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Chinese Street Masseurs at Plaza de Santa Ana
Like all con merchants and charlatans, these Chinese street masseurs can be found at popular tourist spots in Madrid such as Plaza de Santa Ana and Plaza Mayor.
My wife and I got conned by them.
We were walking around Plaza de Santa Ana one evening and we were approached by a man and wife from Peking who were masseurs. They told us it would be 10 euros each for a massage so we agreed. We even asked them twice about the price to be certain.
We sat down and they started our massages. They started on our head, shoulders and backs, then moved down to our legs. When they start to massage your legs, they reveal a chart which depicts a diagram of the human body with price brackets from head to toe. And guess what? The head starts at 10 euros, shoulders 20 euros, until you get to the feet which is 30+ euros.
Couldn't believe we fell for that one!
The chart should have been shown to us before the massage, but of course they are con merchants out to make money! After the massage we argued with them about the price, but I could see the situation was getting worse and I didn't want to spoil my holiday and upset my wife, so I paid them with a mutual agreement of 50 euros.
To be honest the massage was really good, but I hated the con element of it. I found them to be two-faced: friendly and cheerful when massaging you, then shady and accusing YOU of being wrong when you question the sudden price rise and violation of initial price agreement.
If you come across these people in Plaza de Santa Ana, IGNORE them.
If they approach you, IGNORE them.
If you want a massage, do it.... but be prepared to be scammed.
It is tough to negotiate with these people. Also you need to be careful as you don't know what they are capable of in a physical sense: i.e. put you in hospital with some black belt karate moves.
They are definitely dodgy, so be careful if you come across them and be sure to avoid them at all costs.
Unique Suggestions: Be prepared to pay double or treble of the initial agreed massage price.
Don't argue with them (for your own safety).
Just smile and enjoy the massage part... more than the scam part.
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