Whats the truth about Paris?

Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:13 AM
  #1  
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Whats the truth about Paris?

I have read a lot of posts about restaurants over charging, hotels that charge you for breakfast you didn't have or simply just adding extra items on your bill after you left Franch. I have read where travelers have prepaid for their hotel only to find out the hotel is full so they have to stay in a dump of a hotel for the same price they prepaid and other scams like that, Most of the things I have read (if not all?) didn't end with the traveler getting a refund from the business! What is up with Paris? We will be there Sept 22 until the 30th and aside from the normal things we have to look out for like in any large city around the world. Do Paris businesses target vacationers to rip them off? Thank you.
somedayparis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:15 AM
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no, bad info. paris is wonderful.
degas is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:16 AM
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I think if you keep an open mind, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Toupary is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Maybe I'm lucky but nothing like that happened to me in Paris, or to anyone I know.
suze is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:35 AM
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You will be pleasantly surprised with Paris. People are very friendly, I have never had anything like that happen. Just remember the friendlier you are, the friendlier they will be. Mind your manners and you will love it there.
happytotravel is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:44 AM
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This reminds me of the old saying that the news doesn't report all the planes that land safely, only the ones that crash.
Yes, there are dishonest merchants in Paris who may try to overcharge you - but not to the degree that you should exercise anymore caution than you would anywhere else. Things like looking over a bill before paying it in a restaurant or at hotel check out is just plain common sense wherever you are. I have had more problems with US hotels billing for phone calls that I did not make than I ever had in Paris.
Seamus is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Someday - what is interesting is that many safeguards are in place that prevent the things that you mention.
Restaurant prices are posted on a menu board outside the restaurant.
The price you pay will be exactly what you see on the menu. No additional service charges or gratuities added.
Your Visa/MC will never be out of your sight. A machine will be brought to the table to process the transaction.
Paris is loaded with vacationers - you won't be alone (we'll be there. LOL)
Email your hotel and re-confirm your reserv. a couple of weeks before and insist on a reply.
robjame is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:54 AM
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...I have never been cheated but I do speake and read French. I know from the board there have been misunderstandings re breakfast at hotels. Most hotels do not include breakfast in the roomrate and if one wants to eat breakfast in the hotel it is extra. I did have an experience once with a confirmed reservation. I was sent to another hotel which was run by the same people after showing up at the desk with all the paper work confirming my stay. It didn't "cost" me anything but was inconvenient. If I had looked at tripadvisor this had happened to others at that hotel. Again, I think just one hotel's bad practice, but I would have discovered this if I had done my homework.
travelbunny is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Has anyone here experienced even one of the things claimed?
alanRow is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Thank you for answering my questions about Paris. We travel alot in the states and have had problems with overcharging a couple of times (for phone calls and room service we don't have) I was just wondering about Paris because of the things I have read and if happens often?
somedayparis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:02 PM
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Like suze, I guess I've been lucky. I've been to Paris several times and others areas of France without any of those issues you mention.
CRAZY4TRAVEL is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Since you mention phone calls, definetly check with your hotel ahead of time. One time we used our international calling card in our room and when we got our bill there was an 8 euro connection fee. From then on we used our calling card from pay phones and never in the room.
happytotravel is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:35 PM
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We met Parisians because we had our maps out. We were able to help a number of folks find their way. It helped that we spoke a little French.
Danna is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Where have you been reading this information?

I've made 71 trips to Paris in my lifetime (I daresay probably more than anyone writing the information you're reading), and only once have encountered a problem similar to what you're describing (hotel gave away my prepaid room because my train was late arriving in Paris and I didn't call them - this was well before cell phones existed).

I'd really like to know the sources of your information, but in any event chill and have a great trip.
StCirq is online now  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:41 PM
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I have never known anyone who has had a single one of those problems in Paris. On the other hand I know people to whom every one of those things has happened in the US!

I think you should cancel your subscription to the "Let's Hate France" magazine. Their information is misleading.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:45 PM
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How does all of this misimformation start? I suspect by some who have never been there.
cigalechanta is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:48 PM
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"I'd really like to know the sources of your information" I read that stuff on Fodors!. I am not claiming anything about Paris businesses. I was just asking a question based on some things I have read on Fodors. It's that simple.
somedayparis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:48 PM
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These things happen everywhere one travels...ever hear of some of the scams NYC cab drivers pull on unsuspecting tourists?

I don't think these things happen all that often but then again sometimes you have to watch out for yourself, you know what I mean...if there are things on the bill you didn't order don't be afraid to talk up...overcharged for phone calls....go to Las Vegas and see what some hotels charge for accessing 800 numbers ot make ld calls..Paris is no better or no worse than almost all touristy type cities.

Just keep your eyes open and if something doesn't seem right, question it and you'll be fine.
xyz123 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 12:51 PM
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WOW! neoPatrick wrote "I think you should cancel your subscription to the "Let's Hate France" magazine". I read that stuff right here at Fodors pat!
somedayparis is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2007, 01:21 PM
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Yes, but you had to search to find that many negatives among the hundreds and hundreds of postitive posts about Paris. No one could do a lot of reading of Paris posts here and come up with that general assessment. In fact, if anything, Fodorites have often been accused of painting too rosey a picture of Paris. You had to read through a tremendous number of restaurant raves to find "a lot of posts about restaurants over charging".

Again -- go the US forum and you'll read reports of all those things happening there as well -- in fact more so.

What exactly is your point in pulling out a handful of the worst case scenarios and "innocently" asking if that's the way it is?

But to answer your question -- yes all those things can rarely happen, just as they can in any country in the world.
NeoPatrick is offline  

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