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Thais drivers calling because they can't read a map (taxi, Grab, delivery)


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i have verified with grab that the drivers are not to change the recommended route unless its a flat fare ride.

 

you get this route mapped on your app when you reserve.

 

the driver changes the route on his device when you are mobile to get more distance which is overcharging and not allowed. i think they also get some sort of kickback from toll fares may be why they always want to use the tollway, or maybe also just for the longer distance.

 

when they change the route the blue route marker changes on your app so you can no longer see the original route.

 

then again, it could just be stupidity...

Edited by fhickson
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3 hours ago, tropo said:

Don't be ridiculous. It takes a Thai person quite a while to explain my location on a phone, and you're bragging that you could achieve it with your basic Thai. I'm calling bs on that - you would not be able to... but rather than using this thread to boast about your Thai language skills, it's about the fact that couriers and other people cannot follow basic maps.

 

And in reply to your comment about needing a mother to take care of my basic needs etc.... ********

Yes. I would be able to explain my address in thai.

 

I would make a point of learning how.

 

I have made a point of learning how.

 

For that reason those calls don't bother me.

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For grab it is really annoying indeed, sometimes it is so obvious and yet they drive straight pass my village. Other times, mostly when booked from the village, some 'local area' drivers seem to automatically accept the ride. To then not see the car starting to move up to 20 minutes later, I cancelled a few times but that costs reputation too lol. Plus with the local area ones it is hard to give a bad rating, they might show up at my doorstep.

The younger drivers seem to be pretty good 9/10 times but the older people who now also start to do it, are often also scary drivers / can't read maps.
For delivery people, I stopped answering the phone for a month or so, caused things to arrive late. Now they just show up whenever they have something.

Edited by ChaiyaTH
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Sometimes the app doesn't put the location pin exactly at the right place. Maybe when you have many customers in a day then this happen often and they want to save time. 

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4 hours ago, Tayaout said:

Sometimes the app doesn't put the location pin exactly at the right place. Maybe when you have many customers in a day then this happen often and they want to save time. 

does not matter if its at the right place 🙂

 

drive to the pin and stop. your a robot. stop talking now or we get self driving cars to do it.

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18 hours ago, metempsychotic said:

Yes. I would be able to explain my address in thai.

 

I would make a point of learning how.

 

I have made a point of learning how.

 

For that reason those calls don't bother me.

Of course that would depend on the complexity of your particular address and how difficult it is to find. Some addresses are easy and others require quite a bit of explanation, depending on the their familiarity with the area. You wouldn't be able to explain my address on the phone to a lost Thai person.... even Thai people find that challenging.

 

Why not find another thread to boast about your Thai language skills. Maybe you can find some people to impress. This thread was about reading maps and addresses, not speaking Thai.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, tropo said:

Of course that would depend on the complexity of your particular address and how difficult it is to find. Some addresses are easy and others require quite a bit of explanation, depending on the their familiarity with the area. You wouldn't be able to explain my address on the phone to a lost Thai person.... even Thai people find that challenging.

 

Why not find another thread to boast about your Thai language skills. Maybe you can find some people to impress. This thread was about reading maps and addresses, not speaking Thai.  

 

 

No boast, no brag.

 

Everytime I move, I make a point of being able to explain where I live. 

 

This is because thai map skills often suck. Its a necessary survival skill.

 

Make what you want of it.

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I live in apartment 5001, there is also an apartment 501.

I had my girlfriend write in the Grab delivery comments, in Thai: " I live in apartment 5001, NOT 501, take a left after you exit the elevator at level 5".

9 times out of 10 they call me in front of apartment 501 wondering why I'm not opening the door.

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On 1/14/2020 at 7:55 PM, Bassosa said:

I live in apartment 5001, there is also an apartment 501.

I had my girlfriend write in the Grab delivery comments, in Thai: " I live in apartment 5001, NOT 501, take a left after you exit the elevator at level 5".

9 times out of 10 they call me in front of apartment 501 wondering why I'm not opening the door.

another big factor, apart from dullness mentally, is rushing.

 

the more you rush the more you miss and the longer things take. the effect snowballs until you cant get things done efficiently.

 

rushing is at the root of a lot of problems, even more then being stupid is.

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I can't imagine not being able to make sense of a map, not knowing where Canada is, or not realising that there is a whole world outside Thailand's borders. You have to accept that when living in Thailand, if you want to use such services, then it would be a very wise investment of your time to learn a bit more Thai as another poster has already mentioned.

