Last August, somewhere around the middle of it, we stayed in South Africa in Mabalingwe Nature Preserve (here is their website). All was well, we had really good fun there, saw a lot of animals and to top it all off we had breakfast and could gaze at elephants (seven of them) walking on a nearby hill. At the end I paid with a credit card and I was charged twice for that stay, by mistake. They admitted their mistake. And never gave me my money back.

They told me that they have special procedures, that I need to go to my bank and get a special paper confirming, that the account belongs to me. That they have their accounting located in Johannesburg, blah blah blah. All they could do is force me to do something in order to get what was (and still is) rightfully mine. I did not do all that. I refuse to be forced to do something when the fault is clearly at the side of the service provider. They made a mistake, they should fix it on their own accord, regardless of any procedures. I wrote this to them and never got any reply. At the end, I passed it all on to my credit card service provider and they saw my claim as justified. I will get my funds that way.

But you know what? It is our fault. I am pretty sure that most of the people would just walk to the bank, get the paper and send it to them, what would surely result in a wait and then maybe you would get your money back. We do that. We let ourselves be controlled by services and even if we complain about it – after all, loosing some money is on its own not pleasant, but having to jump through the hoops in order to get it back just adds insult to injury – but we still do those things. I decided not to. I don’t see why I should do anything to help them. If I do, they will think that all is in order, when it isn’t.

My advice to you, should you consider staying there – take cash and pay it that way. Or transfer all in advance. Remove all possibilities for them to screw up. Because the procedures they have (sadly, practice becoming standard all over) are not there to help you, only to make you work in order to repair their faults.

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