Being ripped off

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rickulivi

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I have read many posts here about expats being ripped off in Bs. As. Unfortunately, I am sure their stories are true. But, how about being ripped off in the first world, like in New York city? Here are my 4 stories:

1. I arrived Monday at 5 am after a red eye from LA. After i picked up my luggage, I went to the outside looking for some transportation to my hotel, I received numerous offers to take me. A big sign said not to accept these offers, but I had no idea where to catch a taxi or a Uber, so after the third drivers solicited me, I agreed. First, I asked how much he wanted. $75 including all tolls, he replied. I though that was reasonable, and I asked if he would accept a credit card, to which he agreed. When we arrived at my hotel, I gave him my card and he wanted to charge me $79.50. I mentioned that we had agreed on $75, and he said he added a credit card charge. I objected calmy, restating our agreement. He cancelled the credit card charge, ran a new one and gave it to me to sign: it was for $76.50. I did not want to argue about the extra $1.50, so I paid it. I got ripped off.

2. On a day after walking 20,000 steps, I went into one of these small 7 eleven types that are so common in this city, looking for some almonds to eat. I found a package of them with the price of $4.99. I gave the clerk ten dollars, and he gave me less than 5.01. When I brought that up, he looked at my like I was some stupid tourist and said we pay sales taxes in New York. Later i bought the same package at a different store, and they did NOT charge me sales tax. I asked them why not, and they told me there is no sales tax on food items. So, go ripped off by the previous store clerk!

3. My wife and I went to meet our daughter in the financial district, and all three of took a huge Uber to another place. When we got on, my daughter asked the driver if he could drop off my wife and me in Soho, which has half way where she was going. Driver agreed. As we drove off, and we chatted, we did not pay attention to where we were going. Finally, the driver arrived at my daughter's destination, and she said he was supposed to drop us off first, to reduce the cost of the drive. He said something that was unclear, and he drove us back to Soho. He charged twice what he should have. Another rippoff.

4. Last night at dinner, I selected a wine bottle for $36 (cheap wine) because one glass was $18, so it's cheaper by the bottle, I assumed. We finished dinner, and I did something I never do: reviewed the bill. The wine was $37. I called the waiter, pointed out the mistake, and the manager came over and bumbled some cheap excuse and redid the bill. This time, I stopped the ripoff!

Ok, tourists are easy targets whether you are in the first world, the developing world or in the banana world. So, next time you complain about it happening in ARgentina, don't forget that it happens everywhere; well, maybe not in Sweden, but then I have never been there!
 

bobsnowpuppy

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Here’s the thing in New York and some other states. At convenience stores some food items are taxable and some are not. The problem is that some convenience stores are lazy about differentiating so they charge sales tax on all food items. If they’re using a point of sale system software they also may be lazy about refining it so tax is not charged on some food items. So you may not have been particularly targeted when you bought your almonds. They probably charge everybody tax on those almonds.

As far as the wine, they probably had not updated their menu and their point-of-sale system had the new price of $37 a bottle.
 

sergio

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Here’s the thing in New York and some other states. At convenience stores some food items are taxable and some are not. The problem is that some convenience stores are lazy about differentiating so they charge sales tax on all food items. If they’re using a point of sale system software they also may be lazy about refining it so tax is not charged on some food items. So you may not have been particularly targeted when you bought your almonds. They probably charge everybody tax on those almonds.

As far as the wine, they probably had not updated their menu and their point-of-sale system had the new price of $37 a bottle.
Is it so hard to ask where to get Uber at the airport? Your 'ripoffs' were minor in my opinion. Also $18 - even in New York - is a lot for a glass of wine but what strikes me as strange is that the bottle was only double that price.
 

Ries

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I once had my pocket picked on a crowded bus in Bandung, Indonesia. I yelled "Penpocet" loudly, and my little money bag fell to the floor amongst a group of young men. I grabbed it back, it only had about 20 dollars in it.

I had my bag slashed in Rome- but they didnt get anything out of it. It was a nice bag, though- a very old fishermans bag of early coated fabric. I miss it.

My wife once had her purse snatched off her shoulder in Madrid. I ran after the guy for two blocks, yelling Pickpocket loudly, but he was 20 years younger than me, and he got away. Another 20 dollars gone, but she liked the purse, and it was worth much more.

But the biggest ripoffs I have suffered, especially in the USA, have all been legal.
That $3500 I had to spend to have my young son's arm set in a cast, even though we had "insurance" Deductible, you know.
The $4 it costs to take the bus.
$18 hamburgers...
 

Traveler

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Wasn't it P. T. Barnum who said "there's a sucker born every minute"? Seems time flies as that minute is now measured only in seconds. And there's always someone readily available to fleece them.
 

