No Taxi – Malaysian Taxis Are Teh SUCK

Sometimes companies in Malaysia really make me wonder, they make me wonder how they survive..

They make me wonder how consumers can accept them, then I remember ok la, it’s Malaysia, there is no concept of customer service or customer satisfaction here.

Or consumer rights (statutory rights) or anything similar, not that’s enforced anyway.

So people get screwed, and sadly the majority of the time they don’t do anything about it.

In a very Malaysian way, they just bitch about it, or whine at the mamak to their friends, but they don’t write a letter or complain or try and make a difference.

The example I have today is Taxis.

Now Malaysian Taxis already have a very bad reputation for not using the meter and ripping people off when it’s raining/jammed/late or for other random reasons not even picking up passengers (too near/wrong race/too far/don’t know how to go etc).

I’ve never loved Malaysian cabs due to the amount of times I’ve had to give directions for every freaking turn to the taxi driver.


Like the other day I hailed a cab…he didn’t even know how to get out of the area we were in to the highway…and had never heard of the area I wanted to go to..

So rather than try to hail a cab and get ripped off I got some numbers of cab companies and called them..hoping for something a little better.

The first 2 days was ok..apart from the fact the taxi drivers were about 120 years old and drove at 40-60km/h all the way, frustrating to say the least.

And the first one had no freaking idea how to go anywhere..

Today was even worse, quality customer service at it’s worst.


10:27am – I call a cab from Sunlight Taxis, they take my details as usual.
10:27am-11.03am – I wait and wait and wait
11:04am – Sunlight Taxis calls me, mumbles something and hangs up. I assume they mean the taxi is here, so I go outside..
11:15am – After a reasonable 10 minutes, I work out there is no Taxi and one is not coming
11:16am – I call Sunlight back and ask them where’s my Taxi, I’m informed that they had called me and told me “No Taxi”..I was somewhat dumbfounded. Sunlight asked me “If I wanted to try again”. I asked “Try what exactly?, I just want a Taxi”…”Ok ok, I broadcast again” and hangs up.
11:31am – Sunlight calls and tells me a Taxi will arrive in 10-15 minutes.
12:06pm – The Taxi arrives and he knows the way, w00t.

Got to where I wanted to go about 12:40pm…a full 2+ hours after I first called the taxi.

I was really dumbfounded when they told me “No Taxi”…excuse me, but aren’t you a Taxi company, if I call you…you get me a Taxi goddamnit.

I liken it to going to McDonalds, one that is open and advertising food for sale..Going in and ordering a Big Mac meal, the staff take my order and disappear to ‘get my food’. Then the staff comes back in 15 minutes and tells me “Sorry, no food”.

You’d be in a rage right?

Stomp on some babies and shit, yeah me too.

Sunlight sucks.

Relying on cabs sucks too, I want my car back (more about that later!).




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30 Responses to No Taxi – Malaysian Taxis Are Teh SUCK

  1. spiller February 9, 2007 at 2:29 pm #

    yeah malaysia cab sucks. they should have better service when their rides are NOT toyota crown or altis.

  2. suanie February 9, 2007 at 2:36 pm #

    especially when 5 mins waiting for a cab seems like 30 minutes

  3. mspretty February 9, 2007 at 3:22 pm #

    I had bad experience too at JB.
    as agree charge rm10 distance abt 10-15min,yet they dare ask for rm20 for the ride due to jam/traffic…angry man!

  4. marina February 9, 2007 at 5:12 pm #

    Hehehehe … I know I sound quite mean, but that was really funny.

  5. Grant (Intensecure) February 9, 2007 at 8:53 pm #

    I remember a wonderful ride back from Bukit Bintang to Bangsar, with an ageing Malay driver who was very pleasant and talkative.
    He took delight in showing us how he could take bookings over the ‘net, via his mobile phone and his correspondence from satisfied customers.
    He managed to do all this whilst looking back at us and not at all at the road in front. 😉
    He then explained how he had recently survived a triple heart bypass operation, and that his blood pressure was “off the scale” – he actually showed us the bottles of medications that he was consuming to keep him alive.
    We had to alert him frequently to upcoming road hazards, such as traffic lights 😉 traffic cones 😉 and junctions.
    When we finally emerged, shaken *and* stirred, to borrow a phrase, he handed us his business card, and assured us of his 24 hour devotion to our transport needs.
    Strangely, enough, we haven’t felt the need to call on him. 🙂

  6. Dabido (Teflon) February 9, 2007 at 11:41 pm #

    I think most Taxi drivers in the world sux! I can tell some horror stories of drivers falling asleep [when I used to take a cab hoe at midnight from work in Sydney], driving on the wrong side of the road, driving in the OPPOSITE direction to where I wanted to go, one cab which was FALLING apart, etc etc.

