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Avoid being ripped off by some exchange outlets in Krakow and elsewhere


pawian 163 | 10,336
6 Jul 2011 #1
I have just read about the problem. Some exchange outlets in Krakow rip off careless tourists.

Typical story - just arrived, tour bus waiting and only Euro in my wallet. Urgently need some local ZL. Visit the closest bureau. Foolishly don't check the exchange rates (...I travel all the time so I should know better) Rude indifferent bureau clerk (...not typical Polish attitude) who exchanges 200 euro for 602zl. I later checked with another bureau to find the correct sell exchange rate would have given me approx. 800zl. Returned 2-3 hours later to complain to the same clerk who basically gave me the Polish equivalent of the "bird" and ignored me. Left a real bad taste in my mouth. Krakow is a great town but this is what I will remember most. This type of dishonestly is just plain bad for business and for Krakow tourism. The bureau is called Interchange and is located in Ulica Florianska, just short of the old town square and is the bureau closest to the square. MY ADVICE - AVOID THIS BUREAU

A discussion in Polish, with addresses of ripping outlets.

forum-turystyczne.pl/q/fo_id,20509,,naganne_praktyki_niektorych_kantorow_w_krakowie,krakow,kantory,ceny,cena_walut.html
poland_
6 Jul 2011 #2
Buyer beware=Pawian
OP pawian 163 | 10,336
6 Jul 2011 #3
And? :) Beside that cheap stuff, any valuable input? :):):)
boletus 30 | 1,366
6 Jul 2011 #4
TVN24 runs similar story in Polish. It's all about two different, buy vs. sell, prices but somewhat camouflaged, catching some tourists unaware - by showing a big sign outside the office "Today we sell | Euro | 4,00|", or just "Euro 4,00". The "We buy" info is displayed only inside the exchange outlet. The differences can be as great as 4.00 vs 3.10, or even worse. The reporter, pretending to be a tourist was given 143 PLN for 50 EUR - that's 2.86 exchange rate.

The reporter does not name the "kantor" (or rather carefully avoids naming it) but he mentions GdaƄsk, and says this:

Exchange offices of the network can be found in several countries on two continents. In Poland, there are nine such institutions - usually in the tourist centers of the cities, where there are many tourists.

poland_
6 Jul 2011 #5
And? :) Beside that cheap stuff, any valuable input? :):):)

Kantors, have to make a living they are not there for public service. You can always say NO and walk by.

Valued input, would be - research research, before you do anything that involves money.
OP pawian 163 | 10,336
6 Jul 2011 #6
I guess you are one of those who run these exchange offices.

Smart guy! But I despise your practises. They are simply dishonest.
Marek11111 9 | 816
6 Jul 2011 #7
when I visited Poland I used my ATM card at bank and it worked just great, I did not have to deal with kantors and worry about ripping me off I let banks handle the exchange rates.
skibum 8 | 62
6 Jul 2011 #8
Valued input, would be - research research, before you do anything that involves money.

[cracowtours.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/beware-the-orange-interchange-kantors-in-krakow/] - Beware the 'Orange Kantors' in Krakow.
Wroclaw Boy
6 Jul 2011 #9
who exchanges 200 euro for 602zl. I later checked with another bureau to find the correct sell exchange rate would have given me approx. 800zl. Returned 2-3 hours later to complain to the same clerk who basically gave me the Polish equivalent of the "bird" and ignored me.

Its bad and shouldnt be allowed but its the system thats at fault, whats the difference between a Kantor taking a few hundred Zloty from an unsuspecting tourist to "lets say" the stock market industry? they both profit from unsuspecting entities, isnt that the very nature of profit? Honest people work their asses of their entire lives just to survive, you have to gather some dirt to get hold of the green stuff.

Everybody in the developed world is looking for ways to make more money and by any means possible, as long as it doesnt land them in prison its fair game. Money is king period, without it youre nothing.
poland_
6 Jul 2011 #10
I guess you are one of those who run these exchange offices.
Smart guy! But I despise your practises. They are simply dishonest.

