"It is a problem especially for occasional visitors who get duped. It draws down the rating for Stockholm,” says Olle Zetterberg, CEO of the Stockholm Business Region, to daily Dagens Nyheter.
The County Administrative Board receives many complaints about excessive overpricing, and the Transport Agency, who is the supervisory authority, the number of unreported cases is probably great, especially for tourists.
The Transport Agency considered in an investigation in 2010 that it is a small group within the industry which accounts for the abuses, a group that mostly target tourists and those who rarely take a taxi. The drivers are well aware that they likely not will get the same customer again.
The situation with dishonest taxi drivers is "catastrophic" and "extremely bad", according to those who work with tourists in Stockholm. These are example of opinions presented in a report by the Stockholm Business Region.
Many hotels and trade fairs inform their customers both orally and in writing about dishonest taxi drivers. One of the interviewees think that customers are put in risky situations by the problem, and that it is difficult to understand how big the problem is for those who do not experience it daily.
A further problem arises when, for example, hotels are trying to keep taxi drivers from small companies away from the most attractive places. One person explains it like this:
"The taxi drivers become very, very aggressive if someone is helping customers to ensure that customers do not get duped. There are threats, and violence in some cases."
The tourist industry wants some form of enhanced regulation and better oversight of the taxi industry. For example, mandatory connection to central booking. That would make it easier to track excessive pricing.
"We must do something," said Olle Zetterberg.