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  • FIRST POST
    • CloudTravels
    • By CloudTravels 10th Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    • 5Posts
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    CloudTravels
    0 WOW
    Beware of Owners Direct not supporting or protecting customers
    • #1
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:58 AM
    0 WOW
    Beware of Owners Direct not supporting or protecting customers 10th Jan 18 at 10:58 AM
    I thought long and hard about whether to post something publicly about my situation but now it's got to the point that I only see it right that others should know and be aware.
    Last September my elderly Mother booked a villa from Tenerife Rentals that advertise their clients villa's on the Owners Direct website.
    I have used Owners Direct before to book villas abroad and before this, had no issue. However, my Mother paid a deposit of 500 and then a further 2500 for the villa. Only she was rushed to hospital with heart failure shortly after booking.
    I took over her admin as she was in hospital unwell (and still is unwell to this day with her heart) and informed them that we were 72 hours over getting a full refund (we were still within our rights to get a 50%) so could they possibly allow my Mother her full refund because it was for her 80th Birthday treat and she can't really afford to lose this money (3000).
    I hoped that seeing as it was totally out of her control due to being taken ill AND that it was a mere 72 hours after the 100% refund cut off they would have a heart and consider her a refund.
    Tenerife Rentals replied that he would 'refund the money' if they could get the villa rented out for the same period.
    So after many attempts to check the situation with them and getting no reply, we decided to look to see if the villa could be seen to be available still on line via Owners Direct and lo and behold the villa was booked out for not only the same period we had paid for but longer.

    I contacted Tenerife Rentals and said that now it was rented out for the same time period plus more could we receive our full refund that you had agreed.

    I contacted the official complains department of the website company Owners Direct and went through their official channel of complaint where they ask for lots of info. I did everything they asked. I sent Hospital letters and proof of my Mothers heart condition plus the proof of purchase and screen shots of the villa companies agreement to reimburse.

    I got no luck with Owners Direct as they said it was down to the Villa Owner.
    The Villa rental agent finally came back with 'the owner of the villa has the money in his account and he says your Mothers letters prove nothing'. ( I submitted the admissions and discharge letters with the dates and her heart condition. What more proof did he need)?

    I am so angry at the lack of care, the lack of response, the lack of customer service from both the Rental company and also Owners Direct who support this owner.

    After a while they returned just the 500 iniital deposit and have so far kept the rest which is 2500 more. Even keeping the 50% that was supposed to be returned immediately according to the T&C's
    .
    So to recap "They had agreed that they would refund all of the money if the villa was rented out and they haven't stood by this'.

    So of course I turned again to Owners Direct as they advertise that when you book with them, your money is safe with their guarantee. Surely they would help.
    Initially I had positive sounding responses, even the person in customer service (Krisha) said that she agreed the money should be returned back to me in this situation. She said they would sort it out and I would get my money back with their help.

    We are now in the 4th month and nothing. Today Owners Direct are now saying that they can't help as the money is with the Villa Owner and once paid via the website portal it goes into his bank !!
    So they are passing the buck and to this day my 80 year old and very poorly Mother is still 2500 out of pocket which saddens me as she saved for ages for this holiday to celebrate her 80th.

    I seem to be stuck as to my next move. What advice would you give as i'm not planning on giving up on these people thinking it's ok to do my Mother over. Take her money, agree to return it and then re rent the villa for the same period and keep 2 lots of money.

    Poor service from Owners Direct to not support us either. Poor show.
    Sorry for the rant but it's really affecting my Mother too and I so want to sort it out for her.
    Your advice is so welcome.
    Last edited by CloudTravels; 10-01-2018 at 9:48 PM. Reason: More information
Page 1
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 10th Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    • 2,242 Posts
    • 3,724 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    Your advice is so welcome.
    Originally posted by CloudTravels

    My advice is simple - rather than berating the company for applying its T&C's why not claim on your Mothers travel insurance ? She did have travel insurance didn't she ?
    • CloudTravels
    • By CloudTravels 10th Jan 18, 11:10 AM
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    CloudTravels
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:10 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Jan 18, 11:10 AM
    She had not taken travel insurance at that time. It was a month before the holiday and she hadn't. She also booked with Barclaycard who unlike other banks do not provide insurance for such matters. We did look at doing this for her first of all but once all insurance avenues were investigated we turned back to the Villa booking site. She was well within her rights for a 50% refund and a written agreement was made to her for a full refund. It's not a case of berating more frustration at her not being treated right. Thank you for replying
    Last edited by CloudTravels; 10-01-2018 at 11:13 AM. Reason: additional text
    • EssexExile
    • By EssexExile 10th Jan 18, 12:28 PM
    • 2,861 Posts
    • 1,994 Thanks
    EssexExile
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:28 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:28 PM
    It sounds like the problem is that the owner won't return the money. Other parties seem to have promised things that are not within their power to promise. They are trying to be helpful but are finding it impossible.

