Money, Money Everywhere

And none of it is mine anymore.

I paid my volunteer program fees this morning (ow), then went ahead and put the deposit down on the trek in Nepal (which has turned into an 18 day trek doing the Annapurna Circuit instead of the original 10 day trek – see updated itinerary).
The deposit could be made either by me emailing them an authorization letter and credit card number, a bank transfer, or through Moneygram. I chose Moneygram as the most secure of those options that offered me the most control over my information.
Two hours later, I get an email telling me that I need to call Moneygram.
I do so.
He asks what the money is for and I say it’s a deposit for a trekking trip. He asks if I’ve spoken on the phone with them and I said no, as timezones make that inconvenient. He says that Moneygram doesn’t secure purchases (so, like, if I show up in Nepal and 3 sisters trekking company is a farce, then I’m out my deposit, whereas if I paid by credit card, the credit card would have my back if I didn’t get the services I paid for) and because I’ve never actually met this person before, they’re going to go ahead and cancel the transaction.
“Wait a minute.” I interrupt him. “I found this company through a reputable guidebook and verified their existence through outside sources (See also: random message board, National Geographic, Adventure Ventures… you get the point) and I am taking an educated risk in sending my money to Nepal… and you’re still going to cancel my transaction?”
In the end, he didn’t cancel my transaction. And I totally get and respect why Moneygram held the transaction and decided to make me go through that. And he wasn’t even that condescending about it (on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being carrying a tone of you’re an absolute idiot and I don’t know how you’ve survived this long, he was probably only a 2.5 or a 3), just not used to people actually willing to take on the risk of money loss themselves. Would I send them the entire cost of my trek without having met them? No, because the total cost of the 18 day trek is more than I am willing to loose to life’s knocks on the off chance that despite numerous verification of its existence, 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking does not in fact exist.
So, go Moneygram for being on top of things. Go me for having already done my research on them. And here’s to keeping Murphy at bay a little longer.

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