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Paying by international bank draft

Paying by international bank draft

Old Nov 4, 16, 3:28 am
  #1  
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa
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Paying by international bank draft

I live in South Africa, but want to do a tour with an american tour company (they do specialised tours which nobody in my country does). They're quite happy for me to just pay the land portion and arrange my own flights, but they're a bit sticky on how they'll accept payment.

I expected to pay via credit card or swift, but they said they've had issues with that before and will only accept an international bank draft in dollars - they won't even give me their bank details. I've never used an international bank draft before, so I have a couple of questions:

1) it may be safer for them, but is it safe for me?
2) it sounds like I have to get a physical cheque from my bank, and then post/courier that to them - but isn't there a risk of it getting lost, and then I'm out the money as if I'd sent cash?
3) is this a reasonable request? It seems a bit dodgy to me, but maybe that's the way it works in the US?

I'd really appreciate any advice. I'd love to do the tour, but I don't want to take on too much risk!
ceejay_za is offline  
Old Nov 4, 16, 3:31 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by ceejay_za View Post
I live in South Africa, but want to do a tour with an american tour company (they do specialised tours which nobody in my country does). They're quite happy for me to just pay the land portion and arrange my own flights, but they're a bit sticky on how they'll accept payment.

I expected to pay via credit card or swift, but they said they've had issues with that before and will only accept an international bank draft in dollars. I've never used an international bank draft before, so I have a couple of questions:

1) it may be safer for them, but is it safe for me?
2) it sounds like I have to get a physical cheque from my bank, and then post/courier that to them - but isn't there a risk of it getting lost, and then I'm out the money as if I'd sent cash?
3) is this a reasonable request? It seems a bit dodgy to me, but maybe that's the way it works in the US?

I'd really appreciate any advice. I'd love to do the tour, but I don't want to take on too much risk!
It would make me cautious, certainly. Once they have your money, you have little or no power.

I'd check reviews, accreditation, and how long they are in business. Does their website state everyone must pay by bank draft?
Jaimito Cartero is offline  
Old Nov 4, 16, 5:39 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by ceejay_za View Post
I live in South Africa, but want to do a tour with an american tour company (they do specialised tours which nobody in my country does). They're quite happy for me to just pay the land portion and arrange my own flights, but they're a bit sticky on how they'll accept payment.

I expected to pay via credit card or swift, but they said they've had issues with that before and will only accept an international bank draft in dollars - they won't even give me their bank details. I've never used an international bank draft before, so I have a couple of questions:

1) it may be safer for them, but is it safe for me?
2) it sounds like I have to get a physical cheque from my bank, and then post/courier that to them - but isn't there a risk of it getting lost, and then I'm out the money as if I'd sent cash?
3) is this a reasonable request? It seems a bit dodgy to me, but maybe that's the way it works in the US?

I'd really appreciate any advice. I'd love to do the tour, but I don't want to take on too much risk!
wow the joys of trying to do anything from or within south africa

swift and wiring really isn't a thing in the usa but the latter is possible

that a firm in the usa don't take cc but requests "an international bank draft" is super sketch. everyone everywhere takes cc. also that they won't give bank details is sketchy too, "banking details" is simply what's on the bottom of a check. by sending a draft you have no way to trace, no proof who got paid (they can just go thru an outfit like pacnet). and knowing how places like the f'n nonsense bank (like what i did there) work, there's probably a fee and 30 working day delay to do a trace of a payment if you find out you got ripped, and we know how much banks in the rsa like to help

what about paypal. if they say no to that they're either a) sketch, b) unwilling/unable to function in 2016 therefore you should ask yourself if they're even capable of picking you up from an airport

otherwise find another place. if i may ask what kind of tour you looking to do
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Old Nov 4, 16, 8:32 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by ceejay_za View Post
I live in South Africa, but want to do a tour with an american tour company (they do specialised tours which nobody in my country does). They're quite happy for me to just pay the land portion and arrange my own flights, but they're a bit sticky on how they'll accept payment.

