Travel Thieves

by: Darol Dickinson - 1997

Nineteen Ninety Six was a year that I racked up massive amounts of mileage. I hear about problems involving car jackers and rapists, but neither one of these have ever approached me. Home grown Texas Longhorn corral dust has vibrated off of my tennis shoes, from Seattle to Baltimore, Houston to Minneapolis, and back and forth a few times. The registered cattle business was good to our family in 1996, it has been one of the best years ever. But, one thing has really bothered me, that is the little "hidden travel thieves." I rent a car (my favorite is Dollar Rent A Car), or a motel with a confirmed reservation at a specific price. When I get ready to check out or return the car, it seems like the final costs always scare me and I can't believe it is the original confirmation I agreed upon. I always look over the list and confuse the desk clerk into explaining to me the best they can, every fee they have charged. At a recent Inn, in Maryland, I was charged $21 for an eleven minute phone call two states away. The desk clerk could not tell me why the call was $21, nearly $2 per minute! Obviously there had been a mark up. The same hotel charged $1 for each local call that did not even answer. I found the louder I protested the exorbitant mark up in telephone fees, the quicker the desk clerk was able to reduce some of the amounts, as the checkout line increased behind me. I am of the opinion that hotels do a pretty serious rip off when we conveniently start dialing numbers on our room phone. I believe calling cards and cell phones are major savings from some hotel rip offs.

Police Rip-off

When I checked in my car at the DFW airport the fee also scared me when I found Dallas has an 8% "airport tax" and an extra 10% state tax on rental cars Thats an 18% mark up in taxes. At the Phoenix airport, it was 14.05% tax on a rental car. At JFK it was 13¼%.

I checked out of a hotel in Washington DC and there is a state "bed tax"of 13%. This is above the local tax, city tax and state tax. This is just a state "bed tax". Daytona Beach, Florida has an 11% state "bed tax" and the winner of the highest tax (that I am aware of) was downtown San Antonio, Texas with a 15% Texas state "bed tax", plus state taxes and local taxes.

I have understood for a long time, that local highway patrolmen watch for out of state travelers coming down long steep hills a little too fast. The out of state motorists pay as much local fines as possible on these little traps. The more I travel, the more I become aware of the "travel thieves."

Here is my final conclusion. Don't let the thieves get you. If you are traveling the nation, hunting good quality Texas Longhorn cattle or BueLingo herd sires, just give us a call here at Dickinson Cattle Company. Or you can check out our online pricelist that usually has over a hundred cattle for sale. You can purchase your own cattle by check or credit card and they can be delivered right to your corral. We do not charge "airport taxes", "speeding tickets", "bed taxes", or tricky telephone markup fees. At DCC, we are making it easy for every producer to buy the highest quality stock with the least amount of pain. Demand your investment to be 100% good genetics, without tipping the local "road agents."