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Old 22-09-2014, 14:11   #31
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I've exported several aircraft to Central and South America.
Trust me, always pay for an agent, one that meets you as you arrive. With aircraft it's called "ground handling", Your agent will argue all fees, bribes or whatever and escort you through all the lines. I don't speak the language so I just smile and let my ground handler, handle everything. A whole lot less hassle and I think cheaper too, without an agent once the sense you don't know what your doing, they descend upon you like a pack of wolves.

I'm sure this is done for boats too, just not called ground handling?
We also use agents anywhere we don't speak the language or are not knowledgeable of.
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Old 22-09-2014, 14:38   #32
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

"Their government has set them up in jobs where they are being paid x amount and the rest of their income is expected to come from tips." B and B


B and B,
I believe this is your personal opinion and not stated in the hiring practices and wage determinations of the government. I agree completely with MarkJ. The only way to stop corruption is to not participate in corruption. When you participate, you are part of the corruption. This is not a na´ve stance but an effective tactic. And, if you fear the reprisal from your refusal to pay a bribe, you need to seriously question your decision to travel to that country.
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Old 22-09-2014, 14:43   #33
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Perhaps the government should repost their rules and say something like this. "Entry is $X and exit is $Y. Please remember to tip our agents for good service.
Excellent idea, only I'd like to see what's considered a reasonable tip given prevailing local economic variables. It's pretty clear that when someone in a position of authority demands 'consideration', there is an implied consequence for failure to comply. It's called coercion. Wrong, wrong and wrong again. Any attempt by an official to demand payment, or a so-called tip should be reported to his superiors. If the superiors do the same thing, and I experienced this in Bali, NO is the only right response to each and every demand. Finally, tell everyone in the cruising community - in person and on forums - about your experience.
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Old 22-09-2014, 14:52   #34
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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demands .
What one person might interpret as a "demand" another might interpret as a "request." Obviously the OP interpreted them all as demands with consequences if not done. My interpretation of the same situation based on prior experience and reading would have been they were requests for tips and no real consequences to not giving them.

As to: "I believe this is your personal opinion and not stated in the hiring practices and wage determinations of the government."

There is often a difference between stated practices and actual practices. It's not just an opinion that the actual practice is that "Their government has set them up in jobs where they are being paid x amount and the rest of their income is expected to come from tips." It's well known from government to employees to visitors that is the system. Doesn't mean it's a good system.
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Old 22-09-2014, 15:01   #35
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

"There is often a difference between stated practices and actual practices. It's not just an opinion that the actual practice is that "Their government has set them up in jobs where they are being paid x amount and the rest of their income is expected to come from tips." It's well known from government to employees to visitors that is the system. Doesn't mean it's a good system. " B and B

B and B,
It is my opinion that the above statement is a rationalization for corruption. You cannot play in the dirt without getting dirty. We know all to well how that works in Illinois. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 22-09-2014, 15:14   #36
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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We also use agents anywhere we don't speak the language or are not knowledgeable of.
Here's a genuinely justifiable reason to use an agent - when you have a choice. But in reality, customs and immigration departments around the world are not newbies to the business of dealing with cruisers. Most have documents revealing what fees are to be paid and for what. And, the officials know they are supposed to give you this documentation without your having to ask. But, you may encounter officials who 1.) don't provide the documentation and 2.) pretend to not understand your language. This, so they can't understand your request for said documentation. In a case like this you may have to pay the price. Your next step should be to investigate, ask around to determine whether or not you've been the victim of corruption. If you discover the answer is yes, no matter how small you may believe the purloined amount is, go to the police to report the theft. That's precisely what it is. Thievery.

Regarding agents. In most cases where using an agent is required and you have no choice, visit someplace else. Otherwise this practice is going to spread. Great way for corrupt officials to see that their inlaws grow wealthy at our expense.
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Old 22-09-2014, 15:34   #37
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

What is it with some people going out into the world and expecting the world to change and buckle under their whims? Do we want to have cookie cutter ports and procedure where all's the same, sort of like McDs of cruising? Isn't it enough that we made this country one huge parking lot for Walmart where everything is the same everywhere one goes but why demand that sameness from people who have their own culture (as much as it may not be to our liking) their own way of doing things (or not doing things) and their own pace of life. IMO the very concept of cruising is to go out and discover different cultures, people and way of living not to have it "just like home" If you need to feel "like home" perhaps you should stay home. I personally like the challenges I encounter as it makes my return home much more enjoyable.

A while back, may be 20-25 years ago, we were sitting in a restaurant near Cancun waiting for our order of some local fare - fish, soup and what not. At the next table there was a family from US, parents and 2-3 kids, unfortunately the very caricature of an "ugly American". They of course would not eat the local food but ordered hamburgers and fries for all. You should have seen the ruckus they made when they tasted their food. Of course it was not what they would expect in US and of course by US standards it was "wrongly made", "wrongly presented" and a Mexican version of what the locals thought hamburgers and fries should be. While munching on our excellent and quite tasty food we were quietly discussing among ourselves as to why would anyone spend that much money to visit a foreign country and than demand to eat "just like home". I still don't get it.
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Old 22-09-2014, 15:35   #38
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Good luck and good sailing.
We don't sail...powerboaters. But thanks just the same.
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Old 22-09-2014, 15:42   #39
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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We don't sail...powerboaters. But thanks just the same.

B,
What do you call it?
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Old 22-09-2014, 15:50   #40
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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B,
What do you call it?
Cruise
Boat

Don't think it qualifies as sailing if we don't have a sail.
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Old 22-09-2014, 16:06   #41
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Cruise
Boat

Don't think it qualifies as sailing if we don't have a sail.
Good luck and good cruise boat! I stand corrected.
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Old 22-09-2014, 16:18   #42
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Good luck and good cruise boat! I stand corrected.
Good cruising to you too.....and good boating......and good sailing, assuming you sail.
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Old 22-09-2014, 16:27   #43
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

In most cultures and countries around the world, theft is frowned upon and the consequences when caught can be much more severe than we expect in our own countries for a similar crime. How about losing a hand or worse? So, suggestions that somehow ripping off foreigners or even fellow country men and women is encouraged as a means to supplement your income is just not credible. I believe this argument begs some supporting 'official proof' this is encouraged and or formally condoned anywhere in the world. At best the argument helps to justify the sting and salve our conscience when we succumb without complaint.
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Old 22-09-2014, 16:45   #44
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

You have to know the official fee otherwise you are in the dark. Be firm, don't lose your cool and even have a sense of humor and be prepared to wait. Knowing high level Spanish helps. If you are in a hurry sometimes that is just how it is.


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Old 22-09-2014, 16:48   #45
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
In most cultures and countries around the world, theft is frowned upon and the consequences when caught can be much more severe than we expect in our own countries for a similar crime. How about losing a hand or worse? So, suggestions that somehow ripping off foreigners or even fellow country men and women is encouraged as a means to supplement your income is just not credible. I believe this argument begs some supporting 'official proof' this is encouraged and or formally condoned anywhere in the world. At best the argument helps to justify the sting and salve our conscience when we succumb without complaint.
Hey Wrong. When your wrong you are wrong.
Thanks for venting. Where are you going to get official proof from when the very act is illegal but condoned in various countries?
I think you might find complaining to a higher authority may very well compound the situation you find yourself in already.

I have spent my working career in a lot of countries where it is simply a way of life. Get upset at a dock guy and complain to his boss and you very soon will find a huge fine and prison time on charges you never saw coming. So please, please either get some real experience or sit back and learn what is going on in the real world. Its your choice,
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