D.B. Cooper

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It’s a world wide problem. It happened to me in Paris, Athen, Istanbul, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and of course NYC and Buenos Aires. It’s a combination of greed and stupidity. Probably as old as the Bible. Local merchants want to take advantage of visiting out of town folks. And it will continue long after we'ed left the planet.
 

Rich One

Registered
I have read many posts here about expats being ripped off in Bs. As. Unfortunately, I am sure their stories are true. But, how about being ripped off in the first world, like in New York city? Here are my 4 stories:

1. I arrived Monday at 5 am after a red eye from LA. After i picked up my luggage, I went to the outside looking for some transportation to my hotel, I received numerous offers to take me. A big sign said not to accept these offers, but I had no idea where to catch a taxi or a Uber, so after the third drivers solicited me, I agreed. First, I asked how much he wanted. $75 including all tolls, he replied. I though that was reasonable, and I asked if he would accept a credit card, to which he agreed. When we arrived at my hotel, I gave him my card and he wanted to charge me $79.50. I mentioned that we had agreed on $75, and he said he added a credit card charge. I objected calmy, restating our agreement. He cancelled the credit card charge, ran a new one and gave it to me to sign: it was for $76.50. I did not want to argue about the extra $1.50, so I paid it. I got ripped off.

2. On a day after walking 20,000 steps, I went into one of these small 7 eleven types that are so common in this city, looking for some almonds to eat. I found a package of them with the price of $4.99. I gave the clerk ten dollars, and he gave me less than 5.01. When I brought that up, he looked at my like I was some stupid tourist and said we pay sales taxes in New York. Later i bought the same package at a different store, and they did NOT charge me sales tax. I asked them why not, and they told me there is no sales tax on food items. So, go ripped off by the previous store clerk!

3. My wife and I went to meet our daughter in the financial district, and all three of took a huge Uber to another place. When we got on, my daughter asked the driver if he could drop off my wife and me in Soho, which has half way where she was going. Driver agreed. As we drove off, and we chatted, we did not pay attention to where we were going. Finally, the driver arrived at my daughter's destination, and she said he was supposed to drop us off first, to reduce the cost of the drive. He said something that was unclear, and he drove us back to Soho. He charged twice what he should have. Another rippoff.

4. Last night at dinner, I selected a wine bottle for $36 (cheap wine) because one glass was $18, so it's cheaper by the bottle, I assumed. We finished dinner, and I did something I never do: reviewed the bill. The wine was $37. I called the waiter, pointed out the mistake, and the manager came over and bumbled some cheap excuse and redid the bill. This time, I stopped the ripoff!

Ok, tourists are easy targets whether you are in the first world, the developing world or in the banana world. So, next time you complain about it happening in ARgentina, don't forget that it happens everywhere; well, maybe not in Sweden, but then I have never been there!
OMG bad luck....! $1.50 by Cab driver , $1.00 The Wine $1.00 , $ 0.43 cents? on the Almonds. Suggest you download The NYC,Sales Tax Calculator app.
It can happen anywhere.
 

jeff1234

Registered
Sorry about your bad experiences. New York City is a tough placet to make a living, many people have to fight for every extra dollar. I'm a lifelong New Yorker. I once worked for a Texas company and my bosses there never visited NY, it was too stressful for them. One Texan told me 'Jaefff, to live in New York you have to be deeeemented.'

If it makes you feel any better the people who ripped you off are in turn ripped off by their landlords, owners of their taxis and of course the local gangsters. A taxi driver pays about $100 to rent a taxi for 8 hours. He has to pay gas and share fares with the owner. It's really really tough for the driver to end the day with a profit. The owner used to pay $2-3million just to get a license for ONE taxi!!! Can you imagine the pressure on him to maximize his fares? Today its less but Taxi licenses (medallions) were a huge scam forever.

Taxing almonds could be an innocent mistake, or not. New York retailers have a favorite scam... to overcharge then refund a customers money but keep the sales tax which becomes profit.

I don't know which airport or hotel you were at but from JFK to Manhattan taxis charge a flat fare of $52 plus a $4.50 surcharge during peak hours (4-8 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays), for a fare of $56.50. Don't feel too bad last time I tried to avoid the taxi line was in Mexico City 10 years ago. I got ripped off too. Same all over.

Lots of the taxi and Uber drivers in NYC are fresh from Asia. One day they're in Islamabad, next day they're behind the wheel in Manhattan trying to understand you're english and remember where Times Square is. Consider yourself lucky if you and your family actually arrived at your destinations without injury.

Speaking of injury, I've also ridden with Russian taxi drivers and been yelled at and threatened by them because I didn't know the best route to where I was going or because they thought they could intimidate me to tip more.
 
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