10. 10. 12. - 17:51
Police under fire from locked out callers
By Rachael Williams
Police have come under fire in the current row over locksmiths which overcharge for their services after it was revealed that officers had been recommending companies suspected of ripping off clients.
The scandal came to light when one caller who had been recommended a shoddy firm by police made a formal letter of complaint.
He had been told to call a locksmith company in Vienna’s third district on the Landstrasse.
After being charged 500€ for a new lock, this cost rocketed to 1,700€ once fitting and labour were added to the bill. The man blamed the police for providing him with the contact details. It now seems though that this is not an isolated occurrence.
Following several incidents such as break-ins, it has been reported that police officers carry business cards for locksmiths which they then distribute to those affected. But any suggestion that there is a benefit for officers has been rejected by the police.
Police spokeswoman Adina Mircioane reiterated that the police are not permitted to recommend locksmiths - and that if evidence to the contrary were to be discovered, disciplinary action would be taken.
As far as the complaints are concerned, the police are appealing for more information.
Mircioane stated: "If anyone claims that they have been charged unfairly, they must inform the police directly."
The locksmith guild want reputable companies recognised with a seal of approval to stop the problem.