Why does everyone expect us to charge in US Dollars?

Dollar and Euro signs - ©iStockphoto.com/ArsgeraAm I right in thinking that if you go on holiday to another country, you usually exchange some cash into the local currency and pay with that?

Or do you go into a shop in say, Madrid, and ask what something costs in a Dollars?

Certainly you would not try to actually pay in Dollars, would you?

Admittedly there are some exceptions, such as the fast food outlets in Germany near U.S. airforce bases, that really do accept dollars and display the exchange rate on the tills.

But generally speaking, if you are in the U.S. you pay in dollars, in most of Europe you pay in Euro, and in the United Kingdom you pay in Pounds sterling.

So you would think that the same would be true in the on-line world as well, wouldn’t you? [Read more…]


“Teuro” was selected by the Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache as the “Wort des Jahres” (Word of the Year) in 2002.

Teuro is a so-called “Portmanteau” and is made up of the words “teuer” (expensive) and “Euro”.

It refers to the feeling that people have in Germany that things became more expensive after the Euro was introduced at the beginning of 2002.

Part of the problem is caused by people dividing by 2, whereas the exact exchange rate was 1.95583.  But in many areas – eating out being one of the most common examples – the prices were noticed to have gone up considerably.  It is often commented, that the prices were almost the same figures in Euro as in DM – just with a different currency sign.

Another factor is that price rises since 2002 go much faster, as increasing a price by 1EUR is a lot more than increasing by 1DM.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

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Time for the Euro?

With the pound hitting a new record low against the Euro, the exchange rate is almost down to 1:1.  How about the UK now considering joining the Euro?

Think of the advantages:

– unlike other countries that had conversion rates with four figures after the decimal point, the UK could just switch over without the need for conversion and just simply change the pound sign to a Euro one

– people would not have to work out how much something was “in pounds”, as many people on the continent still do when buying expensive items, as this would not be necessary

– it would no longer be necessary to exchange money when going on holiday to the Eurozone countries

– the two currencies could co-exist side by side for a while, removing the need to suddenly print and mint lots more Euro notes and coins

Of course, the euro-skeptics would be totally against this idea.  But why?

– because we are proud of the pound?  Well, let’s be proud of the Euro instead.

– because we want the Queen’s head on our coins?  No problem, mint the Euro coins with her head on the national side (as do Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Vatican City)

– because we don’t want to give up control of our currency?  Well, at the moment some analysts suggest that it is the difference in interest rates between the Bank of England and the European Central Bank that is the reason for the pound’s loss of value.  So why not join in and solve the problem?

Go on United Kingdom, take the plunge.  Or am I missing something here?

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