Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
64

I was originally going to make this a comment, but I think my personal experience will showcase some of the tactics and how to recognize them and avoid them. But first off, be skeptical and say no. I once attended a timeshare presentation in Ft Lauderdale. Due to a previous hurricane I actually had a free plane ticket to burn, so it didn't cost me ...


59

It's very easy, just smile and say no. Yes, the sales pressure is high, very high, but...so what? You are not obligated in any way to buy anything. As for hidden fees, well...sure, there might be a resort fee and of course taxes, but you should settle all of this ahead of time, before the presentation. How to handle it? Well, it's just two hours with ...


48

There are a few things you have to consider. I worked before at a hotel refilling those minibars. So I know a bit of how it works. Some hotels have an electronic system. This system registers if something has been taken from the minibar. Please note them some people replace a can of coke (or take it out and after putting it back) and the system will see ...


42

If you thought the cancellation fee was too high, why did you agree to it? The hotel may well be entitled to take action to recover the debt you owe it; that would depend on the detail of the local law and the conditions of the contract you have. If you are interested in that, please do go over to law.stackexchange.com for a fuller discussion. Whether the ...


40

My approach is to not feed them anything to work with. When I have been to one of those deals, my only commitment was to attend the presentation, not to supply any information or discuss anything. Questions about myself and my situation get response "Please continue with your presentation.". Actual sales questions get "No". If asked why not, back to "Please ...


37

Just to address specifically where to find out the cancellation fee for Bookings.com When selecting the specific room, Bookings.com has an entire column dedicated to conditions. Sometimes there is free cancellation offered up to a specific date (usual some X days before the booking starts) Sometimes the hotel will offer some rooms with free cancellation, ...


36

Travel agents are normally required to inform you of changes to material circumstances. Those would be things like: change of flight time, change of seats, change of airports, change of layovers, change of booking class, etc. Reminding you to check in would be merely a courtesy, as they've already warned you about it at the time of booking. Therefore the ...


32

Try a credit union. Many of them boast surcharge-free ATMs. Lots of smaller banks don't collect surcharges either. Those that don't often will have a big sign saying so near the ATM. The Credit Union National Association, the Independent Community Bankers Association and The Co-Op Network all have ATM locators on their Web sites. Ask for cash-back when ...


31

I have gone through quite a few of these. The easiest thing to do is do a little research in the area that you are going. Then during the selling phase: Do not go into any private room to talk one on one alone with anyone. Simply say, I prefer that we talk "out here" or "in public". Remain very unimpressed with the property, setup, rate, everything. ...


26

If you have an Oyster with a valid travelcard for zones 1-3, and you travel outside those zones, you will pay an extension fare for only the zones that the travelcard doesn't cover. For zone 4, this should be the price for a trip within zone 4 only. If you went to zone 6, it would be the price for zone 4 to zone 6. Warning: if your Oyster card has no pay ...


25

One thing to consider is that, despite what common sense or simplistic views of economic theory might suggest, many businesses actually rely to a large extent on the customers' honesty. For example, I have worked at a café in an area with many tourists (i.e. people we don't know and who have no reason to fear having a bad reputation or being denied service ...


21

Nope. Two different flights means two bookings on Ryanair. Annoying, but true.


20

The only question is: Was the fee listed in the booking.com reservation? This is always included in the booking confirmation you receive by mail. Please check it there. If the fee is there, then you are obliged to pay it. You can of course refuse, but I don't think that this is a good idea. It's clearly non-ethical and it can lead into troubles. If the fee ...


19

Per http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/crossborder/index_en.htm cross-border payments in Euro within the Eurozone must not be treated differently from national (inter-bank) transactions in Euro. This also applies to ATM fees. This means that your bank is only allowed to charge fees similar to those for national ATM use at another bank. Examples ...


19

According to http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging/ , you can call them at (UK) Tel: 0333 200 1000. I can't find a form matching your exact enquiry online. You can pay a penalty online (when you get the penalty form), or you can pay in advance, but I don't see a way to see 'Is there a penalty I owe I haven't found yet?' Short answer, you ...


