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Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

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Laguna Niguel...
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Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

I and my family just returned from Rome with an agreed response of never to return. Now Rome is beautiful and the history you won't find anywhere more profound, but the people were horrible. I'm not one to post rants in fact this is the first time I've felt so compelled to do so.

But 100% of our dealing with every merchant was a hassle of trying to avoid being ripped off. As an example cab to hotel on meter showed 13 euros, when paying driver says 23euros due to extra baggage? At every restaurant it was either slipping in a charge of 10 euros for a coke for my son, to asking for a recommendation from the waiter and being show the $18 shrimp dish only to be brought the $40 shrimp dish along with a hassle of why I didn't want it, and lastly down to even a barber with the balls to charge $40 euros for a buzz cut that took 10 minutes. With the foot traffic that Rome gets there is an attitude of screw over as many people as possible as a new one is just around the corner that ruins any desire to return. Thankfully this only applied to the large cities, as we spent 3 weeks touring the Tuscany region and found the people there to fair and honorable it dealing with.

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1. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

I must be extremely lucky. I have read a number of these sort of posts on here, and yet in the various trips I have made to Rome, I have yet to encounter any of these rip-offs/scams myself. I have always found the people to be pleasant and helpful.

Maybe it is partly because I always make sure I know the price of something before I buy it/eat it/whatever (but then I do that anywhere. including England). People are just people anywhere, and a certain degree of caution / common sense is perhaps always required.

United States
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2. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

I second that Herodotus.... You need to be quick and wise in big cities... or you'll just get eaten.

Rome, Italy
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3. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

*sigh*.....sorry you had such a bad experience here. Such a pity.

Vienna, Austria
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4. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

As you go more south or east, the culture of shopping changes. In many places people see it only as 'business' - and in business the more you can get is the better. If you visit the other side of the Mediterranean, it gets quite extreme and you would have to bargain about everything. These people might be very correct in other ways, maybe very religious, but their interpretation of trade is different.

That doesn't mean that I don't get offended when I am ripped off, I am just more calm about it.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

I must be the luckiest person in the world - 17 trips to Rome and counting (next one on October 21) and have not encountered this behavior.

I feel badly for people who do because it winds up ruining the Rome experience for them - though I hope that people know that while there are such incidents, there are countless others of us who have traveled to Rome and never had these unfortunate encounters and that these situations do not define all Romans and Rome. I am guessing most people understand that.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

One post and that a rant?

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7. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

And one review - mind you that isn't very favourable either, and repeats some of the same points in the post.

I do wonder whether approaching people and situations with a certain type of attitude does actually encourage them to try and rip you off?

pittsburgh
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8. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

First, let me say I'm sorry you had a bad time in Rome.

My questions would be: did you look at the prices on the menu for sodas? they are usually quite high. This is why I usually get water or the house wine. I know a child can't have wine but I wouldn't let him buy a 10 euro soda either.

As for the waiters suggestion, I would confirm the 18 euros price and make sure he understood that was what I would pay, nothing more.

Did you ask for the price of the hair cut before you got it? If not, you should have. You should never assume that the prices will be what you expect.

There is a 1 euro charge for each piece of luggage and I believe a charge for being picked up at the termini so the additional fare may have been in line.

Again, sorry you had a bad time but I wouldn't let a few incidents keep me from returning to Rome.

donna

9. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

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pittsburgh
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for Rome
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10. Re: Watch out for the merchants, they are the thieves of 2010

My rule of thumb is not to order unless the prices are posted somewhere. Most reputable places have their prices posted, even in sandwich shops, so there should be no need for debate. If you are offered the special of the day always ask the price before agreeing to it.

Donna