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Old 22-09-2014, 17:03   #46
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Because I know you will want to know.............

Phuket Thailand. A standard scam is this.

Book a great looking room in a hotel by paying a deposit on the internet. Get there, give passports to hotel desk to be entered into their required notation system for the police.
Go to room, find its a hole, go down and refuse to pay.
They will not give you your passports back.
The owner offers you a deal to get your passport back. It is the cost of your stay duration plus 50%.
You call the police.
The police come and listen you you and the hotel owner.
The police say you must pay because you booked the room.
You refuse...... they arrest you.
Now the fee for getting all this behind you is 2 times the room cost and you still dont have your passport.
You pay to get out.

The police will say this never happens or that the tourists were trying to get away with paying for a room...... whatever.

It happens.

you want official proof? Good luck.
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Old 22-09-2014, 17:09   #47
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

There are various ways sailors can deal with coercive elements in the cruising environment. With resignation and anticipation that resistance will only lead to a more complicated experience is one. But, I wonder how many sailors that warn others of potential fines and imprisonment have ever actually tested the credibility of this allegation? The truly experienced can attest to it from first hand experience. Otherwise, it's pure heresay. Other ways to deal with coercive elements are 1.) refuse to acquiesce and or 2.) acquiesce but with the intention to follow up, discover, report and demand your stolen money is returned.
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Old 22-09-2014, 17:17   #48
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

Mr Wrong,

You write very well for someone who was born just yesterday.

This thread demonstrates the reasons why we choose to cruise in the Old World instead of the Turd World. I've been to the Dominican Republic a couple of times, it's definitely.... Turd World. The last time we were there, my wife and both daughters were sick with the trots for the entire week, yes... definitely Turd World.
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Old 22-09-2014, 17:29   #49
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
There are various ways sailors can deal with coercive elements in the cruising environment. With resignation and anticipation that resistance will only lead to a more complicated experience is one. But, I wonder how many sailors that warn others of potential fines and imprisonment have ever actually tested the credibility of this allegation? The truly experienced can attest to it from first hand experience. Otherwise, it's pure heresay. Other ways to deal with coercive elements are 1.) refuse to acquiesce and or 2.) acquiesce but with the intention to follow up, discover, report and demand your stolen money is returned.
I can attest first hand on several incidents in different countries.

I can also say on two occasions I realised life is cheap and mine was the cheapest.

You wont get your money back....... and if you go in like you state, you wont get your boat back either, or even sometimes your wife who will also be in a different part of the jail cursing you for being a cheapskate and not paying.
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Old 22-09-2014, 17:43   #50
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Don't think it qualifies as sailing if we don't have a sail.
On ships we call it sailing, even though there are no sails. It's tradition. Like saying "I'm going below", when your room is actually 3 decks up. Or saying port and starboard. Or using the head, or going into the galley or the crew mess.
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Old 22-09-2014, 18:07   #51
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

The corruption described in the DR seems just like the corruption in the USA restaurant industry where the diner is expected to pay extra to the staff for simply bringing the food to the table - a task they are paid to do by their employer! We went thru both types of corruption in these countries.

In the civilised world, the diner pays the restaurant, the restaurant owner pays the wait staff, and the diner pays no additional bribes. Same system goes for immigration officials. But not all countries are "civilised." LOL.

Each country has different foibles and it all makes for interesting travelling!
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Old 22-09-2014, 18:10   #52
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
On ships we call it sailing, even though there are no sails. It's tradition. Like saying "I'm going below", when your room is actually 3 decks up. Or saying port and starboard. Or using the head, or going into the galley or the crew mess.
Well, I've not been on a ship such as that and would be terribly confused by someone saying "I'm going below" when they're going up. Now port, starboard, head and galley I understand. So, I did not know that ship custom. I'm sure there are many more I don't know.
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Old 22-09-2014, 18:16   #53
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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The corruption described in the DR seems just like the corruption in the USA restaurant industry where the diner is expected to pay extra to the staff for simply bringing the food to the table - a task they are paid to do by their employer!
Actually the wait staff is not paid by the employer to bring the food to the table in the US. Unless you consider rates less than a third of minimum wage to be enough. The industry is set up to be dependent on tips. It's not corruption. It's the customary way it is done in the US. And if you don't tip, that's your choice, but if everyone took that stance then the waitress would be unable to pay her rent and feed her kids.

But let's be sure we have the facts and that is the employer does not pay wait staff to bring the food to the table. They pay the minimum required by law most of the time, which is far less than minimum wage because it's assumed they will also make tips. The only industry in which paying under minimum wage is legally allowed.
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Old 22-09-2014, 18:17   #54
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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The corruption described in the DR seems just like the corruption in the USA restaurant industry where the diner is expected to pay extra to the staff for simply bringing the food to the table - a task they are paid to do by their employer! We went thru both types of corruption in these countries.

