Beware of Best and Fast Change


Dec 16th, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Beware of Best and Fast Change

In June, 2014, I visited their booth at Marco Polo Airport and was told, without a doubt by their agent, that the fee to withdraw funds involved no commission and would cost the same as using the ATM next door in the airport. Based on his representation and urging for me to increase my initial request to purchase only 100 euros, he convinced me to purchase 500 euros, stating there would be no difference in getting more at an ATM in Venice when I arrived. Upon receiving the euros using my bank debit card, I learned it cost me a commission of 103.43 euros plus additional fees, for a total cost of $140.70 US. There is no question I was mislead by the Best and Fast Change employee, as the 0% commission he stated related to a Buy Back Promotion on the euros.

I requested a refund from the company and received no reply. This message is intended to warn others of the misleading information provided by this company when visiting Italy, particularly Venice. Of course, I was aware that the best way to exchange dollars for euros is to visit a bank, but since we were in Venice a very short time, I tried to expedite the transaction.
seabrook is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 05:30 PM
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I'm sorry you had this experience seabrook, but you should have thought about how the guy gets paid if his company charges the same as the ATM. You should have asked to see the exchange rate too. The fact that he "upsold" you to get more than you wanted should have been a big red flag.
Dayle is online now  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 05:57 PM
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I have changed money at bureau de changes numerous times - mostly in the past - but still sometimes at the departure airport if I want to have $100 or os of the local currency.

And NEVER, not once in all those times has the agent tried to increase the amount of money I changed - nor made any claims about their rates not having any fees.

You were looking for a deal that doesn't exist, couldn't exist - and got taken. IMHO your own fault for not paying attention to what everyone here has been saying for umpteen years.
nytraveler is offline  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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It's best to use regular bank ATM's, not exchange places.
kybourbon is online now  
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Dec 16th, 2014, 09:08 PM
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Thanks for the info. I understand how one can be talked into something that goes against what you thought was not true and find out you were right. I wish I was always correct, but we all make mistakes. When I travel abroad I always assume I spend about $100.00 more than I should have on some stupid mistake.
yipper is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2014, 01:57 AM
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And they let Italy into the Euro....
bilboburgler is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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Sorry for your bad luck, and as zipper stated, we all make dumb mistakes when we travel. In 2000 I cashed some traveler's checks at a currency exchange in the Piazza di Spagna across the street from the Spanish Steps. I knew better, but it was close by. The posted exchange rate was favorable, but I failed to notice the commission. OUCH! I speak Italian and gave the teller a grief when he held up the sign with the printed commission rates. After returning home I posted a warning on every online bulletin board I could find on the internet. A suggestion for you would be to post this warning again on Frommer's Forum and Rick Steves Travel Forum.

We only use an ATM, bancomat, if it's attached to a bank and only during banking hours. If the machine eats the bankcard we can go inside and retrieve it.

Make a learning experience from this and continue to travel.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is online now  
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Dec 17th, 2014, 10:01 AM
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what is the relevance of your comment?
nochblad is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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It's a good warning, though, although I would never deal with a place that didn't have rates posted that showed buy/sell and if there were extra fees, etc. In fact, I thought that was the law, that they had to have them posted or at least in writing. A lot of people don't know the difference in buy and sell, unfortunately, but they should have it posted. I've never done it in Italy, however. And I've only exchanged cash, actually, I can't comprehend why you would use an exchange bureau to use a debit card? That doesn't even make sense, why wouldn't you just go to the ATM.

As someone says, it wouldn't make sense if they made no money over the bank rate, they couldn't stay in business. Unless you told them your ATM card charged 3% or something, then it could be possible. But sounds like they didn't know anything about your card.
Christina is online now  
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Dec 17th, 2014, 11:00 AM
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Thanks for the warning. And try to ignore posts that go something like, "Nyah, nyah, all your fault."
vincenzo32951 is offline  
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Dec 17th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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If you have a smartphone with data, you might have a last resort option of not having to be a voracious reader to read up on and remember all the possible scams you might encounter on your trip. You can look up on the web, + problem/scam/rip-off and you can at least weed out business mentioned ad nauseam by other posters as businesses to avoid.
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