Reader response to "Taken for a ride", Issue 86; May 20-26
It's a shame
I work in the hospitality industry and receive many complaints from foreign tourists. They are disappointed, but I feel very ashamed. Concerned agencies should assign forces to deal with illegal taxis, peddlers and beggars who harass tourists. In my opinion, this is not too much to handle. What matters is whether we are determined to do it or not. Don't let Vietnam tarnish its image because of such shameful things.
Nguyen Van Chau
It's no small matter
I'm a Vietnamese woman married to a foreign man. Sometimes my husband and I are pestered by street vendors. Once I told a vendor that I'm not an overseas Vietnamese. But she pouted, saying: "Idiot, I'm pocketing the boss's money not yours. Why do you care?"
When my husband is alone, he is regularly harassed and abused by illegal taxis. He once took a taxi from Ben Thanh Market to our house which is just a couple of kilometers away, but was charged VND500,000 (US$24.29). When he refused to pay it, the driver threatened him. I really hope the government will do something to address this, because it is not a trivial problem.
It's a crime
This is not just abuse, but a violation of laws that needs to be punished. Closing the door, forcing customers to pay, and threatening or beating them if they refuse to pay up are acts of robbery or extortion of others' property. Concerned agencies need to strictly deal with such crimes and clamp down on illegal taxis.
Nguyen Kha Hoa (A student the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law)