Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Morocco 3, Let the buyer beware

posted 10/29/08

So you guys remember how mad I was that we hadn't paid attention and paid the right price for our fish lunch, right? That evening, we paid too much for spices. The next morning, the guy at the internet cafe wanted to overcharge us. Sure, it was only a dollar, but by then, we were getting a little tired of the gringo target on our backs and the socialized pricing, especially with the internet thing because they had prices posted and I had kept very close track of the time.

They told us 20 dirhams for the computer time when it should have been 10. The guy insisted that SH had spent an hour and five minutes on the computer, which would have thrown him from the ten dirhams for an hour into the 15 dh for an hour and a half. I had worked 55 minutes, with ten minutes lost because my computer crashed and then the guy couldn't get the new one to switch to the English keyboard. (These are in French, which is not easy to work in.)

I was loaded for bear. I was mad as heck and I was not going to take it anymore. Very politely but very firmly, I insisted that we owed them only ten dirhams. They rolled their eyes -- good grief, a woman telling us what to do, but I persisted. Again, politely but firmly. Very firmly. Until the guy gave us ten dirhams back.

Flush with victory, SH and I strolled to the fish market. We found the sign with the prices and a phone number for consumer complaints. I wrote down the phone number and the prices, then went to the stand where we had eaten. My lovely French sounded something like this: "Yesterday, one eats here." I showed the list to the guy -- "one eats seven sardines, four langostines, and of calamari. One drinks one coke. One has of the bread. One has of the salad. One takes not of the water. The price it should to be 100."

The guy insisted that as we had ordered off the menu, the list prices did not apply.

I persisted. "The sign there it say that the price she is fix. That is the price one should to pay."

No, no, no. A new guy comes over. "It must be done that one pays the price fix."

The manager surrendered. Fine, madame. You eat here today whatever you want and there is no charge.

I love the smell of victory in the afternoon.

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