Throughout my travels in Central America, I never really had any blatantly terrible experiences or complaints. However, during my stay in Nicaragua, on numerous occasions I either witnessed or someone attempted to purposely shortchange me. By “shortchange”, I mean I buy something for $5, I pay with a $10 bill, and they give me a dollar back.
“In what world is this possible?”
I know I’m a tourist, but I am very capable of doing simple mathematics.
Also, if I pay with a debit card, I get immediate transaction alerts.
For example, while in Granada, I stupidly patronized a gelato store.
Although the national currency for Nicaragua is cordobas, all their prices where in U.S. dollars. Also keep in that mind that around $25-26 cordobas is equivalent to $1 U.S. dollar.
I bought a regular cup of gelato from $1.75 and a bottle of water for $1.00, making the total $2.75. When I received my receipt my purchases were itemized in U.S. dollars, but my total was in cordobas.
Strange, right? Pick one currency and stick with it.
Anyways the receipt total was C$71.50, which was correct. However, I was charged on my card C$210.00, which is equivalent to about $10.00 U.S.
First, I do understand mistakes happen, but there is quite a distance between number “7” and “2” on any keyboard. Secondly, although I love to treat myself to the finer things in life, I would only buy a $10 small cup of gelato if it was made by Jesus, himself.
In actuality, it was a $7.25 lost, which is not a massive amount of money to lose. However, I am more annoyed with the fact that she thought she could get away with it.
“Momma didn’t raise a fool!”
When I received my bank card notification, I immediately contacted my friends, who also bought gelato. As I suspected, they were also overcharged.
Luckily, I keep my receipts. The next day I paid the store a nice visit. Fortunately,the lady who rung us up the night before was not there. The ladies working apologized and promised they would cancel the transaction immediately. After watching talking on the phone with the manager one of the workers, assured us the transactions would be cancelled by the afternoon.
It has been a week since she made that promise.
Needless to say, a claim dispute is coming in the near future.
UPDATE: After a month of waiting they finally canceled the transaction.