 

However, it has to be said that when I get deliveries from various places I often get phone calls from lost drivers and they speak very fast and more often than not I end up having to get my wife to speak with them. It usually takes her about 10-15 minutes to explain where our house is, when in the UK I would be surprised if it took more than a minute.

 

So even if you do speak fluent Thai, getting these people to understand what they need to do seems incredibly difficult.

 

There is definitely an accepted level of general incompetence and because of the Thai way of doing things, nothing ever gets addressed, nothing ever improves.

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4 hours ago, SteveK said:

I can't imagine not being able to make sense of a map, not knowing where Canada is, or not realising that there is a whole world outside Thailand's borders. You have to accept that when living in Thailand, if you want to use such services, then it would be a very wise investment of your time to learn a bit more Thai as another poster has already mentioned.

 

However, it has to be said that when I get deliveries from various places I often get phone calls from lost drivers and they speak very fast and more often than not I end up having to get my wife to speak with them. It usually takes her about 10-15 minutes to explain where our house is, when in the UK I would be surprised if it took more than a minute.

 

So even if you do speak fluent Thai, getting these people to understand what they need to do seems incredibly difficult.

 

There is definitely an accepted level of general incompetence and because of the Thai way of doing things, nothing ever gets addressed, nothing ever improves.

yes, that happens to me all the time over the smallest things.

 

i was at big c yesterday and ordered at the food court at a booth that sold the same 6 dishes. got a clerk wko spoke 0 english. me no thai.

 

had the dish there pictured on the menu with price. i must have pointed at the meal 7 or 8 times. the cook could not understand what i wanted to order!

 

finally another thai came over and i pointed again at the dish. they spoke in thai for about 5 minutes, then the cook seemed to get it.

 

now we can offer explanations and excuses like i should know thai, or the cook could not read the menu in either english or thai, but sad fact is the picture was right there and it was inly one of 6 dishes on a set menu.

 

am i off base here putting it down to cook stupidity? i dont think they were trying to give me a hard time. could it be a pride thing where i need to order in thai? similar to the usa where mexicans dont get served because they "should" be able to speak english.

 

same kind of thing happens all the time. its like they need to have another thai speaking person validate the service or request for some reason.

Edited by fhickson
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I found many Thai addresses that made no sense, either.  My apartment mailing address was on Soi 16, but the apartment was actually on Pai Singto, about 200 meters from Soi 16.  The road that forms Asoke intersection with Sukhumvit has about half a dozen different names, depending on which map you're reading.  Roads often change names when they cross an intersection, then change back, as if one block of the road was named after a local family.

 

I learned in China that taxi drivers navigate by landmarks, as opposed to addresses.  Tell them you want to go to #33 Nanjing Road, and they're clueless.  Because #33 may be in the same block as #5015 Nanjing Road.  Tell them you want to go to the Sheraton, and they'll get you there.  I found the same in Thailand, the difference being that just about every taxi in China is now tapped into GPS.  Thailand, not so much.

 

 

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18 hours ago, VocalNeal said:

Because the picture was facing you not her/him?

try again, the food looks the same no matter how you rotate it, just like a gps pin on a map will stay in the same spot when you rotate the map on your phone 🙂

 

Edited by fhickson
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Frustrating when you bother to print out a Google Map with Thai names clearly visible and the moron at the taxi stand still wants the phone number of the Hotel your staying at.  In and out 4 or 5times a year until I retired last year.  Used to stay at the Ibis Sathorn until the last couple of trips.  The breakfast menu was good but turned to [email protected] so the last 2 trips I stayed elsewhere.  

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On 1/19/2020 at 7:28 PM, Grumpy John said:

Frustrating when you bother to print out a Google Map with Thai names clearly visible and the moron at the taxi stand still wants the phone number of the Hotel your staying at.  In and out 4 or 5times a year until I retired last year.  Used to stay at the Ibis Sathorn until the last couple of trips.  The breakfast menu was good but turned to [email protected] so the last 2 trips I stayed elsewhere.  

a lot of then cant read thai. just not enough schooling to understand or no schooling at all.

 

you dont get an admission though do to face issues, its just a request for a phone number or verbal directions.

 

thus the chatter when things are clearky stated or questions when it is clear on a menu. could be asked "fish?" when the dish is written in thai on the menu or needs to call when given a business card with the address in thai.

