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yorks5stringer

Hidden Cost of ordering from (ahem) Foreign Online Retailers!

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Just got my credit card bill, on a £681 Warwick Star Bass I've been charged a further £21 " currency fee" by Halifax MasterCard. I guess when ordering in £ you forget it gets changed to Euros...

Edited by yorks5stringer

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That's not Thomann's fault, it's the joy of UK chatges - I
it's a pain in yhe butt!

incidentally, havr you reviewed your bass on Thomanns site? You get a credit bouvher for doing it.

I reviewed a bunch of bits the other day, for a case, pickguard screws, thumb rest, neck screws, string guide and a chrome pickup cover. The next day I received an email from them giving me a 50 Euro credit notebto be used up to 31/12/13 - result!!!!!

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FWIW, here in Norway, and possibly transferable to the UK, it's said that MasterCard should be avoided when shopping internationally, as they have hostile currency rates. VISA have an annual fee, but good currency rates.

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I think this may be just one of the ways that banks etc are ratcheting up their various charges. I've had a capital One credit card for ages and sometime ago they changed their T&Cs such that a 'transaction fee' is now charged for every foreign currency transaction. I'd forgotten all about it until a recent trip to the US. :angry:

Another example is that Nationwide used to allow free cash withdrawals at foreign ATMs, which was really useful because the FX rate was generally better than most money changers so it was cheaper to only withdraw foreign currency as needed (safer too), but they now charge for such transactions.

I think there are still cards and banks that won't charge for such things (as per SpaceChick's example), though I suspect they probably still make their profit margins by giving a slightly less advantageous FX rate - a bit like those 'commission-free' exchange bureaus at airports - so it's hard to win consistently.

[email protected] eh?

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I have a FairFX card for when I am in the Euro zone. It is like a prepaid debit card which you preload (always been at a damn good exchange rate up to now).

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1379021710' post='2207974']
I think this may be just one of the ways that banks etc are ratcheting up their various charges. I've had a capital One credit card for ages and sometime ago they changed their T&Cs such that a 'transaction fee' is now charged for every foreign currency transaction. I'd forgotten all about it until a recent trip to the US. :angry:

Another example is that Nationwide used to allow free cash withdrawals at foreign ATMs, which was really useful because the FX rate was generally better than most money changers so it was cheaper to only withdraw foreign currency as needed (safer too), but they now charge for such transactions.

I think there are still cards and banks that won't charge for such things (as per SpaceChick's example), though I suspect they probably still make their profit margins by giving a slightly less advantageous FX rate - a bit like those 'commission-free' exchange bureaus at airports - so it's hard to win consistently.

[email protected] eh?
[/quote]

The Halifax Clarity card is really great for foreign transactions---no commission, no foreign exchange fee, and they use the bank's own exchange rate without loading it against you. They make their money back via APR, so as long as you pay it back quickly you get a great deal.

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' timestamp='1379026546' post='2208029']
Sure I've never had to pay this before so yes, it's MasterCard rather than Thomann I need to moan about. Good tip re the review, will do it now!
[/quote]
I had exactly the same experience. It's not a large fee, but it's annoying, and definitely a new "innovation" from our beloved banks.

But yes, do review the bass, and anything else you've bought lately - I just got a free iRig and ampstand, paid for by the reviews I put up there.

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[quote name='mart' timestamp='1379068542' post='2208282']
But yes, do review the bass, and anything else you've bought lately - I just got a free iRig and ampstand, paid for by the reviews I put up there.
[/quote]

Absolutely - I've had several "freebies" simply through taking a few minutes to review stuff I've bought.

What I don't quite get though, is what they do with the reviews. Are they actually visible on the website anywhere ?

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[quote name='barkin' timestamp='1379071228' post='2208331']
...What I don't quite get though, is what they do with the reviews. Are they actually visible on the website anywhere ?
[/quote]
They say they are, but I've never been able to find them! They must be building up a secret dossier somewhere.

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[quote name='kevin_lindsay' timestamp='1379015037' post='2207838']
That's not Thomann's fault, it's the joy of UK chatges - I
it's a pain in yhe butt!

incidentally, havr you reviewed your bass on Thomanns site? You get a credit bouvher for doing it.[/quote]

Has someone swapped the keys around on your computer?

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[quote name='barkin' timestamp='1379071228' post='2208331'] Absolutely - I've had several "freebies" simply through taking a few minutes to review stuff I've bought. What I don't quite get though, is what they do with the reviews. Are they actually visible on the website anywhere ? [/quote]
[quote name='mart' timestamp='1379077690' post='2208443'] They say they are, but I've never been able to find them! They must be building up a secret dossier somewhere. [/quote]

Ah - glad it's not just me...

