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Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City - Taxi Trouble

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A friend of mine recently returned from a visit to her homeland and she was so disappointed by an incident that occurred that she asked me to post this message to warn others.

I went to Viet Nam at least one a year, and I always be sure that I get to come to Ben Thanh market for the good home made food.

This year after having a wonderful time in Ho Chi Minh I had a terrible experience with a taxi company that I will share here so that you can be careful when you visit my homeland.

On the evening of April 28, 2013, I went to Saigon Viet Nam to visit my son and his wife. After a great dinner, we took a MaiLinh taxi back to the hotel, when we got in the taxi the driver took a backpack from my daughter-in-law and set it down by her feet which is in the front passenger seat. While we were on our way to the hotel, my daughter-in-law told me about the owner of this particular taxi company; that he has two daughters, one name is Mai, and the other name is Linh, and the owner named his taxi company after his two daughters'

names run together and it is called MaiLinh. Furthermore, these two girls graduated from the International school where my son teaches. When we arrived at the hotel we paid for the fare and thanked the driver for his service.
Because the overwhelming excitement of not seeing each other for almost four years, we forget all about the backpack. No more than ten minutes later that we discovered that we had left it in the taxi, we then immediately call the MaiLinh taxi headquarter and reported that we had left the backpack in the taxi, we also gave detail information such as location of pickup and drop off. The operator said that she would send out a radio announcement to all of MaiLinh taxi drivers about the backpack that was left, and she would call us as soon as someone would responded to the radio massage. Two long hours went by and there was no call from MaiLinh taxi, so we decided to call MaiLinh taxi operator and ask if she would send another announcement that we would offer 500.00 US dollar reward for the return of the backpack with no questions asked, and we waited.
The next morning we went to MaiLinh headquarter office and give them our statement of what had happened the previous night. They took our statement and said that they

would call us as soon as they get to the bottom of the matter, we thanked them and we continued to wait.
By the end of the day, we called MaiLinh back and they said that we have to wait to Monday before they could do anything regarding to this matter. Two long days has pass and it not a word from MaiLinh. We called and they asked us to come to their office and look at over thousand pictures to see if we could identify the driver of the taxi we had left the backpack with that night. My daughter-in-law has pointed out nine pictures, and they asked us for some time so that they could do their investigation of the matter. We returned the following day they told us that eight of the drivers were clear, but the last one, they could not get a hold of, and they did not say why. At this point we realized that

they were just giving us "lip service," and that they have no intention of helping us to recover the backpack. In the backpack, along with other things, were my son's laptop that contained a lot of his teaching plans and personal information. We felt that MaiLinh was not going to take the responsibility of protected its customers, so we went to the Saigon police department and reported to them of what had happen. After half an hour of pouring our hearts out to them, they told us that is not much that they could do for us; we'd just have to work it out with MaiLinh taxi.
This whole thing made me really sad. I was so proud of my son because he chose to come to Viet Nam to be a teacher for the last six years, and he is a great teacher. A long time ago my son's father went to Viet Nam to go to war, to be part of the destruction of Viet Nam. Years later my son comes to Viet Nam to get to know and love his mother-land, to be part of rebuilding Viet Nam for a better future, by teaching Vietnamese students English. This means the world to me, because by teaching his is building bridge between the United State and Viet Nam, so that we could understand one another, and perhaps we could heal the wounds of our war.

I wanted to share this very sad experience with travelers from around the world who might go to Viet Nam, so that they would be extremely cautious of their personal belonging especially when they take a MaiLinh Taxi.

I wish all travelers to Viet Nam a great trip, and be careful of your belongings, because if you get ripped-off, you are totally on your own.

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