Thursday, October 06, 2011
Slight of Hand
We drive around a lot. For this driving I get to experience a lot of different classes of services.
From the window squeegee guys, to the great Pemex service attendants that go out of their way to help you, wash the windshield, check the oil, put air in the tires.
For some of you, you have never experienced that kind of service at a gas station. Trust me, that was common up unto about 25 years ago in the states. In Oregon it still was awhile ago, but I am sure that law has been changed.
But in Mexico the attendants do just that. Some times the stations are also filled with other unwelcome attendants.
It is hard to admit that Tancho got taken, especially since I look out for such things. But a few days ago in Tepic, I got taken or almost. But this time I learned my lesson the hard time and it will be the last time......I promise.
The attendants let vendors hound you selling all kinds of stuff. Nuts, candies, gum, pirated DVD's and CD's, caramel, sandwiches, tortas, tamales and the list goes on and on.
At this gas station I have been a mark before. But last time I wasn't sure.
"THE WINDSHIELD WIPER SCAM"
I always buy a new set of wipers before the rainy season, so my wipers were 6 to 9 months old, tops.
I also don't buy the cheapest ones, usally will get Bosch or other middle to high end ones at AutoZone.
My attention was diverted for about 5 seconds by the gas attendant and that was all it took.
Booth Wiper arms were moved away from the windshiled and the guy was pointing to some trailing rubber hanging about 6 inches from each blade.
KRAP ( actually it was something a lot more profound) were the words out of my mouth!
What the scam is, that while they move the windshield arm away from the window they will slice about 6 inches of the trailing edge of the blade, leaving it hang to point out to you that you need to purchase their new blades.
"You need new blades"
"Especially since it is raining down the road towards Guadalajara"
Gee, thanks for the weather report.
Knowing that I had just used those blades earlier on in the morning and they were in perfect order pissed me off even more.
So now he wanted to sell me two wipers for only 240 pesos......what a deal.
After getting home and after stopping by at our Morelia Auto Zone to purchase a set of wiper blades I checked out the rubber with a magnafying glass. And sure enough you can see the uneven edge where it had been sliced.
Gotta hand it to him, he was fast.
So now, I think I will have to jump out of the car to avoid them handling the wipers or better yet, switch gas stations. I have only had this problem at this perticular one.
There are tons of scams that gas attendants can do. One popular one for unobservant travlers is to hand the money over to them, for lets say 750 pesos.
One of the bills would be a 500 peso note, the guy grabs the money and then looks at you, saying he needs more money. He then shows you that the 500 peso note you handed him was actully a 50 peso note.
So you fork over another 500 to him and he thankfully returns that 50 peso note. not in question.
Never hand them all the money in a lump sum. Period.
Hand over note over note while counting to them. That will eliminate that scam.
What I normally do is always have 200 peso bills because that's what most of the ATM's spit out, and count them to them one by one.......