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-   -   Currency Controls (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/argentina/2002625-currency-controls.html)

timbre Jan 4, 20 5:13 am

Currency Controls
 
I have a mostly curiosity question about the currency controls.

I believe that the Argentinian government has fixed the US Dollar to Arg Peso exchange rate for banks ... meaning that ATM and Credit card transactions are processed at that rate.

I recently attended an event at a hotel ... they quoted me a price in US$ and made me sign a form agreeing to the price. However, when they brought me the bill it was in Arg Pesos ... which, of course, is normal in most countries. However, they used an exchange rate of more than 5% more than the government rate to calculate the amount of Arg Pesos I had to pay. This seems terribly wrong to me. Is this acceptable practice under the government regulations?

HIDDY Jan 4, 20 7:50 pm

Why didn't you ask them to charge you in pesos if that's what the bill said? Glad to be corrected but I don't think they can refuse not to.

Eastbay1K Jan 4, 20 10:36 pm


Originally Posted by HIDDY (Post 31909903)
Why didn't you ask them to charge you in pesos if that's what the bill said? Glad to be corrected but I don't think they can refuse not to.

Well, they did charge him in pesos at the rate the hotel decided to charge. He agreed to a US$ rate, without agreeing to any exchange rate. This is the problem. Buy rate? Sell rate? Interbank rate? Rate at the hotel desk? Yes, it appears the latter is what the hotel did.

And contrary to what the OP stated, I don't think the "official" rate has been fixed. I think the government has pumped as many US$ as it can stand to keep the rate relatively stable.

Unless you have guaranteed that you'll be charged actual US$ (which a lot of hotels on the other side of the Cordillera actually do - a US$ processed charge with no conversion on US$ quoted prices for foreigners), you can end up hosed. The Sheraton in Mexico City does it every time.

HIDDY Jan 5, 20 5:41 am

I suppose if it's all above board then they'll continue to do it that way. Does the hospitality business operate under different rules from other business or can anyone give you a bill in pesos and charge you in dollars as long as they get you to sign a piece of paper beforehand? All seems a bit underhand....then again, it is Argentina. :D

timbre Jan 5, 20 6:03 am

To me, it was quite underhanded. If you look at everything I signed it says nothing about charging in pesos or an exchange rate. I thought they might charge my card in US$. The whole thing does make me wonder how many other hotels in my lifetime have played this game.

In case you are all wondering ... how this ended ... I complained quite vociferously with several people and finally the manager deemed kind enough to talk with me. She argued with me but in the end we agreed to a much closer exchange rate. The final US$ amount on my credit card came at to just a little over $1 more than the amount I agreed to. Of course, the whole experience made me mad and not interested in ever doing business with them again.

Eastbay1K Jan 5, 20 7:45 am


Originally Posted by timbre (Post 31911015)
To me, it was quite underhanded. If you look at everything I signed it says nothing about charging in pesos or an exchange rate. I thought they might charge my card in US$. The whole thing does make me wonder how many other hotels in my lifetime have played this game.
.

Probably many. I'd expect that most hotels in most countries only have the ability to charge in local currency, That's the danger of US$ based pricing, and I seem to recall typically seeing some sort of disclaimer when booking "foreign" (i.e., non US) hotels with a USD rate.

I'm not defending any of this It is shady as all can be, because the hotels know their rate-du-jour is a hidden profit center, and most people don't blink, and if they do, they'll show you the disclaimer.

anc305 Jan 5, 20 7:53 am


Originally Posted by timbre (Post 31907575)
I have a mostly curiosity question about the currency controls.

I believe that the Argentinian government has fixed the US Dollar to Arg Peso exchange rate for banks ... meaning that ATM and Credit card transactions are processed at that rate.

I recently attended an event at a hotel ... they quoted me a price in US$ and made me sign a form agreeing to the price. However, when they brought me the bill it was in Arg Pesos ... which, of course, is normal in most countries. However, they used an exchange rate of more than 5% more than the government rate to calculate the amount of Arg Pesos I had to pay. This seems terribly wrong to me. Is this acceptable practice under the government regulations?

