Sending Money to South Africa
I'm writing because 2 other lists have recently discussed problems in sending funds to South Africa, and after reading about such problems IÂve concluded that I am wise to avoid using the South African postal service to send checks (or anything of value) into South Africa. The horror stories concerning lost mail were far to numerous to ignore, especially because it seems that registered mail goes missing as easily as anything else. Interestingly, it seems that mail coming out of South Africa doesnÂt go missing too often, but that when it does vendors are responsible and quite willing to help.
The alternatives to mail include wiring money directly to a bank account of a vendor, using a credit card, or using something like PayPal.
In the past I have gotten phone calls from my credit card company when IÂve purchased from Silverhill Seeds. They called twice for security reasons and asked if I was aware that my card is being used to make a purchase in South Africa, and did I know that theft of credit card numbers is a problem in some parts of Africa. They mention (politely) that ID theft is harder to track down or repair if the perpetrator is overseas. I appreciate their calls and have asked them to please call again if something that causes their computer to notice non-typical activity on my account.
Wiring money is expensive. I recently ordered $38.00 worth of seeds from a company, but found that the fee to do the wire transfer is $45.00. I checked the online form for FedEx and found that the cheapest rate was about $55.00 to send a check to Capetown, South Africa.
I think IÂm going to stick with PayPal for orders to South Africa, it is a shame but I donÂt want ID theft or check theft. Probably the occurrence of such events is rare; nonetheless an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Please let me know your thoughts.