A Comfort DelGro taxi driver was fired last month when a passenger, who was pregnant and had two children with her, lodged a complaint against him.
Facebook user Zdhnray Mohammad posted about the alleged incident on Facebook on 22 August, and drew more than 4,500 shares.
He had allegedly refused to take them to their destination of Yishun via their preferred route and dropped them off at Toa Payoh instead, with the passenger’s husband claiming that his wife allegedly suffered panic attacks.
The driver, 64-year-old Mr Lim Chye Beng, spoke to Shin Min Daily News to share his side of the story, and explained that he needed to drop the passengers off and rush home to get his blood pressure medication.
The passenger had suggested Lim to take the BKE to SLE route towards Yishun but he later missed a turn, and the passenger then suggested that he turned back but it was impossible on the expressway.
Passenger tried to shortchange driver
Lim then apologised and went on the CTE route instead and suggested the customer to pay the fare that she usually pays.
The passenger then said that the fare that she usually pays is $14, and Lim then felt like something was wrong and told her that the fare should be no less than $18.
He explained to the passenger that the booking fee for the taxi was already $3.30, and the metered fare for the first 1km was $4.10 along with a peak period charge of $1 – the pre-trip costs already amounted to $8.40.
The passenger then allegedly told him “I will only give you $14, up to you to take it”.
Husband hurling vulgarities at driver over phone
The passenger then called her husband, who scolded him and hurled vulgarities at him over the phone, resulting in his blood pressure rising.
Lim was not feeling well as a result, because he was suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease, he then told the passenger he had to drop them off so he could rush home to get his medicine.
Lim said that he dropped the passenger and her kids off at a taxi stand in Toa Payoh and made sure that they were in another taxi before they left.
He then informed Comfort to cancel their NETS payment, and the passenger was not charged for the trip.
Taxi driver got fired instead
Following the story that went viral, ComfortDelgro has responded to the complaint against their Taxi driver and has fired the taxi driver.
Zdhnray Mohammad’s original Facebook post
At 9.54pm, I booked a cab for my wife and 2 kids who were at Marsiling to come back home to Yishun using the Comfort Delgro app. A few minutes later, the cab driver, LIM CHYE BENG, called to inform that he has reached the location.
When my wife and kids were walking towards the cab, he lighted his cigarette and told to wait inside the cab while waiting for him to finish smoking. It took him more than 5 minutes to finish smoking before he started driving.
Go via long route
Since it’s not a fixed fare, my wife instructed the driver her preferred route (BKE – SLE – Mandai). However, he suggested via CTE, but my wife declined as it was clearly out of the way. The driver then continued to drive. In the car, my wife was busy handling two sleepy toddlers without being aware of the journey. When the driver reached the expressway, the driver drove passed SLE going towards PIE.
Feeling something was off, my wife checked the map and told the driver “Uncle, I say Yishun. Why you want to go towards Toa Payoh?”. The driver was defensive and lied saying “No, in front there is Mandai” when it was clearly heading towards Lornie Rd/Braddell.
Deliberately drops her off at wrong destination
He then asked my wife “Usually how much you travel from Marsiling to Yishun?”. After my wife said it’s less than $20, he started to get angsty and showed attitude. To my wife’s horror, the driver said “Like that I drop you off at Toa Payoh. You go take another cab, I don’t want to drive you! I wanna go back home I stay at Toa Payoh. You are wasting my time and petrol”.
Being heavily pregnant, my wife began to have panic attacks and have series of shortness of breath. So she called me and I told her to put on speaker for me to talk to the driver. When on speaker, I ordered the driver to send my wife and kids back to Yishun but the driver just refused to do so.