Getting a general sense of accommodation price ranges and the like is the best way to prevent being overcharged. In some places, it’s assumed that you’ll bargain down overcharged prices, in others, you will just have to walk away or pay up for goods although you should still challenge the amount in the case of a service if it is clearly overpriced.
When you rent a car, you are rushed through the process of checking for prior damage, including scratches. You are often rushed through this process, and the agent may not be so happy about you taking your time to do it. The vehicle already has plenty of scratches or dents, so it is impossible for your eyes to catch all of them.
When you return the vehicle, you are hit with a rude awakening. The agency is accusing you of having caused damage to the vehicle, and is now holding you responsible. The agency has pointed out to you damage to a part of the vehicle it is difficult to notice, and it was probably there before. But they will not tell you that. You are charged hundreds, even thousands of dollars for it onto your credit card on the spot. They have probably charged this to multiple customers, even though the money is needed only once to repair it, and the amount they charge greatly exceeds the actual repair cost. In fact, they most likely will never repair it and will sell or trade the vehicle once their time with it is up.
Tolls [ edit ]
Legitimate tolls use existing structures. But in some rural areas, primitive makeshift gates are set up on little traveled roads frequented by tourists, and money is demanded in exchange for passage. The appearance is given that it could be a „toll” or park entrance fee.
No-change trick [ edit ]
If you make a payment that requires change, they will refuse it and demand that you pay the exact amount. If you are not very attentive however, they will „forget” to return your initial payment. It may seem strange not to notice this, but in a fast moving and confusing setting, it happens more easily than you think, especially if you are somewhat tired or intoxicated. Incidents like this do also happen in decent looking establishments, such as shopping malls and airport stores. A telltale sign of impending trouble is that the cashier will suddenly lose the ability to speak or understand a single word of English. If you still have all your money in hand, the best course of action is to abandon your goods and walk away.
In another variation, a seller will insist that he does not have change for the item you purchased and that you should accept goods (often of low-quality) in place of your change. If you ask to „cancel” the sale and get your money back, the seller may become quite pushy in insisting that you take the goods or try to make you feel guilty because he needs the money for his family or business is not going well. If paying with large bills, it is best to ask if the seller has change before handing over your money. Also if this happens with a taxi or tuk-tuk, tell the driver you have to exchange the bill first (at the hotel, restaurant, market, etc whatever wastes time) before paying. Quite often, suddenly they?ll have change available out of nowhere.
Yet another variation involves ticket windows at tourist sites. Ticket sellers will take your money, take a long time stamping your tickets and talking to colleagues, taking your ID as security for audio guides, etc., and simply „forget” to give you your change. They may give you some brief information, smile, and say „okay!” to distract you and send you on your way. Once you leave the window you have no chance of getting your change, so be sure to ask for it and not be distracted by their „helpful information”.