Although taxis are a popular way of getting around in Cancun, visitors are often faced with issues ranging from long lines to unlicensed drivers. One of the most common complaints faced by locals and tourists alike is overcharging; here’s what you should keep in mind if confronted with this problem, and what to do to avoid it.
Taking a taxi is a hit or miss in many parts of the world, and Cancun is no exception. With a record-breaking summer season on the horizon, visitors should be cautious when taking a taxi in the Mexican Caribbean as drivers may be looking for the perfect opportunity to overcharge visitors. This form of malpractice is widespread in Cancun, especially among visitors, with many people taking to social media to share their frustration. Fortunately, there are several steps victims can take to get their money back and report fraudulent taxi drivers.
The easiest way to deal with overcharging is to contact the local taxi union’s incident center, whose administrative personnel operate around the clock. Visitors can also request hotel staff to assist with the call, should there be no English-speaking operators. The union can be reached through the following phone numbers:
Another convenient option is to visit the union’s offices located on Supermanzada 92, on Francisco I. Madero Avenue, where victims can directly file a written or oral complaint about their situation, including the whereabouts, time, and price of the ride. According to the institution, each case is dealt with individually and reported to local authorities for tracking.
Once the details concerning the unfair pricing have been documented, the responsible taxi driver is contacted and asked to refund the value of the payment. Meanwhile, authorities urge residents and visitors to take the issue seriously in order to help prevent this type of fraud and to improve the quality of Cancun taxis.
According to recently published statistics, Cancun officials receive on average three complaints daily – 80 per month – due to unfair taxi pricing. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, as many cases go unreported due to people being unaware of existing legal mechanisms.
With more than 14,000 individuals operating taxis in Cancun, this mode of transport can certainly be a quick and convenient way to move around in the area in the face of lacking bus and train alternatives.
Even though taxi drivers that are caught overcharging don’t currently face any type of fine or sanction, authorities say that unfair charging practices end up on their personal records. However, if this occurs repeatedly, taxi drivers can face up to a 7-day suspension in which they are not allowed to operate. The penalty increases up to 30 days, but this has yet to happen in Cancun.
In addition to reporting taxi drivers that attempt to overcharge clients, there are several important tips to keep in mind to avoid the issue altogether. Visitors should take note of the taxi’s registration number, including the license plate, and write down the time when they got in the taxi.
Another issue that may leave visitors paying more than what is necessary is the incorrect use of the fare meter, which may be hidden or completely turned off. That’s why it’s crucial to verify that it’s working correctly and that the right fare is applied.
Lastly, many visitors are accustomed to using mobile applications such as Uber or ride-sharing apps. Similar local alternatives such as Taxi Naranja can also be found in Cancun, which conveniently allow users to pay beforehand and receive a digital receipt.
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