An article in The Times newspaper published on 17th August has once again highlighted the risks of booking your holiday apartment or villa directly with the property owner. Holidaymaker Helen de Vane was duped out of £3400.00 when she made a bank transfer payment to a ‘villa owner’ advertising on the ‘Owners Direct’ website. This owner was in fact a fraudster who had set up a false advert on the site and posed as a holiday homeowner. Ms de Vane was offered a measly £700 compensation from Owners Direct who claimed that under its Basic Rental Guarantee that was all she was entitled to (read the full article here.)
Are You Covered When Booking Direct with Owners?
The article points out the risks of booking direct with so-called property owners through with sites such as Owners Direct, as Ms de Vane discovered…
“I called Owners Direct immediately and they took my details but said that having not taken their insurance, the whole amount wasn’t covered,” she says. “They said the genuine owners’ e-mail must have been hacked.”
Owners Direct denies it is at fault, as it says Ms de Vane has been a victim of phishing, or online identity fraud. This starts with fraudsters visiting holiday-letting websites such as Owners Direct and hacking into the e-mail account of owners advertising their properties on these sites. They reply to the customers from their own e-mail account, posing as the owner and provide a bank account into which payments are made.
Owners Direct says:
“Phishing is a very common, widespread problem affecting many online industries. While we sincerely regret this has happened, phishing — more easily understood as online identity theft — is a security breach of one of our advertiser’s e-mail accounts and did not occur on the Owners Direct site, which is why we’re unable to prevent it.”
Panoramic Villas guarantee means that your chosen holiday home will be there for you. In the very unlikely situation that the villa you book is for any unforeseen reason not available to you Panoramic Villas will re-house you in a suitable property nearby or refund ALL of your rental monies (see our Terms and Conditions.)
All of our payments are taken by secure debit or credit card transactions through our payment gateway, Sagepay. This means you will never be asked to transfer money into a bank account with no guarantee that your money is going to a villa owner. We are the secure, guaranteed bridge between our holiday clients and the property owner.
Unforeseen problems can and do sometimes arise and for the first time we recently had an unfortunate situation whereby one of our property owners went bankrupt and lost his villa, leaving 3 sets of holidaymakers without somewhere to stay. We found two parties 2 fantastic villas nearby and they were extremely happy with their accommodation. The third party were refunded all of their rental monies and booked elsewhere. Problems do arise but it’s comforting to know you always have Panoramic Villas guarantee.
Booking with Panoramic Villas really is guaranteed to be hassle-free.
Here are the Testimonials from Our Happy Customers
Both experienced first hand how Panoramic Villas will go the extra mile to guarantee your holiday:
“We had a good experience using Panoramic Villas. We were informed six weeks before departing that our villa was no longer available, hitting me with bad news but then giving me good news that they had found an equally good villa in the same location and with the same spec. Definitely would use the company again.”
S. Baughan (Monday, August 5, 2013)
“Panoramic Villas offered a great service, and responded promptly and effectively when our first order could not be rented due to bankruptcy of owner.”
G.Kjelby (Tuesday, July 30, 2013)
Book your next holiday with Panoramic Villas and enjoy peace of mind. To view our fantastic selection of holiday homes click here.