How to avoid scams with taxis and rickshaws and at the train stations

India is a wonderful country with very nice and welcoming people, where tuktuks are an institution. Indeed there are a lot of monuments, gardens, museums, temples to visit. It’s a fascinating, historical and cultural country that deserves to be explored. In other words, there’s lots to see and do in India, and many reasons to love the country.
However, as it is a developing country and tourists from abroad are perceived as rich people, you might be prepared to face some cheating experiences. To avoid that, we deeply recommend you to read this article:

How to avoid getting cheated at Airports

Taking a taxi in India is a cheap, easy and comfortable way of transportation. It is usually with no complication but there is a rising amount of cases where tourists get cheated while taking a taxi in India. Many customers are not even aware that they are being cheated.
This is a common scam that you are likely to experience all over India, but most often around tourist destinations in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata.

fake tourist officeThis scam is most often tried on visitors arriving at Delhi airport who attempt to take a pre-paid taxi to their hotel. During the journey, the driver will say that the hotel area are blocked because of political Issue/festival or he doesn’t know where your hotel is, or that the hotel is full or doesn’t exist and will take you to a fake tourist office /offer to take you to another hotel/ a travel agent who can find you a hotel. The agent in the fake tourist office will try to convince you by dialing fake numbers to various hotels in Delhi to show that all hotels are booked .Then he will try to sell you a package with very unreasonable price (which they say very reasonable).Many people end up falling for this scam as they’re tired from their flight.

Here are some tips which could help you on your arrival in India:

• If possible, arrange airport pick-up by your hotel. This will bring you straight to the hotel so you get good rest before the trip starts.
• If you take a random taxi, don’t let the driver bring you anywhere other than your destination. Every solution the driver gives would be part of the scam. They get commissions to bring you in agencies or other hotels.
• Get a pre-paid phone/SIM before you step out of the arrival hall. In case someone tells you the hotel is not reachable, call them by yourself, even if you have to call at a roaming rate. If you use the driver’s phone, dial the number yourself.
• At the airport do not let anyone to help you to take your luggage from you until you are sure of what they will do.
• Be strict and show your anger when necessary even if you are a nice person. If you’re in a play, you should play, too.
• In case you hired pre-paid taxi, keep a copy of the voucher with you. It will help to identify him with the police.
We hope all the above tips will save your time, your money and will help you on your trip.

How to avoid getting cheated by Auto rickshaws (tuk-tuk)

scam indiaAll auto rickshaws are required to have a meter installed as per by law, although this can sometimes be overlooked. Before entering an auto rickshaw first check for the meter and ensure it is turned on and not already used when you get in. If you do not see a meter, then ask the driver where it is.

If the vehicle does not have a meter, you will have to negotiate the price BEFORE entering the vehicle. A good rule of thumb for a price is generally about Rs10 per kilometer (depending on the city). If you cannot agree on a price, then don’t take it and look for the next vehicle.

In Delhi, the vehicle with a meter will charge you Rs 25/- for first fall of 2 Kilometer (upon downing the meter) and thereafter Rs. 8/- per Kilometer for every additional Kilometer. There is also usually a flag fall rate and additional amounts are payable late nights between 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM in Delhi. As these tariffs are recent, the meters are usually not updated and will show you a wrong price. The drivers are supposed to show you a paper with the new charges.

Sometimes even if the vehicle has a meter, the driver may refuse to use it. This is more common in some cities rather than others, for example in Delhi they are rarely using it and it and in Mumbai they automatically use it.

To recap:

If there is a meter:

1) Ask the driver to pay by meter
2) Check that the meter is starting at 0km
3) Pay the price indicated in meter or on the paper given by the driver

If there is no meter or if driver disagree on putting the meter on:
1) Always negotiate the price before going inside
2) Find another one if you don’t agree on price
3) Try to know the approximate distance between your destinations and check if the driver is not taking the longest way.

How to avoid getting cheated at train stations

delhi railwaysSome very smart people will try to make you miss your train and then bring you to very expensive travel agencies to book cars, flights or full trip. It happens usually early morning or late night when there is no more real employees of the station and usually in big stations like New Delhi Station.

This is the list of their techniques:

– They wear fake uniform and ask your ticket for a control (only the control guy INSIDE the train can ask for your ticket).

– If you have a window seat, it will be written WS and they will tell you that it is a waiting seat.

– They will indicate you a wrong platform or tell you that the train is cancelled or late. Always check the boards with your train number

– They will tell you to validate your ticket outside the station. There is no need to validate anything, you can even have your tickets on your phone or tablet, you don’t need to print it.

– In New Delhi station, you can book your tourist train tickets in the Tourist Office. They will tell you that it is closed or has burned and indicate you another office with the same name and sell you expensive tickets. You have to be sure to be at the 1st floor INSIDE the station, paharganj side.

If you follow our advice, you will enjoy a lot your train trips!