Pawian, I am not involved in the Kantor business, if I was I would operate on a spread of +/- 2.5%.
On a couple of occasions, when I have arrived at the airport, I was in need of taxi change, so I have change up 10 or 20 Euro at very low rates, I don't complain, it was a matter of convenience, I was aware of getting raped on the transaction, but I needed a taxi more. In Poland, it is common to find a spread of 20% on prices if you shop well, so this practice is not isolated to the Kantors.
Wroclaw Boy
6 Jul 2011 #11
Yeah but the tourist in question was clearly ripped off by about 180 PLN, the kantor simply saw an opportunity and went for it. Easy as pie.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
6 Jul 2011 #12
I have just read about the problem. Some exchange outlets in Krakow rip off careless tourists.

Just tell me something, why do you call them "careless tourists"?
Should tourists be aware of being ripped off in Poland by default? ?
OP pawian 163 | 10,336
6 Jul 2011 #13
Pawian, I am not involved in the Kantor business, if I was I would operate on a spread of +/- 2.5%.

If so, I am truly sorry and I apologise sincerely.

On a couple of occasions, when I have arrived at the airport, I was in need of taxi change, so I have change up 10 or 20 Euro at very low rates, I don't complain, it was a matter of convenience, I was aware of getting raped on the transaction, but I needed a taxi more.

Yes, but people pinched in Krakow could receive a better rate somewhere else. And they didn`t exchange 20 euros but 200 or more. And lost a few hundred zlotys.

In Poland, it is common to find a spread of 20% on prices if you shop well, so this practice is not isolated to the Kantors.

Yes, but those prices are displayed without any tricks and you know without asking how much sth costs.

Just tell me something, why do you call them "careless tourists"?

I don`t know. Just a slip of a hand.

Does it matter how I call them?
poland_
6 Jul 2011 #14
Yes, but people pinched in Krakow could receive a better rate somewhere else. And they didn`t exchange 20 euros but 200 or more. And lost a few hundred zlotys.

Pawian, back to my original quote- Buyer Beware

I know you come across as a decent sort Pawian, but it takes less than 5 mins on the internet, to get quotes on exchange rates and look at the history, otherwise use a cashpoint card with the corresponding bank. Most banks have corresponding banks internationally, the exchange rate when drawing cash and charges will be less.
Wroclaw Boy
6 Jul 2011 #15
Just tell me something, why do you call them "careless tourists"?
Should tourists be aware of being ripped off in Poland by default? ?

Yep 100%, even with the big main stream banks. Its a dog eat dog world, thing is its considered normal in Poland, a throw back to the communist era mes think.
mephias 11 | 304
6 Jul 2011 #16
pawian

I was also ripped off by a kantor in Chmielna street my first day in Warsaw by % 10. I tried to discuss but lady suddenly forgot English. Anyway it can happen anywhere you should avoid kantors in central and touristic areas, Generally kantors which are located in big shopping malls are the best option and reliable in Warsaw.
OP pawian 163 | 10,336
6 Jul 2011 #17
thing is its considered normal in Poland,

No, it is facking not considered normal, if I decide to make a thread about it and devote my time which I could spend on other more interesting topics.
poland_
6 Jul 2011 #18
best option and reliable in Warsaw.

These guys are the best in Warsaw
kantor-intraco.pl
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
6 Jul 2011 #19
Now if you are smart and have a bit of extra cash, there was a way you could rip the kantor system off in Krk...
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
6 Jul 2011 #20
Foolishly don't check the exchange rates

I have not read all the replies but if you agree to exchange goods/services or money, then what exactly is the problem?
i thought they short changed the tourist or something but if both parties agree to a transaction and later one of the parties finds out he could have gotten a better deal but up until then was quite happy, that's just tough luck and a bit of research would have saved him.

Although having said that, it's never easy to find decent exchange rates at most airports anywhere in the world, which is annoying but that's what tourist traps are all about.
Wroclaw Boy
6 Jul 2011 #21
No, it is facking not considered normal, if I decide to make a thread about it and devote my time which I could spend on other more interesting topics.

