Caution: New Delhi IGI Airport Scam (extortion by Customs officials)

#1 Jan 24th, 2004, 04:28
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  • sam371 is offline
#1
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a...how/442012.cms

I fly to New Delhi in 11 days....I am NOT looking forward to dealing with this.
Argh!
#2 Jan 24th, 2004, 11:48
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#2
I think they're less likely to do this to Americans. We have our Hollywood Rambo / Terminator image working for us. We don't put up with that kind of crap. (Let's hope they think so anyway)
#3 Jan 24th, 2004, 11:56
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#3
Damn, I always wanted to be an American, never quite knew why but now it all becomes clear, so I won't be hassled at Delhi airport!!
#4 Jan 24th, 2004, 13:40
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#4
The article says that this is happening to people passing through IGIA going on to other destinations. Probably now since the article came out it probably won't occur anymore.


If your worried about something about this happening upon arrival, it's very doubtful since there is usually a mass of people trying to get through customs and for them to single out a person and try this one with all the police and everyone else....well it could happen but doubtful.

Your great concern is still the taxi ride from hell from the airport and the "stop at the tourist office" routine. Tried it on me even with the Delhi Police taxi. Ended after a said I was going to tear up the slip and he wouldn't get paid.


Mike
#5 May 15th, 2004, 20:07
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#5
Can I ask which scam you guys are talking about?
#6 Jul 8th, 2004, 02:54
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#6
Quote:
Originally posted by indiamike
Your great concern is still the taxi ride from hell from the airport and the "stop at the tourist office" routine. Tried it on me even with the Delhi Police taxi. Ended after a said I was going to tear up the slip and he wouldn't get paid.


Mike
Yeah, we told the driver we weren't getting out of the taxi until we got to where we wanted to go. When suzi pulled out a book and started to read, he got the picture.

joe b.
#7 Apr 8th, 2005, 19:29
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#7

Recent happening Mar 2005

"Your Hotel is full, we take u to a nice hotel" scam.

We knew scam like this happens in Delhi, but we really can't help it when it happend to us. It was 2am when we left the airport, and the govn't approved prepaid taxi took us to who knows where, a tourist office, and call "our hotel" (their friend waiting on the other line). We knew all these were scam, but we were in the middle of no where (didn't feel too safe), at 2 o'clock in the morning. Felt like they had the upper hand. If it would have been bright day light, I would have fought it hard.

So anyways, we had to go along and stayed at their hotel (Amar or something at Karol Bagh). They wanted to charge us Rs600, we talked them down to Rs250 (the rate where we originally booked at our actual hotel), and the next morning, they changed the deal to Rs250/person (what crooks). But we refused to pay, we paid them Rs250. Fought our way out (had to fight the reception guy, the "govn't tourist police", the pre-arragned taxi driver, etc.). Once we got on the street, we got a cheap rickshaw to the real place.

Overall we didn't get ripped off too much in terms of money because we fought as hard as we could. But, it was an emotional damage that was beyond repair because it was afterall our first day in India. And seeing a scam that was so popular played out in front of your eyes, but can do nothing about, was a total nightmare.

kc
#8 Apr 8th, 2005, 21:17
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#8
Until the government decides to clean up the two major airports and the New Delhi railway station, India will never shake it's reputation for ruthlessly taking advantage of visitors.
Reject violence.
#9 Apr 8th, 2005, 21:54
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Namaste India Tours Until the government decides to clean up the two major airports and the New Delhi railway station, India will never shake it's reputation for ruthlessly taking advantage of visitors.
And who is going to guarantee us a cleaned up government?
...and I took the road less travelled.
#10 Apr 8th, 2005, 22:02
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#10
After getting shamelessly fleeced by a taxi-wallah in Mumbai I always ring ahead and get the hotel to pick me up when I'm getting off a plane in India now.

In any other country I like to just turn up, get a taxi then have a bit of a look round for my own accommodation but there's so many rip-off merchants in India that I just can't be bothered with it.

If you're in Delhi, there's lots of places in Paharganj that will come and pick you up - I think I paid Rs. 400. It saves a lot of hassle.
Out There Somewhere : My Travel Blog.
#11 Apr 8th, 2005, 22:15
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#11
If it's still running in Delhi there's also a public bus service from the airport to town including Paharganj for a couple of roops. It's a bit of a long ride but a nice introduction to the country

I found the pre-paid taxis more expensive than a haggled-down regular one actually, go figure. Generally reliable though but dung is bound to happen I guess.
Last edited by machadinha; Apr 9th, 2005 at 00:55..
#12 Apr 8th, 2005, 22:39
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#12
I'm always amazed at travelers' general tolerance and naivete about things they would never truck at home. The answer to, say, an American cabbie who tried to tell you that your hotel was full or forces you to take a detour, or whatever, is, "Take me where I told you or I will (a) report you to the taxi commission or (b) beat the crap out of you." Same goes for uniformed agents trying to extort money. You would never, ever put up with this in the States or Europe. You have individual rights in India, too, and the threat of exposure of the perpetrator is even more lethal there than it is elsewhere. As a foreign tourist, you can raise a considerable fuss, and heads will roll if you play your cards right. You don't have to go anywhere or pay anything that you're not comfortable with. You are not at the mercy of the babus just because you're the visiting side.
#13 Apr 9th, 2005, 07:18
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#13
Well Merchant... live and learn eh? We learned our lesson the hard way... but cut us some slack, that was our grand day 1 in India ... and u know, at that time, I was more thinking about... if I make a scene there and then, will I get into trouble (ie: surrounded by bunch of bandits and they can beat the crap out of us, rob us clean) and we were in the middle of nowhere (well, we didn't know where we were).

If it happen again, I would definitely make a scene... coz after few weeks in India, u catch the custom... I know what I can get away with... but on our first day, we played it safe.

But advice for people who arrive in the middle of the night, if your hotel wants to pick you up, good. Even worth the extra Rs. Otherwise, you might get stuck in the same situation and have to waddle your way through the sticky situation.
#14 Apr 9th, 2005, 08:23
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#14
I wasn't criticizing you, sorry. I just meant that when people are out of their comfort zones, they respond differently from the way they would otherwise. Sorry if it sounded harsh.
#15 Apr 9th, 2005, 13:50
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#15
I've been fleeced once by an "official" and I vowed it would never happen again! These days at the slightest hint of bull#*#$ from said officials I start acting the offended tourist. Make a lot of noise ask why you are being asked for money very loudly, ask for ID and jot down the name of the offender if it's police their badge number. be as loud and difficult as you can and ask to see his boss or for the complaints book, ask other passengers around you to act as a witness generally just be such a pain in the ass that the official dwindles before your eyes. These guys are essentialy bullies and won't relish being shown up in puiblic!!
I agree with merchant we wouldn't put up with this crap from anyone in our own countries and as a guest in India you have rights as you have anywhere. Probably a lot more than a local Indian in some ways.
Don't worry about being seen as churlish go for the throat with these assholes, they are the elite in India, good jobs with decent salary for life they have no overriding reason to be corrupt they are just plain ole greedy!!!
As for the taxi scam well I've taken to being picked up by my hotel as there are so many taxi drivers at IGIA that are involved in scamming tourists or turning a blind eye to those that do, I don't feel like lining their pockets anymore. Again these guys work a coveted beat, probably making a lot more on a daily basis than a normal taxi driver without an airport license but still they feel the need to scam people. Hotel pickups are a little more expensive but what you get back in peace of mind more than covers the difference!
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