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Complaining About Hong Kong Taxi Drivers

Complaints are up about taxi and mini-bus drivers, especially as a percentage, the unregulated red mini-busses. I seldom ride the red mini-busses but I do use taxis quite often (I live up a fairly steep hill) and ride the green, regulated mini-busses from time to time

Naturally, the representatives of the drivers said the complaints were overstated. They might have a point. In all my years in Hong Kong, I cannot recall one instance where I was mistreated by a taxi driver and only once was I taken on a “ride” instead of going directly to my destination and I’m partially to blame for not speaking up.

Interestingly, 70% of the complaints against taxi drivers, many citing rudeness, were not pursued because of a lack of evidence. Some complaints were allegedly caused by the driver’s refusal to give a discount, a practice that is evidently widespread unless you are a gweilo. I’ve never even thought of asking for a discount. Taxi fares are so reasonable.

A government official suggested that maybe people’s awareness of the fact that they could complain contributed to the increase. Even though I know all generalizations are suspect, my experience is that given the opportunity, Hong Kong people love to complain. That’s why we have a beautiful stadium we can’t use 90% of the time – complaints about the noise.

Frankly, I’m much more leery of franchised double-decker busses barreling down Hennessy Road at 70 or 80 Kph than I am of driver rudeness on the part of taxi or mini-bus drivers.