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Where to report tourist scams

Where to report tourist scams

Old Aug 4th 2009, 7:29 am
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by lynnxa View Post
not just one hotel - I worked for a major hotel & restaurant company as a manager - still going strong & going strong long before either of us were born I suspect - & credit card costs were added into 'buying price' so were passed on to everyone
It's incidental. They could have used astrology to let the alignment of stars determine whether or not they add a nickel to every room. Merchants obviously don't like seeing consumers get increased security (part of which is security from them), and at the expense of the merchant. Up-charging some trivial amount due to some market circumstance they don't like is at best a way to undermine the circumstance. But a consumer would be a fool to believe that the fee is really being passed on to them.

Prices change because of all kinds of market conditions. If I'm a merchant, I'm going to say my price increase is due to some factor that I want to attack. I can rationalize the price however I want, but I can't change the fact that my prices are controlled by competition, not whatever I choose to name as a reason. I can say my prices are higher because Michael Jackson died if I want, but MJ's death is not what enabled me to charge more for a tapa. If an employee gets sick and I have to pay more for a temp on last minute notice, that doesn't enable me to charge more for a tapa either. If I get away with charging more one day because I had to pay more to them temp worker, and net income increases, then I wasn't charging enough before the temp worker appeared.
Originally Posted by lynnxa View Post
JDR had a sex change
Oops.. The avatar threw me off.

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Old Aug 4th 2009, 8:03 am
  #32  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by jgombos View Post

Oops.. The avatar threw me off.
It`s a world reknown avatar of a cuddly teddy just like me, click on me gallery.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 9:19 am
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
You are talking when only three people had cards. ;-))
What would you say if you bought a 1000€`s dress in a shop and they said "Oh card madam that will be 1025€`s then, thank you."
I'd say call the medics & get me out of there, I'm in a parallel universe!

(and no, not that long ago, either... !!)


Originally Posted by jgombos View Post
A business cannot legitimately vary price based on the payment instruments you mention. I realize some businesses do it anyway, because it's not enforced, but it violates the merchant agreement with visa, m/c, and amex. You would see it much more if it were legit.
I'm not talking about varying unit price, I'm talking about adding a clearly identified on-cost to the bill where a card was used, say 1€ or 50p or whatever. That was common practice in anywhere I've ever worked and in the case of my business was discussed with the bank & credit card facility supplier too..... (IMMSMC that on-cost charging included Debenhams)

Anyway, back to the original question, two thoughts.
1) As someone said, it was your choice to accept the deal presented when you attempted to pay by credit card. (though I recognise you could not have guaranteed to have cash available to make an alternative form of payment)
2) Businesses here have to have a Complaints book so I imagine that would have been your first port of call if you realised instantly you had, as you saw it, been scammed. I've never had cause to use one but understand they're taken very seriously.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 11:58 am
  #34  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

hi there the restusarant would make nothing from this i have a shop with a card transation in place there are a charge for every card used to me not you.every card is different but it costs the merchant more for oversea cards i had a lady from france with a french debit card she payed for goods at the cost of 22 pounds this transation cost me 4.50 pounds . its not a scam the costs on transactions dont come cheap.poeple dont carry cash any more so us small shop keepers have no choise
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 12:09 pm
  #35  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by helenba View Post
hi there the restusarant would make nothing from this i have a shop with a card transation in place there are a charge for every card used to me not you.every card is different but it costs the merchant more for oversea cards i had a lady from france with a french debit card she payed for goods at the cost of 22 pounds this transation cost me 4.50 pounds . its not a scam the costs on transactions dont come cheap.poeple dont carry cash any more so us small shop keepers have no choise
well there you go - from some-one who knows


it may well have cost the OP extra, but as far as the restaurant is concerned - no scam, becuase they make nothing from it
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by helenba View Post
hi there the restusarant would make nothing from this i have a shop with a card transation in place there are a charge for every card used to me not you.every card is different but it costs the merchant more for oversea cards i had a lady from france with a french debit card she payed for goods at the cost of 22 pounds this transation cost me 4.50 pounds . its not a scam the costs on transactions dont come cheap.poeple dont carry cash any more so us small shop keepers have no choise
Originally Posted by lynnxa View Post
well there you go - from some-one who knows


it may well have cost the OP extra, but as far as the restaurant is concerned - no scam, becuase they make nothing from it

I think there are two issues getting blurred - as helenba rightly says the merchant has to pay for card transactions and (I believe) can choose to put a clearly defined on-cost to card customers. That isn't a scam.

However the op was talking about being 'forced' to pay in GBP which he didn't want to do. As it happens I was asked (for the first time ever) in Eroski the other day which currency I wanted to pay in - so it must be possible for the customer to make that choice. And it was, as someone has said, after keying in my pin.
Two issues.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 1:27 pm
  #37  
 
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

I am another confused person. How does someone who lives in Belgium have a CC which is charged in UK pounds? I have always thought that Belgium was in the Euro zone.
As a note has anybody read jgombos posting history? they always seem to find some sort of payment scam!
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 2:20 pm
  #38  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

