OMG, what ever is that charge for? That was the initial reaction to a charge on our credit card. Certainly didn’t recognise the merchant’s name and certainly didn’t purchase anything for that amount.
I’ll backtrack a little and mention we will be travelling o/s again later this year, so as you have to for some countries, we needed a ‘visa’ – only this one isn’t actually a visa as such but an authorisation to enter a country. Although I don’t think it’s necessary to identify the country involved I think most travellers will be aware of the one I mean.
As our previous one had just ‘run out I’m trying to get things organised for this trip before we tootle off up north rather than having a list of things to do at the last minute when we get back so I urged someone to get on with it now while we thought about it.
Bad move Catherine!
Seeing the word associated with the document in the merchant’s name on the C.C. I ‘gently’ asked The Golfer which online site he actually used. Was it the official one? Can’t remember – so I ‘gently’ asked him to check the browsing history and find out. Something that usually only costs USD14 shouldn’t be costing USD89 ! Well over AUD100 – each!
More ‘gentle’ persuasion (and investigation) revealed he (The Golfer) had used a website toting a service that would ‘assist Australians’ to get this authorisation for an undisclosed……. until the applicant had pressed enter for the last time…..fee. Which he says he didn’t really notice!
So after a little look online I discovered it’s been going on for years, we weren’t the first (and probably won’t be the last) to be charged large overinflated amounts for this simple request.
Thinking we’d been scammed and wouldn’t get what we paid for we checked the official site and discovered our
e’s’t’a electronic authorisation to enter had been granted and was attached to our passports. Phew!!
We just paid far more than necessary by getting it from a well presented ‘third party’ website offering a service – nothing illegal or fraudulent – just not the actual official site!
Bad move Golfer!!
So he got in touch with them (via the email they sent) and ‘politely’ asked for a refund – ‘not possible’ to cancel your request because the document had already been processed but they would look at giving ‘some’ of our money back’.
Some is better than none I suppose….the credit did arrive last week….but I wonder how many others (or first timers not knowing the real cost) have been taken in, not querying the amount?
And I wonder how much is refunded when the site owners are ‘found out’ and wonder at all the monies they do make from their efforts?
So the moral of the story is – check check and recheck anything to do with official documents.
Or you’ll never lose that nasty taste in your mouth and the feeling of being hoodwinked.
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That’s my sorry tale on this Monday – the morning I sit here with a coffee and muse about things in my life
So what traveller’s tales of woe are you willing to disclose?
Have you ever been taken for a ride in the past – were you able to come out of it smiling