The most clever Czech invention ever!

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Advice' started by Viktor, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    This is only possible in the Czech Republic, for I never encountered this anywhere else in the entire world!


    In the Czech Republic, if you happen to walk in to a perfectly good and almost vacant hotel, ( without booking the room in advance through a agent, who charges the proprietor 30% commission for the booking services ), you will not only have to pay the FULL price as if it were booked by an agent, but they will also ADD a "surgarge" for the '"Last Minute Reservation" , of 15% on top of the going rate for tourists.

    This happend to me, but fortunetly, this was only around noon. Certtainly would hate to be caught late evening or night! I'm certain the price would then excalate respectively, even if the hotel was practically empty -- this was the Mercur Hotel in Jablonec n.n., with some 220 room capacity and only 5 guests (that included me) registered -- Needless to say, I got on the internet as soon as possible, and booked a diferent room/hotel in Liberec for the next few days (only a 30 minute tram ride and 15Kc fare) for about half the asking price in zakopene Jablonec. I was visitng my family graves, paying up the rental for the next 25 years and some grave maintenece, so the "people" I needed to see, were in not any hurry anyway.

    This should be listed in the Guiness Book of Records as a: Scam to scam all scams. Only in the Czech Republic. God Bless the new found capitalizm of CZ....

  2. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    This kind of thing sounds soooo typical for the Czech Republic! Since my return a year ago, I have run into so many absurdities in this country that I could write a book!
  3. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    I am surprised to hear you say that Dana, being Czech, however, I too have had my fill of their idea of democracy which seems to revolve around ripping off as many as possible. Czech tourism has suffered as a result and as one other post here claimed, "see it once, it's not the type of place you would want to frequent as a tourist"...this is due to the impressions one takes home with them, and with so many primative scams, it is not a recommended destination but for 3-4 days once in a life.

    I, however, live here and don't take crap. As my other post stated, once I receive a new menu in a restaurant, I leave, never to return nor recommend...
  4. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Yes, I'm Czech, but I was gone for a number of years during which time I gradually forgot how things are here and got used to living in what I call "normality". Coming back was quite an adjustment and I was frustrated half of the time, getting into arguments with service people, not understanding how the majority of the population can be so passive and accepting. After some six months I told myself, ok, stop getting angry and comparing things to America, it's not good for you and it's not helping anyway. So now whenever I run into yet another absurd situation, I try to imagine that I'm on some other planet that has its own ways and rules that don't necessarily have to make sense. It helps some, I can recommend it.

    Don't get me wrong, I love being here and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. During my long absence, I also became a patriot. :) I only wish I had more power to change certain things. Some of them would be so easy to change. The right people just have to get a clue. :idea:
  5. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    Well said Dana. I too have come to not expect too much from things here, and long for the respect and service that I took for granted back in the states...
  6. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

  7. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Dana, I commed for dedicating youself to implement positive changes in the Czech Republic, back to so called normalcy --perhaps like the great times of the idialistic Masarik and the 1st Republic -- That was a great dream, and it lasted but it lasted only a few years (20 years), and that is what the generation of my parents dreamed --basnily -- about the rest of their lives. If that will ever be possible?.Who knows, maybe in two or three generations down the road! I'm too old, and have been gone far too long.

    Keep in mind, that it is hard to fly with Eagles, if you are stuck in a flock of Turkeys....

    Only time will hopefully implement the desirable behavioral changes. After being politically and culturaly "oppressesed"for over 40 years, coupled with severe shortages of regular commodities, even toilet paper. The people adopted into a state of constant "survival" mode -- get all you can today, for there might not be a tomorrow (what you gonna do with all that stuff if there is no tomorrow, is beyond me. But that is the present attitute) --

    To note one very obvious observation,while in country. Seems that Czechs are obcessed with MONEY -- they are always counting it, I do not know why? But if you look around, you'll notice waiters in their "lax time" standing in the back, counting the money or small buisiness owners, out of boredom, keep recounting the money ( when business is slow ) in the cash box/register! Perhaps they have a daily goal, how much more do I need to make it today, and then do what is necessary to achieve the goal...

  8. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    gementricxs, the things I would like to see changed mostly have to do with the prevailing disrespect for or at least lack of interest in the customer, and inefficiency that still seems to permeate all areas of life. The former makes shopping and using various services an unpleasant experience. The latter either disables people from getting things done or causes them to waste a lot of time in the process. I could give many examples of bad customer service and painful inefficiency that I have run into in the past year.

    Ha ha, I have a story for you. I went to a T-Mobile store to sign up for their service, i.e. to become their customer. It was a busy time of the day, about 5:30 p.m., and a busy store (the mall at Anděl). There was a long line of people waiting to be served and ONE sales person behind the counter. Two others were somewhere in the back, occasionally popping into the store to check something on their computers and then leaving again, not paying any attention to the waiting customers. The line was not moving at all and nothing happened for at least 15 minutes during which that one sales person was stuck on helping one customer. My time was running short (I needed to leave by 6) and people were starting to grumble. When one of the service people popped in from the back room again, I caught him and asked if they could please send someone out here, there's a long line and we've been waiting for a quarter of an hour. His answer was, literally, "We can't, we're counting money". I'm not kidding! They obviously didn't realize that there'd be no money to count if there were no customers. And who on earth gives a customer an answer like that? You can call that Czech professionalism. Here's a snippet from the T-Mobile Czech Republic website: "Why to choose the T-Mobile network when you arrive in the Czech Republic? You'll get superior customer care". Obviously only after the money has been counted. :shock:
  9. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Luckily, I don't have a such experience (I go in offices very rare and choose good services only, in the meaning when I bought my notebook I checked its vendor's service quality 8)).
  10. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Finding good service is my mission. :) And I have found it, but I have also found a lot of bad service. When I have a choice, I gladly give my business to those who treat their customers well, and I'm happy to pay more for it. If I have the choice, I never return to a place where I received bad treatment or no help. But it would be exhausting and impossible to have verified the service quality of every store I happen to wander in. Good service should be automatic and should prevail in places that want my money.