I must be really dumb as i was lost on post one
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 2:35 pm
  #39  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by missbad View Post
I must be really dumb as i was lost on post one
Well, it starts with the word "Suppose", so it's a purely theoretical question. Maybe we should organise a test - some people go and get completely tapas'd in several bars and pay for each one with a CC. Another party goes to the same bars and pays with cash. In the end we could check to see who enjoyed themselves the most.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 3:58 pm
  #40  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by pete_l View Post
Well, it starts with the word "Suppose", so it's a purely theoretical question. Maybe we should organise a test - some people go and get completely tapas'd in several bars and pay for each one with a CC. Another party goes to the same bars and pays with cash. In the end we could check to see who enjoyed themselves the most.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 6:32 pm
  #41  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by fionamw View Post
I'm not talking about varying unit price, I'm talking about adding a clearly identified on-cost to the bill where a card was used, say 1€ or 50p or whatever. That was common practice in anywhere I've ever worked and in the case of my business was discussed with the bank & credit card facility supplier too..... (IMMSMC that on-cost charging included Debenhams)
The surcharge is a violation of visa terms whether or not it's itemized. Itemizing it in fact makes the violation stand out more clearly, and more difficult for the merchant to defend (but at least by not hiding it, they can claim ignorance if they're called on it). Don't let the frequency of surcharges fool you into thinking they're legit. It's simply unenforced, and everyone pretty much knows it.
Originally Posted by fionamw View Post
Anyway, back to the original question, two thoughts.
1) As someone said, it was your choice to accept the deal presented when you attempted to pay by credit card.
I have no problems with the deal I was presented. I agreed to it because the card was to be charged in euros. I was shown a receipt in euros, a computer display showing the GBP equivalent, and an employee stating that my account would be charged in euros, and that the GBP was for my information only. I was quite happy to agree to that.

What I never agreed to was the terms that printed out after I agreed, claiming that I agreed to something quite different than what I was presented.

I've stated this already. Are you saying verbal agreements are meaningless in Spain? In the US, verbal agreements are legally binding, and if an employee were to state that the charges would be in a particular currency, it would indeed be a breech of contract for them to charge a different currency.

After agreeing to pay euros (having been shown the price in GBP), this is what printed out:
Code:
Service and exchange rate provided by "la Caixa" includes a 2.5% mark-up over wholesale rate. I accept that I have been offered a choice of currencies for payment. I accept that the conversion rate and final amount. I understand that the choice of transaction currency is final.
I did not agree to that. It just got attached to the transaction.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by fionamw View Post
(I believe) can choose to put a clearly defined on-cost to card customers. That isn't a scam.
It's a breech of contract (and also illegal in some parts of the US). I wouldn't characterize it as a "scam" if the surcharge is made clear in advance, and there's no opportunity for a client to overlook it. But often merchants who surcharge will sneak it in, undetected by all but the most meticulous of eyes (Eg. Elak electronics shop in Belgium); and in that case, I would call it a scam, because it's done w/out the clients knowledge.
Originally Posted by fionamw View Post
As it happens I was asked (for the first time ever) in Eroski the other day which currency I wanted to pay in - so it must be possible for the customer to make that choice. And it was, as someone has said, after keying in my pin.
Two issues.
The machines definitely must be capable of charging in just the local currency, or offer a choice, because visa's rules mandate that merchants who use DCC offer a clear choice to the client. But what happens is staff will do some data entry, hand the device to the client just when it's asking for a pin, and take back control. Establishments are taking the liberty of answering questions that are meant for the client -- and it's a violation of the merchant agreement for them to do this.

Last edited by jgombos; Aug 4th 2009 at 7:07 pm.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 6:52 pm
  #43  
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by jgombos View Post
It's a breech of contract (and also illegal in some parts of the US). I wouldn't characterize it as a "scam" if the surcharge is made clear in advance, and there's no opportunity for a client to overlook it. But often merchants who surcharge will sneak it in, undetected by all but the most meticulous of eyes (Eg. Elak electronics shop in Belgium); and in that case, I would call it a scam, because it's done w/out the clients knowledge.

The machines definitely must be capable of charging in just the local currency, or offer a choice, because visa's rules mandate that merchants who use DCC offer a clear choice to the client. But what happens is staff will do some data entry, hand the device to the client just when it's asking for a pin, and take control. Establishments are taking the liberty of answering questions that are meant for the client -- and it's a violation of the merchant agreement for them to do this.
You are now boring me to tears, take your grief to visa, they may refund your 2. or 3 €`s and give me a break.
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
You are now boring me to tears, take your grief to visa, they may refund your 2. or 3 €`s and give me a break.
see post 5
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Old Aug 4th 2009, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Where to report tourist scams

Originally Posted by lynnxa View Post
Originally Posted by helenba View Post
hi there the restusarant would make nothing from this i have a shop with a card transation in place there are a charge for every card used to me not you.every card is different but it costs the merchant more for oversea cards i had a lady from france with a french debit card she payed for goods at the cost of 22 pounds this transation cost me 4.50 pounds . its not a scam the costs on transactions dont come cheap.poeple dont carry cash any more so us small shop keepers have no choise
well there you go - from some-one who knows


it may well have cost the OP extra, but as far as the restaurant is concerned - no scam, becuase they make nothing from it
helenba didn't even mention DCC. She's simply saying credit card payments in general are not a scam - and I agree. The scam is with DCC. The merchant's credit card processor pockets some of the profit from the conversion, and offers the rest of it back to the merchant as a rebate to compensate what the merchant pays the processor.

From http://www.fintrax.com/DCCMerchantsFAQs.aspx#gobt2 :
How does the Fintrax DCC terminal benefit my business?
Some of the key benefits of the service include:

* Cost Saving: You will receive a competitive monthly rebate on the credit card transactions which are processed in the cardholders billing currency. This rebate can be used to offset your merchant service fees or it can be treated as an additional source of income.
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