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Phuket taxi rip-offs in the TikTok spotlight

Phuket taxi rip-offs in the TikTok spotlight

PHUKET: Phuket taxi drivers, the fares they charge and the fear they exert over other taxi drivers in picking up customers has become a fiery issue on the TikTok platform after the son of a TikTok celebrity became embroiled in a spat over a taxi driver wanting to charge a B600 fare.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Sunday 30 January 2022, 04:11PM

Kevin Phol, son of online celebrity “SuperdocYo” (see here), has filed a formal complaint over the incident, which occurred in front of Cafe del Mar in Kamala on Friday night (Jan 28).

Kevin Phol posted videos on TikTok showing the Phuket taxi driver raising his middle finger at Kevin to conclude an argument over the taxi driver wanting to charge B600 to take Kevin and his girlfriend back to his accommodation in Patong.

Kevin disputed the high price, and booked a Grab taxi for the same journey, for which he was quoted a fare of only B168.

However, the Grab driver in the end refused to pick up Kevin, citing fear of reprisal by the taxi drivers in front of the club.

Kevin has since posted online long and detailed accounts of the incident.

In the videos posted online, the taxi driver can be seen pointing in Kevin’s face in an intimidating manner, and shouting while repeatedly pointing his finger at his girlfriend, who was recording the incident.

“Café del mar. Good restaurant. very and very beautiful. Who recommends you to come but only stick to taxi gangsters in front of the shop?” Kevin Phol posted.

Of note, while the taxi driver was unloading his tirade at Kevin,  security at the club politely intervened to prevent the incident from escalating.

The Grab driver who apologetically declined to pick him up told Kevin that the taxi rank near Cafe del Mar is not the only location where Grab drivers are afraid to pick up tourists, Kevin noted.

“It seems to be like this at many places,” he wrote.

During the argument, while the taxi driver’s spit was landing on Kevin’s face as he spoke, Kevin told the taxi driver that he would report the incident to the police.

The taxi driver said that he did not care. His defense for charging B600 for a fare that should cost only B168 was simple: “I’m a Phuket taxi.”

Kevin called 191 to report the incident, and police soon arrived.

“After a while, the police came to try to soften the situation. The police officer asked me to call Grab, but I couldn’t get through. I didn’t want the incident to end like this, for the sake of safety, the police officer said, let’s go to the police station together,” Kevin wrote.

“Finally, I went to the police station where I gave all the [video] clips to the police officers,” he added.

Kevin noted that, for him, “incidents like this happen very rarely”.

“I must be out of luck. Phuket is a beautiful city worth visiting. Anyone who sees this kind of incident can inform the police at number 191 at all times. As for my girlfriend admitted. She was shocked by the incident. I feel that it was unfair for her to have to see that. What I saw was unfair. Tourists should have a choice,” he wrote.

Kamala Police have recognised the report as a formal complaint to investigate. The report has been lodged as criminal case 30/2656.

Police involved in the case have noted they “will conduct an investigation to be fair to all parties”.

“All people know that In the event that a problem occurs in any case [like this], immediately notify the police on 191 or the relevant agencies to take care of the problem immediately,”  The Phuket News was told.

“The police are ready to serve the people 24 hours a day to confront the parties. even if we are right which can cause serious issues,” the Kamala Police officer added.

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Kurt | 31 January 2022 - 11:09:52

Perhaps a solution: Sett up in new Provincial Hall a Tourist complain Dept with english speaking people ( employ the entertainment ladies, they are te best in english), and register complains with viral proof about taxi-Van-tuk tuk drivers. Let all these drivers do a 90 day report at Provincial Hall and confront them with heafty penalties. A gold mine for Phuket Officialdom will open.

Kurt | 31 January 2022 - 10:56:28

There is increasing reason for Phuket Officialdom to panic about down fall of Phuket image as tourist destination. Ignoring any longer that all tourist scams/ bad behavior of Phuket transport drivers ( we read they even spit at tourists face) go viral wise all over the world. See the contradiction: The regimental treatment of tourists, projected on ignoring the ruling Phuket mafia.

