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Ownersdirect.co.uk would you be concerned about a villa where owners requested cash on arrival for balance?

(22 Posts)
chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 21:53:24

We've used ownersdirect several times but it happens that the owner has always been uk based and requested cheque for balance 6-8 weeks before. Always felt very secure.

This time the owner is local and has requested a transfer for the deposit (25%) and cash on arrival for balance.

The reviews are good but not sure how verifiable the reviews are.

Its in Spain. Any advice would be appreciated.

Jungfraujoch Mon 05-Jan-15 21:55:51

I'm pretty sure we've been asked to do that a couple of times before - English couple. Just paid in Euros.

Hassled Mon 05-Jan-15 21:56:22

I've used ownersdirect a lot and never come across that before. But in some ways it's a good thing, isn't it - if you arrive and the villa is a hovel, you won't hand over the cash, will you? Or could it just be a way of scamming you of the 25% and there is no villa? I don't know - it is odd.

Try googling the villa name/details - often they're on other sites as well and more reviews come up.

CaulkheadUpNorth Mon 05-Jan-15 21:59:03

I might be being very thick, but isn't this posted in childbirth?

bonzo77 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:04:34

Maybe she's having the baby in the property.

CaulkheadUpNorth Mon 05-Jan-15 22:06:38

Of course! Didn't think of that. grin

chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 22:07:28

Yeah god knows how I got into Childbirth, as lovely as my children are I hope never to need that part of MN again. I swear I was in Shorthaul travel, there were posts about Portugal and everything!!

Bugger but thank you for responding anyway. Yes its the scamming thing and there being no villa when we arrive in the middle of the night that I'm worried about. The deposits about £500 so enough to be worth a scam??

Hassled Mon 05-Jan-15 22:07:49

I hadn't registered the topic grin.

chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 22:08:15

Oh dear get me out of here, I am NOT having another baby!

Shinyshoes2 Mon 05-Jan-15 22:08:19

I did it on my last holiday I'd booked through owners direct
I paid the balance to the woman on day 2 of our arrival , she came to the villa to collect it

PoppySausage Mon 05-Jan-15 22:08:41

I would be wary - the website was on watchdog

RonaldMcFartNuggets Mon 05-Jan-15 22:09:42

I wouldn't

LostyTheSnowman Mon 05-Jan-15 22:09:47

The two times I've used owners direct I've paid the balance in cash on arrival. Was a pain the time we'd driven miles through Europe with our tent and had to have a wodge of cash to hand over!

Quangle Mon 05-Jan-15 22:16:06

The last villa I used did this. I found it reassuring. Surely much safer than sending money ahead of time. This way you know the villa exists so you are protected and they've got a deposit against the risk you don't turn up so they are protected.

lavenderhoney Mon 05-Jan-15 22:18:04

Choose another villa. There are loads of them. It sounds dodgy to me- you could be staying in someone's home and they don't know it's being rented out or anything! You might end up sharing! Or looking for a hotel in the middle of the night when the angry owners appear. Less £500 of course.

Ask them why they want cash as you don't feel comfortable - you're already transferring a deposit. What's the difference, unless it's problems you haven't even thought of or tax evasion?

Look on other websites as well. Trip advisor is usually useful and holiday lettings.

chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 22:19:52

I've watched the watchdog clip, thanks for mentioning that. Quite reassuring actually as it is apparently the scammers were intercepting emails and then giving their own bank details rather than the owners who would know nothing about the booking. So cash would seem safer.

How do I know the villa exists and isn't just some pretty pictures? Am not normally cautious but the fear of arriving at midnight with 3 kids and not having anywhere to go is scary, but is is a great villa that meets all of our requirements.

anotherbloodycyclist Mon 05-Jan-15 22:27:42

The last time I booked with owners direct the local owner gave me the option of either a money transfer or cash on arrival. I did a transfer just because I felt uncomfortable carrying 3k in euros, but agree with others, cash on arrival seems quite low risk. I had my usual owners direct induced panic attack of fake villa and scamming owner the night before the holiday, but all was fine. The owner even met us off the car ferry so we could follow him to the villa.
I'm sure yours will help to deliver the baby...

Selks Mon 05-Jan-15 22:30:39

Anyone know where the Watchdog clip is available to view? Link? Ta

chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 22:35:06

That would be an interesting souvenir! Maybe my subconscious is telling me that the extra half stone is not mince pies and Baileys.

For watchdog clip just google Owners Direct Watchdog. Am on ancient laptop which wilts at any attempt to copy URLS.

Bakeoffcakes Mon 05-Jan-15 22:41:13

chill on the website, I think its under "owner's profile", it does usually tell you how long the owner has been advertising with OwnersDirect. I've used them a few times and try to go for properties which have been advertised for a couple of years.

I've also paid cash on arrival and its been no problem.

chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 22:46:46

the owner's profile bit is blank...but the reviews are so nice about the owners and their fresh bread for breakfast, but anyone could actually leave a review couldn't they?

chillybits Mon 05-Jan-15 22:49:28

Oh I've just found the bit you mean. They joined in April 13. Is that pretty reliable? I've just read that owners have to prove they own the property with deeds and passports etc and so assume if it was a scam they would have been pulled by now.

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