I received help from a person at the bus stop.
I got off the bus in Monteria, Colombia. My guidebook did not have any information on
the city, but I wanted to stop for the night. I was instantly surrounded by people
wanting to help me find a hotel. The one man seemed honest, so I followed him to
a close hotel. The price was triple what I wanted to pay, and he seem to believe that
all Gringos did not care. I was having a problem. I wanted to pay 7,000 a night.
He seem to have a problem. Another man heard this and said that the Embajador
hotel was that price. I followed this man for 2 blocks. We passed the Embajador,
and went to a DIVE. He went ahead and talked with the owner. I understood the
system and knew that he was arranging his commission. This was fine, as long
as he helped me. The room was 7,000 and terrible. I said no, and they all looked
at me like I was unreasonable. I promptly told him, that I did not need his help,
and that I would look on my own.
I than went to the next hotel, The Embajador.
He followed me, and tried to talk to the owner. I hollered at him, and told him to
leave, and that he was a thief. I did this for the owners sake, not because I was
hotel seem perfect, and I did not want the owner to raise the price. I got a room
for 7,000, clean, nice, and safe.
The bottom line, is be careful, everyone is just want to make money. This is great
and helpful, if the service they provide is a benefit. If on the other hand they only
make the price higher, than it is not a service. I have found that it is best to NOT allow
people to talk for you. I always go with the person, and talk so I can hear the
if they want to talk alone. Generally there is a problem, and be careful. Have a
price in mind, and stick to it, they want to rent a room. If there prices change all the
time, than you will have to negotiate. The best hotels have their prices posted for
to see, and they do not change.
I had a taxi driver try the same tactic in Sinecelo, and after I followed him,
when he told me to wait in the taxi. He knew that I was not going to allow a scam.
The next hotel, he did not even go in with me. I did make sure to carry my bags
with me, and not leave them in the taxi.
Trust you instincts, but be careful. Sometimes they will help you, and sometimes
they will con you. Have in mind what is a good price for you, and stick to it.