 

it takes a lot of the frustration out of it when you realize they cant read.

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1 hour ago, fhickson said:

it takes a lot of the frustration out of it when you realize they cant read

 

Or see...  A lot of guys need reading glasses to read a map or the tiny print on a business card.  I've had a few taxi drivers pull out the cheaters to read something I've printed.  Motosai taxi guys don't generally keep reading glasses on them.

 

 

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Today I had a Grab driver call right after accepting the booking. He spoke clearly and listened well, and finally asked about whether to make a u-turn on a road near me. The answer is yes, and any decent taxi driver familiar with the area (or capable of reading the map Grab gives them) would know that. He also asked "where you go?" when I got in.

 

Is it the biggest deal in the world? Maybe not. It worked out, and I was "ready to go" and not busy, so I could answer the phone. I still rated him 5 stars. But it's annoying.

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Moral of the story? Learn Thai and respect the culture of the country you are living in! Thai's constantly need reassurance as they are afraid to make errors. That's why it takes 10 of them to do one thing in an office. If something goes wrong its everyone's fault and not just one person. Its also why they will crowd around a foreigner when they need help. So the Grab driver is seeking assurance that will lower the chance of an error. But yes, it can be annoying. Just smile and carry on. No big deal...If it is maybe a nice, liberal, well educated European city will be more suited to your whims and humours?

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20 hours ago, claffey said:

Moral of the story? Learn Thai and respect the culture of the country you are living in! Thai's constantly need reassurance as they are afraid to make errors. That's why it takes 10 of them to do one thing in an office. If something goes wrong its everyone's fault and not just one person. Its also why they will crowd around a foreigner when they need help. So the Grab driver is seeking assurance that will lower the chance of an error. But yes, it can be annoying. Just smile and carry on. No big deal...If it is maybe a nice, liberal, well educated European city will be more suited to your whims and humours?

Asinine framing. Why unnecessarily insult people at the beginning of your message when there's actually a lot of agreement between all sides?

 

You certainly have some crumbs of truth here, but you coat it with insulting and absurd "respect the culture" nonsense from the start. Where did anyone declare that this was "a big deal?" Where is the contempt or disrespect for the culture of Thailand that necessitates you linking this story to "respect" and putting the primary onus on me (or any of the many others who have experienced similar frustration)?

 

No, I'm not going to provide cover to the "learn Thai" obligation, despite my fondness and respect for Thai culture and the Thai people. Thai is a native language to < 50 million people. Given that Thailand seeks to position itself as a major tourist destination and establish Bangkok as a global business hub, the reality is that millions of people in the country at any given time will lack fluency in the Thai language. While those people have a duty to respect their hosts, their hosts have some duty to adapt to the fact that many guests lack the ability to meaningfully communicate in the (difficult) local language. Apps like Grab are part of that adaptation. 

 

Do I try to pick up some "survival Thai?" Sure. I'll even sit in on some informal "Thai for farang" events if they fit my schedule. Some people I know choose to do a bit more. Some choose to do less. But as someone stationed here for a limited duration, I am not going to invest significant time learning a language that is of little use to a non-native speaker outside of Thailand. The time I spend learning Thai that I will probably never use after I leave is time that could be spent conducting research or doing professional development--both things that are more attractive to prospective employers. Or it's time that could be spent with family. 

 

I speak two languages and am learning a third. I have some survival skills in Thai and a few more languages. I consider myself culturally sensitive. A little venting about some of the frustrating aspect of living in Thailand does not represent disrespect; after all, I choose to stay here.

 

Maybe the moral of the story is that everyone can do better. Sure: many farang visiting, working, or living in Thailand could adapt more to the culture and learn more Thai (let's drop the stupid "respect" wording, though). Does that negate the perspective that it's 2020? A professional taxi driver holding a computer one million times more powerful than the ones that got us to the moon should be able to find my pin on the map without calling me while I pack up for work or try to grab a quick coffee. An app that's supposed to make things easier for all parties shouldn't lead to unnecessary and unproductive conversations that actually leave the customer less confident that the taxi will arrive and leaves both parties frustrated. That Thais are culturally inclined to seek reassurance mitigates this point a bit, but not much. It shifts the tone away from "these drivers are <deleted>' idiots" to something a tad more nuanced and understanding.

 

 

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