a VirtualTourist member from Richardson
Fellow VTers, John, a newcomer to VT, posted this comment in the comment section for Taxi Tips in Rome. I am copying it here so that more of you all can see it and comment...Bill
I am trying to find out how to file a complaint against a taxi company in Florence. The company name was Roma35.
I am in Florence with my wife on our honeymoon. We stayed for a few days at an agriturismo in Fiesole. We just took a taxi from the train station at Santa Maria Novella, and everything was great. We were charged a fare of €31, which seems very fair.
After that we took a taxi back to the city center to stay for a few days. The owner of the agriturismo called the taxi for us - it was the Roma35 company. He arrived and immediately had the tariff #2 on. I had previously read that #2 was reserved exclusively for highway travel (which we were not doing) so I asked the driver about it. He said it was for special charges since he had to come out to Fiesole (even through I believe they were based in Fiesole). He also had €8.31 set in supplemental charges - which seemed high since we only had 2 bags. When we entered the city center, I asked him if it should not be switched from tariff #2 to tariff #1 - and he looked at me but did not respond.
I was also tracking our trip on my GPS device win our route to the hotel all planned out. He did not realize it, however, because he diverted from the route four separate times to take numerous backstreets that basically drove us around in circles. When there was clearly a Main Street that led directly to the place we were going, he would turn off to avoid it.
When he finally dropped us off, the meter read €55.61. I gave him €70 (a €50 bill and a €20). I knew we had been ripped off so I asked for a receipt. He handed me a €10 back. I told him that the meter said €55, and why was he charging me €60. He said "because it coats more to come back" and drove off. So we ended up paying literally double the cost to get back as we did to get there.
I have photos of the taxi's license plate and tag number. Please help me figure out who to send this to.
Note, the original poster is JohnP179 at [original VT link]
First, do me the favor of posting these photos(s) of the taxi on your home page then tell me when they're there. I can't find a Roma35 taxi company anywhere, much less in Florence.
The official rates for taxis in Florence are here - comune.firenze.it/opencms/ex...
The first rate is for "Florence and the neighboring communities"; the second tariff is outside of this. Note that this was the same in Rome (where I used to live) - the tariff changed when you left the city, not got on a highway.
I haven't found the map yet that shows "neighboring communities", but I'll keep looking...
Also, besides the photos, tell me what day of the week and what time of day this taxi trip started. There are some supplements that would apply to you if you get a radio taxi. And it was certainly true in my day in Rome that when you left the city limits, that you paid double what was on the meter - they were supposed to tell you that because they would lost money on the way back.
However, your story is a bit odd, because you paid a lot but not double what was on the meter...anyway, give me some more background, then let's see if you can build a good complaint for the authorities...
Never had anything similar happen but, If you still inFlorence...any hotel concierge orfront desk will be able to advise.
Sorry for you and hope this helps
thanks for posting in Travel Forum, Bill.
Hi John, this is a repeat of what I posted in Travel Guides under your initial question:
Here's a link in English to a taxi coop founded in Rome & functioning throughout Italy. It claims to be the largest taxi coop in Europe. The name may ring a bell.
My search produced a list of results, this one (3570.it) shown as
Radiotaxi 3570 Roma, close enough to be worth mentioning to you.
There's a tab to submit a complaint (left margin under OUR OFFICES, Disciplinary Dept.)
Very sad to note your bad experience and useful to other travelers. In fact, Rome is a place where cheating is common. In fact I remember an incident---my friend (who is travelling with me to Rome) purchased camera roll (looked like kodak film!) to take pictures in Rome and Vatican city, he clicked a number of shoots using his camera. When he went back home and gave the roll to the studio, it was found that the roll was an empty one--a plastic thin roll!
Since you do not have any receipt, it is difficult for you to do anything.
It is better to use local transport and if one has to use cab, depend upon a local or police.
Thank you for transferring this for me Bill. I uploaded the pics into a photo sub folder on my profile - Corrupt Fiesole Taxi photos. [original VT link]
Bill - I was incorrect. I thought it had said Roma35 but that may have just been an ad on the side. Looking at the photos it was clearly an official "Comune di Fiesole" taxi. Also it was yesterday - Sunday, March 17, at about 9:00 in the morning.
I understand that what I had read was incorrect about 1 vs 2. What I don't get is how the initial trip was €31 and the return (exact same addresses just flipped) was €60. Also, e stuff about tracking him on GPS and seeing all of his deviations and driving in circles to run up e meter, and also charging me €60 when the meter clearly said €55, seems indisputable.
Also, Subrah - I did get a receipt for the €60 he took. And his license plate and taxi number are cleary displayed in the photos.
Thanks for all your help,
So sorry to hear you went through this in a city that is otherwise so wonderful. Unfortunately, taxi drivers in Florence are known for taking tourists for a ride, so I don't know what you can do about him veering off of the main course as you tracked on GPS. I would start by calling the desk at your Fiesole hotel to talk with the person who called the taxi for you in the first place. See if you can get any more information about the company, normal rates, etc. I would also then ask at the hotel where you're staying now to see what they have to say about it.
You could then try calling Angela Giabbanelli at the Florence office of public services at Tuesday or Thursday from 10am - 1pm.
Or contact the Fiesole office of social services at 055/5002454.
I was looking for the photos on your page but had no luck.
It's really too bad that you're going through this on vacation. Good luck!
John, the link doesn't work - it tries to point to MY photo library...but when I go to your member page, I don't see a photo library...OK, so where did you put the photos? ;-)
It is an important fact that the taxi was licensed by Fiesole and not Florence. Here is a 4-year-old paper on taxi service including the fares - comune.fiesole.fi.it/opencms... - starting on page 18. Now, nothing jumps out at me, except that the fare 1 service area looks a lot smaller than Florence's.
While I continue to look at this, I will note a similar issue in Rome that may or may not have relevance...in Rome, there was a fixed fare tariff from Fiumicino Airport to the Rome city center of 40 euro (it's now 48 or so, but you see why I am referring to 40 in a second)...however, this tariff applies ONLY to taxis licensed by the City of Rome. Taxis licensed by the town of Fiumicino (next to the airport) are also able to pick up fares at the airport, but in their case, the fixed fare to the Rome city center is (was) 60 euro - 50% higher! Why? Presumably because any taxi licensed in Fiumicino would have an empty haul back to Fiumicino (for all I know, such taxis may not even be allowed to pick up fares in Rome).
I will agree up front that this may or may not apply to your situtation. Similarly, when people talk about taxis in Rome taking the long way, I know from driving in Rome that the long way can also be the fastest way, because of one-way streets, pedestrian streets, demosntrations, parades, riots, elections of Popes, and all the normal stuff that happens in Rome to foul up the traffic.
So, first, I would consult with the owner of the hotel in Fiesole (if you can still talk to him/her) and ask if such a disparity in fares is typical. It might be, for the reasons I've listed above...or you may have been taken for a ride...