BANGKOK — A taxi driver was fined Friday for charging two passengers 1,800 baht for a short drive from Mo Chit Bus Station to Pathum Thani province.
Supachok Singkhon turned himself in after the passengers – a pair of students from the south visiting Bangkok to sit for an exam – wrote about their experience online. Although the driver offered the obligatory contrition of saying sorry at a police station, Supachok maintained he did nothing wrong.
“Whether that’s too expensive depends on the customers’ satisfaction in paying,” Supachok said when a reporter asked about the fare. “It’s their money in their wallet. I simply told them how much the fare was, and they didn’t say anything.”
Under traffic laws, all taxis must use the meter instead of setting their own fare.
Supachok also criticized the two students for taking the issue to social media, adding that he was going to use the money for the medical treatment of his father, who he said is suffering from a blood disorder.
“I don’t think the two kids had any problem. I don’t know why their family filed a complaint and made this a big issue,” Supachok told reporters at a police station in Pathum Thani.
Chayangkul Dam-o and Ratchanon Noonkaew, both 18, said they took a bus from their home in Songkhla to take a university entrance exam. After arriving at Mo Chit, they took a cab and were told the fare was 900 baht each. A standard fare would have been no more than 500 baht.
The students said they paid because they were new to Bangkok and only realized they were duped after talking to other people. Supachok said he would return the money to the pair.
The driver’s father, Prachan Singkhon, was also charged with traffic violations because the vehicle was registered under his name. He offered an apology on Supachok’s behalf.
“I’m very sorry,” he said at the station. “When I heard the news, I was very sad.”