19

The majority of the museums in Washington DC are run by the Smithsonian, and offer free entry to everyone (with optional donations being accepted). There are also a number of non-Smithsonian museums, such as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (free, but requires a timed ticket for entry), Newseum (not free), and the International Spy Museum (also not free).


19

So, according to the National Parks Service: Weekly Passes Weekly passes are non-transferable and are valid for 7 consecutive days including the date of purchase. Weekly passes may be upgraded to annual passes within 7 days of purchase. Private Vehicle: $30. Valid for 7 days. Admits private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or ...


18

In general, when using your card abroad you get charged (some) of the following fees Currency exchange fee A fee levied by your bank for using your card abroad A fee levied by the ATM operator In your case (1) will not apply because the currency is the same, but (2) and (3) might still apply. (2) you need to check with your bank, and you should be informed ...


18

Completely depends on the agent. When I was in London in January, I failed to find anywhere to print it, and when I got to Stansted, one agent did want to charge me 15 quid. Discretely went to another agent, who printed it for free. Don't know if being EEA or non-EEA matters, but it could (with EEA pax being treated more strictly, seeing as non-EEA pax ...


18

Here is a Freedom of Information request where someone asked that. The response they got from Transport for London included: By way of an example, for a through journey from East Croydon (zone 5) to Hatch End (zone 6) – a Z1-6 journey - with a zone 1-2 Travelcard, the relevant extension fare is through Z3-6 (£3.50 undiscounted Adult Peak – see ...


17

To answer your questions, starting with your last one: Losing and retaining/reacquiring Philippine Citizenship Per Philippine Commonwealth Act. no. 63 (section 1, paragraph 1), you automatically lost Philippine citizenship when you became Australian (the quote is from Lawphil.net): Section 1. How citizenship may be lost. – A Filipino citizen may lose ...


16

You didn't specify a locale, but within the United States, the answer depends a bit on when and where you are picking the car up and when and where you are dropping it off. Shopping around The obvious first step is to search as broadly as possible and to be as flexible as possible. Compare rates at Kayak, VroomVroomVroom, and other comparison sites. ...


16

My recent experiences trying out different ATMS (around Rancagua) are the following: Banco BICE: 2500clp (though these seem to be few and far between) Scotiabank: 3500clp Banco Estado: 4000clp (they didn't charge anything extra a few months ago, but now I've tried several and they all want 4000) :-( BBVA: 4100clp BCI: 4738clp CorpBanca / Itaú: 3000 5000clp ...


15

Last time I flew Spirit, I was able to print my boarding pass at a kiosk without paying an additional fee. I believe the $10 fee only applies if you get a counter agent to print it for you.


15

I travel for much longer durations than your planned trip. This is what I do in basically all countries: Have at least two cards that work on one or more of the Cirrus, Maestro, Mastercard, Plus, or Visa systems. More systems is better. More than one bank can be better. If you have cards from the same bank make sure they are linked. Primary card is a debit ...


14

I would be very surprised if you managed to find an ATM that did not charge you a fee. US card holders are also charged fees if we use an ATM that is not the same bank as our card. Then we usually get a fee from both banks: the ATM's and our bank (for not using one of their ATMs). Some non-US banks that branches in the US; I think that would be the only ...


14

You never HAVE to tip for delivery pizza, but if you become known as a non-tipper, the delivery people will be less inclined to treat you well (hot, prompt, etc.). As far as two American chains go, Pizza Hut and Papa John's both charge delivery fees and if you look hard enough on their web sites, those delivery fees do not go to the drivers, at all. ...


14

In my experience booking European hotels, it is often possible to select between different rates for the same room, with higher rates corresponding to more relaxed cancellation policies. This seems fair, since it lets you choose who bears the risk in the event of a change of travel plans. If you're certain you're going to be there, you can pay less; if you'...


14

You save $18+ per person & direction I went to the airport and booked the ticket posed in my original question. I saved the passenger usage fee (one person, one-way) = $17.99 cheaper at the airport vs. booking online. The airport staff didn't know the details. They had never seen such a deal and were excited to try it themselves - it is even cheaper ...


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