My flight to Labuan is 7.30 AM in the morning. Waking up early morning is habitual since I am normally up by 5.45 AM in the morning to send my sons to school. Last night I’d called my regular taxi driver Johnny to pick me up at 6 AM and the usual fare is RM60 without the meter. Johnny could not make it this morning so he had referred me to another elderly cabby.
However this cab driver was truly honest and he clock in the meter and the 40 minutes journey fare came up to RM32 only. Despite the meter indicating the fare far lower than this, I handed him the RM60 because of the gentlemen agreement made with Johnny. It was important for me to honour my words, even though I was wrestling with my internal emotion. The cabby was pleasantly surprise and smile. I guess Johnny earned from the referral fee. Johnny has been a reliable cabby all this while and I am sure that I could get a similar services out there with better negotiable rates.
The first reaction was that I felt cheated all this while for the overcharging but I decided against the notion. Johnny has been a reliable cabby and it was my choice of not exploring other options to find better rates. It felt so much better to take responsibility for my respond rather than being a victim.
My episode does somehow reflect the way how business is done today. Some business relationship with suppliers and vendors have gone a very long way and the other day, I read an article that nowadays business owners are on a look out for better, faster and cheaper services. The competitive landscape has change over the years. The length of business relationship no longer take precedent over cost of doing business. It is a matter of survival and the need to continuously improving the level of service and offer lowered cost of service is crucial to remain relevant.