I am an American planning a trip to Vietnam, and I was planning to book through a travel agency located in Vietnam. In researching the travel agency, I found a lot of reason to feel good about the company:

  1. They have good reviews on TripAdvisor, including a "Certificate of Excellence."
  2. They have a professional looking website.
  3. They have been responsive and professional in email communications.
  4. They accept credit card payments through OnePay, which seems like a secure payment method.

As I was getting ready to pull the trigger and book with this agency, a few things made me nervous about the company:

  1. I noticed one negative review of the company, in which a traveler felt they may have been scammed by the company.
  2. One of the modes of payment listed was bank transfer to the individual bank account of a manager at the company (as opposed to a bank transfer to a company bank account). It struck me as unusual to ask for payments to an employee account instead of a company account.

This has really motivated me to take more steps to vet the travel agency before booking -- I would really hate to travel all the way to Vietnam only to learn that my trip had somehow been switched or canceled.

In researching how to vet companies, a lot of the advice I've found seems difficult to apply here:

  1. I don't know of any authority websites (like the Better Business Bureau in the US/Canada or Companies House in the UK) that I could use to look up Vietnamese companies.
  2. I don't know how to check the credit report of an overseas company (or if that's even possible in this case).
  3. I can't physically visit the company.

How should I proceed in vetting this particular agency beyond the steps I've already taken? More generally, how should one vet an overseas travel agency?


Sounds like you're being pretty prudent already. Additional measures I can think of are try to pay with a credit card if you can, make sure your travel insurance covers a situation like that, and check that the business is a registered agent. There's usually an agency that oversees travel agents, you can always query for their standing.

A single bad review sounds like a pretty good situation to me.

P.S. Just a couple of notes.

  • Doing business in Vietnam is probably not like doing business where you're from. The bank account might be in the person's name because they have a sole proprietorship.

  • A credit report of a company is usually useless since most companies secure against assets or equity.


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