Friday, January 06, 2012

Dagalti

An interesting phenomena on duping that happens in Madras in Bangalore was pointed out to me by a family member. And then I started observing it with alarming regularity.

Lets say you go to a petrol bank and put fuel for Rs 100. You give the guy Rs 500 and you see him counting four 100 rupee notes to give back to you. He counts four 100s. He makes sure you see him count four 100s. He gives you the money. You think you've got Rs 400 back. In reality he has given you only three 100s. The other one by some sleight of hand is still with him. He relies on the trust he has established with you by counting so clearly in front of you to make you not double check the note count. If you trust him and put the money in your pocket without counting and leave - the guy pockets Rs 100. If you don't trust him and he sees you counting the money again and you reach the third hundred and give the confused look, he will be waiting hand outstretched with the fourth Rs 100. He pretends that he is giving you the last 100 separately. Like it was unintentional and matter-of-fact absent mindedness.

I noticed that this happened both in Bangalore and Madras quite consistently.

That leads us to an interesting story, which can only happen to the likes of me. There is a petrol bank in the intersection of Venkat Narayana road and Mt. Road. Its on Mt Round right before you take a left into V. Narayana road. My cousin and I were driving two separate scooters and we both put petrol for Rs 100 each. So total cost is Rs 200. I hand out Rs 500 and see the guy counting three 100 rupees. He hands over the money to me. I start counting it. There are only two 100s. I smile as I see him stretching out his hand a giving me another 100.

After we reach home I gloat about this to my cousin. Tell him how easily observable this ruse is. He looks a bit curious and asks me, "why did you pay Rs 200, I thought you only put petrol for Rs 100". And then I told him "thats because I paid for you as well". He then shouts at me angrily " you idiot! don't you have to tell me that. I paid Rs 100 as well"

8 comments:

amas said...

That is why you should use the credit card, but then you will learn of a bigger scam :-)
amas32

Alan Smithee said...

That is why you should fill up in whole number of liters and not rupees.

Anonymous said...

There are other frauds too.
Whenever you fill oil in an indian oil bunk, you will notice them trying to distract you. For instance, they will ask you to verify the zero mark on the meter. I found out that the aim there is to cut back on the oil filled. They only fill 50ml.

Recently, I went to another indian oil bunk. I wanted them to fill for 500Rs. They filled for 100Rs initially and I reminded them the requirement is for 500Rs. Same distraction at that point of time enquiring about my credit card etc. This time, the meter stopped at 400Rs. If I was careless, I would have assumed he had reset the meter, but I know he hadnt. Thankfully, there is always a bill/receipt confirming this.

Why is this happening. The only reason is poverty. When there is no trickle down, the middle class is robbed/cheater from both the top and bottom. The only solution I can think of is higher wages, but the result of that would be un-manned petrol bunks :)

Sreekrishnan said...

When you use a credit card, you don't swipe it yourselves, some one else does it. Now at some places they swipe Rs 100 or 200 more. If you don't notice the petrol station pockets it. If you do, they offer to fill the extra 100 when you never wanted to in the first place.

It happened to me - i made them pay me back in Cash. (he was reluctant because CC swipe - to Cash back is a cost for him) but i said i don't want and ill call the bank to report fraud immediately. He agreed to pay me in Cash.

Bangalore - Chennai Highway after that town famous for Biryani... forgot the name. ..

ansh said...

credit card makes our way easy.....but we have to careful use it....
love sms

I am a ComplexNumber said...

Good one....:) I always love the twist at the end...big fan of Jeffrey Archer movies...

Aaana...looks like that is my Friend's petrol bunk...

Let me see if I can memorize that area map...
Sh*t I need help from locals these days to memorize chennai maps...
Google to the rescue

hari said...

I always fill up the tank only at a known petrol bunk (one or two) and always pay by debit card which gives me an SMS immediately of the amount withdrawn. And they swipe in my presence.

Since I own a car, I don't know about the practice of bike owners. But I guess bike owners usually buy petrol for Rs. 100 or 200 at a time.

Anonymous said...

true.
While we are done, and still ON the two-wheeler ready to re-count the change the gun-boy gave, he rushes you to move on, as ur blocking his next customer...and when u ask for '10s' or '20s' as change, they tuck in damaged notes as well...during the summer, the gunboys smell of sweat and they come dangerously close to u while filling..this may embarass womenfolks...lots of such issues mate.
shivoham