    I got around the problem by getting the business card off a Taxi Driver named Fred who was a good driver. I’d then phone him DIRECTLY if I needed a lift, and if he wasn’t on the road, or if he was already busy with a ride, he’d send someone else I could trust to be a good driver.

  7. Dr. Tan February 10, 2007 at 1:26 am #

    And also the way the cut queues. Man, I miss having my 4×4 with the bigass kangaroo bars which I can just inch forward to stop them.

  8. slacker February 10, 2007 at 3:09 am #

    My friend was telling me of how he took a cab from KL Sentral to Eastin hotel today… the cabbie was driving round and round and couldn’t find the place.. Frustrated, my friend gave up and asked to be droppped of to take another cab.. he still had to pay for the fare

  9. Ryan February 10, 2007 at 9:21 am #

    Lol. That’s why we buy cars!

  10. Lowzeewee February 10, 2007 at 1:27 pm #

    Nice writeup!

  11. Auntie February 10, 2007 at 5:03 pm #

    good post!

  12. Jay February 10, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

    Wow – this commentbox is unforgiving. Apparently I added the two numbers togethter wrongly and my (very long) comment disappeared. -sigh- Let’s try again.

    As you may or may not know, I work in a callcentre here in London… for a taxi firm. And let me tell you, unless they’re black cabbies (who’ve all done The Knowledge, as it’s pompously called) every company will have a bunch of losers who can’t navigate their way out of a paper bag. It’s just how it is, and it doesn’t just happen in Malaysia.

    That’s the agreeing with you bit done. Now, for the ‘no taxi bit’. Ordering a Big Mac and ordering a taxi are two very different things, with one fundamental difference: the Big Mac is already in the store, while the taxi is out in the streets.

    Which means that as a taxi firm – and by extension, you as a customer – we’re subject not only to the whims of the drivers (a temperamental lot at the best of times) but to the unpredictable traffic conditions.

    A booking is always taken in good faith. When you’re told that a car is available, at the time of the phone call, it is true. We have a car in your area, and he’s either free, or due to be free within the advised time.

    But then anything can happen. The driver may decide to log off for his lunch, or his wife may be taken ill, or he may simply decide that your job isn’t lucrative enough for him. Or his car may suddenly develop a puncture, or a pile-up may occur on the route to your place, or there may just be the usual horrific traffic jam that feature in all big cities.

    Suddenly, it’s ‘no car’.

    And the next available driver is still miles and miles away, or is also being delayed by the same pile-up or traffic jam.

    Everything’s gone pear-shaped… and you’re late.

    “Then why don’t you get more drivers?” is a usual complaint. The answer is, unless you can personally guarantee constant 24/7 work for our circuit, we can’t saturate the city with 20,000 drivers who will be sitting there twiddling their thumbs all night. Drivers are technically self-employed (well, ours are, anyway) and if they aren’t happy they’ll just walk (or drive, as they case may be).

    I think the biggest failing for your Sunlight – apart from not getting you a car – is that they failed to communicate to you properly that they didn’t have a car for you after all, which would have allowed you to make alternative arrangements.

    Believe me, I’m not condoning poor service. I certainly don’t blame you for blowing off steam after having to wait two hours – I’d be doing the same. And I hate the fussy, greedy Malaysian cabbies as much as the next Malaysian (or British expat). I just wanted to provide an alternative perspective.

    Sorry for the long comment. I can’t believe I actually retyped it. I have way too much time.

  13. Bruce Lee February 11, 2007 at 5:41 am #

    hiyoo..stop complaining like a ang moh lor, i taught you should have been more Malaysianized by now??? and whatever happened to your Porsche that you need to take a cab now?

  14. Panther February 11, 2007 at 6:53 pm #

    Yeah true. Outside of KL the taxis don’t even have meters. They charge round figures like RM5 but it could be alot less.

