Extorted by estate agent! Is this normal?

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#31 Feb 22nd, 2006, 20:33
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#31
Interesting. Sounds like you might have a chance then.

But it is an estate agents' job to know people. I don't think they are rated very highly in many parts of the world --- and I bet they have some pretty rough contacts .

I'd be feeling the same as you. Furious. But maybe I'd just pay up.

Stay aware of those surroundings!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#32 Feb 22nd, 2006, 22:12
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#32
Well a small update, tweedledee and tweedledum have just been at my door again (so much for security eh!) and repeated over and over their story of how India works etc, said they can get us evicted, said they can get the police to give us a hard time etc and said they can give my fiance's company a really bad reputation blah blah blah and then gave a list of all the top named companies they had found accommodation for, though where the relevance in that is I failed to see!

Didn't see my point of view at all but I asked them if they had learned a lesson this time and that next time they might advise a foreigner of their full terms and conditions and they said they definitely would be doing that and not just with foreigners so hey! I'm justifiably proud of my achievement there, if I'd have just handed over the cash then that practice would have gone on without change!

So the question of paying them came up, well I still can't pay you I said, why not they said, because I don't have that kind of funds available at the drop of the hat, I have to transfer funds over from my English bank to my Indian bank and that takes a few days! Not actually truthful there but they don't know that and in any case, I really don't have that available right now today! So I discussed the idea of negotiation on the figure, they changed the subject again and again until they agreed there maybe some negotiation but didn't say what, progress eh, well its India, everything is negotiable just as everything is for sale!

They asked if they could visit my fiance's company (the lease being in there name), I said sure go ahead. Then they dropped the bombshell, they said if they visit the company and have a meeting with both Jen and the company boss and the company boss says "no thats not normal practice" then they will never bother us for a rupee again.

They are visiting her office tomorrow. Jen has just spoken with the boss who does indeed agree that its standard practice (which I've never disputed of course) but is livid with the fools and says they should have made it all clear to us. He is concerned for our safety, well probably not mine but Jens! He will meet with them tomorrow, probably tear them off a strip, probably screw them down on their commission too and hopefully perhaps he may even pay them from company funds which suits me!

Been a steep learning curve for me but for them also!

Cheers
Malc
PS: Will of course update on the whole saga tomorrow!
#33 Feb 22nd, 2006, 22:29
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#33
Time to pour yourself a drink. Then ponder next steps. As in what you're going to pay tomorrow or whether you're going to toy with them further....



Evil, I tell you, I am.
#34 Feb 22nd, 2006, 22:34
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#34
Oh I think they can be dangled around for a little bit yet, I don't think they have reached the stage of thinking about having me shot yet, in fact I think they probably think they'll get paid tomorrow, or maybe not. I think if I'm gonna be lynched then I'd like to be hacked to death purely because the expression gives me a chuckle every time (almost every day in fact) that I read it !!
#35 Feb 22nd, 2006, 22:47
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#35
Thinking properly about the thread title, there can only really be one answer, surely?

Yes. Worldwide.
#36 Feb 22nd, 2006, 23:18
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#36
Looks like you are handling a difficult situation with considerable (if partly inadvertent) skill. Two things I would suggest you do before your sit-down with these "agents": 1) get a copy of your landlord's receipt for cash given them for their services (he may be part of the fuck-around); 2) rent and watch a copy of "Taxi Driver" - or at least watch Bobby's famous mirror scene. People who threaten you have to be shown that there's something behind your smiley face as well.
New home for my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abracax/
#37 Feb 23rd, 2006, 05:57
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#37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkers ...................As far as I was concerned and still am, this was one scruffy fool that we followed round on a moped for 3 hours that was trying to get a tenant for a landlord so he could earn a few bucks.

.............................. .............................. ..............
You seem to have really integrated into the mainstream in India.

I now start to understand your mental model and the problem therefore. If these were two agents in suits then you would have asked but because he was a "scruffy fool" and was on a moped - they could be taken for granted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkers Please stop excusing this guy's ignorance!

.............................. .............. I am not aware of this guy giving me a service and certainly not with that much value!
Excuse me, please!

Stop excusing "this guy's" ignorance?

You should appreciate the IMers' patience in tolerating the ignorance of someone who does not bother to ask questions just because the other party is "scruffy" and he himself is "white".

Another analogy - I walk into The Tajmahal compound and am approached by an Indian in not-so-smart and not-so-clean clothes who offers to show me around the monument.

What should I do? Assume that the "scruufy" looking person must be offering to do so because he has nothing else to do, accept his offer and then show outrage when he demands money in the end for his services and claim that I was not "aware" that the "scruffy" guy was "giving me a service"?

