Sunday, 1 March 2015

Take care when booking on line

Rushing to book a last minute escape. Slow down and concentrate. I booked a taxi on line to Salzburg airport from a ski resort about an hour’s drive away and paid a €15 deposit. I had thought to rent a car but a taxi was cheaper – and who needs a car in resort? Several weeks later I noticed an odd charge on my credit card statement: it appeared someone had cloned the card and used it to pay a taxi fare in Split, Croatia. I was in Norway when the charge was incurred. So I queried it, stopped the card – with all the hassle that entailed – and the card provider waived the amount. Not long afterwards I received an anguished email from the Salzburg airport taxi firm. Could I please asked the card company to reinstate payment of €15. Perhaps, the email continued, I hadn’t realised that the taxi operator was based in Split. Stupid boy, I hear you cry. Well I’m happy to accept that this information may have been on the booking confirmation but I simply didn’t make the association. With more and more companies operating across borders this sort of problem is likely to become increasingly common. Think how long it takes to change your payment details on all those regularly invoiced purchases – insurance, broadband, web hosting etc, etc – and look carefully before you leap.

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