The video clip was initially uploaded by Facebook user, Jack Brown on Saturday afternoon (June 18) and yesterday morning (June 19) had amassed more than 105,000 views and 11,000 Likes.
The clip was later uploaded to his Youtube channel. (See story here.)
The issue about taxi fares was discussed this morning (June 20) when Governor Chamroen Thipyapongthada held a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall with the Director of the Phuket Land Transportation Office.
Gov Chamroen said, “The minimum set price for a taxi in Phuket was set at B200 back in 2013 after it was found that some tourists had been cheated on fares. A taxi driver should not ask for more than B200 if they cover a route within two kilometers.
“However, we have today decided that all taxis must now display about the cost of their service in four languages; Thai, Chinese, Russian and English so that people know about the cost before agreeing to use the service.
“If any passenger believes they have been overcharged then they should call the Phuket Land Transportation Office call centre on 1584.
Director of the Phuket Land Transportation Office Sommai Sutkhao added, “All drivers of taxis on the island must inform passengers of their prices before providing a service. We are now in the process of advising public transport associations to have details of the costs of taxi services in four languages in all vehicles. Drivers should also inform passengers about the cost first,” he said.
“However, I can confirm that we are now considering about reducing the costs of taxi services on the island. But this will not be discussed until at least next month.
“This will not just be for minivans and cars, it will also be for motorbike taxis too,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr Brown spoke to various media outlets in an interview today and apologised to the taxi driver who was on the receiving end of his complaint about high taxi fares.
“I love Thailand and I don't want to destroy Phuket’s tourism industry. I am worried about Phuket's tourism image and feel that tourists should come here more than once. However, if the taxi rates are cheaper tourists will use the service more. This means that the drivers’ income will also increase,” he said.
When asked why he didn’t try to negotiate the cost of his ride, Mr Brown said, “I didn’t know I could negotiate.”
The taxi driver Mongkol Sae-Ong added, “I informed the man that the service would cost B200. There was no request for the price to be lowered.
“I don’t want to get too serious about this issue as I charged the price as set out by the Phuket Land Transportation Office, so it is acceptable,” he said.