Holy hot dog. The most expensive New York City dog? It’s gotta be a $30 hot dog sold by Ahmed Mohammed out of his Manhattan food cart. And no, the hot dog does not come with a $20 bill stuffed inside. A NYC street corner standby, vendors hawking dogs and wraps for a few bucks is nothing out of the ordinary. But when it comes to Ahmed’s pricing, the more “touristy” you look, the greater the price gouge will be.
Writes Fox News: “New York City summer tourist season is well underway. After a great day of sight-seeing, what better way to stave off hunger than with a classic city snack—the hot dog. But visitors beware. One vendor near the World Trade Center memorial site was recently caught overcharging naïve customers, allegedly charging as much as $30 for one hot dog.”
Complaints started rolling in to local news stations about Ahmed’s shady practices. Show up to his cart with a map, an accent and fanny pack, and suddenly you are forking over $15, $20, $30 or more for a hot dog and pretzel combo. Ahmed doesn’t post prices on his cart – for obvious reasons.
Adds Fox: “NBC 4 was tipped off to Ahmed Mohammed’s shady practices, and asked the vendor how much he charges for a hot dog. After several seconds of nervous hesitation, he responds $3. But the crew soon caught him trying to sell one man named David a hot dog and pretzel for $15.”
“I said, ‘What are you, a crook?’” commented David, who has an accent, to NBC 4 New York. “I’m not a tourist, so I know the price in New York.”
Jessica Lappin, a rep from the Alliance for Downtown New York, said: “It gives New York a bad name.”
News reports show that on at least five occasions over just the last week, there have actually been verbal – and physical altercations – at Ahmed’s booth over his absurd pricing system. One customer tossed his half-eaten dog in Ahmed’s face.
Adds the Inquisitr:
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.
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs is now investigating Ahmed and his $30 New York City hot dog.