Would you pay $30 for a hot dog? A Ground Zero food vendor is under fire for charging outrageous amounts of money for food, taking advantage of locals and tourists who want to grab a bite to eat. According to the Washington Times, Ahmed Mohammed has been known to charge $15, $20, or even $30 for food items — from pretzels to hot dogs — in recent weeks.
One local, a man named David, remembered trying to buy a pretzel from the vendor, and when he was told the price, he nearly fell over.
“I said, ‘What are you, a crook?’ I’m not a tourist, so I know the price in New York,” David recalled. And while New York is indeed expensive, most people know that $30 is quite steep for sidewalk food.
The $30 hot dog sold by the Ground Zero vendor goes to show just how some people are taking advantage of what has become a huge tourist spot.
“I just felt like I was getting ripped off, and it’s just making the 9/11 grounds like a big tourist trap,” said one woman. To make matters worse, several customers complained that they were short-changed. Evidently, this has been going on for quite some time, and while there are some people who have called out the vendor, there are others that pay the money because they are hungry and don’t want to deal with finding food elsewhere.
According to the New York Magazine, fights have broken out between Mr. Mohammed and various customers over the past week. The Department of Consumer Affairs has been notified about his actions, and are currently conducting an investigation. By law, Mr. Mohammed is required to post the prices of the food items that he is selling, but hasn’t done so, which gives him the freedom to make up prices as he goes.
Any customers who bought a $30 hot dog at Ground Zero or who feel they have been swindled by this man (or any other food vendor) are encouraged to file complaints at nyc.gov/consumers or to call 311. Also, tourists are advised to be careful of vendors overcharging for food items, especially in highly-populated areas like Ground Zero.
Of course, there is nothing like free food, and in New York, that’s rare. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, singer John Legend and his wife, Chrissy Teigen, actually paid for food trucks to feed Eric Garner protesters in the city last December. The celebrity couple paid for three hours worth of food for whoever was in the city as their way of being a part of the movement.
[Photo via YouTube]