Kurt | 31 January 2022 - 10:35:05

The endless Phuket Rip-off tourism industry stories, the incompetence/unwillingness of Phuket Officialdom to fight it and protect/restore Phuket image a tourist destination. Now the Phuket 'Rip-Off bodies' are more powerfull than Phuket Government.

maverick | 31 January 2022 - 10:08:33

Nothing will change , why get worked up about it, avoid them like the plague there is the smart bus and other alternatives - walking is quite beneficial. 

Virushater | 31 January 2022 - 10:06:58

This spot at CDM is well known for scamming taxi drivers, same with Bangla. It can easily be avoided by booking Bolt, Indriver or Grab and choose a nearby located pick up point. The Grab, Bolt drivers are happy to pick you up there. Just use your brains guys, instead of crying around. And: Expats, who still using a tuk tuk in Phuket are beyond all stupidity. 

JohnC | 31 January 2022 - 09:46:20

On the subject of rip off taxis, if anything it is worse than 25 years ago when I had my first encounter with them. Now there are many more and larger amounts of money involved. Thailand will never stop these criminal elements because their so-called 'people of wealth and privilege' (read that as oxygen thieves) are the greedy scum controling them all. Don't use them! Simple as that.

JohnC | 31 January 2022 - 09:37:38

The son of a tiktok celebrity??? I can't stop laughing at how pathetic that is. What the hell is a tiktok celebrity anyway! A sad git that posts stupid videos that other stupid young people watch over and over. How sad this generation is. Let's all dumb down by playing with our "smart" phones non-stop. Then you to can be a pretend celebrity. LOL

SEC2 | 31 January 2022 - 08:27:38

Solution:  Meter Taxis.  Not going to happen for various reasons, but it sure would be a good idea.  They have them in BKK but sometimes the don't "work".  That's when you get out and walk over to sky train. It's really sad that tourism industry needs help so much and these jerks are pushing it all away. Do other countries have this problem? They will do better in new tourism...

skorchio | 31 January 2022 - 08:20:42

And where is the video? We want to see the video of this friendly driver ..... 

skorchio | 31 January 2022 - 08:20:01

Perhaps the solution is for the helpful Tourist Police to provide a shuttle service for patrons to be relocated to the Police station where the Grab drivers can safely pick up the fares. Now wouldn't that just be ridiculous, Amazing Thailand?

Nasa12 | 31 January 2022 - 07:17:31

@lelecuneo, yes you have 100% right about Prab’s familie. This family have all control of everything in Patong, Kamala and Karon-kata. Some Taxi, Tuktuk, police and all TimeShare hotel and apartments. 

kiwiian | 31 January 2022 - 03:54:19

Hardly worth getting so upset about. The Tuk Tuk drivers have charged THB 400 to go from Kamala to Patong and after midnight they want THB 600 for years. For the price of a cocktail at CDM ruining the evening?

lelecuneo | 30 January 2022 - 20:48:53

the usual that as been happening for the last 20 years or so in Patong..... they are all report to Prab ( The patong taxi group leader ) and he rules the Police and all in patong...so nothing will ever change and this will just be a drop into the seas.... for me just screw all tuk tuk and taxies... the Phuket governon as no power at all in Patong...shame once again 

hktallday | 30 January 2022 - 20:15:27

the more people use Grab and Bolt the better the island will be.  Please everyone download the apps and start supporting the real taxi drivers. 

Malc-thai | 30 January 2022 - 17:24:28

This is common .. I live here in Patong and just 1 night I wanted a tuk tuk to take me 700 metres because it was starting to rain.. he walked me to his Tuk Tuk the oldest there! He wanted ฿1000 up front. I explained I live here not a tourist he dropped price to ฿600. I declined and walked in the rain ..

Fascinated | 30 January 2022 - 17:23:30

Gangsters insaide and outside that place. Were they ever actually prosecuted for their super- spreader event? How does his father prancing about on the internet earn him the title of 'celebrity' as a matter of interest?

Nasa12 | 30 January 2022 - 16:42:22

Hope many many more people send videos to Phuket News.  Of all the taxis-tuktuk and police some scamming turist every day. 


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