TomG
TomG
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September 3rd, 2020 at 9:37:22 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

An upcoming video with Angela will be on the topic of Vegas scams. Here is a list we put together, but we welcome other suggestions and comments if some of these should not be considered a scam.



Don't see the water sellers as a scam. They buy them at the grocery store for as like 12-cents and sell them for $1 on a bridge when it's 100F out and the other establishments are charging $4. It's illegal, but still just basic entrepreneurship.

The free limo rides to the strip club are pretty scammy.

Are there still three-card money games?
Wizard
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September 4th, 2020 at 4:18:17 AM permalink
Quote: TomG

Don't see the water sellers as a scam.



I agree. Angela put that one on the list. I'll have to ask her why.

Quote:

Are there still three-card money games?



You mean Three Card Monty. You see that once in a while. I should add it.
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Wizard
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September 4th, 2020 at 4:44:49 AM permalink
Another video I plan to do later this month will be titled something like Miscellaneous Vegas Advice. First, here is Angela's list:

Prostitution is not legal in Clark County...
Use Lyft or Uber instead of a Taxi
Use the Deuce to get around if you're just going between Downtown and the Strip
If you're going to here more than a weekend, rent a car (for at least a day or two) and go to a local grocery store to stock up on Water/snacks and anything you've forgotten like sunscreen. If yo're only here a few days, it may be worth it to Uber to a nearby Walmart or Smiths to do that as well.
If you're here more than a few days, eat at local restaurants. You'll save a ton, eat better food and pay way less.
Sunscreen and Lip Balm. You cannot say these enough times.
Do not use Casino ATMS!
Ladies, carry a pair of flats/flipflops (even just cheap ones). Everything is a longer walk than it looks like it will be.
Get a Players card and ask about promotions
Do a little research on Groupon / Living Social for food, drinks and shows (once they start up again)

This seems a good list to me. I haven't been in Vegas as a tourist since the 90's, so it's hard to put myself in those shoes anymore. I welcome all other comments and suggestions.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Mission146
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September 4th, 2020 at 5:17:48 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

An upcoming video with Angela will be on the topic of Vegas scams. Here is a list we put together, but we welcome other suggestions and comments if some of these should not be considered a scam.

1. Paid parking
2. Resort fees
3. Reservations.com
4. Concession and franchise fees
5. Charging to use mini-fridge
6. Welcome to Vegas sign photo-people
7. “Free CD” people
8. Street entertainers
9. Gift shop prices
10. Water sellers on strip
11. Timeshare pitches
12. Long-hauling cab drivers
13. Night club promoters
14. Hypnotist / lip-synch shows
15. ATM fees
16. “Hot babes direct to you.”
17. Three card monty.
18. West rim Grand Canyon

Meanwhile, I do recommend Tangerine Travels video on this topic.



I'll go through and offer my thoughts, if you don't mind:

1.) Not a scam, provided it is disclosed up front. Las Vegas is not the first place in the world to have paid parking, and honestly, not even the first casinos to have paid parking. There are casinos dotting the country near sports stadiums and arenas that sometimes charge for parking. I also don't know about now...but JACK Casino Cleveland (then Horseshoe) would charge for parking if you did not earn some number of points.

So, do I think it's BS? Yes! A scam? No, not if disclosed in advance and there is a way to get out of the garage for free without parking.

2.) These are spreading and, unfortunately, are no longer unique to Vegas casinos. These are often a scam, (in my opinion) but would not constitute a scam if they are disclosed upfront in the early stages of the booking process. So, sometimes a scam and sometimes not.

3.) I'd say charging an extra amount for nothing is definitely a scam, especially when you are purporting yourself to be saving people money.

4.) I don't understand this. Of course you have to pay franchise fees if you want to be part of a franchise. If you want to own a McDonald's, you pay McDonald's corporate. I guess they could be a scam, like in the case of Quizno's where the policies (mainly who you had to buy the food from) made it impossible to operate profitably...but I can't call the entire concept of franchises a scam.

5.) It depends on how clearly this policy is stated.

6.) I don't know what you mean.

7.) I don't know what you mean. I bought a CD that some guy was hawking in Vegas, but he never said it was going to be free. I bought it because it was really cheap and out of pure respect for his effort. Were I still in telemarketing, I'd have loved to have him on the phones on my team.

8.) Not a scam because you don't have to compensate them if you don't want to.

9.) Free association. If you put a price tag of $1,450.99 on a deck of playing cards and someone wants to buy it at that price; there you go. If nobody wants to pay that for playing cards and you're not selling anything else, you won't be in business long.

10.) NOT A SCAM!!! So convenient! I don't even care if it's just tap water with the cap twisted back on tightly...it's water, it's cold, it's 100 degrees outside. Besides, I'm pretty sure I was only charged $1.00.

11.) I guess it would depend on the timeshare. If it is what they say it is and you're getting what they say you will get, I guess not.

12.) I'd say that's definitely scammy. They should take whatever route results in the lowest price, unless the customer specifically asks to get there as quickly as possible (in cases where a longer route would be less time).

13.) I don't know enough about this. I don't see how the mere promotion of a location could be a scam, in general.

14.) Nah, some people go to the shows because they think they are entertaining. If people purchase a ticket thinking the show has value, then that's all fine.

15.) Definitely not a scam. The machines cost money, filling the machines with money costs money and it's a service. The ATM also states the fees before the transaction is completed, at least, any of the few ATM's I have ever used have. It's also not at all unique to casinos; ATMs are everywhere.

16.) I know nothing about this.

