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Getting ripped off in Poland! Is it normal? or should it be tolerated?


krakow 1 | 42
20 Oct 2008 #1
Ive been here 6yrs, AND BEEN CONSISTENTLY RIPPED OFF here when they realise Im not Polish,

200/300/400% consistently, It saddens me that "average" mentality here is too try and pull a fast one, make a quick buck at the cost of the "idiot tourist".

I would like ANYONE here to show / tell of an example of a Polish person being charged twice or even more for what they buy in ANY other country , just because they're Polish......but I and many otheres here get it in the arse here because Im British ! ..........respect has to be earned in business, and Poland aint doing a good job at the moment!

FFS look at the prices of property in Krakow for example, definately NOT PRICED for Polish people/residents .....and If anyone wants too take up this debate please feel free.

Ooh and incidentally how can you price ANYTHING in a FOREIGN CURRENCY..i dont go to the states,and get charged Swiss francs cos its a stronger currency??????..(laughable really cos of the "stupid tourist syndrome")...............Poland does NOT have the EURO.and this country should waken up to the fact that this country is gonna BURST when the EURO eventually comes in....It'll just giving more "business people" here a chance to rape at least their fellow countrymen, and even then at least in their "own" currency.

business skills and commerce still have to develope here i know, but the practices that are here at present, are a sure sign of what is to follow, and the future for Poland doesnt bode well no matter what you might say.!.

House prices in Krakow are currently more expensive than London FFS!!.not because of market value but because of greed..the housing market is toally STAGNANT here, and it will ruin many young Polish families future, keeping prices so high........
gtd 3 | 639
20 Oct 2008 #2
It's not just in Poland but yeah its not something people do in the USA to foreigners. Some cultures find it more acceptable to scam foreigners and tourists than others.

And I do not understand housing costs either...I understand supply and demand but I don't understand relative cost and how they pay for it. How can so many people get mortgages for homes that would take them 50 years if they paid their entire salary each month toward the cost?
southern 75 | 7,096
20 Oct 2008 #3
Getting ripped off in Poland!.is it normal?

Yes,normal.
OP krakow 1 | 42
20 Oct 2008 #4
How can so many people get mortgages for homes that would take them 50 years if they paid their entire salary each month toward the cost?

christ never mind what happened in the UK a few yrs ago, and also what is happening in the US at the moment, but when the Housing and credit crisis hits here the fowllowing year after Euro adoption, there will be a MASSIVE recession here that will take Poland yrs to recover
gtd 3 | 639
20 Oct 2008 #5
Well they have been trying to inflate the zl the last years to get it closer to 1:1 with the Euro for the change over but the worldwide economic problems put a hold on that scheme.

This ain't a conspiracy theory I know a few bankers that admitted it flat out and were investing heavily to profit off of it. A bunch of them are not happy right now with the dollar back up in the 2.6s from nearly 2.
OP krakow 1 | 42
20 Oct 2008 #6
This ain't a conspiracy theory I know a few bankers that admitted it flat out and were investing heavily to profit off of it.

Very true m8......also a lot of foreign companies heavily invested in Zlotys, and are just waiting for their return on Euro's
sobieski 107 | 2,128
21 Oct 2008 #7
"Being ripped off because I am not Polish" would make sense if you as a foreigner would pay more for let us say a house or a car as a Pole.

Which is not the case, because Poles pay the same.
I remember back in 1989 hotels had 3 rates : one for Poles, one for other Warsaw pact countries, and one for Westerners.
But as far as I know there do not exist separate rates now per category.

Westerners here in Poland on the whole earn a lot more than most Poles and buy houses/flats in the expensive part of the cities, go to expensive supermarkets such as Bomi, Alma and Piotr i Paweł.. so it is normal that on the end we pay a lot more.

If I let's say, buy mussels in Kuchnia Świat in Arkadia for 20 PLN per kg, then this is the same price as in Belgium, but for many Poles to spend 40 PLN on seafood is a luxury.

I see nowhere articles priced in a foreign currency here in Warsaw in the shops.
The only thing which is priced in Swiss francs are mortgages because a lot of people have them in Swiss francs(including we)

Here in Warsaw actually prices of flats are going down, because so many of them stand empty and it is now very difficult to get a normal mortgage.

Every week in the real estate supplements of the papers you see the proof: they offer you free standing place for your car, low downpayments, reduced prices...

Which still makes them expensive, true.
ParisJazz - | 172
21 Oct 2008 #8
my impression is that u are yet to get used to the new reality in Poland: it is not that you are getting ripped off, prices are rising high and fast all over the country just like in many other places around the world.

