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Currency conversion scam at p.o.s. -- have you experienced it? Handled it?

Currency conversion scam at p.o.s. -- have you experienced it? Handled it?

Mar 5th, 2005, 11:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 400
I had this done to me in a 5* hotel in Venice - I booked at a set price in euros and when I checked out they charged my credit card in pounds; I paid about £20 a night over what the conversion from euros should have been. I'll know in future to insist on being billed in euros.
papagena is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271

In rereading your post there is one other bit of nonsense in it that deserve immediate correction...

Years ago some travel guides which should know better told people that some merchants might be tempted to hold charge slips waiting for a more favourable exchange rate. What a bunch of nonsense.

It makes no difference, not the slightest, to the merchant what the exchange rate is. He or she gets paid in his or her local currency. What happens thereafter has nothing to do with the merchant. A charge of €10 is €10 to the merchant whether the euro is worth $.87 US or $1.32 US...the merchant still gets €10.

So no that merchant in the hinterlands of Switzerland was most assuredly not holding onto the charge waiting for the dollar/swiss franc rate to adjust in his favour.
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,096
Just out of interest, one provider of DCC (http://www.planetpayment.com/newspre...1)acknowledges that

"Visa has introduced strict operating regulations governing DCC. Cardholders have to be given a printed receipt containing amounts in both the merchantís and their local currency, the exchange rate used, the symbols for both currencies, *as well as text explaining that cardholders are being offered a choice and that their choice is final.* Merchants canít [sic] perform DCC without cardholder approval, and DCC receipt totals must match charges on a cardholderís statement. "

I've got two problems with this - how can one prove that one did or did not get asked for one's approval?

Second, I've seen examples of this kind of 'warning' and it's in English - but then the example given pertained to a vendor in an English-speaking country. Presumably, such warning would be in the host language of the country one is visiting.

For non-English-speaking countries, it would well be worth one's while to understand beforehand the translation for this warning. Such that if it appears on a transaction slip, one should sign ONLY if the vendor did, indeed, offer one a choice of currencies, AS REQUIRED BY VISA. Otherwise, I'd suggest writing on the vendor's receipt "signed under protest as no choice of currencies offered." (It would not be a bad idea to also obtain the relevant translation of this phrase.)

Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Mar 5th, 2005, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 776
Does this also apply to MC or AmEX? I know when the DCC was done to me, there was no explanation. The regular receipt was written up in the local currency but the CC receipt was done in US$. The local currency was on there on the top but the bottom number (in smaller print) was US$ charge which I didn't notice until I started signing the receipt. I wasn't told they already did a conversion. Very sneaky.
nibblette is offline  
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