Overcharged by a Taxi? File a Complaint
It’s a common problem for those who visit San José’s hotels: oftentimes, taxis waiting outside the door deny service to anyone unwilling to be overcharged, saying they work exclusively for the hotel and charge extra fees for their services. Their target customers are unsuspecting tourists, so locals are often left to find a taxi on the nearest street that will use a meter, called a maría, to calculate the fair.
This is common, but not legitimate. All licensed taxi drivers, whose cars have a yellow registration seal on the door, are required to use meters, and do not have the right to charge special fees for hotel or mall pickup, driving at night, traveling between provinces or other excuses, according to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP), which oversees the nation’s taxis. The only exceptions are the official orange airport taxis (TT, Aug. 19, 2005).
Public Works and Transport Vice-Minister Viviana Marín told the daily Al Día that any taxi driver who engages in these practices and is reported could lose his or her license.
No complaints have been filed to date, Marín said, attributing this to citizens’ lack of knowledge about the fact that taxis’ licensing agreements require drivers to provide “equality of service.”
To file a complaint, get the taxi’s license plate number and the name of the cooperative to which the driver belongs (usually listed on the lighted sign on top of the car) and call ARESEP at 220-0102 or fax 200-0374.
You may be interested
Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean BushbyEllen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018
A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…
Costa Rica launches Pride Connection networkElizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018
As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…
Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past weekThe Tico Times - May 21, 2018
Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…