is that when I'm with my husband, this is NEVER a problem. They don't argue or insist on a different way, they simply comply. :mad2: It was exactly the same with the change situation. Once, I even asked the driver for change, which he insisted he didn't have. My husband happened to be coming out of our apartment and came over as I was talking to the driver. What do know, all of a sudden the driver found change right in his breast pocket.

Once I started taking app-based transportation, my stress level reduced dramatically. The routes are recorded on the app, the fare price is set, and I have all the driver's information on my phone, which I also send to my husband if I'm riding alone. Overall, it makes me feel less stressed and safer.

I do know that Blue Bird has teamed up with Go-Jek so that if you order a car with them, you will either get a Go-Car or Blue Bird, whichever one is closer. So, perhaps this is an indication that taxi and app-based companies are going to start figuring out how to coexist without any uproar?
I'm a guy with close cropped hair (most of the time), so fortunately they avoid disrespecting me, in the off chance that I'm military or police in civilian clothes.

Bluebird sees the writing on the wall and teams up with Go-Car. The choice is to align with one of the rideshare companies, or risk becoming irrelevant. Now Uber and Grab has a formidable competitor.
 
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By 'tourist' I mean having a mindset that I'm only in country for a couple of weeks at the most, so I refuse to let a minimum wage guy hustling for an extra 50¢ ruin my good mood. I'm not spending $1200 for plane tickets just to be pissed by an extra buck here and there..

Yep, you're right as is evident through a mate of mine who\s in town for a couple of weeks at present, I keep ribbing him about how he's being ripped off left, right & centre …. to a degree he doesn't really care/
 
I don't feel like I'm being ripped off all the time here in Indonesia. Usually the "bule tax" is fairly mild in my experience. Like if I pay 15k for some goreng du jour instead of 12k. No biggie for me. Other SE Asian countries I traveled through were way worse. But come on, I can't be giving uang rokok to the dude who just made my trip 20 mins longer! I'm like Waarmie and McV - if I get there with no hassles, I'll usually tip. But I'm no MoneyBagsBrian about it ;)

I recently met a couple Austrian tourists. They told me how they left their swank resort (I assume to go slumming for an hour or two) to ride an angkot and walk around. They stopped in a warung to buy a pack of smokes and spoke with the English-speaking ibu there for a few minutes. When buying the cigarettes, he handed her a 50k note, but she didn't have change and tried to give back the money. They insisted she just take the full 50 for the wonderful experience of speaking to a local (a 100%+ tip for a pack of smokes!), but then later felt they'd been had and so asked me about it. I didn't wanna taint their short trip here, so I told them she was probably being honest but also that they should have just asked for 2 packs.
 
I really don't have much time for moneyed tourists looking for an "authentic" experience. I suspect it's just so they can exude worldly concern as the video runs for their clueless friends back home.
 

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