At the Players Cafe in Liberia, Costa Rica, Marc Anderson had to fork over a bundle when he bought breakfast at the airport. His order consisted of four coffees, two orange juices, one bottled water, one bagel, two English muffin sandwiches, and one Denver omelette.
The cost? $92.84.
Certain this was just a mistake, Anderson questioned the waiter, who confirmed that yes, $92.84 was indeed the total.
Anderson admits he was in a hurry, and made the mistake of not converting Colones into dollars. But there is really no excuse for an establishment ripping off travelers this blatantly. To add insult to injury, the English muffin sandwiches weren’t even edible.
As a comparison, when checking online menus (such as Dunkin’ Donuts, and Sybil’s Omelettes, U.S. companies) the prices were as follows:
Orange juice: $3.00
English muffin sandwiches: $3.99
Denver omelette: $8.50
Of course, prices vary, but just for comparison purposes, these are in the general ballpark. Using these prices, Anderson’s breakfast would have cost $34.83. This seems reasonable to feed four people.
One of the posters on our forum looked up a rating site and found the Players Cafe had an onslaught of terrible reviews, so Anderson isn’t the first to get ripped off.
In addition to what Anderson called “ridiculous” prices, the restaurant also adds a 10 percent service fee, and a 13 percent sales tax.
Here are a few more reviews for your reading pleasure:
“$5 coffee! $7 for a bottle of water!”
“$25 usd for 2 Coronas!”
“$200 lunch for three people – 3 waters for $20.”
“My beer and hamburger cost $28.”
“$43 for 3 slices of pizza and a coke!”
“$12 Coronas, $20 burgers; do NOT eat here,” and finally,
“Bad food; very expensive; obnoxiously noisy. Check your bill. They added things we did not order.”
“When traveling internationally, many times places in touristy areas, including airports, will have two prices for items,” on of our advocates notes. “One in their local currency and one in dollars. You should always pay in the local currency — whether it is with cash or a credit card — as it is usually a bit cheaper and sometimes substantially cheaper, because they know they can rip off tourists paying in US Dollars.”
She had some very good advice for travelers: “A strong suggestion for anyone who can’t do the foreign currency conversions in their head is to just get a free foreign currency app for their phone to quickly convert anything so you know exactly what you’ll be paying.”
That would have come in handy for Anderson, who went to the Players Cafe — and got played.