Someone should help these estate agents to learn law and teach them how to sue people who utilise their services but refuse to pay on the basis of ignorance.
Last edited by Paagla Dashu; Feb 23rd, 2006 at 09:42..
#38 Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:11
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#38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malkers Ok, a little legal advice from an Indian or even better a Bangalorean who knows the score here.

About 4 weeks ago I was put in touch with a guy who shows people round vacant flats for their owners to find them a tenant. We were shown 6 filthy apartments over the course of 3 hours within a 5k radius, we could see the potential of the filthy apartment that I am now sat in (which we have cleaned ourselves) and we made an offer which was accepted.


I feel proud of what you did.........I believe India this year passed a FOI Act(Freedom of Information Act) that requires "Agents" etc to disclose clearly in easily understood words things like the terms of agreement of the kind you "had".

I suspect you would have the right to sue these people under this Act.!
Just happy to be here.........
#39 Feb 23rd, 2006, 12:53
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#39
You could hire some of your own gonda's for less money ?

I see the makings of a great reality tv show here......I haven't got the name yet. We'll have a film crew follow you around and tape you as you walk the streets of Bangalore in fear for your life.

Jumping at the sounds of dogs barking......you've said you can sing a little, so we can even do it bollywood style, you know break into a song while waitting on the kettle to boil.

Can you dance
#40 Feb 23rd, 2006, 17:22
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#40

The Final Verdict

Well they arrived at my fiance's place of work unbeknown to her, met the boss there, got the predicted dressing down and settled on 8k after admitting they should have made the terms clear!

To think I could have been gullible here and just paid up to get rid of them!

It just goes to show that it doesn't always matter if "this is the way it is done in our country" , if you stand up to stupidity then you can prevail.

Paagla, I'm not sure what your problem is here? Is it a case of your back getting up because I'm having a go at something Indian and you think I should just sit back and stop tampering with the ways of the country or what? I'm not having a go at this practice because it is an Indian practice, I'm having a go at it because it is a shoddy and outrageous practice and it doesn't make one bit of difference what part of the world I am in.

I could list a lot more shoddy practices that happen to be Indian but believe me there are a ton of practices in England that are outrageous beyond belief and I've fought most of those too, suffered defeats and had winnings!

Because of my attitude and perhaps arrogance, these guys will now make their terms completely clear to all clients black or white. Now thats a good thing for Indians and foreigners alike so you should get off your soapbox and thank me for it!

Case Closed!

Scub, I really wish you hadn't mentioned a kettle boiling because now I feel compelled to write a long post called Getting A Gas Connection In India (How Difficult Could That Be?)

Cheers
Malc
#41 Feb 23rd, 2006, 18:21
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#41

I am a real estate agent

and you made me angry regarding towaards your fellings to these guys!!!OF COURSE YOU SHOULD PAY THEM BECAUSE THEY SHOWED YOU THE APARTMENT THAT YOU RENTED!!!!!MY DEAR!!!!!!!!!It is your problem if you will make a signed contract with the landlord or not. The agents have the right to get one rent from you and one rent from the landlord!!!!!!!!!Otherwise you shouldn`t visit their office darling and instead have tried to look an apartment all alone by yourself!!!!!

At last you must learn sometime to pay the obligations you owe
#42 Feb 23rd, 2006, 18:33
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#42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pantelis and you made me angry regarding towaards your fellings to these guys!!!OF COURSE YOU SHOULD PAY THEM BECAUSE THEY SHOWED YOU THE APARTMENT THAT YOU RENTED!!!!!MY DEAR!!!!!!!!!It is your problem if you will make a signed contract with the landlord or not. The agents have the right to get one rent from you and one rent from the landlord!!!!!!!!!Otherwise you shouldn`t visit their office darling and instead have tried to look an apartment all alone by yourself!!!!!

At last you must learn sometime to pay the obligations you owe
Firstly I'm most definitely not your darling

Ok so you are an estate agent, in Greece I presume? So when a client comes to you, do you tell them your terms and conditions or do you just expect them to know what your terms and conditions are and start showing them properties? If you do the latter then you could find yourself very out of pocket as these guys have today! I really think you don't know the position here, office? What office, who mentioned an office? A phonecall was made by a friend and a guy showed up on a moped, he has had 8k for 3 hours work, thats more than many folk here earn in a month.

A written contract is a contract, a verbal contract is a contract, I had neither with these guys so how can I possibly owe them anything, not even seen a business card, don't know their names. They've still not been paid so unless they come along with company printed receipt stating that this finalises everything then they still won't get a rupee!

Have a feeling this thread might go on a little longer yet!

Malc
#43 Feb 23rd, 2006, 18:58
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#43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H Money is the lifeblood of India. Nobody does stuff for free (except your best friends and family. Maybe). If your auto driver had taken you to the flat he would have expected something. It is the way it goes on.