This is a comment I made on another thread back in April 2019

Just a note on exchange rates for folks heading down to Argentina. Most hotels are quoted in USD and converted to ARS at time of checkout. The hotels in BA will try to screw you by 2% - 6% on the official rate . They like to make up their own exchange rate. One hotel used 45.5 ARS / $ when the official exchange rate was 43.5 ARS / $. Not a lot you can do. Not a big deal but can add up on a long stay. Remember TIA - This is Argentina. Just factor in the scams and have fun. Still a pretty fair value.

It varies from hotel to hotel. I just want the normal credit card rate. I sent a statement charge from the bus service to EZE on the same day as my hotel checkout to the hotel manager. I asked for nothing but an explanation. He adjusted the charge to reflect the same rate. This was my not my intent. I just do not like being taken advantage of.

HIDDY Jan 5, 20 10:44 am

Well done for questioning it and getting them to discount the rate they wanted to charge. ^

Far too many businesses here especially in the retail trade operate in mysterious ways...always to the disadvantage of the customer. First world prices....third world service.:td:

Eastbay1K Jan 5, 20 12:56 pm


Originally Posted by HIDDY (Post 31911703)
Well done for questioning it and getting them to discount the rate they wanted to charge. ^

Far too many businesses here especially in the retail trade operate in mysterious ways...always to the disadvantage of the customer. First world prices....third world service.:td:

I can tell you that I'm not paying first world prices at $74 to $1. It isn't that inflation won't soon catch up, but right now is an excellent time to spend your US Dollars here.
(On the other hand, I did walk by Casa Las Lilias a few days ago, looked at the menu, and yes, you will continue to pay first world prices there, even in Blue.)

HIDDY Jan 5, 20 1:24 pm


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 31912139)
I can tell you that I'm not paying first world prices at $74 to $1. It isn't that inflation won't soon catch up, but right now is an excellent time to spend your US Dollars here.
(On the other hand, I did walk by Casa Las Lilias a few days ago, looked at the menu, and yes, you will continue to pay first world prices there, even in Blue.)

I'm not a tourist.

Eastbay1K Jan 5, 20 1:32 pm


Originally Posted by HIDDY (Post 31912258)
I'm not a tourist.

You chose your life! Escape from Haggis (that should be a movie title) doesn't come cheaply :D

HIDDY Jan 5, 20 2:02 pm


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 31912277)
You chose your life! Escape from Haggis (that should be a movie title) doesn't come cheaply :D

Yeah no haggis but at least they do a decent black pudding here. :p
I'm not complaining but I think we have to remember many who live here aren't as fortunate as me or the dollar carrying tourist. Yes it's still a bargain country for most tourists but I honestly don't think the value and quality is as great as it once was. Sadly, I don't see any sign of things improving.

Eastbay1K Jan 5, 20 2:05 pm


Originally Posted by HIDDY (Post 31912374)
Yeah no haggis but at least they do a decent black pudding here. :p
I'm not complaining but I think we have to remember many who live here aren't as fortunate as me or the dollar carrying tourist. Yes it's still a bargain country for most tourists but I honestly don't think the value and quality is as great as it once was. Sadly, I don't see any sign of things improving.

And here, I was posting to encourage tourism and improve things, and you're all Debbie Downer! (This is FT, after all, with an audience of travelers.)

Yes, I remember and am reminded constantly, as I'm a "regular" and associate with "many who live here," and work in mundane jobs that don't pay very well.

HIDDY Jan 5, 20 2:30 pm


Originally Posted by Eastbay1K (Post 31912389)
And here, I was posting to encourage tourism and improve things, and you're all Debbie Downer! (This is FT, after all, with an audience of travelers.)
.

Indeed....I just don't want to give people the wrong impression regarding the purchasing power of their foreign currency especially when it comes to quality. My family from the UK were here recently for ten days staying in Buenos Aires and had a great time. However not once did they say it was a bargain destination.....and they're not exactly short of a few bob.

livious Jan 26, 20 10:40 am

Sorry to interrupt :), but I am with Hiddy on the cost of visiting Argentina. We (family of 4) spent 3+ weeks in Argentina around the holidays and it cost more than we anticipated. I would not describe the trip as expensive, but hotels and food were a bit higher than expected (even after the VAT reduction). If you are moving around the country, transportation costs really start to add up as well.

With that being said, we would return without hesitation. Amazing country, good food and wine and loads of culture...definitely worth the cost! But tourists should be aware that things are not that cheap, even with the peso falling.


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