Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Citizen Activism, Part 2

I didn’t do it this time. It was my friend. (Well, I did have some part in it—I convinced her to complain.)

My friend—whom I called Zahava in a post several years ago because she has a heart of gold—arrived in the country recently for a visit. She rode from the airport in a popular taxi service that charges a flat rate for the trip.

Except that this time was a little different. The driver made everyone pay double because, as he claimed, the van was only approximately half full. He said that if they didn’t pay the extra amount, they would all have to wait a half hour for the next plane to come in so that the empty seats would be filled.

My friend, together with the other passengers, ended up paying more than twice the stated price for the ride from the airport to Jerusalem.

When she got here, she told me the story. I convinced her to complain, and the next day, she went to the company’s office downtown and did just that.

The company people told her that the ride costs a flat rate no matter how many people are in the van. They spoke with the driver, whose only defense was: “But she agreed to pay!” The people in the office weren’t having any of that. They gave my friend her money back and promised to deal with the driver.

Yes! Citizen activism rides again!

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