Bad Taxi Experience In Paris

Old Nov 5th, 2005, 11:39 AM
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Bad Taxi Experience In Paris

I have been meaning to mention this for quite some time in hope it will help someone avoid the same ordeal.

On our final night in Paris, we asked our hotel to arrange for a taxi to take us to the aiport at 07:30 the following morning. The Driver did not show up until 07:45 and gracefully apologized for not showing up on
time. After we loaded our bags and had gone less than a block, I noticed the meter was
already reading 15 Euro's. I asked him about it and although I speak very little French, I understood him to say, he had turned the meter on from where he started out on his trip to the hotel. I was (to put it mildly) really peeved at this idea and thought it was a real rip-off. So peeved in fact, I told him to take us back to the hotel. When we circled the block and got out the Driver of course would not give us our bags back until we paid the meter which by then had gone up to 18 Euro's. I approched the person behind the desk at the hotel, but he was of little help and explained, it is not an uncommon practice for this to take place.

Guess the best thing to do is leave for the airport plenty early and try to wave one down on the street or head for one of the many taxi stands throughout the city to avoid this ordeal.

Would like to hear from anyone with the same experience or knows if this in fact is a common practice amongst cabbies in Paris.
Popper is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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We have always asked our hotels to reserve a taxi for our departure. And there is always an amount on the meter when they arrive. I must say they have been very prompt and sometimes even a few minutes early.

Sorry about the experience you had, but it is normal aside from your taxi being 15 minutes late. You just didn't realize that the meter registers from the time the taxi leaves their location to pick you up. The hotel's desk clerk gave you correct information.

You do not have to walk to a taxi stand but just understand that this is the procedure if you reserve a taxi.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Hi P,

When you call for a taxi in France, the meter starts as soon as they go on the call.

15E was kind of high.

ira is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2005, 12:39 PM
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In Italy, it is also the custom where I've reserved or called for a taxi for the meter to begin running when they first respond/start out, not when we get picked up. But I agree with Ira, 15E seems high.
claire is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2005, 01:03 PM
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This is one of the reasons I prefer to book a shuttle service to return to the airport. It's a flat rate, less expensive than a taxi for one or two people, and since you have to call ahead for the taxi anyway, you might as well call for the shuttle van. But as others have said, this is the local rule, to start the meter when the cab leaves to pick you up. In your case, the cab was probably pretty far away, and that explains both the lateness and the high charge on the meter.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 02:09 PM
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When we stayed at the renaissance in La Defense, they told us that the taxi would start his meter when he took the call from the dispatcher and it would run 8 to 10 euros.
Since we were leaving our luggage and going shopping before returning, we simply picked up a taxi at our last store and used it to return to the hotel and thence to the airport.
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Old Nov 5th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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I agree 15 euro seems high, but legally they are allowed to do that. Any hotel I've used has a regular taxi service they call, and the car that comes is from a fairly close point. There is also an amount that is put on the meter to begin with (for "prise en charge&quot of 2 euro.

It's possible you were being a little ripped off, but it's hard to tell without knowing where your hotel was and how far the taxi had to come. If you were in central Paris, that seems excessive.

I've never had any problems with them and they have always been almost right on time when I ordered them -- maybe a few minutes late, but I would not cut timing so close on any kind of transportation, so I agree you should leave plenty of time in the future. You cannot flag taxis down in Paris, but you could go to a taxi stand if there is one nearby that has taxis waiting all the time (not a given).
Christina is offline  
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