I Was Forced to Accept “Pay in your own Currency”. What Can I do now?

Do not accept Dynamic Currency Conversion or Pay in your currency!

If you were forced to accept “pay in your own currency” or “dynamic currency conversion” when making a purchase, rest assured you have methods to address the problem.

By “forced”, I mean that the merchant authorized the transaction under DCC and “refused” either through his inability to understand your language, or his inability to understand the concept behind DCC which prevented you from getting the transaction voided and authorized correctly.

Merchant staff are taught that DCC is a “convenience” for the customer; it is in the customer’s “best interest” to pay in their currency.  They are also taught that you are really paying in the local currency, their machine is only showing you what you will pay when the charge appears on your account.  All of this is incorrect and untrue of course, but I have found that employees are NOT trained correctly regarding DCC.

And I don’t mean to infer that only the “mom and pop” stores didn’t understand DCC.  My wife and I had problems with the HARD ROCK HOTEL!  I tried to explain that I wasn’t signing the ticket until it was voided and run correctly.  After a few minutes of arguing I gave up because they were playing the language game of “not understanding” me.

Then my wife appeared — who is Thai, and wasn’t going to let them play the language game with her in her native language.  She stood her ground and demanded that they find someone in the HardRock that would make it right.  After the third person she argued with, the fourth understood — and voided the transaction and charged it correctly as THAI BAHT.

Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a copy of the before-and-after HARDROCK receipt.  The difference was less than $5USD — which to some of you, might think we are crazy to argue this point over such a small amount.

However — I believe three things:  1) We CAN argue the point because my wife is Thai and there are no language issues;  2) we SHOULD argue the point so tourists stop getting ripped off because we have forced the hotel to educate their cashiers; and 3) we LIVE HERE; and we use our card every day. $5 here, $5 there, $3 here, $20 over there … all adds up.

Do not accept Dynamic Currency Conversion or Pay in your currency!  I want to show an example here of another DCC problem we had when purchasing a new mattress for our bed.

When we purchased the mattress, we handed the card to the cashier and CLEARLY told them “Pay in Thai Baht” — the same thing we tell every merchant when we use a card.

They didn’t listen of course, and you can see the charge for $1239.37.  We refused to sign, and they had to locate a manager which took a while.  He refunded the charge (the -$1,239.37).

Then he charged us CORRECTLY in Thai Baht.  $1,168.39.  A difference of $70.98USD!!  If we had not stood our ground, we would have been ripped of for $70.98USD on one purchase.

So now that you understand the problem, what can you do:

1.  Argue.  Refuse to sign the ticket until they process your credit card “as if it were a local bank card”.

2.  If that doesn’t work, you can INITIATE A CHARGEBACK.  That is the subject of part two.

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