Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nickel and Dimed: A Postscript

The other day I was carping here about being relentlessly nickel-and-dimed at the Westin Hotel during my loooooong few days in Long Beach, Calif. Here's a postscript:

Delighted to be headed home today, from LAX, I stopped at a gas station at Century blvd. and LaCienega to fill up the rental car before returning it to Avis.

First thing that pops up on the gas-pump display screen when I swipe my credit card: "There is a service fee of 45 cents for this purchase."



James said...


At least they're honest about it. One thing that irks me is how the credit card companies take a percentage of each transaction, resulting in higher prices for everyone, including cash customers.

ChefNick said...

Well, that's the thing, Joe, isn't it? I was frequently amazed when reading stories about the NY mafia in the 70s . . . the way they made their money was so mundane . . . selling stolen cigarettes, hijacking a shipment of shrimp . . . but that's really how they made their money! That's how they made their living, with nickel-and dime-deals.

Not a spectacular "heist" every few weeks or so . . . just nickel-and-diming to death. Stolen credit cards, a few swindles here, a few there . . .

What actually differentiates them from the people who, say, preside over the tourist industry or the airlines? Or the banks or the gas stations?

One word: "Nothing."