Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fantasia Exchange is not so fantastic

Sometimes I just really do not understand people. The general blanket belief that we were all born stupid. Yet time and time again I am seeing examples of people who obviously believe just that. 

Corruption is again thriving in Egypt. I don't know if it ever actually disappeared, but at least it appeared to do so for a short period of time there. 

The sad thing about corruption in this country is that it is not a phenomenon reserved to the upper echelons of society. No, it goes all the way down to the bottom feeders. Enter Fantasia Exchange, located on Sheraton Street.

I am regularly exchanging currency so I keep up to date with the conversion rates. Currently, the dollar sits around 5.94 EGP to 1 U.S. dollar, give or take a few piasters. It has sat around this rate for a few months now.

With the ongoing banking crisis in the world it is of course normal for currency exchange rates to fluctuate. These fluctuations are rarely as dramatic as falling an entire Egyptian pound however, unless the economy of the 'host' country if you will has completely collapsed. It rarely happens over-night. 

But Fantasia Exchange would have you believe it does. Or, they just assume that you're ignorant and don't bother to check exchange rates before attempting the conversion.

Now, I have previously blogged about the Nile Exchange located on Sheraton Street and their blatant thievery. Let's take the exchange rate of today as an example. 

The rate today as posted online is: 1 U.S. $ equals 5.962 Egyptian Pounds

Therefore you would expect exchange places to hover around this figure. They make take a slight commission, but nothing really noticeable. 

Until you go to Nile Exchange. 

There, you would see the following exchange rate: 

1 U.S. $ equals 5.092 Egyptian pounds

Sneaky beggers

This means essentially that for every 100 U.S. $ you convert, you're losing close to 20 $ (or 100 EGP). That is not a small sum of money. 

Fantasia Exchange have decided that they too want in on this game. Meaning, were you to go to Fantasia Exchange you would notice the same 0 placed after the decimal point.

Is it coincidence these two are basically across the street from one another? Did someone in Nile Exchange march across the road and tell the tellers they could line their pockets with HUNDREDS of EGP every day by adding in this figure?

The sad thing is that I used to use Fantasia to exchange money. No longer my friends. Is it too much to expect honesty these days? 

So, consider yourself warned. If you choose to frequent either of these exchange places, expect to get ripped off. 

Click here for a great currency conversion site online. 

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