Surviving the Rip-off Squads of Nairobi
In Nairobi they will attempt to rip you off your money. That is a given. It doesn’t matter which part of Nairobi, or which type of setting; a hospital or a local convenience shop, somebody somewhere will attempt to charge you up-to ten times more than what should be.
It hurts when you discover that you paid three times more than what you should. I have once been a victim; I had a broken tooth, I needed a dental procedure called crowning. They needed to place a crown over my broken tooth. The first dentist I went to asked for KES 140,000 for a porcelain crown. After asking around a friend referred me to a dentist who fixed on me a porcelain crown for KES 30,000. This is just one example, I have numerous others: a friend who was asked for KES 400,000 for a gearbox for his vehicle, he later bought the same for KES 60,000, a neighbor who bought 6 tablets of paracetamol for a thousand shillings, and many more. Bottom line is that in Nairobi traders will attempt to overcharge you or sell to you something fake. How can you escape?
How do you escape from the rip-off squad?
- Use referrals whenever possible. Call around and let friends and relatives refer you to service providers that have served them satisfactorily.
- Window-shop, get to know the prices from many other sources before you make a decision.
- Get to know the product or service you want to buy. Sometimes they will sell to you a fake for the price of an original.
- Buy only from credible outlets, outlets that mind their reputation.