I recently drove into Bulgaria from Romania through the border at Giurgiu / Ruse. One of the first things I needed to purchase was a Vignette for the car. At the official point at the border where you purchase them, I was told to go to the first “Petrol” service station, I thought this was a little strange but carried on.
When I arrived, there were two other Romanian’s in front of me when they asked how much they were, they were told Protected content (25 EUR), which is Romanian currency and not Euro, or Bulgarian Leva. They both handed the money over for the one-month Vignette and so did I (they thought I was Romanian Protected content (50 EUR) for the two company cars I had with me. When I asked for a receipt, I was told the Vignette was the receipt.
When I reached Shuman, I met an Army Officer friend for a cup of coffee and I said I think we were over charged. He confirmed we had all paid double the price and when he asked about the receipt, I said we only have the Vignette, he said that is common practice so the Police can extort money from you as you must have a separate receipt with you.
With all this in mind I thought being British I don’t accept things as easy as many Romanian’s and I would certainly go back there in 2 weeks when I was leaving Bulgaria.
On my return, I stopped at the “Petrol” service station took photographs outside and then went in. To the staff I said do you understand English and they said yes so I told them to listen very carefully. As you double charged me 2 weeks ago and did not provide a receipt, I am going to do the following:
1. Contact “Petrol” and inform them that border service station is corrupt and stealing from Romanians.
2. Submit a report to the EU anti-corruption department in Brussels.
3. Publish their activity all over the internet, which if Romanians and Romanian companies boycott “Petrol” service station it could cost “Petrol” thousand of euros.
They panicked tried to make phone calls and from a box under the cash register returned my Protected content (Romanian currency) to keep me quiet.
I suspect they are all in on this fraud at the “Petrol” service station as well with the officials at the boarder who should issue the Vignettes as well as the Police.
This type of activity is very sad.