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sabato

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About sabato

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  1. I think if the OP's friend (friends??) look like this, BM Skalliwag might be interested
  2. If it's not already, the fees are getting to the point it's cheaper to Western Union yourself some cash and pick it up, which is ridiculous - but once that genie is out of the bottle (becomes widespread) it's hard to put it back in, unless they roll back the fees. Don't have to worry about skimmed cards with WU either. I only mention WU, not as it's the most cost competitive measure, but as it's one of the most accessible options, that would be difficult for the local bank cartel to block.
  3. While I have a local account, I know some people who like to withdraw smaller amounts, for a combination of (not always compelling) reasons. 220 baht is a deal breaker if you're wanting to withdraw a few thousand baht at a time (so is 150.. just less so). I wonder how VISA/Mastercard view this, it both eats into their revenues, and damages their brand indirectly - as people are encouraged into alternatives, and realize they don't need to be using their network.
  4. The most perverse thing about the Philippines law, is how the waitresses on 120pesos/day salary, can and do get convicted of these laws and get jail time. One waitress I know of had 2 (might have been 3 years) in jail, no reduction in sentence. The waitress was every bit as much 'trafficked' into that line of work (under this loose definition), cops 3 years in jail. Doesn't sound like justice to me. Rather the opposite, it's punishing a 'victim' of trafficking, given many waitresses barfine just the same as dancers, it's only a technicality (handling cash) that sets them apart from the dancers.
  5. Which is why it's such a disaster that the term 'trafficking' has been misappropriated to include voluntary workers, as it trivialises the vast difference between the two groups.
  6. I heard some legislators are pushing to force them to display their cut/commission on the booking page, as it ranges from 12-20% (sometimes much higher). It would sting to see that out of a multi week booking, agoda receives a $200 cut for providing 30 minutes of time browsing their database. Price for service provided seems well out of whack. They don't allow hotels to undercut agoda (I get that), which is why hotels don't openly discount lower than Agoda. However they offer agoda points, effectively undercutting the hotels. I think that is well out of line, to screw your customer (the hotels) over like this.
  7. Yes only worth doing in cases where you can't get to the BKK Citi ATM. I also forgot about the fee if you immediately deposit it into your Thai bank, that's only small though.
  8. Why not just an over the counter withdrawal? I've done 70k over the counter before. I'm pretty sure it gives you the bank fx rate (as the withdrawal appears in AUD in your bank statement), which as you noted isn't as good as the ATM rate.
  9. The cross rate yesterday was around 44.47. If they actually convert at rate 44.34, before it arrives in your Thai bank (spread 0.6%), that's a lot better than the Thai bank spread of around 1.8%. Have you used it before to confirm there was no funny business with their quote (..like they send in GPB and let the Thai bank do the conversion)?
  10. There is sort of a way to beat the final rate the Thai banks give for GPB, but it's convoluted and would only be worth the hassle for very large transactions (north of 20k GPB). There's also the fx exposure while waiting on funds to clear (which can be mitigated with hedging). GBP to THB spread is around 2% if you look at Bangkok bank rates, while closer to 0.9% for USD to THB. So if you can cheaply convert from GPB to USD first (and you can on a major currency pair like this), then get the Thai bank to convert USD to THB, you can be ahead. It's possible to get *very* narrow spreads (sub 0.05%) on GPB to USD using currency trading accounts such as interactive brokers, then transfer that USD to the Thai bank.
  11. Lol not quite sure what that is supposed to mean, is it intended as past or future tense? I did hear that August was the date things would be tightened for trying repeated visa exempt entries. Maybe they have been instructed to give those with a VISA a bit of grief as well if they're entering a lot.
  12. Just keep an eye on the Agoda review. I wrote a negative review of a hotel that didn't want to honor the booking (maybe they were full, I'm not sure), and Agoda wouldn't publish it. Apparently censoring of negative reviews happens routinely, which I found pretty alarming.
  13. While reading the OP I was thinking if they get away with it, what's to stop them doing it on purpose to scam all the customers.. which is exactly what you describe. You also describe the type of response they would get from me if no agreement could be reached lol. For anyone who says just wear it, the law won't bother with enforcement - that cuts both ways. Just take some shit, say the former owner gifted it to you, and that they will have to take it up with the former owner. If they want to get the cops involved, then good you just solved the issue of law not bothering with enforcement.