$30 for a hot dog? A New York City hot dog vendor who positions his cart near the World Trade Center is reportedly charging tourists $30 for a hot dog, and NYC residents only $3 for the same item, a MarketWatch report maintains.
The NYC hot dog vendor is reportedly sizing up his customers at a quick glance, singling out tourists to the World Trade Center area, and charging them $30 for a hot dog. The MarketWatch report cites similar NBC News reports that indicate that varying and high food vendor prices have prompted “fights,” and at least one customer tossed a nibbled-on hot dog on the ground in protest.
Ahmed Mohammed might be the most expensive hot dog vendor in New York, if he thinks you’re a tourist, the NBC 4 News report says. The local affiliate captured Mohammed attempting to charge a man named David $15 for a hot dog and a pretzel from his vending cart near the World Trade Center.
“I said, ‘What are you, a crook?’ ” David, who was actually a NYC resident, relayed about his experience with hot dog vendor Mohammed during an interview with NBC 4 New York. “I’m not a tourist, so I know the price in New York.”
Multiple customers then shared their NYC hot dog vending experience with the World Trade Center-area hot dog seller. The customers told the reporter that Mohammed tried to charge them $20 to $30 for a hot dog.
“It gives New York a bad name,” Jessica Lappin, of the Alliance for Downtown New York, said.
“To rip-off somebody, to charge them $35 for a hot dog and a pretzel, that leaves a terrible impression.”
Lappin said she first heard about New York City hot dog vendor Ahmed Mohammed last week when word of fights breaking out at the vendor’s World Trade Center area mobile food booth circulated.
Alliance for Downtown New York security official Ron Wolfgang noted that altercations between customers have occurred “five times since May 13,” due to outrage over the prices being charged for hot dogs, pretzels, water, and soda.
Several customers also accused Mohammed of short-changing them after they were overcharged for hot dogs and other snack food items from the vending cart. One woman told NBC 4 New York News that the World Trade Center-area hot dog vendor had only given her $5 in change when he was supposed to hand her $8, and another woman said he didn’t even give her change at all.
When a reporter asked the price of a hot dog, Mohammed said $3. When the journalist asked why the hot dog prices change, the vendor claimed not to speak English. News cameras had captured him speaking English with customers earlier in the day.
Ahmed Mohammed’s prices are not posted, as required by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs. A hot dog cart around the corner from the World Trade Center reportedly charges just $1 for a hot dog, as the posted price list states. The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs has reportedly launched an investigation into Ahmed Mohammed and his $30 hot dog prices.
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