Human capital and tourist scams

A few days ago I arrived at Lisbon airport, took a cab (registry nr 283) for a journey I’ve done countless times and which usually costs a bit less than 10 Euros. I chat in Portuguese with the cab driver, give him directions, signalling that I know my way around. The meter indicates 9 Euros when we arrive. After offloading luggage, the driver *switches to English* and says it’s 30 Euros, that from the airport it’s a special tariff, pointing at a page of a prospectus of unknown origin (maybe the fares for Oslo airport?). I say – in Portuguese – that I’m paying what’s on the meter, which I do after yelling a few things at him.

What upset me most was not that he was a crook, but that he was so rubbish at it. How is this country gonna get out of the recession if even the tourist scam business lacks the appropriate skills? I am all for conning German and British tourists, but I clearly signaled that I was Portuguese and knew my way around. I was almost tempted to give him advice on how to choose targets, hide the meter in some way, etc. At least do it right, for God’s sake.

3 thoughts on “Human capital and tourist scams

  1. mjmatos

    The official “scam” is for 20 euros, Alexandre, but it’s still under discussion. Even there, he was scamming you …😦

    Reply
  2. manuel branco

    Well, I used to ask the driver to take me to Corte Ingles. Than I would take the subway and than the bus to my home village. Did I tell them that I would go to the bus station and they would start questioning me about my region. Soon they would discover that they had family there too.
    Only when I had no option did I take a cab – and it was not due to the price, five more euros than one would expect. It was due to the feeling that I was being cheated.

    Reply
  3. SM

    Regrettable what happened to you, similar things have happened to me. But you should not be for conning other nationalities if you hope Portugal has any chance in making anything out of itself.

    Reply

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