Saturday, March 11, 2006

Time-share Touts and others who won't leave you alone

I receive an e-mail as follows:

'I have just returned to the UK after a memorable holiday in Palma Nova.
My family and I regularly visit Spain and Mallorca in particular, as often as four times a year, and during the winter months we love to visit the Palma Nova area.
Regrettably, I must say that "street touts" (time share and holiday club sales people) offering scratch cards and surveys are spoiling the resorts. My family were continually approached by these people who refuse to be put off and even shout abuse if you fail to stop. I actually saw one English man being restrained by his family members because he was about to attack a street tout.
These people are a desperate nuisance who take away much of the charm of the area and any steps to outlaw this practice would be really appreciated by visitors.
I do hope that somehow, something can be done - Geoff'

In our own fair corner of Almeria, street touts are still just a twinkle in the eye, but we are beginning to attract other unwelcome guests, notably the pernicious accordion players from the eastern states. If only they knew some decent tunes – but incessant rounds of ‘jingle bells’ and ‘New York New York’ all the way through the season, plus a cap being thrust under your nose as you try to relax with a coffee, is a regular pain in the ass. We may also receive attention during the summer from deaf nick-nack vendors, looki looki men, flower sellers, poets, gypsy women with twists of rosemary plus, of course, the usual round of lunatics, nutters and oddballs that feel obliged to 'pick you up'.
Returning to property-sales, the worst ‘hard-sell’ techniques belong to those outfits with liveried cars shooting around with a white-faced couple in the back (I always imagine the inside door handles have been removed). The victims are flown out, harried at all times and may find they were, like the time-share types, given little chance to decide for themselves.
The Spanish view is simple: as long as the foreigners just stick to questionable tactics or rip-offs against other foreigners… we’ve got better things to do.

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