Thursday, July 16, 2009

Guess the price

of obtaining a visa, advertised by the Chinese Embassy as costing £30.00, to enter China as a tourist.

You might suppose as I did that it would be £30.00 but you would be wrong like I was.

Because you were recommended a company called Visa Swift by travel agents arranging your trip you might expect to pay something on top of £30.00 for their service, but you would probably expect that something on top to be half way reasonable. But no.

You might expect that the website of Visa Swift to which the travel agents directed you, would make their charges clear. Wrong again.

You might even expect that if you spoke to not one of their representatives but to two, trying to ascertain just exactly what it was they needed from you that charges might have been explained. Just plain wrong.

You might not expect to be charged £109.14 per visa (My children are coming on this trip too).

It has taken me four days to be able to speak of this. I've done the tears, I've done the blind fury. Now I just want to warn as many people as possible not to use these charlatans who say they can help you obtain a travel visa.

(Not exactly impressed with the travel agents either.)

P.S. Before anyone thinks that if I can afford for my whole family to go to China I can afford the cost of the visas, the same lovely woman who took us to South Africa, Lapland, Dublin and Egypt is paying for this further trip of a lifetime. In that respect I do of course know that I am incredibly lucky, and it is that thought that has just about enabled me to calm down over the visa charges.


Yorkshire Pudding said...

You think getting a Chinese visa is a rip-off, try getting a long term USA visa! Now that really is daylight robbery besmirched with utter disrespect for their number one ally.

jay said...

Yikes! That is outrageous!! I mean, if it costs that much, that's fine, you'd swallow it or decide not to go for it, but to lure you in with promises of £30 and then whack you with over a £100? Isn't that against some law or other?

Gill said...

If you click on the link picture to the business travel awards on their homepage you will find the message-'page not found'. And then if you look closely at the picture you will see it says 'nominated'. I bet they nominated themselves for the award:-)

Hope you have a brilliant time anyway.

p.s. Tell your friend she is one of the good souls.

J.J said...

I am actually shocked by that YP.

And congrats on your new life mate!

Jay - I am fully intending to check whether it is legal with aconsumer rights organisation.

Gill - very interesting observations - thanks for those.