    Ladis, how are you able to choose good services only?

    (By the way, I chose T-Mobile partly because I had heard good things about their customer service :wink: )
  11. Eva2

    Eva2 Well-Known Member

    send your story to a local newspaper. Only by publicly exposing theses scams will the situation improve.
  12. cecco angiolieri

    cecco angiolieri Well-Known Member

    42 years of cummunism = lost of religion , not completly bad but ....
    human beings need a God ~~~> czech have found their .... money and they adore it all the time they can... then if they can also pray instead of "bouzel praze" (work).... even better!!!

    that's a bad joke but it seems to me so close to the real day life in Prague.... customer care is a word that don't belong to the dictionary of a big big big share of the workers in here and i think ( sick ) that generations have to come before the things will change.... kids nowadays are influenced by parents whose cultural background is still the old one..... and the motto "steal to the state or you are stealing to your family" have been adapted to the changed situation... and it still have lots of supporters.

    The environment in czech lands is hostile to a naive westener( read tourist)... and ppl is always ready to rip off a smiling cizinski(foreigner) or a lucky czech that didn't suffer in here but preferred a confortable exile in a rich western country! :lol:

    beg pardon for my cracking english

    god bless old europe and vive la nouvelle europe!

    Cecco <~~~ not czech :lol:
  13. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    I ask my friends, however, my only big experience about this was with my notebook.
  14. KJP

    KJP Well-Known Member

    Dana, I chose Oscar because I've heard bad things about T-Mobile's customer service! It started I think two years ago when they took their free SMS via the net service off, spurring a one day boycott of their company. Now they seem a wise choice for those willing to sign long contracts or prepay, however, Oskar made a wise move in keeping free sms via the net for its customers.

    Now if expats would just understand that e-banka is not free, as they advertise. Keep a minimum of 15k in their bank , and you don't pay to have the account open, however, you still pay through the nose to withdraw, transfer, the tune of the highest rates of any czech bank...a pre vietnam US banking model! :lol:
  15. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member


    No need for that, the word seems to have gotten around. I even stopped wearing the: " Praha, Czech Republic", tee shirt I purchased there, since whille wearing the tee, complete strangers would approach me, and unload their "unpleasant experiences" in CZ, finishing with; never again for my money!...

    However, unfortunetly,I'm yet to encounter ONE person, who had a positive comment about their visit to CZ and that they would be willing to return... The Czech Republic will continue to be a "destination of choice" for the young Europeans, in search of cheep beer, rental women and become the Bankok of Europe!
  16. lindsova

    lindsova Member

    I guess I am the ONE person then. My first visit was in December 1999. I fell in love with the history, architecture, culture and tradition. Which is all lacking in my Northern Ontario hometown. Last year my partner (originally Czech) and I bought an old farmhouse with a vineyard and orchard in Southern Moravia. We are remodelling and working. We planted 100 red grape vines and 10 new fruit trees already. We still have our place in Canada, but I have to tell you that I enjoy it more and more here. I didn't come here to shop, or drink beer, or rent anything. I didn't expect to be in a little United States of America. I studied the history and came to expect that it will be completely different than home.
  17. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    Make that two. From what I can see, those who use this thread for complaining about customer service are making two mistakes:

    1. Focusing on Prague. Prague is a city for tourists, and its center consists mainly of tourist traps. Tourist traps exist to rip people off, and this applies both in Václavské náměstí and the Grand Canyon. If you don't want to be ripped off, go were the locals go. Or, even better, get out of the least Czech city in the whole Czech Republic.

    2. Expecting Western-style service. Try to understand, that waitresses, salesmen, and other service-level people would rather be doing many things rather than sell you something. They work to live, and not the reverse. Unlike in other places, Czechs don't pretend to care if you enjoyed your meal, or if you're satisfied with phone service, and I appreciate their honesty. Their honesty makes them more human, and I frankly pity service workers who are obligated to constantly smile and otherwise worship at the temple of the customer. The culture of workaholism fostered in America, or Germany is a double-bladed sword: everyone always hurries, and becomes very upset at the slightest delay. So, my advise for those who have to wait fifteen minutes to buy phone credit: relax, and try to adapt to the Czech mentality.
  18. meluzina

    meluzina Well-Known Member

    add me as the third then -

    i've run into less bureaucracy, friendlier, more upfront people than i did in my 30+ years in the u.s.

    but then, i am not in prague and i rerely venture into tourist areas :)
  19. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    That's great -- now I heard from three people positive comments about the Czech Republic -- Good luck to you in your new home. Personally, I prefer to get 100 cents for every dollar. Hence, in my opinion, the value of services in the Czech Republic is just too far out of the "normal" price range one is expected to pay as a tourist anywhere; $285 USD for dinner?

    Again good luck, and let us know how you are making out in your new home 12 months from now -- after you have returned to reality! I'm willing to bet, that your enthusiasm has vained a bit by then, unless you have very deep pockets, then it will take longer for yout banker to send you a "insufficient funds" notice!

    Just wonder, how much it cost you to "plant" those 10 trees - as compared to the US or Canada?

  20. lindsova

    lindsova Member

    Do you think that reality only exists in Yuma, USA?

    I am happy here; I have been for the last year. That's all that matters.

    I will not try to convince you that Yuma is not the best place in the world, and you don't have to worry about convincing me that Southern Moravia is not the best place in the world.

    Not everything is measured in dollars and cents. At least not for me.

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