Friday, November 08, 2013

How many ways can they cheat you...

Two days ago, at a Currency Exchange shop at Seattle airport, a friend of mine felt really confused.

He wanted to know the rate for the dollar-euro exchange rate.

The published rate was based on $600, "but the 600 was in small print, so stupid and deceptive. Why can't it just say how many euros I would get for a dollar?".

The friend called his daughter to ask her to check on the official rate. She told my friend that the rate, for the 550 USD he wanted to exchange, should be 371 euros.

Well, the offer from the Currency Exchange shop at Seattle Airport was 331 euros, so he declined the offer.

When my friend got to Frankfurt, he found that the offer was even lower: 319 euros.

When he arrived in Dublin, my friend asked his host there to take him to the best bank for exhanging money and the result was 356.14 euros.

Following that very frustrating experience, he says that, in one European country, the Currency Exchange shops "turn numbers around, rearrange them into different columns and then play with buying and selling rates and emphasize no commission, but in the end the traveler is cheated".

Thinking about the alternative of paying with credit card, he says: "I would rather pay with credit cards and know that the international banks should be doing the exchanges right...but how do I know that the big banks aren't skimming or manipulating?. And then there are the credit card fees per transaction....So what is truly more or credit card? With cash you get cheated on the exchange; with credit card do you get cheated after the exchange?"

Any views?

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