Ms Charlene Chen informs the following on 17/02/2011:
I am writing in with reference to my dreadful experience with errant comfort taxi driver Mr Neo Hock Huat of plate number SHD3260E, 16 Fec 2011, 2141hrs. My friend and I flagged a cab outside NUS. We told him that we are heading two places, Hougang Ave 5 first then Ave 9. We asked him which destination is more convenient and faster. As I frequently take cab from NUS and back home and would think that going AVE 9 then proceed to AVE 5 would be more appropriated however he replied that the time taken for either route are approximating the same, presuming he know the best way, we went go ahead going to Ave 5 first.
He took the farrer road then CTE and here's our dreadful experience begins. Upon reaching Braddell Road (Comfort Delgro), he did not turn exit out to enter CTE. Instead he went straight to Braddell underpass -> Bartley Road -> Upper Serangoon Road. We confronted him asking why he did not take the CTE and exit Ang Mo Kio Ave 3. His answer was this way faster. However this is not the case, if you stay near the area you should know that the road is filled with traffic lights and minor jams. Reaching Serangoon MRT, he asked if want to go to AVE 9 first and he was about to turn to Yio Chu Kang Road and we stopped him. We told him to go AVE 5 if proceed in his way it be a big detour. Bypassing Kovan MRT, I told the taxi fare is a lot higher than the usual fare. He responds was we did not tell him which route to take and how to go.
Upon reaching our first destination AVE 5, Mr Neo Hock Huat wanted to use his detour tricks again. He wanted to go by Ave 8. I told him to U-TURN and take the AVE 4 route. Furious that he's detouring, I question of his errant act. His attitude was rude and kept mentioning that I did not instruct him which route to take. I was fumed with this answer. As a commuter, am I suppose to instruct taxi driver which is the best route to take? As an experience taxi driver, shouldn't they know on the routes better than us? I told him I will lodge a complaint for detouring and he can drive me to the police station as I'm reporting him as errant taxi driver. Upon hearing this, he stopped him meter and he responded by saying he will not charge me for the fare. I rejected him down and will still pay him the usual fare and still file a complaint on him. Mr Neo chided me telling me to go ahead with the complaint. The fare was $17.60 the fare could be higher if I have not stopped him from detouring. In the end, I paid him $14 - the usual taxi fare.
I urge the company to take disciplinary actions on Mr Neo to help the taxi industry weed out these errant drivers that have damaged the reputations of all taxi drivers.
The fact that he was willing to forego the fare when threatened with a complaint suggests he wilfully tried to take a longer route. It is rather amazing how these drivers do not have a basic sense of integrity or at least fairness in taking the route they know is best.