I'm in the process of organising accommodation at an Athens hostel for a busy period and they have asked for payment upfront which is fine BUT they have asked for payment "by post order at the name of the manager". They have given me the managers name and the address which is the hostel address but i'm quite wary. I am desperate to get this accommodation but how can I be sure it is legit? The correspondence so far has been via email.
I am not sure about postal services in other countries, but if you were in the USA what you could do is
1. Use a money order to pay. A money order is a third-party check written by a bank or similar organization.. You give them cash, they give you a money order for the amount of cash you gave them.(they might have a different name in OZ). With Money orders there is a piece that you can tear off and keep as an instant receipt.
2. Send the money order to the hostel manager 1st class signature required. This way he has to sign his name when he recieves the letter and then cash the money order which you have a receipt for.. I don't think there is any fail-safe method of dealing with you situation, short of looking elsewhere for accomodation, but this is a good way to try to be sure that the Hostel manager has to keep his end of the bargain, or else you will be able to prove that he got the money later on down the road.
Again, this is a system that I have used in the USA, but you would have to find out the details as they apply to your country and Greece to see if its possible.
There are alot of places to stay in Athens. If you are unsure, there may be a reason you feel that way. Only reserve by CREDIT CARD, that way you have recourse.