The key here, as someone else noted, is that the locals are happy bargain hunting and living on the cheap, which u r probably unlikely to accept as a living standard and hence the rise in ur cost of living.

I tend to agree with sobieski. Real estate wise, if you intend to buy in Mokotow or Nowy Wilanow, for instance, it doesn't matter what nationality u r. Prices are the same (i.e high) for foreigners and locals alike.

Last but not least, real estate prices are still quoted in US $ in most CIS countries (Russia, Ukraine, Kazakstan ..) so the practice is not that unheard of.

PJ
southern 75 | 7,096
21 Oct 2008 #9
Start talking russian to them and you will not be ripped off again.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
21 Oct 2008 #10
What does happen frequently in the supermarket, is that your bill does not add up - i.e. that items are wrongly priced, promotions sold at normal price etc.

But I think this is happening everywhere in the world. We all know that retailers basically cannot be trusted :)
I guess they are counting on the fact that when you have waiting 35 minutes before it is your turn to pay, that you do not have the energy anymore to check your bill.
gtd 3 | 639
21 Oct 2008 #11
It honestly is more common here (PL) then the west in my experience. But I am sure there are places it is even worse.

And yes in places where prices are not clearly marked there IS a higher price for us foreigners...it is like that all over this part of Europe, Asia and the Arab world. The West doesn't seem to do it so much except by locals in select places like Rome, Athens or tourist areas of big Western cities that are run by immigrants from the above places. It is definitely a cultural thing...and it is not nice :)
ParisJazz - | 172
21 Oct 2008 #12
Price differentials are usually due to the fact that the local market is not efficient enough. Western markets are efficient in the sense of information being available to everyone who seeks it and therefore price differentials would quickly be seen as a profit making opportunities by professional arbitrageurs and will eventually be wiped out. In simpler terms, a product or service put on the market in the west will always attract the highest bidder, be it local or foreigner, in a more or less transparent manner.

In Poland and elsewhere such market efficiency is lacking in many places and sectors. Some locals wouldn't have a clue on how to sell to foreigners and must thus sell to locals at a price lower that what foreigners would otherwise have paid for. Likewise, many foreigners can not wheel and deal in the local bargains and are therefore restricted to inflated prices that most locals wouldn't pay as they have other alternatives.

Now to the bloke who started the thread, surely if uv been living in Poland for over 6 years, u r more or less considered a local. Or are you one of those expats who can barely master a "Witam" and have no local friends at all?

PJ
southern 75 | 7,096
21 Oct 2008 #13
I don't mind being ripped off if I can see the breast of the polish saleswoman smiling and bowing forward while ripping me off.
dat 2 | 62
21 Oct 2008 #14
i was looking at ad rates on major polish site onet and of course

foreigners get a 'special' price list.
sobieski 107 | 2,128
21 Oct 2008 #15
I think they mean if you are advertising from outside Poland.
gtd 3 | 639
21 Oct 2008 #16
Well to top it off the normal prices here are ridiculously high for most things. Jeans etc cost 3-4x as much as the USA. That applies to most consumer products. I really don't know how most Poles by the stuff they buy especially housing on the salaries they make. There is a lot of red ink there.

I refuse to pay so much for stuff and just stock up when in the states. A recent example. The exact same laptop at shops here....5000pln...in the US it was 2000pln. I can see if something is specifically American and imported...but most stuff this isn't the case. It's greed in pricing.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163
21 Oct 2008 #17
Well they have been trying to inflate the zl the last years to get it closer to 1:1 with the Euro for the change over but the worldwide economic problems put a hold on that scheme.

This ain't a conspiracy theory I know a few bankers that admitted it flat out and were investing heavily to profit off of it.

No, that's not conspiracy theory. That's total nonsense.
gtd 3 | 639
21 Oct 2008 #18
I happen to believe it to be true. And these guys sure made a ton off the drop so far and they were planning this investment before the dollar fell.

What is nonsensical about Poland's financial system trying to pad itself so as not to be raped by the Euro as every other nation that changes has been?

Ethical? Hell no...but I can totally believe it is happening.
ParisJazz - | 172
21 Oct 2008 #19
What is nonsensical about Poland's financial system trying to pad itself so as not to be raped by the Euro as every other nation that changes has been?

Not only is it non nonsensical but suicidal. If the zloty appreciates too much, that will create capital flight in the sense of the locals ditching it for euros and going about buying half of Europe. The central bank would need to hold infinite reserves, which it can’t.

