WHEN the Australia dollar shoots past the greenback, it enables people to buy goods that they previously avoided due to the cost.
On the internet, for the most part, the outlets keep to this rate, or at least stay close to it.
But on the ground, this does not always work out. In other words, exchange houses will not give you what you are supposed to get.
Recently I bought 500 American dollars at a Travelex outlet. That day the Australian dollar was buying $1.02 American dollars. Yet I had to pay $509 Australian to get those 500 US dollars.
Wait till you hear the next bit. While in the US in September, I went to a bank and asked them to change $500 Australian into US dollars. They directed me to the airport, saying that banks in that town, Columbus, Ohio, would not exchange currency.
At the Columbus airport, once again I encountered a Travelex outlet. There was no other exchange house. They gave me $440 US dollars for my $500 Australian. This was on a day when the Australian dollar was buying nearly $US1.03 according to the international exchange rates. Travelex also gave me an official receipt for the sale, which works out to 88 American cents for every Australian dollar.
Cheats again? Or this is part of the American make-up?
I travelled from Florida airport to the Caribe Royale hotel and paid $US55 for a cab. My return, from that hotel to the airport, cost $75.
Cheats all over again?
At Dallas Fort Worth airport I bought a SIM from an outlet. The salesman, an African-American named Joshua Jones, told me that it would be up and running within 15 minutes. I went off to catch my flight.
Nothing happened for the next 45 minutes – I couldn’t get a connection. As my flight was being delayed, I went back to Jones and asked him what had transpired. He gave me another SIM.
Both these SIMS were broken out of their cards. I should have been suspicious. My fault.
The second SIM worked. But it was supposed to provide me 100 free minutes. I had hardly used 30 when the SIm cut out and I could not use it any more without loading on more money.