Aggressive taxi guide scam

Marrakech-aggressive-taxi-guide-scamMarrakech suffers from an enormous and highly profitable underground referral system, in which extravagant commissions are paid by shop owners and restaurant operators to those who bring in customers who spend money at the establishment. As a result, friendly and helpful seeming locals almost always have a second agenda when they offer you their help in finding a restaurant, store or service. And taxi drivers are probably one of the worst players in this scheme, as stories of aggressive and threatening behavior have been reported by several tourists who refused to buy anything at the shops the drivers had taken them to.

Also read: Taxi driver turns aggressive when we don’t buy souvenirs

Taxi drivers and other unofficial guides promising to take you on a tour are very likely to take you to souvenir shops along the way even though you’re not interested and haven’t asked for it. They will encourage you to buy something, and these encouragements will get stronger and more forceful as you decline the offers. The taxi drivers receive a commission of as much as 50% of the total you’ve spent at a shop they’ve taken you to. If you don’t buy anything, the mood of driver or guide can suddenly turn sour, and tourists have regularly experienced very aggressive and intimidating behavior from these unofficial tour guides.

Especially the tours from Marrakech into the mountains are notorious for these kinds of practices, most tourists never make it to the mountains as the driver stops at a shop every few kilometers and some drivers have even left tourists behind at one of the shops far away from the city, from where they had to find their own way back to their hotel, just because they didn’t want to spend their money on overpriced souvenirs.

Always book your tours through your hotel or travel agent, with an official tour operator. Taking a regular taxi or unofficial tour guide whom you’ve met on the street or through a referral of an unknown person, could prove very expensive or even risky.

Also read our Marrakesh helpful local scam, which is also a result of the extreme commission-and-referral system.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Marrakesh and Morocco Tourist Scams Forum.

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