In the civilised world, the diner pays the restaurant, the restaurant owner pays the wait staff, and the diner pays no additional bribes. Same system goes for immigration officials. But not all countries are "civilised." LOL.

Each country has different foibles and it all makes for interesting travelling!
Oh, and I don't know what part of the civilized world you are in, but when I travel there I do tip the wait staff if the service is good. Even though not required or often expected, I choose to thank them in that way.
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Old 22-09-2014, 18:29   #55
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Actually the wait staff is not paid by the employer to bring the food to the table in the US. Unless you consider rates less than a third of minimum wage to be enough. The industry is set up to be dependent on tips. It's not corruption. It's the customary way it is done in the US. And if you don't tip, that's your choice, but if everyone took that stance then the waitress would be unable to pay her rent and feed her kids.



But let's be sure we have the facts and that is the employer does not pay wait staff to bring the food to the table.

Sounds like you are describing the low pay conditions of immigration officials in the 3rd world!
What sort of "system" allows employers to pay below the minimum wage? "Below the minimum" is from Monty Python!
A system that relies on bribes from the diners so the wait staff can live adequately? That is just as corrupt as the DR system.
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Old 22-09-2014, 18:31   #56
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Because I know you will want to know.............

Phuket Thailand. A standard scam is this.

Book a great looking room in a hotel by paying a deposit on the internet. Get there, give passports to hotel desk to be entered into their required notation system for the police.
<snip>
The police will say this never happens or that the tourists were trying to get away with paying for a room...... whatever.

It happens.

you want official proof? Good luck.
In Asia we call bribes and tips "Facilitating Payments" - Think of it like the "non-voluntary" express lane for gringos.

OP didn't speak Spanish and had DR as an "alternate port" on his float plan.

Some have suggested and I agree - know before you go. Being well informed allows on ea modicum of control of the situation.

It also helps to have an "idea" of what the monthly salary of those boarding might be - I am guessing US$400 a month. So a $50 "tip" is significant.

If you look like you don't know what you are doing you are exposed.

In regards to giving up passports? Never, unless to authorities (caveat below). I carry a supply of 2X2 photos, copies of passport etc. to give desk clerks. Also book your room via Agoda or some such. But remember if you pick the cheapest room don't expect too much. Read the reviews.

Another scam in Thailand is the guy renting you a scooter, car whatever on the beach holds your passport. When you return he points out all the damage that you have to pay for.

Use your smart phone, take plenty of photos - especially scratches and damages.

Have fun but be skeptical and cynical to protect yourself as much as possible. And try to remember you are truly rich if you can afford to cruise all these places. Don't be a curmudgeon and help the local economy in a friendly and happy way...

Enjoy the ride, it's all part of the adventure.
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Old 22-09-2014, 19:03   #57
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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Sounds like you are describing the low pay conditions of immigration officials in the 3rd world!
What sort of "system" allows employers to pay below the minimum wage? "Below the minimum" is from Monty Python!
A system that relies on bribes from the diners so the wait staff can live adequately? That is just as corrupt as the DR system.
They are tips...we tip wait staff, we tip bellmen, we tip taxi drivers. It's an added incentive to provide good service. And it's not a bribe. Just because it's not the system where you are doesn't mean it's wrong.

It's the way the system is designed. A long standing tradition.
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Old 22-09-2014, 19:18   #58
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

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They are tips...we tip wait staff, we tip bellmen, we tip taxi drivers. It's an added incentive to provide good service. And it's not a bribe. Just because it's not the system where you are doesn't mean it's wrong.



It's the way the system is designed. A long standing tradition.

Exactly! We adjust to each country, whether the USA or DR, and whether we call it a tip or a bribe is irrelevant. I never said it was wrong. The OP should adjust and do the same as the locals when in the DR.

And when you go to Australia or NZ, please adjust to their system and don't bribe the wait staff! People from the USA are slowly corrupting the system in these countries. The wait staff in Oz get $19 an hour and do not require bribes to ensure good service,
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Old 22-09-2014, 19:26   #59
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Re: Crooks In Dominican Republic

I still tip staff here in Aus, if they have seriously looked after me, and always have.. Don't see any problem with it at all.

If somebody makes their menial job the best they can and do it with style then I think a little extra payment is deserved. I am not that mean to begrudge them that nor, like a lot of folks, treat them with contempt and as if they were my servants. I would not tip them if they just went about the whole thing as a job they hated.

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Old 22-09-2014, 19:34   #60
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Crooks In Dominican Republic

So you are slowly destroying the system, Coops.

Do you tip a doctor for extra good service ? For example, when they find a fatal skin cancer while attending to a unrelated matter? If it saved my life, I would consider that exceptional service. Do you? So do you tip them?
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