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WWu777
16-02-2005, 00:29
Cash exchange booth scam and rude mobile store

Dear all,
I came back to Moscow yesterday, and already I have two incidents to
tell you about. The first was a shameless scam at a cash exchange booth
next to Ritzsky metro station on Prospect Mira. Those of you who live
in Moscow know that the current dollar to rouble exchange rate is 1 to
27.90, a horrible rate. Well in front of this cash exchange booth,
that was the rate advertised on a big sign. When I went inside, I asked
the lady at the booth to confirm the rate. At first, she was hesitant
to answer, and told me to just put the cash in and she’ll tell me or
something. I didn’t want to do that yet, until she confirmed the
rate. Eventually, she said 27.90 in Russian. So I put in my 41 dollars
cash to exchange for roubles. However, she gave me less than what I
should have gotten, so I pointed this out to her. She showed me on her
calculator that it was correct for a 27.30 exchange rate. I looked at her
like she was dumb and told her that she was supposed to enter 27.90.
Then she pointed to a small sign above the window (barely even
noticeable) that said 27.30 in a small paragraph. I didn’t understand what
the paragraph said, but I assumed that it was saying something about this
being the actual rate after a service fee was deducted. Shocked, as
this had never happened to me when I exchanged money before, I looked at
her in disgust. How could a cash exchange booth commit such an obvious
clear cut scam, I wondered? This was not even subtle. It was a simple
bald-faced scam. The teller lady had proven herself to be a liar by
verbally quoting me 27.90 upon direct inquiry. There was no excuse for
any misunderstanding here. She was a clear bald faced liar and thief.
(Not even you cynics on expat.ru who defend all sorts of monstrous
behavior in Russia can deny that.)

Mad, I reminded her that she told me 27.90 and that it said that
outside on the big sign too. But all she did was keep pointing to the small
print in the white card above the window. I scolded her, called her a
liar and a very bad person, but she simply turned away and ignored me.
What a shameless bitch with no conscience! (Today, my missionary
friend and pastor told me that he’s seen that scam before too, and
disapproves of it as well.)

That same day, I also went to a mobile phone store to get a new 5
dollar prepaid card to add more minutes to my Megafon service. When I got
the card, I took out a coin and started scratching off the grey bar to
reveal the pincode. However, it smeared so badly that two of the
numbers in the pin code were scratched out at the root! That had never
happened before with my Beeline cards (which have higher rates). Frantic, I
went up to the service desk to get help, but a guy there said that the
damage to the card was irreparable and that he ought to just throw it
away. Shocked, I became panicky and angry, saying, “What? I’m just
going to lose 150 roubles on that card for nothing, and you’re not
going to do anything about it? You can’t be serious! No one would do
that.” But he said there was nothing he could do, and they were not
willing to give me a new card or compensate me in any way. I gave him
a mad stare and told him it was his responsibility to do something
about and remedy the problem. How could he lack a complete sense of basic
service and fairness? But he didn’t want to do shit. I scolded him
with “You sold me a defective card! Now do something about it!
I’m not paying 150 roubles for nothing! I need mobile service on my
phone! Don’t you dare!” When I asked what the problem with the lame
ass card was, he simply pointed to me and said “It’s YOUR
problem!” and that I scratched the card too hard or the wrong way, which he
repeated several times. What the damn f***ing hell?!?!?!? How dare he
point to a customer and say such a thing like, “It’s YOUR
problem!”? In the US, he would be canned faster than light speed! And if we
were in the US, I’d sack that guy! You don’t ever say such things to
a customer! No complaining customer in the US could ever imagine that
a customer service person, would point at a customer and yell,
“It’s YOUR problem!” Even the worst customer service person in the US
wouldn’t ever dare do anything close to that! For a customer service
person to say such a thing is the equivalent of committing suicide.

With my adrenaline running, I sat at a table and tried to make out the
two missing numbers in the pin code. I could see parts of it, so I
tried numbers which matched those shapes. After a lot of trial and error,
I finally found the right code, and was relieved. I showed the new
balance to the guy at the service guy I was pissed at, and asked him if I
got the correct code. He gave a grin and nodded.

