Following reports of a BBC reporter Neil Smith who claims he was cheated by an Israeli taxi driver during the week of the Eurovision contest and threatened to warn his followers against visiting the country, the chairman of the Organization of Israeli Taxi Drivers Yehuda Bar Or said that he views the incident "with utmost seriousness" as he issued an apology to the journalist.
Bar Or promise that the driver will apologize and return the money. "We will make an effort so that such things do not occur," he said. He added that the organization is trying to combat the phenomenon and telling all taxi drivers to use the meter.
In his complaint, Smith wrote that he flagged down a cab to take him to his hotel and the driver asked for NIS 80, which he knew to be double the actual price for the journey. But he felt that he had no choice considering the late hour and the difficulty in finding a cab during Eurovision week.
Asked how the complaint will be handled, Bar Or explained that if the driver works with a dispatch station, he will immediately be removed from the road and face an internal hearing where he might receive a fine or can even be asked to leave the job.
"The meter must be used within the city," he said. "There is no option for the driver to choose otherwise… He must use the meter and if at the end of the ride he wishes to apply a discount he can do so using the meter. Unfortunately, there are always some rotten apples that we are trying to fix."