Katherine Hayton | Jeers and Cheers
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31 Jan / Jeers and Cheers

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Until midday on Saturday, I was all ready to go on holiday and looked forward to it greatly. It’s amazing how easily these things change. I received an email from the property owners for the house where we’re staying, which said they’d not yet received the payment for the accommodation, but they were quite happy for us to give them the money directly in cash on arrival if we wanted.

Scam!

I’d deposited the full payment due into their account twelve days before, deliberately arranging it a week early so that I had time to deal with any problems if they arose. After making the deposit, I then contacted the owners to let them know it would be in their bank account within 1-3 working days and to let me know if it didn’t arrive within this time frame.

So it was a surprise to hear from them after 12 days had passed. On a weekend. And the handy solution that we pay the same amount of money again in cash didn’t sit well. Not with me and not with my bank account.

Now I’m normally a calm woman… wait.

Okay, I’m normally a highly strung woman, so this news sent me immediately into a tailspin, whirling around the lounge and asking no one in particular, ‘What do we do now?’

My partner suggested we call the bank anyway. Typical suggestion from a banker. He got all the details from me and then placed the call.

That lasted right up until the moment he said, ‘It’s my partner’s account,’ whereupon I had to take over and clear their exhaustive privacy check.

The call to the bank didn’t work. The international desk only works Monday to Friday. How dare they? How dare they only work the same days as I do?

So we sat and waited for the property owners to come back in response to my hasty email saying had they checked back to the day that I’d deposited the money as per the email I’d sent them which they’d replied to at the time but now seemed to have forgotten (helpfully attached).

Four hours passed, which we filled in by looking up alternative accommodation that we’d be able to afford to pay IN ADDITION to the amount we’d already paid for accommodation that now might not pan out.

When the email popped up in my inbox, I hesitated before clicking on it, fearful that our holiday would now turn from something I looked forward to into something I dreaded.

They found the money.

Presumably they found it in the bank account they hadn’t bothered to look at before they emailed us demanding cash on arrival.

I think I swore more after the relief of receiving that email than I had when there was still the uncertainty.

Some people just shouldn’t be able to buy million dollar properties to let out to complete strangers. I can only hope they remember to meet us at the property with the keys.

Phew. Holiday back on.

By kathay@orcon.net.nz in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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