Still, I can’t believe it. Even in a poor country in Asia, the
customer service people would have replaced the card at their expense in
such an event. Yet these people absolutely refused to accept any losses,
regardless of fault. Again, as I’ve said before, it’s obvious a
hundred times over that these people are the stingiest in the world.

Even my missionary friend Dale, who’s lived here for 11 years, said
this morning at church that customer service in Russia is an oxymoron,
because it doesn’t really exist.

WD40
16-02-2005, 00:31
Originally posted by WWu777

Even my missionary friend Dale, who’s lived here for 11 years, said
this morning at church that customer service in Russia is an oxymoron,
because it doesn’t really exist.

Welcome back, Wu, and thanks for enlightening us regarding the missionary position as it pertains to customer service and scams in Russia.

WWu777
16-02-2005, 00:55
Originally posted by WD40
Welcome back, Wu, and thanks for enlightening us regarding the missionary position as it pertains to customer service and scams in Russia.

W: Well thanks, but a lot of new threads I start keep getting deleted for some reason, so I don't know how long this one will last! Even when I said five positive things about Russian women in another thread, it got deleted for some reason.

WWu777
16-02-2005, 01:24
Dear all,
Check out what this lady on my list said to me in response to my above post on the cash exchange booth scam and the rude mobile store. What she says is really "out there" to say the least. lol

-------------------------------------

Winston ... Winston..... You would rather continue to play the role of Victim than look DEEPER into what is REALLY going on here. The Universe is doing nothing but mirroring your own thoughts and actions BACK to you. I have friends who go to Russia too and they don't have near as many problems as you do.

A good friend of mind is a Therapist who offers his services to help Russians deal with some very serious domestic and substance abuse issues there. Because of past political suppression, socio/economic pressures AND a cold/grey northern climate, there is a lot of serious depression within the society. These people admittedly need some assistance in these areas... none the less, my friend has been treated with love and respect amongst the people he deals with.

Perhaps .. instead of fault finding and complaining, you could look DEEPER into WHY some of these people treat YOU the way they do. There are a number of factors.
The difference between your experience and my friends' could well be ... He has the capacity to look beyond their surface actions and tries to understand what drives those actions. In a word... the man comes from a place of COMPASSION and non judgment .... and THAT makes all the difference in his experience. He cares for the Russian people enough to look beyond their short comings and is willing to lend a hand, to offer a better way, to give them hope.

He does this one person at a time, one transaction at a time. He is patient and does not take things personally. He is NOT judgmental .. he tries to understand their struggles and the everyday pressures of Life that come from living for Years .. even Generations under an extremely repressed society. These hardships will ALWAYS have an effect on the way a people look at life.

My therapist friend works to uplift and does it in a very humble way, respecting them FIRST as human beings, understanding that some of their more negative actions are simply learned responses, survival tactics from a harsh past.
Over all though, with the people he deals with directly he has been shown so much love and gratitude.
They gladly offer him what little they have. I guess you GET out of life whatever you invest into it. Why? I believe he is able to reach out and touch something deep within them.

A lot of these people are suffering Winston... open your eyes and try to get a deeper perspective. You have a great opportunity here to practice some compassion. Next time someone tries to wangle a few "copecs" or Rupees.. whatever, out of you... Give them back DOUBLE, what the hey... Triple !!! and give it with love. THAT is how people LEARN to come from an open heart. YOU set the example.
As my Spiritual Mentor loves to say.... YOU be the instrument of change. IF you wait for the "other guy" to move first... Galaxies might Come and Go. You yourself have the power to effect change in the world.. one transaction at a time.. one soul at a time. Just offer every transaction from a place of love and don't be attached AT ALL to the outcome. Have NO expectations.

Change takes time AND you may never know how one kind and magnanimous gesture on your part , offered despite a negative situation , could later on change the way some person might respond... down the line. They just MIGHT remember your kind gesture and try to mimic that... and then it gets passed on ... and on

If you have not seen the movie PAY IT FORWARD I strongly suggest you do so. It carries a very powerful message AND I believe the movie itself actually has begun to change the way people think and act.

Now ..... I am not suggesting here that you become some kind of walking target for rip off artists.. there is a very fine and subtle line here that needs to be honored... Still, if it is your INTENTION to treat people with respect, despite their apparent short comings, and you learn NOT to take their actions personally, then the way YOU experience this world cannot help but change for the better.

