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Any experience of booking with Owners Direct?

(22 Posts)
Pigleychez Sat 17-Sep-11 23:23:27

Looking at going to Majorca next June for our first family holiday abroad. Never book things off our own backs before so another new experience.

Have seen a couple of lovely beachfronting apartments on Owners direct but wondering if they are an OK company? How does it work re payment?

We emailed the owners of the 2 apartments a few weeks ago but neither has replied.

Any experiences/advice would be great smile

mumblechum1 Sat 17-Sep-11 23:26:28

I've booked a few villas in tuscany through OD and never had any problems. Bit crap that the owners haven't bothered to reply - guess they've lost your business!

Re. the payment, you pay the owners directly, the OD website is really just an advertising site.

follyfoot Sat 17-Sep-11 23:29:46

We've used Owners Direct lots of times now and in fact got back on Monday from a wonderful holiday in a villa found on their website. Never had a problem at all.

That said, when you book, you arent booking with them, they just advertise places to stay, you are booking directly with the owners of the properties as mumblechum says.

frenchfancy Sun 18-Sep-11 07:27:00

As the others have said, owners direct is just an advertising portail. You get some very good owners and some not so good. Good owners should reply to e-mails within 24 hours, so if you get no reply look for a different appartment.

Once you get a reply ask some questions, you should get a good idea from the owners reply what they are like.

We have been to places where the owners really do that extra mile, so that coupled with the fact that you get a better deal than going with a big company means I only ever book direct with owners.

shesparkles Sun 18-Sep-11 07:39:05

We did it this year and I'd do it again.

PositiveAttitude Sun 18-Sep-11 08:19:40

Done this a few times and it has always been a very easy and cheaper way of doing things. However, if the owner did not reply within a couple of days I would be wary. My contacts have always been very efficient and reliable.

franke Sun 18-Sep-11 08:24:55

Agree with everything that's been said. Whenever I book directly with the owner I keep all copies of correspondence (there tends not to be a legal contract as such) and try to have at least one telephone conversation, I suppose to make sure they are real. Despite the risk of fraud, i only ever book direct because it's so much cheaper and I feel more in control of the whole process.

MrsVoltar Sun 18-Sep-11 09:55:17

Yes, have done a few times. Much cheaper and usually villas/apartments are so much nicer & well-equipped because they are 'someones' holiday home, IYKWIM.

Always make sure I get some travel insurance arranged ASAP after booking anything, so less risk.

diabolo Sun 18-Sep-11 10:38:59

We always use Owners Direct, I've found some really nice apartments and villas over the years and never had a problem with any of the owners. I've been booking the same villa for 4 years in a row now.

Just book your flights and car hire independently.

I can't imagine why the owners haven't replied to your e-mail, sorry.

dreamingofsun Sun 18-Sep-11 10:58:26

might they be away on holiday?

easylife73 Sun 18-Sep-11 11:19:48

We've used them, as have lots of my colleauges. None of us have ever had a problem. They could be on holiday, as obviously they own a lovely holiday home, and are likely to be using it themselves at this time of year (still nice weather, but outside peak renting season). Take note of how long they have been registered on Owners Direct - I'd be more wary of someone who has only just registered than someone who's been with them for a few years. Also, read the feedback from previous guests if there is any - we spotted our own feedback for one house which was nice!

Pigleychez Sun 18-Sep-11 16:02:41

Thanks for the replies.

Mumblechum, your right. Their loss. Ive just emailed another villa so fingers crossed they reply!

Anyone know what the safest way to pay is then? Im guessing not many will take cards.

5Foot5 Sun 18-Sep-11 17:43:38

We have used Owners Direct and can echo the positive experiences of others.

As to payment, it really depends on the owner.

Once the property we rented was in France but owned by an English family who lived in the UK so we just posted them a cheque.

Another time the property was in Italy and the owners were Italian. For the deposit they gave us an IBAN number so that we could send the money via Swift. However, our bank said that the number was incorrect. The owners insisted that was the correct number but in the end we decided it was easier to get a Euro money order from our bank and post it. When it came to paying the balance the owner said he would be happy for us to just pay him in cash on arrival - which we did. The property was delightful and the owners couldn't have been more welcoming.

minimuffin Sun 18-Sep-11 17:55:23

We have used them once and I'm not sure I'd do it again - we booked a villa in Italy owned by an English guy. Lots of things went wrong, problems with electricity supply meant that pool filter didn't work, so pool filled with insects and became murky and unusable. Maintenance guy was there on a daily basis and it was intrusive. Also had to spend all day flicking switches to re-boot generator when power kept cutting out etc etc. All very irritating to say the least. I realised that had we booked through a villa company we could just have insisted on being moved to another place. As it was we were stuck with that villa and it spoiled the holiday. The owner was v apologetic and refunded half the cost of the rental but holidays are precious - you can't get the time back

MrsJohnDeere Sun 18-Sep-11 17:57:08

We used them (house in France) and got email replies within an hour each time we contacted them. The house itself was fine but not as good as ones we'd rented through Brittany Ferries in the past. The owners were based in the uk and we paid by Internet banking.

frenchfancy Sun 18-Sep-11 19:19:52

I realised that had we booked through a villa company we could just have insisted on being moved to another place

Not sure this is true, after all if you are on holiday in August why would anyone have a decent villa just sitting there waiting in case there are unsatisfied customers.

In terms of payment, I have used cheques, bank transfers and credit cards to book villas. I personnally pefer credit card as you get the extra guarentee from you card company. Some owners do have the ability to take cards, but by no means all.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Sun 18-Sep-11 19:21:58

Wondering if anyone is an owner who advertises with them?
Own a property in Florida and keep thinking of registering with them but not yet got around to it. It sounds like it might be a good place to advertise

Pigleychez Sun 18-Sep-11 21:01:17

Ooh exciting! The guy we mailed replied within a few hours and is now sending us the agreement to sign.. Woo hoo!
Penthouse Apartment, right on the beach in Majorca in June. Our first family holiday abroad.. the girls will be 2 and 3yrs old. <Must be mad!>

Now its just flights and transfers to worry about. grin

Badpups Tue 20-Sep-11 18:08:00

I advertise our villas on Owners Direct. You just pay an annual fee and then write your own advert and upload your own photos to the site. Potential guests apply directly to you, usually by email. The site has no control over the content of the adverts so I'd advise guests to double check the villa details especially if you have a specific requirement. E.g if you need 2 cots don't just rely on the written description but double check with the owner.

Owners Direct is part of the HomeAway group which also owns Holiday-Rentals and various other sites mainly in North America.

I try to reply to requests within 24 hours but it's not always possible so don't be put off if you don't get an immediate reply.

AgathaCrusty Tue 20-Sep-11 18:29:23

Lots of owners on Owners Direct etc will have personal sites with more information about the property they're advertising. Worth looking at to get a few more views etc.

We advertise our place with a french agency (same sort of thing though). Most guests lately prefer to pay via direct bank transfer, or if not, cheque.

As Badpups says, owners may not be able to reply within 24 hours - maybe away themselves? - although I guess most of us try to reply promptly as we want to offer good service.

mumofsoontobelawstudent Thu 22-Sep-11 09:57:26

Thanks to this thread have finally got off my arse and advertised my villa on Owners Direct <sits back and waits for enquiries in order to respond immediately> grin

Pigleychez Fri 23-Sep-11 22:39:28

I wasn't expecting an instant email reply. Any reply would have been good though as neither of the first two villa's I mailed replied at all! Oh well, their loss.

mumofsoontobelawstudent- Hope you get plenty of bookings soon. smile

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