  15. Matthew February 11, 2007 at 7:50 pm #

    were they friendly?

  16. Adam OK February 11, 2007 at 8:40 pm #

    Pretty much satisfied with the Taxi service back in Malaysia. It helped that there was an office just at the back of our house in PJ.

    However, have had some bad experiences especially at peak hours.

    The Taxi services here in the UK are quite efficient but damn EXPENSIVE.

  17. Albert Ng February 12, 2007 at 4:23 am #

    Them cabbies probably think of customers as having a girlfriend who calls you at random hours, asking you to fetch her from point to point.

    I have to say though, once you ‘get’ the system, you can step into a cab with that aura that says “I know how meters work, don’t try to con me, midnight charge is 1.5x not 2x…”

    I have a few numbers; if I spot a cab passing, I get in anyway, and call the previous company to cancel because I got a cab. (Alternatively, you can call two companies.) Sometimes the cabbies report back that they have intercepted another cabbie’s customer (or rather, they’d rather ME call them so it doesn’t sound like he was trying to steal customers.)

    Some cabbies have interesting, worldly views of the world.

  18. gromol February 12, 2007 at 8:06 am #

    This is why Malaysians buy cars and drive everywhere. Public transport (taxi) just sucks…and we get ripped off. The meter is always broke and replaced by this “standard rate” thing that basically means they’ll charge you any arbitrary amount of $$ as they wish. It’s like plucking a number out of the air.

    Only use KL taxis as your very very last resort!

  19. dcyk February 12, 2007 at 4:29 pm #

    I went to penang recently and they still don’t run much on meters.

    Airport cabs charge you 38 to the hotel and the local cabs charge 30 bucks to ferry you back there. (not on meter)

    They just say that they don’t have NGV subsidy for them and they have to run on petrol, which knows how to go up but not come down even when the world petrol prices are dropping.

    What the heck, claim from company 😛

  20. ShaolinTiger February 13, 2007 at 3:29 pm #

    spiller: Yah in Dubai all the taxis are Camry! Even in Cambodia they are all nice sedans.

    Grant (Intensecure): I guess you won’t be calling him back then..I do get scared when they are looking back to talk to you and not at the road.

    Dabido (Teflon): Yah I agree, just that I’m used to countries with reasonable public transport, so I don’t have to rely on Taxis!

    Dr. Tan: Totally, Taxi drivers are some of the most inconsiderate drivers on the road “professional drivers” my ass.

    Ryan: Exactly, but then car in workshop?!

    Jay: Sorry man, overwhelmed with spam lately, had to put something in place to stop myself getting lost in the deluge. Anyway I appreciate your comment, especially as you had to type it in twice! I knew you worked in a call center, but not for Taxis. Well like you say, my biggest complaint was the lack of effective communication, I mean if you don’t have a taxi let me know after a few minutes, don’t make me wait 35 minutes to tell me, then put the phone down without offering a solution. Well the Big Mac isn’t already in the store in my case, it’s out of stock and they tell me 15 minutes later that it’s out of stock (same for the taxi no?). I don’t have a problem with their being no stock (no taxi), I have a problem with being told so late. Plus it’s a testament to the call centers in the UK that intelligent people like you are employed there, in Malaysia it’s another story entirely.

    Bruce Lee: Porsche in workshop la, have to upgrade faster a bit so can beat fellali.

    Matthew: Malaysian customer service and friendly? Doesn’t often go together.

    Adam OK: Like most things you get what you pay for.

    Albert Ng: Yeah they usually act like that, like you’re a bit troublesome. I agree that some are fascinating to talk to though.

    gromol: Public transport is every worse than the taxis. That’s why traffic is so bad here, too many cars as there is no real alternative.

    dcyk: If claim from company I nevermind the price la…but this one just the hassle of the time. Costs RM2 extra to call the cab too, if just hail on the street is cheaper. Just it’s a bit far to the main road from my place to walk in CNY heatwave.

  21. sports bettor February 14, 2007 at 6:44 am #

    That was the craziest cabbie story I ever heard. I would get your car asap. Fuck those cabs.

