Authorities are investigating after a pedicab driver charged a Japanese couple visiting New York City for the first time an astounding $720 for a 20-minute ride from midtown to the Village -- a trek that should have cost only $50, according to a published report.
Pedicab Driver Charged Tourists $720 for 20-Minute Ride: Report
The acting president of the NYC Pedicab Owners Association called the scam the "worst rip off" he'd ever seen
Published at 8:06 AM EDT on Jul 19, 2013 | Updated at 9:53 AM EDT on Jul 19, 2013
When the pedicab driver rolled up, he allegedly pointed to a $5 line on the price board; Hiroki Niwa, in the passenger cab with his wife, Chisa, nodded and the pedicab driver started pedaling, according to The New York Post.
Once they reached their destination, the pedicab driver allegedly showed them a bill totaling $520 and told them they had no choice but to pay, so the couple handed over a credit card. Upon their return to Japan, the couple realized the pedicab driver had charged them $720 for the ride and had tried to bill another $616 to their card.
The second charge failed to go through, and the Department of Consumer Fairs is trying to use smartphone credit card readers to track down the driver who exploited the couple in the June 9 encounter, the Post reported.
Laramie Flick, acting president of the NYC Pedicab Owners Association, called the $720 charge the worst rip off he'd ever seen, according to the paper.