Travellers have certain amount of vulnerability and uncertainty attached to them. They are not aware of the tricks played by locals and they invariably fall for it.
I was no exception and at times I too fell for certain tricks.
1. Hotels & credit cards – After a tiring bus journey to a new town & after checking 3-4 hotels/guest houses as per my budget I did not have anymore strength or patience. Then I check the last decent place. It has fair tariff, and accepts credit cards as well ! Since I do not have much cash on person what do you expect I would have done ?
I check the rooms and select one. Bargain to further lower tariff (small hotels are always open for negotiations). I know I have struck a good deal. I decide to take the offer.
While I take out my credit card for payment, I am served water and such likes; my luggage is ready to be transferred to my room. I quite like the hotel & its warm hospitality and have already switched on my relaxing mode.
The man at reception swipes my credit card & tells me the bad news. My card isn’t working. I take out another card… same fate. If I have only one credit card, then definitely my credit card is faulty else the machine has suddenly stopped working and repair will take 2-3 days. They might even ‘call’ service center in front of you !
Now, since the deal is good and I am tired; I don’t want to start hunting again.
They are also considerate… advise me to pay cash even if I have very little. I can at least move in. Rest I can pay later.
I am flattered, “This is the hotel I should recommend to everybody”.
Next morning I am reminded of their daily accounting which needs to be settled (they are not very big, you see) and am guided to a nearby ATM machine or the money changer as the case may be. They reassure me to give a cashback against credit card once their machine is repaired.
Now, if your stay is more than one day, you’ll be doing this exercise everyday…. hoping to pay the balance amount by credit card and get a cashback for entire amount.
You are mistaken.
The machine will never be okay for you. Because it never stopped working !!
It will still accept Debit card if you are willing to show one. The fact is, you end up paying either by cash or debit card.
It is a trick played by small budget hotels/ guest houses all through Malaysia. They don’t want to turn away a customer by saying a ‘NO’ to credit card acceptance.
It happened with me in Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands and Alor Setar. Three different places, three different decisions for one single trick.
So, the first time your credit card is rejected by a ‘faulty’ machine, think twice what you want to do.
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