A Chilean journalist was taken for a very expensive taxi ride during his recent trip to moscow where he was attendining the FIFA Confederations Cup.
Diego Saez, was cheated by the driver, who charged him 50,000 rubles (USD $900), 50 times tipycal fare, for a ride from the Domodedovo airport in the southern part of Moscow to the hotel in the center.
Tired from an overnight journey that stared in Romania, where Chile played their last friendly before the Confederations Cup, Saez says at first he did not calculate the exchange rate when the driver told him the astronomical fare upon arrival. After paying but before exiting the car, he consulted with a Chilean colleague over the phone, who told him a more reasonable rate would be 5,000 rubles, or some $90 — and even that’s very high by Moscow standards.
Since Diego was travelling for a long time and was pretty much tired, he did not calculaute the exchange rate at first whent he driver told him the astronomical fare once they have reached the destination. Although he was quite suspicious of the fare, he made a call to his colleague to confirm the fare who told him it should have been around 5,000 rubles, he then started arguing with the driver to get the money back, but the driver has insisted on the fare.
The driver has dropped his bags in front of the hotel and Saez says he took a pciture of the licesnce plate and with the help of the hotel manager, contacted the police and filed a report. After some time, the police has contacted Diego and infromed him that they had found the driver and that he was detained now. In front of the police the driver has returned all the money back and even offered a free ride, saying that he thought the 50,000 RUB was a tip. Diego, has gladly refused the tip and thanked the police which has also offered him a two-men police escort, he gladly rejected that too.
Moscow’s airports are notorious among locals for taxi scams. Signs warn against accepting rides from the gaggles of drivers who hang around the terminal, accosting new arrivals. Taxi companies and ride-share apps typically offer a journey to the center for around 1,000 rubles ($17).