All the Great Beings of all religions and spiritual paths, and also of other Altruistic perspectives have said over and over...... Change yourself and the world will automatically change for you.

Peace, Faith

PS Why not try this exercise right now.... instead of envisioning that individual as a "shameless bitch"... envision her rising above her fear driven reaction of Lack. Envision her potential for Giving. Create a relationship with her true inner goodness. Ohh, and come up with a more positive description for her. :P Picture her the way you WANT her to be, and not in the role she is currently projecting.

It is human nature to want to Give... but deep inner fears often prevent that. So .. allow them ... give them "inner permission" to expand. Thoughts are real Win, they have power. Higher SELF .. which is the same in all, WILL receive that positive support on your part and that energy WILL help in uplifting Humanity. Think of it as a scientific experiment.... and watch what happens. Remember we are ALL interconnected, in ways most can't begin to fathom.

Ben
16-02-2005, 03:56
Another exchange booth scam: a lady counts your exchange money too many times right in front of you up until you get tired of watching it and then she throws it in that box so that one or two 500 rouble bills stick to the wall (she might put some glue on the wall too) so that you don't see them when you take the money out.

Many people would just leave without counting at that point, and if somebody does count and complains she simply tells him to look better in the box. No-lose situation for her.

Rule is: always count the money, especially if she does it too many times.

J.D.
16-02-2005, 07:25
The sign she was pointing to probably said that it is a lower rate if you change less than $50. Not unheard of in this city.

sevan
16-02-2005, 07:59
Wu - next time try exchanging money with those guys who hang out around the exchange offices offering to exchange money - they always offer a better rate and are highly reliable. If you find that they cheated you, you can always confront them or go to the police - who are also highly reliable and likely to help.

koba65
16-02-2005, 08:04
Originally posted by sevan
Wu - next time try exchanging money with those guys who hang out around the exchange offices offering to exchange money - they always offer a better rate and are highly reliable. If you find that they cheated you, you can always confront them or go to the police - who are also highly reliable and likely to help.

Good advice, but when confronting them you have be very aggressive or they will not pay attention. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of good shoves.

Shatneresque
16-02-2005, 08:26
On the street outside a currency exchange, you will sometimes see a well-dressed gentleman accidentally drop a huge wad of cash and continue on his way, totally unawares. The thing to do in this case is to grab the roll immediately and take a moment to verify that everything seems to be there. Then go after the gent and proclaim, in a voice loud enough to get everyone's attention, "Izvinitye, no ya tol'ko chto nashol eti dyengi na trotuarye!" ("Excuse me, but I just found this money on the sidewalk!")

The fellow in question will be eternally grateful and forever in your debt! :D

Shatneresque
16-02-2005, 09:23
Originally posted by WWu777
W: Well thanks, but a lot of new threads I start keep getting deleted for some reason, so I don't know how long this one will last! Even when I said five positive things about Russian women in another thread, it got deleted for some reason.

"For some reason"....

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

J.D.
16-02-2005, 09:35
Originally posted by WWu777
W: Well thanks, but a lot of new threads I start keep getting deleted for some reason, so I don't know how long this one will last! Even when I said five positive things about Russian women in another thread, it got deleted for some reason.

That is strange. Normally only 2 are required. Maybe your account is still in the red.

Andy B
16-02-2005, 09:39
You realy are an annoying little twerp (we're not in Bardak right?)...

Firstly, most of the exchange booths (certainly around my area) give a lesser rate for small bills... it's a fact, get used to it. Calling the woman names will not get her to change her mind and telling us about it just serves to remind us all what an annoying little git you are!

So you messed up your phone card. I did it the other day... scratched too hard and lost one of the numbers. I felt like a bit of a nob but hey, it was my fault. I know next time not to scratch so hard. If you bought a new car, took it out and drove too fast and then crashed, you wouldn't take it back to the dealership and ask them to replace it would you?

There's a couple of valuable lessons you should learn... quickly...

Firstly: Sh*t happens!
Secondly: Not one person on this planet likes an incessant whinger.

DPG
16-02-2005, 09:43
Winston - The reason we (the admin) are deleting you is that we consider your posts SPAM, due to the fact that they are just copied and pasted on to almost every forum one cares to name, and that they really aren't informative or useful to anyone.

