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Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

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Pittsburgh
posts: 21
reviews: 2
Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

Hello,

I have contracted a company (very well rated on this site) for a three day desert trek-Fes, Merzouga, Marrakech. The owner sent an itinerary, inclusions, exclusions and costs via email. I agreed and he asked that I wire him a 100 euro deposit to secure the reservation which I did. He wrote me telling me that he received the transfer and since his bank charged him 15 euros, I have only paid 85 euros and will have to pay the 15 euro commission in addition to the balance of the tour cost.

By my way of thinking, he shoud not be charging me the 15 euro commission. This was not included in the email which outlned the details of the trip. Also, when I wired the money, I had to pay a fee to my bank. He should have to pay the fee to his bank. That is his cost of doing business. The same way, if he accepted credit cards, he would pay any charges he has agreed to with the credit card company.

So, two questions. Am I right to think that his request out of line? If so, how should I handle this so we don't start our trip off on the wrong foot and have it affect our whole trip? (By the way, does one usually pay the balance at the beginning of the trip or the end?)

Thank you so much in advance. We leave in a day and a half.

1. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

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Removed on: 7:30 am, October 27, 2013
Pittsburgh
posts: 21
reviews: 2
2. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

I pretty much agree with you and although I don't want to make waves, I am totally against paying this fee, especially now that you have confirmed that it sounds like a ripoff. The only reason I don't want to make too big a stink is to have it affect the mood of our trip. I would be willing to take your suggestion and cancel if he insists on us paying, but there are a couple of concerns I have. We have a very tight schedule and if we decide to cancel our trip with this company, will we be able to put something together and still leave that same day (Wednesday)? Also, what about the 85 euros I already paid?

To be fair his exact email said "I have recieved the de depoiste but only 85 euros WIredtransfer they take 15 % OF comission The rest of the payment we need to be payed in Cash in Euros or Usa Dollar or Moroccan Dirhams"

Now he doesn't come right out and say I owe it but it's implied or why would he even mention it? Since he just implied it, maybe he's just thinking he'll take a chance and maybe I'll pay and if there is any push back he'll drop it. Or maybe I'm completely wrong. Should I email him now to discuss this or wait until it's time to pay up--is that usually the beginning or the end of the trip?

I really appreciate your feedback. I'm really looking forward to this and don't want to ruin this by handling it wrong.

Edited: 6:33 pm, July 02, 2013
3. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

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Removed on: 7:31 am, October 27, 2013
marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 7,586
reviews: 63
4. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

Hi,

Just my opinion and just to clarify.

You were to pay a 100 Euro deposit but when the transfer arrived in the tour companies bank account, due to bank charges, he only received 85 Euro equivalent in Dirhams? That's not his fault and of course he should be paid the full amount. Your bank should have factored in any charges and you should have paid them to make sure the company received the full amount due.

For the sake of 15 Euros (rather a small sum to be considered a "rip off") I'd say pay what you owe and enjoy your holiday. I would suggest you pay the balance at the end of your stay (if that is in your agreement) to make sure there are no more added extras.

Edited: 8:09 pm, July 02, 2013
5. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

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Removed on: 7:31 am, October 27, 2013
NYC
posts: 133
reviews: 21
6. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

Can't speak to your particular tour operator, but every time I've paid a foreign tour operator by wire transfer, they have made it clear beforehand that it was my responsibility to pay the full amount owed, net of any wire transfer fees. So, if one of the banks along the way was going to take a cut, I had to wire enough extra to cover it. I don't know whether your operator made that clear beforehand, but I think it's a fairly standard contract term.

Ouarzazate, Morocco
posts: 128
reviews: 7
7. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

Hi

I believe that when a company charges 100 Euro, that is what the client has to pay. The client is in no position at all to know how much the bank will charge for commission, so how could he know how much to add. No, any commission has to be paid by the company, who has to add this in his calculation of the price beforehand.

The commission differ greatly depending on how many banks are in between, which countries, etc. I think that the company was just disappointed about how high the commission is, and he tries to get it from you. The text of the email doesn't really say that he want's you to pay it. I believe, if you write to him firmly but politely that you are sorry but this kind of charges a company has to bear, he will agree.

The balance is always to be paid at the beginning, since they need the money to pay the hotels on the go.

Have a great trip.

Pittsburgh
posts: 21
reviews: 2
8. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

Thank you all for your replies. To clarify this was not my bank's charge, this was his bank's. I agree, John, that he knew about this charge (this is hardly his first tour) and if he wanted me to pay it he should have worked it into the price ahead of time or stated that I was to pay all charges, which would have made it over 20% on a lousy 100 euros!

Perhaps I should have booked the tour once I was here, but I have precious little time and didn't want to turn my touring time into planning time. My sister pre-booked her tour in March and had no problem. RosaFrei, that makes total sense that they would want the money upfront for those reasons. I was hoping they would collect the money after so any confrontations would happen at the end of the trip.

I would still like to hear any new opinions and I will update this after the tour.

Thanks so much for your imput!

Edited: 2:37 am, July 03, 2013
Cardiff, United...
posts: 923
reviews: 30
9. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

I think you are in a difficult position, I would be thinking exactly the same as you, "why should I pay his bank charges".

But for the sake of 15 Euros, I don't think it is worth causing too much waves, it is not right and you should not have to pay it, but would you want your trip to start off on a negative for the sake of 15 Euros?

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 14
reviews: 19
10. Re: Desert trek--ripoff or reasonable request

The fee is an insidious one which is by banks charged around the world for letting their computers do what they do. Such small money transfers are best done by PayPal - their charge would be less and you would not have had the fee at your end. Forget the €15, I'd be concerned that the tour operator is not up to speed!

Given that, it is hardly worth making a scene about the amount, other than to suggest that in future he warns his customers.