What is it with this country and commission payments?

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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Simple question really. I first noticed the whole commission payment thing after a couple of years here. I know that real estate agents earn commission, insurance agents etc, but every time my husband introduced a plumber or an electrician to an expat friend of mine, said plumber or electrician would be at the gate afterwards and money would change hands. We had some ironwork carried out at our house and it came for the final payment which I gave to the man who had done the work. He then counted out a couple of thousand pesos in front of me and gave it back to my husband. When I asked what he was doing, he said it was commission for my husband as he had given him the job! My husband then gave me half.

I originally thought it was just tradesmen like plumbers, mechanics etc, and also the only people who could earn commission were Dominicans. Then after I had been here a few years every time I recommended someone to an expat, usually a lawyer or a doctor, then afterwards they would come and give me 100 dollars or whatever. I tried to explain to them that I was recommending my friends as I knew they were good at their job, but no difference. I was paid my commission, which I then returned to my expat friends.

Stupidly, I thought that when another expat said ?Go and see so and so as they are good, and tell them xyz sent you? it was because I would get a better service or a cheaper price. No. It is so xyz will get their commission. In fact I am sure the Dominican commission system is now totally entrenched in the longer term expat community here. Why even our very own Mr Guzman is doing it when offering the Dominican constitution in English:

"Identify yourself as coming from DR1 so I can give Dolores and Robert their due"


So any thoughts as to where this system came from, and how many expats here participate in it?

Matilda
 
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dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i must be doing something wrong because i have never received any commision nor have i given one.
 

beeza

Silver
Nov 2, 2006
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Just another example of how Dominicans see it as a right to cream a little (or a lot) off the top without lifting a finger.

Some call it commission, others call it corruption!
 

Matilda

RIP Lindsay
Sep 13, 2006
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My point was really, firstly where did it start and come from. And secondly, if I was offered commission as an expat, after had lived here for a while, how many other expats take it? I just want to know, as I am sure many posters do, if an expat or a Dominican says go and use Mr x for your pool service, or to fix your inverter, then who is doing it for commission? I am sure I cannot be the only one on this board who has been offered commission by lawyers and doctors?? The silence is deafening.

mat
 

baby bori

New member
May 18, 2010
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In the DR for any little assistance or service to someone in general people expect a tip or commission in return nothing is done without expectation being compensated for the most part.
 

baby bori

New member
May 18, 2010
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Its just the way things roll in the DR I have plenty of life experience examples to support this point of view.
 

Robert

Stay Frosty!
Jan 2, 1999
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dr1.com
Not all commissions, dues etc are paid in $$$, in DR1's case anyway :)

In the DR it's much more informal than in a lot of other places, but commissions, leads, kickbacks for $$$, whatever you call it are very common throughout the world, not just in the DR :)

When I recommend a product or service, it's either because...

1) They advertise on DR1 and I support them, like they support us.
2) I know the service or product provider, so hopefully whoever I send will get treated well.
I have never taken money based on a recommendation to a friend.

#2 is not about money, it's about building relationships and in some cases the possibility of leveraging that at a later date. What comes around goes around :) This angle is very much missing in the DR, it's primarily about money, regardless of the quality of the product or service being recommended.

I do a lot of free work for businesses and people, always have, always will.
It's a great way to get in the door, build relationships and it normally pays off in some way or another in the future. That mentality or way to build business is extremely rare here :)
 

RacerX

Banned
Nov 22, 2009
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Pack your bags and leave.
They say a fast nickel is better than a slow dime which is probably why customer service and quality arent that good generally speaking.

I would only recommend people who offer a business or product that I am satisfied with.
 
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CaptnGlenn

Silver
Mar 29, 2010
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This corrupt system makes everything more expensive and it will even become worse I'm afraid. But then again that's the DR system.


I don't know why some people call this corruption. Here (U.S.), it's not as common, but "referral fees" are S.O.P. in some businesses or industries. Just because it is widespread in the D.R. and reaches all levels of society, not just big business, does not mean it's nefarious. Does it make things cost more? Sure, but don't you think the car dealer has to cover the cost of the sales commission in the price of your new Ford?

I do draw a line at blackmail though. I'd say it's "corruption" if a person is COERCED to make a payment directly in order to get something done that the supplier is otherwise paid to do anyway, (i.e. government workers, etc.), and even THAT could be a regular part of life in some cultures such as the D.R. In that case the adjective "corruption" falls to the next level, such as being extorted by police, or other officials in a position of power, for payment when a person has done nothing wrong and where one is just paying to be left unmolested. Like EVERYTHING in life, "It's all relative."

In general I'd prefer to think of the D.R. system of "commissions" is as just one more difference between life here in the U.S. and life there in D.R., no more negative than the fact that I have a maple tree in my front yard instead of a palm.

As for finding out who's getting paid for what, in general that, (like many other financial transactions), is a private matter between the business and the person who referred them. Probably the only way you're going to learn more about it is through life experience, just as you have so far. Of course that is a little frustrating, but it's part of the learning process for all of us who are "outsiders" in whatever form.
 

bri777

Bronze
Sep 11, 2010
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So it is true?
Most people on here have an agenda?
Recomendations are just kickbacks for some ?
I wonder
Manu
 

gibbs

New member
May 31, 2005
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Some Hispanics call it "metiendo el hosico"
I referred my brother in law to a friend and when he finished the job he gave me $1,000.00 Go figure
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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My husband was once asked to pay a "commission" of about 20% for a government office to release a cheque that they owed him. On another occasion he was trying to deposit a very large cheque into his bank account and the bank employee tried to get him to pay something for the service - both examples of corruption.

Other than that in my experience a normal, informal set-up exists where people who have helped each other get work will return the favour if/when they can.
 

Taino808

Bronze
Oct 10, 2010
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As an Architect by trade, I find myself recommending carpenters, plumbers, iron workers etc, however, I've never received anything in return, or at least I've never asked for anything.

I agree with Robert though, some of my referrals have lead to some great cunstruction contracts. In essence, kickbacks may be a way of life for some, but NOT for all.
 

bri777

Bronze
Sep 11, 2010
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Guys
I do not expect people coming forward with their kickbacks lol
... I will say this
there are just a handful of posters I will trust and I will send a pm when I need a referral
Manu
 

Africaida

Gold
Jun 19, 2009
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Guys
I do not expect people coming forward with their kickbacks lol
... I will say this
there are just a handful of posters I will trust and I will send a pm when I need a referral
Manu
I am very suspicious of referrals on Internet Board too. But I have the same time, I don't mind if the person gets a kickback provided that the referral was a good and genuine one.