Vienna puts private detectives on wayward taxis case

Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:53pm EDT
 
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VIENNA (Reuters) - Curiously expensive detours with taxi drivers through Vienna may be a thing of the past thanks to a new plan to dispatch undercover detectives in the city to hunt down bad practices.

The local taxi guild said Wednesday it wants to bring in the detectives after two studies identified major shortcomings with taxi drivers in Austria's capital, the country's top tourism destination.

"A quarter of trips were inadequate and unacceptable," Vienna tourism chief Norbert Kettner said Wednesday at the launch of the plan, according to remarks carried by the Austria Press Agency.

Top complaints included messy and smelly taxis, mangled English and refusals by drivers to make certain trips. Taxi drivers which get very bad reports from the undercover customers could lose their licences, APA reported.

Vienna officials did not say when the secret customers would start making their first trips but it said there was already a good chunk of funding set aside for the cause.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall)