Beware of taxi drivers in Russia

Oct 13th, 2017, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802

Was I the only one who noted that the driver LOCKED THE DOORS?

Do you all really think that simply waiting him out seemed a viable option when the OP was locked in and afraid? Had already tried to get the attention of hotel staff?

Honestly, people love to tell women how to repel aggressors, it all seems so easy and obvious behind a computer. There is a lot of good advice here regarding illegal cabs, but a lot of useless noise and victim blaming about how to get out of a scary situation.
NewbE is offline  
Oct 13th, 2017, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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@ NewbE: Do you have any constructive suggestions for how a person might handle such a situation?
kja is offline  
Oct 13th, 2017, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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No, I think she did the best she could. Do you?
NewbE is offline  
Oct 13th, 2017, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Already offered -- along with my best wishes for her.
kja is offline  
Oct 14th, 2017, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 49
I strongly believe cases like this should be promptly reported to local authorities. As far as I know, while not quite a "robbery" or kidnapping, it is still an offence under the Russian criminal code to restrict one's freedom of movement against their will. Reporting it to the authorities (in addition to forums like this one) would help ensure that the scam doesn't perpetuate in the long run.

And again, even if you are a conscientious objector to Uber, app-based GPS-tracking taxi services are a godsend to foreign visitors in Russia - not only are they way cheaper than official taxis and gypsy cabs, but also offer traceability and remove the necessity to negotiate the fare and communicate with the driver.
napoxoguk is offline  
Feb 21st, 2018, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2
Nieveszky Prospect

Under my better judgement, I found myself needing a taxi around 2am on a Saturday morning. I found a taxi at the corner of Nevsky. For some reason, the taxi driver asked to see my phone (once I was in the car). I gave it up, and he pocketed it. Once at my destination, he didn't say a word. He just sped off in order to keep me in the taxi. I yelled and demanded that he let me out, but he just yelled back at me in Russian. I didn't know what to think. I was pretty buzzed. After several minutes, I suddenly reached over to grab the phone. The taxi driver swerved along the road as we struggled over the phone. Finally, I got the phone out of his hand and rushed out of the taxi. I didn't even run or anything. I was pretty buzzed as I walked away to find a calm spot in order to look at my phone. Guess what? It was the taxi driver's. Now I was stuck out in St. Petersburg around 3 in the morning with a phone that I couldn't even use! The adventure began....I eventually made it back to my hotel at 6 am. The crazy thing is that I flew out of Russia that morning at 11am. I'll be more careful next time!
gonzodrum is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2018, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 4
Oh my god, I am so sorry it happened to you. I was in similar situation in Lisbon a few years ago, so unfortunately it happens everywhere. And you are so shocked that you don't know what to do as you don't expect anything like that. As for St Petersburg, never use a taxi that is just waiting in the street - they will charge you unbelievable sum of money even for a short ride. I would recommend to ask your hotel to help you or just go to the nearest cafe or restaurant if it's urgent and ask them to assist in calling a taxi. Locals in St Petersburg call taxi beforehand, it's not common to take a taxi in the street like in many other places here. For example, a big local taxi company in St Petersburg is called 6000000, they have an English version of the website as well. Unfortunately I am not allowed to post a website link here.
annja is offline  
Feb 25th, 2018, 01:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 2
Thanks for the info. I surely will be more careful next time.
gonzodrum is offline  
Mar 16th, 2018, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 4
It is likely a communications problem, the trip is normally 130 rubles, not dollars or Euros, they can't even take euros legally. Something is not right about this. There are major taxi companies all over and easy to spot, or call Uber or GETT for even lower costs. I use taxis here all the time when out later than public transport is running. Even rip off taxis are only going to charge 300 rubles for that trip, about $6. It is only 1/3 of a mile on one straight road.. Back in the 90s and early 2000s getting into unmarked cabs was often a rip-off but since about 2008 or so taxis have become well run brand name companies with lower prices.
spbstan is offline  

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