A taxi operator in Da Lat City in the Central Highlands’ Lam Dong Province has been fined and had its driver suspended from work for overcharging two foreign tourists earlier this week.
Vina Gold was slapped with a civil fine of VND7 million (US$308) after one of its driver charged two Israeli women VND510,000 (US$22.5) for a 3km ride on Wednesday.
The dishonest cabbie was also suspended for two months, the provincial transport department said on Friday.
On May 10, the Israeli, Gadot Sharon, 21, and Sheeff Ayelet, 20, hailed a Vina Gold taxi to go from Phuong Hanh Hotel to a local homestay service owned by Huynh Ngoc Diem Trang.
“The distance is around 3km and costs no more than VND40,000 (US$1.8),” Trang told Tuoi Tre.
As per her service’s policy, Trang would refund the taxi fees for guests on their shuttle to her house.
However, upon learning her Israeli guests were asked to pay VND510,000 for the ride, or tenfold the normal rate, Trang immediately filed a complaint to Vina Gold, asking for a refund.
The cab operator agreed to refund the overcharged money to Trang, but refused to admit that their driver had transported the two Israeli tourists, even though the CCTV footage proved otherwise.
It was not until the provincial transport department looked into the case that the cab company admitted all responsibility in the wrongdoing and suspended the driver in question.
The driver said he had thought the VND510,000 sum included ‘bonus’ for him, whereas the tourists said it was meant to pay for the homestay service fee. The cabbie was supposed to give the sum to Trang after deducting his ride fare, but he kept all for himself.