Please refrain from posting them here or we will continue to delete your login names.

mediashark
16-02-2005, 11:29
Thanks DPG... we need to keep Russia-haters out of this forum.

zerkalo
16-02-2005, 14:08
Will you guys ever get it that this is too good to be true? But,still, good job WW. Almost as good as Croc from a couple of years ago...

Keoki
16-02-2005, 14:17
Originally posted by koba65
Good advice, but when confronting them you have be very aggressive or they will not pay attention. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of good shoves.

Some verbal encouragement can be useful. I recommend, "Urod, nu chto ty stoish, blyad." Gets a reaction every time.

koba65
16-02-2005, 14:24
Originally posted by zerkalo
Will you guys ever get it that this is too good to be true? But,still, good job WW. Almost as good as Croc from a couple of years ago...

Hmm, could be someone impersonating him, but the Wuster is a real guy - they had a report about him on Russian television awhile ago...

Halyavshik
16-02-2005, 14:42
Originally posted by zerkalo
Will you guys ever get it that this is too good to be true? But,still, good job WW. Almost as good as Croc from a couple of years ago...

Check his website out, Zerkalo. I highly doubt anyone has the time to fake the *hundreds* of pictures and *hundreds* of pages he produces. It would be quite a time-consuming wind-up just for two or three posts on Expat.

mediashark
16-02-2005, 14:44
Isn't it scarier that he is real?!

Wish1991
16-02-2005, 15:56
T-Mobile USA charges me absurdly high rates for 800 numbers...my bank charges me 2-5% to change money in the states...TGI Applebees started charging recently for refills of diet coke...my Metrocard always comes up empty, even though I seem to always put money on it when I am in NYC...the vending machine ate my quarter and the bathroom attendent at 21 even charges me for a towel...! Oh...the injustice...the inhumanity of having to pay an additional 24.60 rubles to change $41.

Yeah...I know I am late to this party, but this Russia exceptionalism, land of the grifter thing still bugs me after 11 years of dealing with the people who complain about Russia all the time.... OK...Boris and Katso dilute your stake in the factory, lock you out of your own restaurant or put a gun in your mouth...then you can complain. But the alleged indignant behaviour of a money-changer and the subsequent loss of 24.60...rubles no less. Wow...maybe I should have fought for that $8.57 I lost when SBS-Agro collapsed!!!

Someone pls give this guy his 25 rubles, and maybe he won't post anymore...!

rupert
16-02-2005, 16:06
Strange? Russian good enough to understand and then abuse the lady but not to read the sign.

Ars****le!!!

mediashark
16-02-2005, 16:08
W learnt Russian only to perform certain acts with the local girls, not to read signs.

rupert
16-02-2005, 16:11
Originally posted by mediashark
W learnt Russian only to perform certain acts with the local girls, not to read signs.

Well that makes it OK then:mad:

Braders
16-02-2005, 19:00
Originally posted by WWu777
W: Well thanks, but a lot of new threads I start keep getting deleted for some reason, so I don't know how long this one will last! Even when I said five positive things about Russian women in another thread, it got deleted for some reason.

The reason WWu777's posts and logins are dropping like flies is simple, we here at expat.ru think all he wants to do is clutter up our forums with rubbish.

It was i who deleted his '5 positive things about Russian women' convienantly posted at 3.30am on a Monday morning so it would get maximum coverage when everyone dragged themselves out of their pits at 9am, well it never made the boards because i was up at that time as well ;)

The post did have 5 positive notes about Russia women, what WWWu777 forgot to mention is, there were 50 degrading points about Amercian women in it as well, it was meant to antagonize and it would have, I for one am sick of his FLAMING on these boards and the next one won't see the light of day either.

Big Bugga
17-02-2005, 03:14
You know what got me most about his post....all the comments. "if I was in the US..if this happend in the US." Man if you hate Russia so much, and it seems you do, so head on over here to the ol' US of A so I can put my boot in your a$$ you sniviling, festering sack of I miss my momma's teet.

Bugga'

kazachka
17-02-2005, 03:30
hey Wu- care for some cheese with all that WHINE????:getlost: :snoring: :snoring: