Lately both Tuoi Tre and Thanh Nien news have reported about scams in regards to Mai Linh Taxi here in Ho Chi Minh city. In one case, a customer paid 6 million VND for a ride that should have cost only 150,000 VND. In another case, a customer paid 4 million VND for a trip that also nornally costs 150,000 VND.
Mai Linh Group’s responded that it was the fault of fake taxis imitating Mai Linh taxis. Yes, there are many imitation taxis out there but that does not mean the Mai Linh Group is innocent here. Their taxi drivers are also cheating customers as well. It happened twice to me last week, once in Nha Trang and the other here in Saigon.
In Nha Trang, the airport is only about 30 minutes from the city center. Most taxis and other bus services charge from 160,000 VND to 180,000 VND. I took Mai Linh twice, each time I had to pay 360,000 VND the first time even though the fixed rate was 160,000 VND. My last trip, my hotel was about 10 minutes closer to the airport but the Mai Linh taxi driver took ONE hour to get to the airport charging me about 490,000 VND (I found out about the fixed rate just today).
When I got back into HCMC, I again took a Mai Linh taxi from the airport to my home in District 1. During the trip, I caught the taxi driver taking a “detour” from NKKN to Vo Thi Sau and then turning back towards NKKN. He added about 10 minutes to the trip and an extra 10,000 VND. Yeah, it was small money and I did not want to complain since I was in a hurry. He even made me pay for the airport toll fee even though he was supposed to be responsible. Many of my friends just pay it as well since it is only 5,000 VND but a friend at the airport told me that the taxis are responsible for that fee, not the customer.
This is sad because in the past, Mai Linh had a great reputation for honesty and good customer service but in the last year this has all changed. I will no longer take a Mai Linh taxi anymore. Vinataxi still has a good reputation so I will stick with them for now on. Vinasun can be a good choice as well but they cheated me once in the past with “detours”.
Hence, when you are cheated by a “fake” Mai Linh Group taxi, it is most likely a REAL Mai Linh taxi that is cheating you. Mai Linh Group is responsible.