Help with booking a villa direct

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higgs008
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Help with booking a villa direct

Post by higgs008 » September 16th, 2014, 6:06 pm

Hi,

I have been travelling to menorca for the last 9 years and have been booking a villa holiday for the last 3 years. I have been looking at the price online and i am getting some good villas on owners direct and homeandaway, i have never booked direct before and was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on this and if you have ever had any trouble on arrival. Just a bit nervous about booking direct!

Much Appreciated
Sam

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Slartibartfast
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by Slartibartfast » September 16th, 2014, 6:41 pm

We have booked many holidays, flights and direct with the property owner owner and never had a problem.... But like anything do a little homework first. Read the reviews CAREFULLY owners have been known to post reviews themselves ... Also search for the villa name [ask the owners] and make sure you know exactly where it is. But please note you will not have the services of a rep, some villa management services will help all they can if you have a problem, but you may be on your own.

Have you thought about booking through a villa agency such as http://www.finishingtouch.co.uk/ or http://www.menorcanvillas.info The cost will be very similar and you have some protection and reassurance that you'll get what you booked.

All in all I'd say go for it, good savings can be made and most [but not all] private villas will be furnished to a higher standard than most offered by tour company's
I claim no responsibility for the following disclaimer.
All opinions are my wife's; I have none. (In my opinion.)

ciaran
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by ciaran » September 16th, 2014, 6:50 pm

Hi Sam, we always used to book a villas using owners direct, we have never had any problems. We always used to book the villa about this time of year for the school summer holiday , we always used to look at the villa we wanted , email for availability , check out the flights , if it all fits in well, we email owner to say we want it, book the flights, then pay deposit on the villa, I always used to get a hire car at the same time. Some people seem to think if they wait to book flights they will end up getting cheaper, I have only seen the flight prices go up. :smile:
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sonador
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by sonador » September 16th, 2014, 11:42 pm

Also used Owners Direct & never had a problem.

Susan19
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by Susan19 » September 17th, 2014, 1:24 pm

I wasn't very impressed with Owners Direct/Home and Away when I tried to use them this summer and ended up going with a company.

I contacted 8 listers, 4 of whom didn't even have the courtesy to reply. Then there was one where the price wasn't as stated, another who was at least honest to say they were trying to sell, and had no idea what would happen to the booking if they sold :shock: . The other two were already booked but obvioulsy couldn't be arised to update their calenders.(must be a nano seconds work!)

Since Owners Direct were bought by a massive US corporation three years ago they have had serious breaches of their security systems, fake demands, phishing attemps, hijacks of the site by third parties who then purport to be owners take deposits and the genuine owners know nothing about the booking etc

For the 1st time this year, they have had serious breaches of security in their system, out of 30 requests for rental, 27 at least were obviously fake demands attempting to "phish" and capture emails settings.

When confronted their stance is to take the vue that phishing and ***** on the net are unavoidable and occur with most websites.

Personally I think Ownersdirect is poorly equipped in defence systems and is in denial about it.

Whether an owner lists with them, or a user trying to rent, you are not protected, and you may well end up paying a fake owner or getting a client who does not exists.

The last 7 villa rentals we have undertaken have been with companies as if the worst comes to the worst and you are let down at the last minuite by an owner double booking (happened to me with Cosmos Villas with Pools, owner was advertisng with Cosmos as available but took a private booking for my week :evil: but didnt let cosmos know) they can normally find you somewhere else so you dont lose your flights & car hire or have to book in an expensive hotel. Infact Cosmos put me us a more expensive villa to compensate for my near heart attack at my holiday going pear shaped :sad: 4 weeks prior to travel.

I would never deal with anyone who hasn't got a landline, and would always pay with a credit card to get section 75 cover.
S'algar : summer 2003
Cala Galdana : summer 2010
Cala Galdana : summer 2014
? ? ? ? : summer 2015

beachstroller
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by beachstroller » September 18th, 2014, 2:16 pm

Booking direct with a private villa owner is not a problem if you use common sense, trouble is it seems it's not very common as people are prepared to part with 1000s of pounds having never had a single telephone conversation with the actual owner.

....so have 1 /more real conversations,get a contract, get an address, get a receipt. research the are with google maps

Mobile phones are perfectly normal in this day and age and so I personally see no huge minus with it ( in fact you might well having spoken to owner- get their land line- Important thing is a real conversation is worth a lot more to me than 'protection schemes etc' pretty obvious how someone talks about the property / area that they know it as an owner.

As Susan correctly says as big business crushes in on this online market they become a much more attractive target for the minority of exploiters.

Also we live in a media reality where often the case that 1 bad case is often not compared against the 1000's of no problems that people have had.

There is a simple reason why people cannot be 'arsed' to update calendars ( pending enquirers often cannot be shown,owners have other accommodation they know about, so leave calendar free ) at the end of the day it's their choice and I personally would not read too much into it.

Owners ( my friend is one ) get these shotguns enquirers where there calendar has been updated showing clearly dates booked/wrong changeover day but the enquirer is using the site's send multiple enquirers.

Several agencies have been renting owners properties on their behalf for years on Menorca
in addition to the above http://www.menorcavacations.com , http://www.gwvillarentals.cam/ http://www.holidayhomerentalsonline.com/ , http://www.redorka.es/ ,

Susan19
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by Susan19 » September 18th, 2014, 4:59 pm

The flaw with the media reality of one bad case against 1000 good ones, is if you are the one bad case and your £500 deposit has gone AWOL, the other cases are immaterial to you :sad:

You have absolutely no chance of getting the money back if the owner or company is not domiciled in the UK, you can't us the UK small claims court which is a cheap option for the small person and a no win no fee'er' won't touch a case in Spain, France etc as too expensive and difficult to deal in two legal systems and a second language.

I certainly didn't use a 'shotgun' approach I made eight separate and distinct enquiries, was mindful of changeover days and prepared to spend the odd night either end in an hotel if necessary to fit in with owners requirements.
S'algar : summer 2003
Cala Galdana : summer 2010
Cala Galdana : summer 2014
? ? ? ? : summer 2015

beachstroller
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by beachstroller » September 18th, 2014, 5:47 pm

Doing common sense due diligence before parting with any money is what is required.

Media reality is the 'false impression' created which may put off someone being 1 of the 1000s others who has a positive experience - being my point

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hodghegs
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Re: Help with booking a villa direct

Post by hodghegs » September 18th, 2014, 8:29 pm

I've rented apartments and villas privately via OD for years now, the reality always has exceeded my expectations. The man I rent from now (last 3 years) isn't great at the admin, and I was really worried the first year we used him, due to the lack of info he provided, however the villa was the most immaculate, well tended place I have EVER stayed. :grin: . Gardener turned up every 3 days, pool tended twice a week, it is amazing. But I totally understand that not knowing/not being effectively communicated with, is very worrying.

My tips: find the villa on Google Earth, make sure it exists (check the shape of the pool, roof line etc to make sure you have the right place from the photos). If there are reviews, trust them. Google the owners/renter/management agent. Chance are they have, or rent out, more than one property - this way you can make sure they are "real".

I love the freedom holidaying this way gives me. I get a villa, virtually in the middle of nowhere, no noise, no other people, at a faction of the cost it would be via James Villas for instance. It's wonderful :rock:

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