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I just bought a Hartke Kilo from Thomann and they added an extra £23 for transaction or currency fee. No mention of this on their web page. Still far cheaper than anywhere else though and they are a very reliable and reputable company that i do like dealing with.
Amp was knackered so hope i get the full amount refunded incl the £23.
Not holding much hope for that.
Dave

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[quote name='dmccombe7' timestamp='1379084444' post='2208519']
I just bought a Hartke Kilo from Thomann and they added an extra £23 for transaction or currency fee. No mention of this on their web page. Still far cheaper than anywhere else though and they are a very reliable and reputable company that i do like dealing with.
Amp was knackered so hope i get the full amount refunded incl the £23.
Not holding much hope for that.
Dave
[/quote]

I think you'll find it wasn't Thomann who added the transaction fee, but your bank or credit card company, and I wouldn't expect Thomann to mention it on their site, as they don't know how much it'll be - or even if a charge will be made.

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[quote name='barkin' timestamp='1379085054' post='2208528']
I think you'll find it wasn't Thomann who added the transaction fee, but your bank or credit card company, and I wouldn't expect Thomann to mention it on their site, as they don't know how much it'll be - or even if a charge will be made.
[/quote]
Ahem,cough..hidden in FAQ's [color=white]What about thomann exchange rates if I am based in the UK?[/color]

As we are based in Germany, we can only trade in Euros. This means thomann that all prices given in pounds on the website fluctuate with the markets and should be used for guidance only.

If you are paying by credit card the exchange rate of the day we take the money from your card applies, please note that we only charge your credit thomann card shortly before the order gets shipped out.

It is possible that your credit card company applies a different, more unfavourable exchange rate, please note that this depends on the credit card company and we unfortunately have no influence on that.

Some credit card companies might also charge thomann extra fees for international transactions, which has nothing to do with the exchange rate itself. Again we have no influence on that and can´t be held responsible, sorry!

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This happened to me with my Markbass tube 800, the charge on my credit card statement did not match the Pound Sterling price advertised on the listing .
The reply from Thomann was as above , my credit card company exchange rate is obviously not as good as Thomanns rate .
Maybe bank transfer is a better option ?

Still, the amp arrived quicker than most UK companies delivery times , very efficient company to deal with.

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' timestamp='1379085964' post='2208544']
Ahem,cough..hidden in FAQ's [color=white]What about thomann exchange rates if I am based in the UK?[/color]

As we are based in Germany, we can only trade in Euros. This means thomann that all prices given in pounds on the website fluctuate with the markets and should be used for guidance only.

If you are paying by credit card the exchange rate of the day we take the money from your card applies, please note that we only charge your credit thomann card shortly before the order gets shipped out.

It is possible that your credit card company applies a different, more unfavourable exchange rate, please note that this depends on the credit card company and we unfortunately have no influence on that.

Some credit card companies might also charge thomann extra fees for international transactions, which has nothing to do with the exchange rate itself. Again we have no influence on that and can´t be held responsible, sorry!
[/quote]


so, as previously noted... nothing much to do with Thomann.

You are buying from Germany, in euros, regardless of whether you can see the price in GBP too. Final cost and fees will vary according to what method you choose to pay... imposed by the credit card company, not Thomann.

It may be worth making a list of which companies' cards result in extra costs, so we can avoid them.

I have always used my debit card (Natwest), as far as I can remember, and never incurred in extra charges.

Edited by mcnach

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[quote name='mcnach' timestamp='1379102769' post='2208811']
It may be worth making a list of which companies' cards result in extra costs, so we can avoid them.
[/quote]

Nice idea but these things can change so often that I doubt we'd ever keep the list up to date.

Better to just shop around when the need arises. This is usually a good place to start: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com

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I tend to use my Visa card for more expensive purchases as an extra security and I guess it comes with the territory. Thomann are still one of the cheapest sellers even with the transaction fee added on by credit card company.
It certainly wouldn't put me off unless the fee meant it was more expensive than UK stores like GAK or Soundslive who now have a purchase comparison which should mean you don't have the added fee when buying in UK.

Dave

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Maybe it would be better to rename the thread The Hidden Cost of Ordering from Foreign Online Retailers. Seems a bit unfair to single out Thomann, and it might encourage others to buy locally.

Luckily I have Irish and UK accounts, so can get around this a bit! Although transferring from UK account to Irish can cost a few quid, while Irish to UK transfers are free.

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[quote name='pobrien_ie' timestamp='1379151557' post='2209140']
Maybe it would be better to rename the thread The Hidden Cost of Ordering from Foreign Online Retailers. Seems a bit unfair to single out Thomann, and it might encourage others to buy locally.
[/quote]

Good point. This is not a Thomann-only issue.

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Sent money to Germany by direct bank transfer some weeks ago, and the cost was 2 guineas, whilst the currency rate was slightly better than the one used by VISA. Maybe something for others too.

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[quote name='BassTractor' timestamp='1379165571' post='2209349']... and the cost was 2 guineas...[/quote]

£2:2s:0d..? Are you sure..? How long ago was that..? I'd do the same, but I don't have a quill pen... :mellow:

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