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Junior Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 42
Registered: 7-2007

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 - 9:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

For the first time in 25 years (that I know of) I was handed a false 50 peso bill yesterday, as part of change, by one of Argentina's biggest corporations. I didn't pay attention as since I was not dealing with some street vendor or a kiosk or whatever, and I didn't notice it until a few hours later when i tried to pay a lunch with the bill. I'm off to deal with this corporation right now, and while there is no proof, etc..if they don't deal with this accordingly, I'm gonna quite upset at the principle of this issue, being such a large corporation them. More later..including a picture of the false bill. I could have maybe avoided/helped this by following up on something that happened right after the handover, but didn't...more later.
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Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1358
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 - 11:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Was this in Mendoza and was it a bank? They will blame the employee in any case.

Also, I may move this thread to 'living in Argentina'. What you say?
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Junior Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 44
Registered: 7-2007

Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 - 8:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes Roberto,,it was Mendoza and please move it to a thread you feel it fits in...thanks

Got the 50 pesos back in less than 10 minutes of dialogue with the manager of the service attendants.

I showed up with a printout of easily attainable public information of the corporation owners and managers contact information (highlighted in yellow) for this Mendoza province-wide chain of rest stops.

We sat down in the restaurant area , and on the table was my corporate contact printout and with all the names of the people in charge yesterday, and my foreign passport with the shifty 50 pesos sticking out..

I explained we arrived 11am yesterday to fill up on gas, on the way to the mountains, and when the window cleaning guy showed up, I asked him to please do all the windows, and asked the attendant and to check water, oil, and stuff.

They did a great job and the attendant then quoted me 45 pesos for the diesel fuel. I gave him a real 100 peso bill, and he handed me back a 50 and a 5, sort of folded together. I should have checked but stuffed it in my pocket, and then turned to my other pocket to fish out tip change. When I looked up, they were completely gone and out of site – my wife was giving me trouble for wasting time as I spent even more seconds trying to find them to tip them but to no avail. Never thought twice of that afterwards, but it struck me odd at the time because normally these guys wait around to collect a 50 cent to 1 to 2 peso tip depending on how much they rocked.

So off we went, and when I later pulled the 50+5 bills from my pocket and handed them to the waiter at lunch in the mountains, he promptly declined the 50 because of the missing silver strip and kinda funny color, although the hologram of the dude is there if you hold it up to the light.

On the way back yesterday we stopped at the rest stop, and since there had been a complete shift change, the afternoon manager said to come back in the morning and he reluctantly gave me the name of the morning attendant manager, his own name, and his bosses name.

So this morning I went there (15 minutes away on a major route that I always am on) explained the above to the morning manager, and told him I refuse to be “cagado” by a big company in this simple regard, where the gas guys are known to be super alert for false big bills. Not the same as a small street vendor possibility, etc.

He said it’s best to make the claim with corporate downtown. He gave me the address and a contact person, and when I asked for the phone number, he gave it to me but then said he was going to call them to let them know I was coming..so he made the call right there.. Four minutes later he came back with a fresh 50 pesos bill and said they were taking care of it now and sorry for the trouble but they want their customers to be happy. uh huh.

This was a little about the money, but mostly about the principle of this situation, and as Roberto suggests, especially when you are living here and maybe have time to address it. But let’s face it that gas guy probably took advantage of my look and feel. If this had been a bank, and there was no possibility of a “hand-back” by a taxi-driver or waiter, I would have pursued the same thing and probably have won no matter if employee scam or not– the corporations typically don’t want the further hassle, at least on a bill or two.

Here is the false bill I got, which the rest stop manager took from me today when he handed me a real one:

the billno silver strip and funny colorsthe dude still shows up in the white part if you hold it up to the light
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Adam Walker
Junior Member
Username: Adam_walker

Post Number: 45
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 7:22 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well done WTM - you definitely have to chase these people - the worse "corporation" I have dealt with for ripping you off was Fravega - I bought a Sony Laptop there, thinking going to a large electical name was best, and when I got it home it had obviously been used, and the "7-9 hour battery" was lasting about 40 minutes. I had to return 4 times to get a new one, one time they actually repacked my laptop into a different box and tried to give me that one! The key to getting a good one was speaking with people at the top and threatening to go to head office.

This is quite a good fake to be fair - for anyone not familiar with Argentine moeny, it probably lacks a "water mark" (although these are now faked too sometimes) and there is no silver dotted line running down the note (again badly faked sometimes). To know if a note is fake, look directly at the number "50" it will look green. Tilt the note forward keeping an eye on the "50" and you will see it change colour in the light to a grey-blue. This is the best test of a note.

To be fair to old Argentina, the only place I have really come across the false notes have been in taxis (although I spend 99% of my time in BA). They will try to hand you over bad photo copies!
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Junior Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 45
Registered: 7-2007

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 7:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Adam, yes probably the hottest spot for distribution are indeed rouge taxi drivers or tax drivers that have been screwed themselves and trying to shift the burden...and probably some eateries. Watch out for the "hand-backs"...giving a 50 or a 100 pesos to a taxi driver or a waiter..and them coming back and saying they don't have change and giving "your money" back to you.
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Christopher Henson
New member
Username: Sandiegochris

Post Number: 12
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 - 3:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Counterfeit money is becoming more of a problem as of late. I know how to look for the wateramrks and other things and I still have a small collection of fake bills. The one that makes me laugh is the $2 peso note. Must have take a lot of time and effort to print something that worthless. Anyway, my assistant told me that if you receive a "billete falso", you can take down to the Banco Central at Plaza de Mayo and they will replace it. I guess it would not be wise to be a counterfeiter and attempt to do this switch!! Suerte a todos!

Chris Henson
American Gay Life in Buenos Aires Blog

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