If I recall correctly, Poland wasn’t even sure of being able to guarantee deposits beyond €50K, let alone it being able to afford a zloty at parity with the Euro.

Also, Poland being part of the EU, demand and offer is the sole mechanism setting the general level of prices, regardless of how strong or weak a currency is. This is because Poland can no longer erect any barriers to keep prices artificially high or low. Tweaking the currency basically pits economic agents against one another with no overall gain to the country. Exporters will benefit from a weak currency whereas consumers would benefit from a strong one.

Last but not least, wealth is wealth i.e. tangible and material and a currency is a mere mechanism of exchange of goods and services. Hence even if you set up the zloty to be 10 times the euros, it won’t make Poland richer than Germany.

It will just make foreigners have a good laugh because the country goes bankrupt overnight.

PJ
gtd 3 | 639
21 Oct 2008 #20
I didn't say it was a good plan...and it was obviously hampered by the latest events...but on the surface it appeared to work for a bit.
Krakowianka 1 | 243
21 Oct 2008 #21
Getting ripped off has different aspects for a foreigner. If you are buying clothes, or jewelry or even furniture that doesnt have a labeled price, or is negotiable, then yes, as a foreigner you will get ripped off. Polish mentality is "you have more, than you can afford to pay more." No Krakowian believes that British can't afford one of their items, due to the PLN vs GBP exchange rate.

Now when we move to cars & homes, its a bit different. The prices are stated sometimes in euro, not for a foreigner to purchase, but for the global market to "value" the real estate. And also to prepare for the currency switch coming soon. Many many companies (specifically in Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw) bill for their financial services in Euro. They do this for everyone, not just Poles, not foreigners, across the board. They feel they can better compare their service with European services this way. Similarly Poland's top markets want to be compared to other European markets and prices are quoted in Euro. Have no fear, a babcia's house in the middle of the country will not be listed in Euro, but still in good ol' zlotowki.
gtd 3 | 639
21 Oct 2008 #22
Yeah I avoid places with variable pricing as I refuse to pay more because they think I can afford it or they deserve the money more than I do.

Thankfully those places are mostly junk marts anymore and I don't need that stuff.

If I had to haggle over my groceries like in some places I'd go postal.
ParisJazz - | 172
21 Oct 2008 #23
but on the surface it appeared to work for a bit.

Given a decently managed currency, a government can not force it to appreciate against major currencies out of thin air even if they "plan" to. As I explained earlier, that will bleed their reserves to death.

Dot not give politicians more credit than they actually deserve.

Economic growth is the key to currency appreciation. Poland has been growing much faster than europe hence the zloty's appreciation.

What the "enlightened leaders" (who pretend to have a plan) did is to basically avoid screwing things up by reining in fiscal deficit and not letting the printing press run loose.

PJ
gtd 3 | 639
21 Oct 2008 #24
Well...the "Polish" mind you bankers I know said Poland got caught out overvaluing the Zl and the events lately made it more obvious so that is why things have chilled a bit. I believe them. Of course you can artificially value your currency by manipulating data and trading. I am not saying all of the increased value is fake...but I believe some of it is.
dat 2 | 62
21 Oct 2008 #25
I think they mean if you are advertising from outside Poland.

'foreign advertising on Onet.pl' i think they meant exactly that. there are two separate price lists.
djf 18 | 166
22 Oct 2008 #26
Bought a coat using a creditcard a few weeks ago in Wroclaw. The assistant asked me if i wanted to pay in Zloty, Euro or GBP. Choose the GBP option and was pleasantly surprised when i checked that it worked out the cheapest of the 3.
z_darius 14 | 3,968
22 Oct 2008 #27
Yet in Poland the same device is 2 times or more higher in cost

Again, this is not unique to Poland. I gave you examples.

It doesn't work out on paper.

Indeed, life on paper is likely too look quite different than reality ;)
gtd 3 | 639
22 Oct 2008 #28
I did not say it is exclusive to Poland. I am saying in my experiences the 'east' has a higher discrepancy usually.
ShelleyS 14 | 2,893
22 Oct 2008 #29
I am saying in my experiences the 'east' has a higher discrepancy usually.

That's unfair, I've travelled round Czech rep and visited Hungary and been to Poland a few times and never been ripped off, maybe prices of drinks in tourist areas were more expensive but it's easy enough to get away from the crowds and find a bar that's cheap and slightly less crowded :)
gtd 3 | 639
22 Oct 2008 #30
How is it unfair if it is my experience? Been talking to filios? he likes to tell you what you can think....I thought you were better than that ;)

And we are talking about a differert facet of things now not vendors changing prices.


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