Sara’s sister got married in the Bahamas a few weeks ago. They had their honeymoon vacation before their wedding ceremony because of the waiting period there, and had set up a registry of stuff to do on their vacation rather than household goods. Honeymoon registries are a growing industry, and Sara’s sister chose a small company we won’t name. Sarah bought an activity for the couple and also paid a $10 handling fee. In return for that $10, the registry company sent a check to the sister’s home in Indiana rather than getting the money to her during her trip when she could actually use it. What was the $10 handling fee for, then, exactly?
On August 25th, my younger sister and her then fiancé flew to the Bahamas to begin their wedding/honeymoon celebration. Because Bahamas law requires a couple be in the country for three days before the ceremony, they opted to have the honeymoon first. The rest of the family would join them Labor Day weekend for the ceremony itself. My sister had set up a wedding registry with [redacted] that would allow them to create a wish list of activities they wanted to do while on their honeymoon. Since my husband and I would not be joining the couple for a week, we wanted them to be able to enjoy our gift while they were there, and we put $100 towards one of their activities. We were also charged $10 as a handling fee.
I didn’t learn until two weeks after the wedding that my sister never received those funds while she was in the Bahamas. Instead, they had sent the money as a check to her home in Indiana. What use is that? I could have easily handed her $100 when we arrived the day before the wedding or any time after that, instead of paying a $10 handling fee for money they were never able to use while on their honeymoon.
I called [redacted] to complain and was informed that since my sister had agreed to let gifts be made after a specific date, she had agreed to have those gifts sent to her home as a check. There are two things that frustrate me about that.
The date was August 25th. So basically any gifts made to them while they were in the Bahamas were never going to be made available to them to use. They were all going to be sent to her house in Indiana. The CSR told me that the date is chosen by the date the couple enters as the beginning of the honeymoon, so any couple registering with [redacted] will be unable to receive gifts to their register after their honeymoon begins.
This information is not given to the person buying the gift. If, when I went to the web site, it had said “All gifts made after August 25th will be sent as checks to the couple’s address of record and not deposited into their [redacted] account,” I wouldn’t have bought the gift online.
The CSR told me that in the FAQ section it states:
“The funds are deposited and held in a client trust account. Credit card fees are sent to merchant services, while the service fee is deposited into our general account. Gift funds are then distributed to the travel supplier or directly to your couple according to their account set up.”
Apparently, I should have read the FAQ and should have known that my sister’s account set up would mean that they wouldn’t get the gift.
The CSR did agree to refund $7 of the $10 fee I paid ($3 is a credit card handling fee she cannot refund), so I appreciate that.
Hopefully, this can warn people to be careful when making these sorts of registry purchases.