The message came this week from Phuket Land Transport Chief Terayut Polprasert. A taxi driver told him that meter-cab drivers sometimes prefer to negotiate the fare.
''You can't, because you are taxi meters,'' Khun Terayut said. ''Be warned that you are breaking the law.''
Three new potential tables of fares are being considered for Phuket, and Khun Terayut warned that acceptance of the new fares could make Phuket's metered taxis the most expensive in Thailand.
Phuket's taxi traumas are wide-ranging and it's believed that many meter cabbies switch off their meters and negotiate because their unmetered rivals earn more in higher fares.
However, when Suthin Jampatorg, operator of the metered Phuket Taxi Service Limited, was asked ''Do you know that metered drivers are being accused of turning off their meters?'' he responded: ''No, I've never heard that.''
The meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City on Thursday produced some highs, and lows. Sometimes, when talking about Phuket's fares, the highs and lows came in the same sentence.
It's the first time in 10 years, the meeting heard, that a rise has been considered for the fares of Phuket's 110 metered taxis.
Three differet schedules are being considered.
Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada told the drivers' representatives that if they considered there should be a fourth alternative, they should draw one up.
The three alternatives for fares - highest in Thailand but well below the fares demanded by the hundreds of taxi and tuk-tuk operators who monopolise Phuket's public transport - will be offered to drivers in a survey.
No date has been set for a resumption of talks after the survey.
Present Fares (approx)
First two kilometres, 50 baht; two to 22 kilometres, seven baht per kilometre, over 22 kilometres, six baht per kilometre.
Airport to Phuket Town 350 baht (32kilometres)
Airport to Chalong 368 baht (35kilometres)
Airport to Patong 446 baht (48kilometres)
Airport to Karon 476 baht (53kilometres)
Airport to Laguna 276 baht (20kilometres)
Airport to Cape Panwa 410 baht (42kilometres)
Airpot to Rawai 404 baht (41kilometres)
First two kilomtres, 50 baht. 12 baht per kilometre thereafter (highest rate in Thailand).
Airport to Phuket Town 534 baht
Airport to Chalong 570 baht
Airport to Patong 726 baht
Airport to Karon 786 baht
Airport to Laguna 390 baht
Airport to Cape Panwa 654 baht
Airpot to Rawai 642 baht
First two kilometres, 50 baht; two to 15k, 12 baht; 15k and up, 10 baht.
Airport to Phuket Town 476 baht
Airport to Chalong 506 baht
Airport to Patong 636 baht
Airport to Karon 686 baht
Airport to Laguna 356 baht
Airport to Cape Panwa 576 baht
Airpot to Rawai 566 baht
First two kilometres, 50 baht; two to 22k, 11 baht; beyond 22k, nine baht per kilometre.
Airport to Phuket Town 460 baht
Airport to Chalong 487 baht
Airport to Patong 604 baht
Airport to Karon 649 baht
Airport to Laguna 348 baht
Airport to Cape Panwa 550 baht
Airpot to Rawai 541 baht