I expected to pay via credit card or swift, but they said they've had issues with that before and will only accept an international bank draft in dollars - they won't even give me their bank details. I've never used an international bank draft before, so I have a couple of questions:

1) it may be safer for them, but is it safe for me?
2) it sounds like I have to get a physical cheque from my bank, and then post/courier that to them - but isn't there a risk of it getting lost, and then I'm out the money as if I'd sent cash?
3) is this a reasonable request? It seems a bit dodgy to me, but maybe that's the way it works in the US?

I'd really appreciate any advice. I'd love to do the tour, but I don't want to take on too much risk!
Give us the outfit's name and particulars. someone here will know them or be able to find out about them.

In the meantime, I'll echo the other posters --- seems sketchy and is not a routine USA business practice.
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Old Nov 4, 16, 10:32 am
  #5  
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The company is Bob and Ruth's - they organize trips that provide completely gluten-free meals (which is harder to do than it sounds!).

Oddly they'll accept credit card payments for the balance, but want only cheque or money order for the deposit - which is obviously easier for those local to the US. They say they've had issues giving out the bank details required for a swift transfer, and I suppose they won't take credit card for the deposit in case someone disputes it?

Even if they're completely reputable - and I have no reason to think they're not - it just seems a very risky way for me to pay. If I walk out the bank and the cheque blows away in the wind, there goes my money! 😂
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Old Nov 4, 16, 1:10 pm
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Seems like a reputable company. I would ask for some referrals. Also make sure you have travel insurance if you do pay.

The website doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic (they pay for the ranking) so perhaps you want to also check if there are larger outfits out there.
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Old Nov 4, 16, 1:42 pm
  #7  
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I just don't buy it. There is nothing easier in this day and age than wire transfer through SWIFT and it is as close to risk-free on both sides of the transaction as can be. But, it is definite;y traceable to a specific bank account and that is what OP needs in order to be protected.

Unless OP has references from people he knows and trusts, perhaps even a TA who has booked with these folks, there is absolutely no way that I would send off a negotiable instrument which can wind up anywhere and for which OP has zero protection.

This could be anything from some sweet couple just trying to protect themselves against unreasonable chargeback disputes to a variation on the Nigerian Prince scam.
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Old Nov 4, 16, 2:13 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by ceejay_za View Post
The company is Bob and Ruth's - they organize trips that provide completely gluten-free meals (which is harder to do than it sounds!).

Oddly they'll accept credit card payments for the balance, but want only cheque or money order for the deposit - which is obviously easier for those local to the US. They say they've had issues giving out the bank details required for a swift transfer, and I suppose they won't take credit card for the deposit in case someone disputes it?

Even if they're completely reputable - and I have no reason to think they're not - it just seems a very risky way for me to pay. If I walk out the bank and the cheque blows away in the wind, there goes my money! 😂
Issues? Really? So they want you to send what is nearly the equivalent of an envelope full of cash, and is a real pain if lost or fraudulently cashed? I'd make one telephonic attempt with them to be reasonable and get them to accept CC or transfer, after that I'd seek travel help elsewhere.
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Old Nov 4, 16, 2:50 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by ceejay_za View Post
The company is Bob and Ruth's - they organize trips that provide completely gluten-free meals (which is harder to do than it sounds!).

Oddly they'll accept credit card payments for the balance, but want only cheque or money order for the deposit - which is obviously easier for those local to the US. They say they've had issues giving out the bank details required for a swift transfer, and I suppose they won't take credit card for the deposit in case someone disputes it?

Even if they're completely reputable - and I have no reason to think they're not - it just seems a very risky way for me to pay. If I walk out the bank and the cheque blows away in the wind, there goes my money! 😂
They are a reputable company. I haven't traveled with them, but several friends have and rate them highly. However Bob does have a bit of a reputation for being a pain to deal with.

Personally I would push to get them to accept the credit card.
CDTraveler is offline  
Old Nov 4, 16, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
Seems like a reputable company. I would ask for some referrals. Also make sure you have travel insurance if you do pay.

The website doesn't seem to get a lot of traffic (they pay for the ranking) so perhaps you want to also check if there are larger outfits out there.
If the OP wants a strictly gluten-free trip, there isn't anybody else who does what Bob & Ruth do and it's about 50 times harder than you think to arrange. Believe me, I know from doing all my own strictly gluten-free travel planning for the last 13 years.

Also, most of Bob & Ruth's advertising is in specialty publications or online celiac groups.
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