Hang on, its considered normal for foreigners to get scammed in Poland - thats what im talking about. i dont know what youre banging on about.
OP pawian 163 | 10,336
6 Jul 2011 #22
I am banging about your facking simplistic thinking. If I don`t consider ripping off foreigners in Poland normal, and I know quite a lot of Polish people who share my views, how can you say it is normal in Poland?
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
6 Jul 2011 #23
Here is one example of a rip off in Krakow. See the kantor on Starowisnla nearer the bridge end, that bugger buys Scottish pounds at a tiny rate compared to English pounds :D
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
6 Jul 2011 #24
Yes, but those prices are displayed without any tricks and you know without asking how much sth costs.

Wait a sec, have I missed something?
They always display the exchange rates in Kontors, don't they?
Wroclaw Boy
6 Jul 2011 #25
ah haa.

Kantors will look for signs of a victim, for example a big mouthed American that hasnt once glanced at the spread board. I always took out a calculator when we were doing a deal. If you are talking away to a friend and not paying attention youve got victim written all over your head.

and always ask for a receipt, they wont always give if you dont ask.
guesswho 4 | 1,289
6 Jul 2011 #26
Yep 100%, even with the big main stream banks. Its a dog eat dog world, thing is its considered normal in Poland, a throw back to the communist era mes think.

I know WB (I think you don't know me yet after all). Remember that thread when I told you that we've been ripped off a number of times in Poland and you attacked me back then. I'm glad, you confirmed what I was saying earlier and that we finally agree to something :-)
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
6 Jul 2011 #27
ah haa.

When I go to exchange money in kontors in Krakow, I go from Kontor to kontor and they have big flashing red lights telling you the prices.

I don't honestly see the problem here, they sold, he bought.
As you said yourself, it is basic economics.

How did he "just arrived, tour bus waiting" and him on Ulica Florianska (the main pedestrianised shopping street in centre of Krakow)???

If you are talking away to a friend and not paying attention

...when changing money, you've got stupid written all over you.
But the problem doesn't seem to be that they changed their rates, just that afterwards the tourist found a better rate.

The "We buy" info is displayed

The reporter, pretending to be a tourist

Would the sign change if he was dressed as a tourist, hare krishna or monk?

I don't think so.

I think this is just a fella who was too lazy to look after his money and people made money on it.
ONLY when he found out he could have gotten a better rate later he was annoyed.

"I bought perogi for 30zl but I am angry now because I found another place that sells them for 14zl..."
poland_
6 Jul 2011 #28
they have big flashing red lights telling you the prices.

SeanBM, are you sure you are not thinking about the "strip joints" lol

I am with you guys, on this one " buyer beware " if you get done once, don't make the same mistake twice, otherwise this makes you a mug.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808
6 Jul 2011 #29
if you get done

The guy was on the main pedestrain shopping street, the prices were displayed.
He then claims he ''just arrived and a tour bus was waiting'', how the heck did he get there?
There are about 6 Kontors on Florianska, the guy bought and the Kontor sold.

I can go to galleria Krakowska and buy a pair of Wrangler jeans for more than I could get them somewhere else.

I don't see the ''rip off'' or if I do, I don't see the difference between high end retailers selling the same stuff as normal shops, or restaurants or any other businesses and I think the guy was lazy and won't take responsibility for himself.

I see people with the shopping bag that shows the world that they bought their items in a particular place, he could have bought it somewhere else for less, he didn't.

So what's the problem?
mephias 11 | 304
7 Jul 2011 #30
the prices were displayed

In my case, when they understood I am foreigner she printed receipt and gave with money(normally they give it before but it was my first day in Poland and I was not aware) , I checked there was mysterious 10 percent minus of the total (probably there is an option in their software), and, I asked what is it about but she pretend she can't speak english (till that moment she was speaking very well).

This is ripp off, but in last two years I have only been ripped off twice which is quite acceptable :) (second was in a Laptop service I wanted to buy a original battery they sold me a chinese replica with very high price which don't even last for 10 minutes, and same story again when I went to complain and change it they suddenly forgot English :))


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