In a bid to make an extra peso, some crafty local vendors charge up to AR$ 4 to just charge your SUBE card which, according to the Transportation Ministry, is absolutely not legal. If you’ve just thumped your forehead and exclaimed, “So that’s not a service fee?” don’t worry, you’re not alone.
The Buenos Aires Province Office of the Ombudsman (which, despite the word’s appearance, is not actually a German chocolate delicacy but an entity meant to defend citizens’ best interests) is pressing charges against businesses asking for those extra pesos to have SUBE cards reloaded.
“This practice is harmful to users and consumers because often, they have no other option beside paying that additional fee if they want to charge their card and use public transportation,” Ombudsman General Secretary Marcelo Honores told press.
The same goes for adding credit to your cell phone. Charging extra for the service is not legal either, turns out.
So yes, we’re only talking about a peso or two, but those could be going toward that alfajor you eye at the kiosko every time you do recharge your card.
Just to keep you in the know, here are some SUBE facts:
- A SUBE card has a fixed price of AR$25
- You can only ride colectivos with a SUBE card — coins are not accepted (they used to be, but no longer are)
- If you forget your card, well, you’re screwed
- Or you can always depend on the kindness of strangers. Though that is generally contingent on several factors, such as age and gender
- You have room for a AR$10 negative balance on your card
- And, once again, recharging your card is supposed to be free