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Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

Beverly Hills, CA
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Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

Beware of changing your money at Change Italia, particularly at their booth in Campo de' Fiori. When I inquired as to the rate the clerk pointed to a sign that indicated $1.1785 to the Euro, conveniently omitting to tell me there was a whopping 19.8% fee, which gave me an effective rate of $1,47! After being handed the Euros and realizing what was the real rate, I asked for my dollars to be returned only to be told by the clerk it was too late and he could not return my dollars. This is a scam so beware.

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33 replies to this topic
pittsburgh
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1. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

It's not a scam, you should have realized there would be a fee and asked about it first.

That being said, changing money is never cheap and should never be done. Use an ATM to get out euros. It's usually the cheapest way to do it. Check with your bank to see what their fees will be, Italian banks won't charge a fee.

Donna

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

These places do this all over the world, taking advantage of people who for some reason don't know to use their debit cards instead. The fees are posted, maybe small print, but are posted.

Check out any in Los Angeles - you will see the same thing.

ohio
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3. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

Thanks for posting this. There are a lot of first time travelers to foreign countries that don't realize that some money exchange establishments are not clear in the total amount you are charged. In Budapest a few years back it was very fair as they didn't charge any different than what was posted on XE.com. But, in Italy these establishments are set up in very convenient places for tourists to use. Unfortunately you have learned a costly lesson, but your willingness to take the time to post might save some one else from making the same mistake. Please don't let this dampen the rest of your vacation.

Have to disagree with Donna. If it wasn't a scam (maybe right term would be "shady business") they would have been willing to return the op's money. They would be upfront with all charges.

I have found that my banks charge 3% plus $5 when I use an ATM in Italy. If I purchase Euros from my bank before I leave, they charge me about 7% (AAA charges the same 7%).

Steve

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4. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

When the fees are posted, it is not a scam. A scam is when they do not post the fees.

There are plenty of debit and credit cards one can get and not pay any percentage fee for currency exchange - TD Bank card doesn't impose that fee and there are others that don't - and I have a few credit cards that also do not charge any currency exchange fees.

The ATM machines in Italy do not impose any fees when using them.

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Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

This is not a scam. If you had done your research before your trip you would have seen hundreds of comments on Money Exchanges and thousands of recommendations to use bank owned ATM.

Money exchanges is the second oldest profession in the world and they exist everywhere.

You are buying money just like buying a meal or shoes, the price varies and some are high priced and others are not, yet you never call the high priced ones scammers as the choice is yours. The same goes for buying money.

You want convenience, no trouble, rapid service in a busy area then you pay for that.

Stop calling it scamming, you knew what you go yourself into, you simply bought expensive money and not shoes.

pittsburgh
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6. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

Opie, all the charges and fees are posted for the purchaser to see and agree to so it's not a scam. What it is is the OP not doing the research before the trip and not reading all the information while at the exchange store. Why should the exchange give back money they legally bought? It was the OP's fault and is not a scam.

Donna

Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

Best Use "Bancomat" (ATM)

Beverly Hills, CA
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8. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

The sign indicating a 19.8% commission was not prominently posted and it was only after I realized that I did not received the posted exchange rate that the clerk pointed to the commission notice posted inside on the right hand side of the booth, well out of sight of customers.

Ottawa, Canada
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9. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

Bite the bullet and you will know for the next time to do some research before the trip.

ohio
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10. Re: Beware Change Italia Money Exchange in Rome

It would be nice if someone who claims the 19.8% commission fee is posted in plain sight would take a picture and post it. We will be staying there in a couple of months. My curiosity is getting the best of me so I will check it out.

dbabe, you say why should the exchange give the money back. That is called making the customer happy. While you are eating at Outback and your Aussie Cheese Fries come out soggy, so you don't eat them, I assume you would not be satisfied and not want to pay for them. Even though they were made for you and now have to be thrown away.

In the Op's case, there would have been no lose for either parties.

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