  22. Kava August 20, 2007 at 11:41 am #

    Stumbled upon this entry looking for a taxi company in Malaysia. I read your post and it was like you were retelling my taxi story of this morning. I’m just a visitor to Malaysia, so I thought maybe it was because the taxi companies’ operators English was so bad they couldn’t understand me. In this order they: hung up on me twice, mumbled something about checking for a cab, then one dispatcher confirmed that a cab was on the way, after waiting for half 20 minutes, I call again, they say they called me to tell me there was no cab in the area (!!!!!), I never received any calls from them. Next they say, you can wait 20 minutes for an available cab – I’ve already been waiting 20 minutes!!! I thank them and go call another company – and get the exact same treatment all over again. Eventually I called a third company and got a cab. It took that guy some time to find teh house, but at least eventually, he did. And I, too, had to navigate him through the tiny town of Ipoh, because he didn’t know the way.
    Funny thing is, I wasn’t pissed at them until I read your post, all the time attributing the incompetence to miscommunication. It was just inconceivable to me that taxi cab can fail in the two most important things in their profession – being there for you to pick you up in 5 minutes, and no more, and having the map of the place frikkin stamped on their brain!
    Like you, I got to my destination almost 2 hours after calling the first cab.
    I’ve been cheated for taxi fares in other countries, I’ve come to expect that with the service, but I don’t see how this business can survive without the basic knowledge of the job.
    God forbid you’re pregnant and need to get to a hospital fast.

  23. myds September 19, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    i have once ride a taxi from midvalley to our home in PJ. The taxi driver knew that i was a foreigner and they told me how many person that would ride his taxi. As i pay he charged me with 20 Rm fuck off its only 7 rm from the destination. when i told the driver why are you charging me with that amount he told me he said that to me i only have 16 rm as i give it to him. he threw the money on my face what a shame and rude driver. i told him i dont have money left he then he take the money. and hit his gas hard and so fast.

    what an unforgettable and regretful experience..
    shame on you drivers in malaysia.

  24. Aaron May 2, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    Its funny that u mention that we just bitch about this and do nothing about it.. arent you doing the same thing on your blog? of course you might say that you are giving an awareness to fellow blog-readers.. but if u really want to make an impact into our society, why not make a complaint and show us how can we do the same, and make a difference for once!

    personally, ive been through numerous shitty times with taxi drivers in malaysia as well.. but what u said in your blog really opened up my eyes, that is – no matter how many times ive been a victim of a malaysian taxi driver, i have yet not done a single thing to solve this problem besides bitching about it with friends and family..

  25. ShaolinTiger May 3, 2009 at 1:13 am #

    Aaron: I have made complaints and written to the newspapers about it. It’s outrageous.

    I report ANY taxi that refuses to use the meter because it’s illegal.

    I urge everyone else to do the same, boycott and report these fellas and it WILL stop.

    You can make a general traffic complaint to JPJ here.

    Lembaga Pelesenan Kenderaan Perdagangan LPKP
    Tel: 03 2698 5022, Fax: 03 2692 5096

    Their site is down though, you can SMS too the number is on the back of the taxi (or should be).

  26. Jessica May 24, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    I’ve experienced a very suck situation with taxi driver last friday that we have small arguement when he behaving rude by scolding at me when i instruct the correct route to him which lead to my home. Furthermore he wants me to pay the amount that he mention which i’m not agree though at first he agreed to follow the meter. He is a malay guy with taxi plate number HB 6616. Now the point is i do not know who and where should i complaint to. Please guide. Your response is very much appreciated. Thanks

  27. K.Lo June 1, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    KL TAXIS ARE AWESOME when they use the meter…

    Other than that I wish they have an accident TODAY…

  28. linda February 2, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Compared to other taxi services, I’d say Sunlight has taxis available most of the time. From my observation, if you couldn’t get a cab from Sunlight during peak hours, you definately won’t be able to get one from other tele-cab companies. Tele-cab companies should hire real customer service personnels. Of course to do that, they should be willing to fork out better pay.

  29. milad May 19, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    As a foreign student Malaysia, I have to say I agree with you completely. You might find it hard to believe but for me and many of my friends who come and visit Malaysia the number one gripe is always the taxis. I mean how difficult is it to fix this problem?! Ever other country has a decent taxi service!
    Last year, when I came to Malaysia, I decided I wouldn’t buy a car because I wasn’t planning on staying long. Not a day passes that Malaysian taxi drives don’t make regret that decision.
    I think Malaysia could be much more competitive in tourism had it had better taxi service.
    cheers all,

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