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Georgia


Aug 22, 2004, 11:32 PM

Post #26 of 42 (2993 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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Just trying to keep the record straight, Pete.

By the way, a cruise line recently was the target of a class action suit (I think it was Royal Caribbean, but I'm not sure) for pocketing improperly collected taxes.

Go get 'em, Pete. Try looking at their website for their corporate officers - send a letter, etc. etc. to the big wigs. Annoy them.


Papirex


Aug 23, 2004, 9:42 AM

Post #27 of 42 (2980 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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Pete, if you send another Email to the airline you might want to send ccís to your congresspersons. http://www.webslingerz.com/jhoffman/congress-email.html Even if your representatives donít take an interest in this problem, it might give a heads up to the airline when they see who you have sent your complaint to, that maybe they better take an interest in being honest.

I did that a few years ago when I was having problems with a couple of my pension plans. I donít know if it did any good, but I knew it sure couldnít hurt.

Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


Georgia


Aug 23, 2004, 3:16 PM

Post #28 of 42 (2961 views)

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Re: [RexC] Taxes

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Better yet, e-mail the fraud division of the attorney general's office in the state where you live and booked the flight. While states' attorneys general have no jurisdiction over such matters (it's federal jurisdiction) it does get some raised eyebrows.

But first, try writing (not e-mailing)
Gary Kennedy
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
American Airlines
PO Box 619616
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616

cc the letter to James A. Beer,
SUP - Finance & Chief Financfial Officer
same address

also, cc to DOT in Washington, DC. Check their website for the address.

cc your attorney general, of course.

Sit back, wait. Something will happen.


johanson


Aug 23, 2004, 9:23 PM

Post #29 of 42 (2940 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Taxes

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Thank you Georgia: Although I can not spell at least I can write. I shall somehow bring to their** attention that not only I but perhaps 1000s of persons per day are being charged this fee, that perhaps 50% of these funds are sent on to the Mexican Government and ask where the remainder goes. I will do my homework.

The weather just turned bad in my part of WA so this will help keep me busy until I return lakeside in Mid Sep

**Their=those persons you mentioned on the previous post.


Georgia


Aug 24, 2004, 5:01 AM

Post #30 of 42 (2932 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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I was so steamed with Continental when they rudely refused to return my money, that I did some research on the numbers of Americans living in Mexico as reported to the embassies and consulates here. Of course, many more never report. Doing some very lightweight analysis, I allowed for each ex-pat in my analysis to make two trips outside of Mexico per year by plane. I divided that by the number of carriers providing service from the US to Mexico and multiplied the amount of FMT tax being wrongly withheld. It's millions per carrier. In 1990 Pan American Airlines got bagged in the Lockerbie civil lawsuit for charging $10 per passenger for bogus (deliberately bogus, dogs rented from kennels to look like security bomb sniffing dogs - all they could sniff was one another). It amounted to $18 million dollars a year that went in to their general fund to prop them up when they were in financial difficulty. In the case of FMT taxes not paid over to the Mexican government, that's just what happens - it unjustly enriches the airlines. And, it's tax fraud.


N2Futur

Aug 25, 2004, 8:13 PM

Post #31 of 42 (2890 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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Pete,

(and anyone else that has run into this problem)

assuming you paid for your trip via credit card you have another recourse: disputing the charge or portion of the charge with the bank that issued the card (I used to work for Barnett Bank in FL, Visa and M/C Customer Service some 20-odd years ago). Within 60 days of charge posting to your account contact the bank via letter and copies of your documentation/letters to Airline and request a credit for the disputed amount (in this case the unfairly assessed amount of the FMT). Your bank can have this charge reversed and "charged back" to the airline.

BTW - this applies to anything charged to your credit card. If you have a problem with a purchase and you have attempted to solve the problem with the merchant "in good faith" and the merchant has failed to correct or refuses to correct the problem, you always have this recourse. The magic # is 60 DAYS - after that there is still an "arbitration" process (I used to handle those), and the merchant's bank has the option to either help or blow you off.....

And by the way Pete - no matter how small the amount - I pursue stuff like that too - because if people like us don't.... (my dad taught me that - and my dad has the $$$ (oops Euro's) and it really shouldn't matter for such a minute amount- but to him it is the principle of the whole thing.... old school....

Elke
___________________________
"When choosing between two evils, I always like to pick the one I never tried before." - Mae West


johanson


Aug 25, 2004, 9:06 PM

Post #32 of 42 (2881 views)

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Re: [N2Futur] Taxes

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You are so right Elke. Good to hear from you. Oh I just picked up an HDTV receiver so that I too (like you) will be able to watch HDTV in Mexico, both with the big dish and with Star Choice. (I TV in 4 sold this year in the US will be HDTV yet many of us older folks have no idea what one is)

Back to business. I'm going to sit back a few days more to see if AA will even answer the email I sent them. If not, I shall follow Georgia's advise and send out the appropriate letters via mail. And I make this personal post to get the attention of those going to Mexico. It's been raining like mad here in the WA back country. We've had almost 9 cm in the last 24 of rain in 24 hours and its only 13 C out.

