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Booking.com and money transfer

(20 Posts)
crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 17:01:20

I have booked a holiday apartment in Spain through Booking.com. I have received an email from the owner via the website asking me to pay via bank transfer.

Is this usual? Is it safe? Can you please advise, I'm scared we'll find out we've been scammed on arrival.

OP’s posts: |
thenightsky Fri 03-Jan-20 17:06:12

We had to do that with an apartment via booking.com in Barcelona, but they only asked for the deposit. It was a good few years ago.

crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 17:14:31

This is asking for the whole amount. I didn't have to pay a deposit.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Fri 03-Jan-20 17:14:58

Sounds unusual.

crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 17:27:08

I can't seem to find any other way to pay. It is an owner who rents our the flat through the website.

OP’s posts: |
crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 17:27:31

How do most people pay via booking.com?

OP’s posts: |
thenightsky Fri 03-Jan-20 18:05:10

I've only ever used credit card.

LilyPond2 Fri 03-Jan-20 18:09:42

I think property owners on booking.com vary as to how they require payment to be made. I've booked several places using booking.com and have always avoided properties that require advance payment by bank transfer. From memory, I think I've always paid either by cash or card on arrival. In some instances, owners have required credit card details in advance to guarantee the payment even if they were not taking it straightaway.

My understanding is that a bank transfer is basically the same as paying cash, ie you have no recourse against anyone else if the person you've paid the money to turns out to be a scammer. I believe you have more protection if paying by credit card, though am hazy on the details.

So before transferring any money to the purported owner, ask yourself how you know that the person is genuine. I would be particularly wary if the person has no reviews (or only a small number which might be relatively easy to fake). Personally, I wouldn't book an apartment which required payment by bank transfer.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 03-Jan-20 18:32:03

Do not make such a payment. If this goes wrong you have no recourse into getting your money back. Bank transfer is as good as cash and once that is confirmed it is gone.

I would book with someone else and find somewhere else to stay in the resort. Book with the hotel direct rather than use a third party agent.

Skatesbythesea Fri 03-Jan-20 18:32:19

I find that wierd, I just booked accommodation and most of the places either said:

This trip is non-refundable (and you had to pay in full first)

OR

This trip is cancellable (nothing to pay now and you can cancel up to approx 2 weeks before)

So if you pay now, what is the refund policy?

For the non-refundable trips, the rates were cheaper by 10-20% by the way. What did it say about payment when you booked?

So I wonder if they advertised it at the higher cancellable rate, but are now asking you for payment in full?

How does the price compare with apartments where you can cancel?

Be aware that if you do pay, the trip may become non-cancellable, any cancellation refund would have to be covered under (if you buy some) insurance.

So it's not so much whether they are genuine, this should all be sorted at the time of booking.

wowfudge Fri 03-Jan-20 18:35:00

I'd be concerned this is not genuine and would ring booking.com to check and, even if it is genuine, would cancel and re-book somewhere I can pay by credit card.

crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 19:00:09

That's what the offer was - non-refundable and yes it seems very good value.
I have tried phoning booking.com with no luck. You have to give a pin number and I have no such thing, just a confirmation one.
I will ask the owner if I can pay via credit card, is that safer?

Many thanks for all replies.

OP’s posts: |
crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 19:05:48

I have the pin number now and am ringing them.

OP’s posts: |
Ginisatonic Fri 03-Jan-20 19:12:40

I had an apartment owner in spain ask for payment by bank transfer through booking.com.
I think it did say in the booking conditions that this was the case.
When I tried to do the transfer my bank asked for his full name. When I asked for his full name he got arsey and refused to give me it. He then contacted booking.com who in turn contacted me and said if I hadn’t paid with 24 hours he would cancel the booking.
I saved him the trouble and cancelled on line and rebooked something else which allowed me to pay booking.com by credit card.
When we got there we realised the alternative we’d booked was far superior so it worked out for the best anyway.

crapholidayplanner Fri 03-Jan-20 19:27:14

I do have his name, thank you for that it's useful.

I have just spoken with booking.com who have said he is a genuine owner - from their checks. It's so stressful booking a holiday!!!

OP’s posts: |
EveryDayIsLikeMonday Fri 03-Jan-20 21:36:03

I've booked like this before but also queried the owner about alternatives first and phoned them to make sure they actually existed!
An alternative we have also used, is to offer to transfer a deposit and pay the rest in cash when you get there.

MadHouseUpNorth Fri 03-Jan-20 21:54:50

I had it before but when trying to process the transfer, the bank fee was so ridiculous that I’ve emailed the owner who agreed to accept cash on arrival. No problem with the apartment at all,

crapholidayplanner Sat 04-Jan-20 10:53:57

Thank you for all messages, very encouraging. I am waiting for booking.com to confirm that he is legit.

OP’s posts: |
crapholidayplanner Sun 05-Jan-20 15:45:54

Well I never heard back from the owner when I asked to pay using an alternative method so I've booked somewhere else using secure booking - paypal.

OP’s posts: |
Elieza Sun 05-Jan-20 16:15:50

I hope that works out ok for you OP.

PS for others info/future reference, as far as I know PayPal are considered a third party, and as such you can’t claim against them under section 75 the way you can if you get scammed but have paid by credit card and the item was over £100.

I’m sure it will be ok OP, just mentioning for others benefit.

I use martins money tips website for all advice. It’s fab. smile

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