It is a shock to know that someof these smiling faces are calculating what they may earn from that smile. But it is true, and sometimes even people "close to you" will have an eye to the possible financial implications of the relationship. Welcome to India! There are some illusions to be shattered!

I once asked why, after dropping money on the floor, a Hindu will pray over it. I was told that money is like God.
so u mean to say, will a cab driver in new york/london etc would help u rent an apartment for free??? You mean to say, people in other countries to do stuff for free? Come one this is worst comment one can post, money is wht drives most ppl in the world. Doesn’t matter which country they belong to, there are some who go after money, while for some money isn’t that important.

Can you tell me what money Indian army men got for giving us free tea at chang la?

If a Hindu drops a book he will pick it up and pray for it. That means education is also a god, infect it is considered as a goddess and so is money and water, fire, sun, air, earth and the list goes on.

So before you post a comment like this and try to generalize a whole country, look what you and your fellow countrymen do!
#44 Feb 23rd, 2006, 19:31
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#44
Well believe it or not, yes people in other countries do indeed do lots of things for free to help a fellow human being.

I was recently in a hire car in the dark having just landed at Sofia, not only do I not speak any Bulgarian, I cannot read Cyrillic alphabet either so I was lost as I possibly could be, knew where I had to go, could see it on the map and I knew it was approx 160kms away but that was it, I just could not make out the signposts.

So I pulled in to a garage and tried to speak to another chap there filling up with petrol who had a tiny bit of English, I managed to explain by pointing on that map where I had to go and he pointed to the best road to take. Then he explained that I should follow him all through the traffic and he would put his hazard lights on to tell me when I was on the correct highway, then he would turn off and head back to his home which was the other direction. I offered him some money but he absolutely refused saying i was a welcome guest in his country! It was 15km before that guy put his hazard lights on and I was deeply touched by the kindness and generosity of a guy in a beaten up car who didn't appear very well off (ok you cant always tell). This is a country that is just as poverty stricken as India and I never once during my week there had anything but kindness and help shown me without a hint of an alterior motive!

Twice I have been to the US and had the same treatment, several times to Ireland where I think the most kindest and helpful people in the world live, in fact I have been shown kindness without reward in virtually every country I have been to including India. But, wouldn't it be lovely one day if I could walk down MG Road and somebody would walk up to me and ask me what I'm looking for or if they can help me and actually mean it?

Wouldn't it be great to wander along the Ghats in Varanasi and have someone tell you how a funeral works without dropping the punchline of his silk shop ten minutes later in return for his kindness, this is not kindness, this is unkindness!

A few lessons for the rest of India could however be learnt from the Darjeeling area and Sikkim where not once was I hassled or conned by anybody and people were constantly helpful and kind! This practice pays off in the long term, I noticed one morning that a guy who'd helped us find our hotel was running a little handicraft shop in town and had not made any mention of it the night before. I made it my duty to visit his shop and make some purchases. THATS the way it should work!

Oh and by the way, this Saturday I am flying a waiter from a nearby restaurant to Chennai with us and then on down to Pondycherry. He can't quite believe it, he has never done anything particularly for us but has shown us kindness and helped us find places to get things and has never asked us for anything either in his restaurant or outside of it. He has never been on a plane before and never dreamed he ever would and doesn't understand why we would want to spend 2800rs on a flight for him when he considers himself to be of low caste and poor! What do I get for doing this? Nothing! What do I want to get for this? Nothing! How wil he ever repay us for this? He never has to! So why the hell am I doing this? Because he is a human being that earns much less than I do purely through Geography and he has shown help and kindness to me that was worth a lot more to me than perhaps it seemed to him!

Get my point?

Malc
#45 Feb 23rd, 2006, 19:51
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#45
Pantellis: see my post No 35 in this thread.

In UK estate agents charge commision to the landlord/seller. Actually it is against the law to charge "keymoney" in UK. Estate agents thyere still make a lot of money, often for not a lot of work. Some give very good service. Many are just not interested in anything other than an easy sale. Not hte most popular profession.

UK Auctioneers are on to a good thing because they charge money the seller and the buyer.

Yogesh, I should hate to give the impression that I have never received pure kindness without any other motive here in India. That would be wrong. Not only have people gone outr of their way to give me directions, but also drivers who are being paid to drive have gone much further in finding people, acting as interpretor.

I'm afraid your own post is much more damning of Indian people than mine.

You have painted India as the ever-open hand much more so than I did or intended to do!

Quote:
so u mean to say, will a cab driver in new york/london etc would help u rent an apartment for free??? You mean to say, people in other countries to do stuff for free?
You see how you are assuming that this is how it is the world over?

No. A taxi driver will not expect money for pointing out a house that is for sale. If his friend, the seller, has has promised him something for promoting it that is another matter, but if he asked money to take a buyer/renter there he'd expect and get nothing but abuse.
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