17.) It's a scam if they are actually cheating. If their hands are so good that they can beat you on the level, then it's not a scam.

18.) I don't know what that means.
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Wizard
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Mission146
September 4th, 2020 at 7:36:47 AM permalink
As I said before, I'll rethink the title to something like "Vegas warnings and scams."

A lot of these we seem to have a difference of opinion or ethics. If an ATM machine says in fine print that there is a $100 fee, then I would call that a scam and I think you would say that it was a consensual (why isn't it spelled consentual?) transaction.
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Gialmere
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September 4th, 2020 at 9:01:56 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

4.) I don't understand this. Of course you have to pay franchise fees if you want to be part of a franchise. If you want to own a McDonald's, you pay McDonald's corporate. I guess they could be a scam, like in the case of Quizno's where the policies (mainly who you had to buy the food from) made it impossible to operate profitably...but I can't call the entire concept of franchises a scam.


A CNF fee is the restaurant/bar equivalent to a resort fee. The difference is that, while a resort fee can (kind of) justify itself by saying it covers your wi-fi and exercise room expenses, a CNF offers you nothing. Essentially you're being charged money for the privilege of being allowed to spend your money inside their establishment. (Gee thanks.)

The fee information is usually buried in the fine print on the menu, mixed in with information about MSGs and undercooked food warnings. If they really wanted to be "honest and upfront" about it, they should either raise their prices or charge an entry fee, like a nightclub or amusement park.
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Mission146
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September 4th, 2020 at 9:23:22 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

As I said before, I'll rethink the title to something like "Vegas warnings and scams."

A lot of these we seem to have a difference of opinion or ethics. If an ATM machine says in fine print that there is a $100 fee, then I would call that a scam and I think you would say that it was a consensual (why isn't it spelled consentual?) transaction.



I wouldn't unless it is also stated on the screen prior to the person agreeing to the transaction. I will say, in my opinion, every ATM (of the few) I've used has been very direct in what you're going to get charged. I will stipulate I don't care about the amount of the charge as long as the person has the ability to refuse. If enough people refuse, then the charge will certainly come down.

I'd definitely call it, "Opinion," rather than, "Ethics," but I don't look at many things as, 'Ethical,' or, 'Unethical,' in the same way some others might. I guess what I'm saying is that it's simply not an ethical question, for me.

If nothing else, I'd consider your own bank charging you on the ATM transaction potentially scammy. That aspect of it is usually buried in the paperwork almost nobody reads.
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Mission146
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September 4th, 2020 at 9:29:20 AM permalink
Quote: Gialmere


A CNF fee is the restaurant/bar equivalent to a resort fee. The difference is that, while a resort fee can (kind of) justify itself by saying it covers your wi-fi and exercise room expenses, a CNF offers you nothing. Essentially you're being charged money for the privilege of being allowed to spend your money inside their establishment. (Gee thanks.)

The fee information is usually buried in the fine print on the menu, mixed in with information about MSGs and undercooked food warnings. If they really wanted to be "honest and upfront" about it, they should either raise their prices or charge an entry fee, like a nightclub or amusement park.



Resort Fees are weird in that I find them simultaneously NOT unethical, but also not justifiable. What did WiFi and fitness room cost before? Nothing. So, why is it not part of the price still? Even people who were not planning to use the pool in our hotel would ask, "Can you knock another couple bucks off if I don't use the pool?" I would usually either do it or not do it based on whether I thought it would make an actual difference on them taking the room...or if I even needed them that night.

I guess some high-end type hotels would charge for WiFi separately, which is hilarious. Stay at a dumpy Super 8 and you get it free. Pay $170/night and get charged another $15 for Wi-Fi. They say that caring about money is why some people are rich in the first place, but I guess that's not always true.

That sounds pretty junky about the CNF fees. I guess my opinion of whether or not they are a scam depends on how prominently it is made known prior to ordering anything. If not very boldly advertised, does the waitress/bartender at least say something before taking your order? If not, then definitely a scam.

Wizard is correct that I'm very big on, "Informed consent." If informed consent exists, then free association exists...and while it could be a, 'Rip-Off,' it's no longer a scam or ethical matter in my book.
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Wizard
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September 4th, 2020 at 10:05:46 AM permalink
Quote: Mission146

I wouldn't unless it is also stated on the screen prior to the person agreeing to the transaction. I will say, in my opinion, every ATM (of the few) I've used has been very direct in what you're going to get charged. I will stipulate I don't care about the amount of the charge as long as the person has the ability to refuse. If enough people refuse, then the charge will certainly come down.

I'd definitely call it, "Opinion," rather than, "Ethics," but I don't look at many things as, 'Ethical,' or, 'Unethical,' in the same way some others might. I guess what I'm saying is that it's simply not an ethical question, for me.

If nothing else, I'd consider your own bank charging you on the ATM transaction potentially scammy. That aspect of it is usually buried in the paperwork almost nobody reads.



Nobody is disputing that the fee is disclosed and the customer may cancel the transaction. There is probably a law requiring that. I also don't have a problem with paying a reasonable fee for a service. However, if the fee were $100 and disclosed in a very small font close to the end of the transaction, I would have a problem with that and would make no apologies about warning people about it.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Mission146
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September 4th, 2020 at 10:38:34 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Nobody is disputing that the fee is disclosed and the customer may cancel the transaction. There is probably a law requiring that. I also don't have a problem with paying a reasonable fee for a service. However, if the fee were $100 and disclosed in a very small font close to the end of the transaction, I would have a problem with that and would make no apologies about warning people about it.



I agree with that completely.
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