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money change with 50% comission

Munich, Germany
8 posts
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money change with 50% comission

we came to italy via swisserland and had 50 swiss francs left in cash and changed it today at one of the local money changers and got 21 euros for it before we realised what was going on.

50% loss cause of 19.90 euros rather hidden commission, we got told that all moneychangers do this florence and that it's perfectly legal even when it's real hard to see in their exposed quite ok rates.

Edited: 06 July 2014, 04:29
San Francisco...
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2,159 posts
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1. Re: money change with 50% comission

Sorry about your loss. 50 Swiss Francs is only worth 41 Euros on exchange. So your starting point is juslt that, 41 Euros. Also staying away from "money changers" is a frequent subject here on TA. Do not exchange currency in Italy...you are just asking to taken advantage of, and legally I might add. Sorry again...

Munich, Germany
8 posts
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2. Re: money change with 50% comission

I was in italy countless times since 50 years. Nobody would have done such things in the lira aera. About 35 years ago as a hitchhiking teen this 41 euros would often have been more than what I owned and needed to travel back to germany. I've changed cash in a lot of countries allready and still do and have never even heard of anything absurd like that ever. What kind of impression does europe give to any young traveller from outside of the euro zone? If I would not have had this 50 franks left by accident, I would have never know that such sick things r going on. I feel as european and ashamed for this.

NY
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3,712 posts
101 reviews
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3. Re: money change with 50% comission

Why are you ashamed for Europe? if you come to the US and do this you will get about the same treatment at such kiosks, exchange counters "bureaus" etc. The smaller amount the larger the percent because of fees and the rate is bad also. It has been like this for decades and well discussed on T/A. Foreign currency is bad, if I have some left I use as much as possible to pay in cash even part of my hotel bill before leaving that country

New York City, New...
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4. Re: money change with 50% comission

It's not like these guys hide their rates; they are a rip off and have been one since they first opened - nothing new. And, yes, I see it all the time here in the states - same ridiculous fees/commissions.

And, they definitely were as bad back in the days of the lire - I know because I had the misfortune of needing to change dollars to lire one time in Rome and lost a bundle on the transaction. I wasn't angry at them, I knew what the fee was. I was angry with myself for not having planned my money a bit better to be able to avoid them.

Now, you know. I'm sure it will never happen again to you but why are people still doing this sort of exchange without reading the information that is right there for you to see before you hand over your money.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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5. Re: money change with 50% comission

A little research ahead of time can go a long way in preventing disappointment. I'm just not sure how you didn't see the rates or why you didn't ask what the rates were. This is your responsibility, not that of the money changer. They are there to make money and from the posts on this forum, they make a lot of it.

Donna

Castellina in...
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6. Re: money change with 50% comission

The rates are very carefully disguised - or rather, the flat fee that's charged just to carry out the transaction is almost totally hidden. The exchange rates themselves are extremely unfavourable and not everyone carries the official rate around in their heads for comparison. I have never understood why these places weren't simply closed down decades ago.

7. Re: money change with 50% comission

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Removed on: 09 July 2014, 14:47
New York City, New...
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8. Re: money change with 50% comission

They wouldn't exist if people didn't use them; well-informed travelers who prepare well enough in advance don't need to use these places. It is for people who get caught out, don't do their homework re: best way to get currency, etc.

Knowledge is power - and, it saves a bundle of money.

Munich, Germany
8 posts
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9. Re: money change with 50% comission

I live a 2 hours drive away from italy in germany. I can pull thousands of euros from any atm there with several completely commission and exchange rate free cards, how wound anybody living in the euro zone have any need to care about chnging money anymore, there is nothing to change for us. I had to pull some swiss francs cause we were 2 days in zurich before we came to italy and cause they constantly charge there a bit more when u pay in euros. actually we had allready decided to change the left over bill in manila as we often change big sums of cash there because it's the cheapest way to transfer money to the philippines as it is in every asian country. when I saw all the clean and decent looking small moneychanger shops with thei vry fair rates, I thought: why bother with the few pesos we will get more in manila, we will forget that bill anyway, just change and forget it. I have other things on my mind and to take care of than feeding my paranoia with rechecking such a small bill. maybe it's difficult for ppl from us or wherever to grab that when u live in south germany a trip to italy feels not much different than a weekendtrip with afew hours drive ouside of ur town. would u check on the net what "dangers" u can run into going there?

whatever, I feel ashamed for it in the same way I feel ashamed for the entrance into churches or simular.

there sure r poor countries doing worse and I sure have by far not "seen the world" (who has anyway...), but I personally never seen anything like that done in any 3rd world country legally and there is for sure no need in europe not to be able or just being to dumb to regulate such things in a way, that gives a less fu**** up impression to any traveller, visitor, tourist or whomever.

and as since years such thing mostly get regulated by the euopean government and less and less by countries governments anymore, I'm sadly rather sure that simular fee rip offs by cash exchanges r also common in germany and all other countries of the EU.

which makes me logically feel ashamed even more.

NY
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10. Re: money change with 50% comission

Again, sure we are all sorry for your money loss, but hope you will feel better in the morning