Remember that in Mexico they use a more modern system of measurement than we do in the states. They use the Metric system. What are there, besides the US, two primitive African Countries that still use our old fashioned system of measurement? I can't remember. But there aren't many countries left, and in many US schools the young kids are learning the new world measurement system. I think Canada converted in 1974.

So folks learn about the metric system, you will need it. The road signs, speedometers, thermometers, you name it are different, in the rest of the world.



Bubba

Aug 25, 2004, 9:15 PM

Post #33 of 42 (2879 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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Pete:

If I send you $20 will you just knock it off?


ncferret

Aug 26, 2004, 2:35 AM

Post #34 of 42 (2869 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Taxes

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I want Georgia on MY side if I ever have a legal problem :)


Georgia


Aug 26, 2004, 6:12 AM

Post #35 of 42 (2861 views)

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Re: [N2Futur] Taxes

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Right about going after those small amounts: it's not just your own $20 - it's the collective effect of everyone's contribution. And besides, imagine if you could choose between two AA flights, same plane, same itinerary and one was $20 cheaper - which would you choose? Are you giving it away to be generous to the airline? These little hidden scams are big businesses' way of appearing to be giving you a good deal while maintaining their bottom line. Just say no.


Bubba

Aug 26, 2004, 8:36 AM

Post #36 of 42 (2844 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Taxes

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I knew a wine distrubutor in California who grossed an extra $40,000 a year by overcharging in his billing in amounts small enough to slip under computer billing error tolerances.

I take it my offer of $20 to get Pete off this kick is not going to work. Oh, well.


Georgia


Aug 26, 2004, 9:19 AM

Post #37 of 42 (2834 views)

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Re: [Bubba] Taxes

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One of the supreme joys of my life was to prosecute a low life building contractor who billed bogus "taxes" for our state to his customers. In this way, he jacked up his prices by pocketing the "taxes", but looked competetive. After all, it was the state that was charging them, not him. He lost. The customers were clueless. We caught it on a routine audit of his books. Mucho dinero.


johanson


Aug 27, 2004, 10:43 AM

Post #38 of 42 (2799 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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Well I got the following reply from American Airlines. They sure changed their position with me. I think I am going to keep pushing this to make them feel guilty about taking funds from those who do not complain.



You see, we are required by the Mexican Government to collect all appropriate taxes
associated with your travel plans into and out of Mexico. This means that if your
ticket is issued over the phone with our reservations personnel or via the website,
the tax is included since we cannot visually see your Mexican visa at the time of
ticketing.

However, when we have an opportunity to visually examine the Mexican Visa, our
airport personnel will be glad to refund the tourism tax. Without visual examination
of the Mexican visa, the fee will be collected.

In the future may I suggest that you present your Mexican visa to our airport
personnel and ask that the tourism tax be refunded. We will be glad to comply when
these entry documents are examined. It will be our pleasure to welcome you aboard
again soon


Uncle Jack


Aug 27, 2004, 10:52 AM

Post #39 of 42 (2796 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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I'd sure carry a copy of that in my FM3.


jennifer rose

Aug 27, 2004, 11:17 AM

Post #40 of 42 (2792 views)

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Re: [johanson] Taxes

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since we cannot visually see your Mexican visa at the time of
ticketing.

Is there any other method of sight, like with the agent's tongue or ears?


Georgia


Aug 28, 2004, 6:15 AM

Post #41 of 42 (2767 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Taxes

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It's airline-speak. Actually, they apparently "see" in other ways, such as, "I see this consumer is going to spend more man hours on the part of our customer service people than the illegally withheld tax is worth, better give Scrooge his pittance." This kind of "seeing" is not done visually, but viscerally. Actually, very low in the viscera.


Georgia


Aug 28, 2004, 6:20 AM

Post #42 of 42 (2766 views)

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Re: [johanson] Way to go, Pete!

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Now, carry that letter with you whenever to travel to Mexico on AA. Actually you should ask for written instructions for the agent at the counter to follow when you arrive for your flight. This is what I do with Continental: I make my reservation, the tax is included, I go for my flight, hand them the "letter from my mother (aka their DOT liaison) explaining what the agent should do, and the tax is refunded to my credit card. Delta also does it this way, but you don't need the letter, they apparently train their agents. Northwest gave up on me, and they just don't charge the tax in the first place. Too much trouble for them. He he.

Isn't it fun???
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