    As said above, these situations are what insurance is for.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 10th Jan 18, 12:44 PM
    • 8,318 Posts
    • 10,655 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:44 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 12:44 PM
    She also booked with Barclaycard who unlike other banks do not provide insurance for such matters
    I can't think of a credit card that does.

    A Chargecard with a 450 annual fee may have been useful. For somebody under 70.

    Are you saying that the T&Cs entitle mum to a 50% rebate and this hasn't been received?

    If so, raise a Section 75 claim (or chargeback) with Barclaycard for that 50%.

    Although there is a risk that as the purchase chain might not be direct S75 could fail.
    • Ganga
    • By Ganga 10th Jan 18, 1:12 PM
    • 1,106 Posts
    • 564 Thanks
    Ganga
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:12 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:12 PM
    The original post is too long,i gave up after two lines.
    ITS NOT EASY TO GET EVERYTHING WRONG ,I HAVE TO WORK HARD TO DO IT!
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th Jan 18, 1:36 PM
    • 20,314 Posts
    • 16,061 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:36 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 1:36 PM
    This is why Travel insurance should be taken out as soon as any money is paid or promise.

    However, in this case, because the villa has been relet I think your mother is entitled to all of her money back, less any reasonable cancellation fees that might apply. The difficulty is how to actually achieve that. As PeacufulWaters suggests, a S75 claim might work, but if it doesn't then court action might be required, and that might have to be in the Spanish courts depending on who was actually paid.
    • CloudTravels
    • By CloudTravels 10th Jan 18, 9:36 PM
    • 5 Posts
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    CloudTravels
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:36 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:36 PM
    Thanks for your response. I have a card that has travel insurance attached to it so that would have been ok but as i said my Mother does not. But I hadn't heard of the 75 thing you talk about so i'll take a look at it for her. Thank you again
    • CloudTravels
    • By CloudTravels 10th Jan 18, 9:38 PM
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    CloudTravels
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:38 PM
    re: Insurance
    • #9
    • 10th Jan 18, 9:38 PM
    Yes I totally realise insurance should be taken out immediately. Sadly due to her age, it was left to last minute as it was expensive. Lesson learnt. Hopefully she will be able to go on another holiday one day and i'll make sure she has the adequate insurance.

    I agree with you re: the villa was re let and she should get her money back. Not only was it re let but it was let quickly for a much longer period too so the owner got two lots of money for the same time.

    Thanks for your reply.
    • CloudTravels
    • By CloudTravels 10th Jan 18, 9:39 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    CloudTravels
    My too long post
    Yes sorry for the long post. I was emotional and poured my frustrations out.
    • codger
    • By codger 26th Jan 18, 6:13 PM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 2,445 Thanks
    codger
    Sympathies with the OP, but, but, but . . .

    No travel insurance = no travel.

    Always, and without exception.

    We were planning a winter holiday in Spain in a rented villa, my wife and myself and her parents who're both in their late 80s. They've enjoyed excellent health over the years but a recent cardio-vascular problem for one of them is, though not serious, nevertheless still the subject of medical treatment.

    Where travel insurance was actually offered -- and many underwriters were not prepared to do so -- the premiums were at a high price. And that was the end of that: the insurance wasn't affordable, and so the holiday booking was never made and the holiday never went ahead.

    Could we / should we have just taken the risk and hoped for the best? No. Travel insurance is looking both ways before crossing a busy road. You might get to the other side OK without looking, but then again, you might just get flattened by something you didn't see coming.

    Hopefully the OP's situation will have a happy ending, though I'd not be too optimistic of success in trying to vary the terms of a contract after the fact of signing up to 'em, as is the case here. And as it's goodwill that's needed on all sides, it may be best not to rant too much about any other parties involved.
    • LINDIELOU
    • By LINDIELOU 17th May 18, 4:58 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    LINDIELOU
    Clarification
    Hi, really sorry to hear about your mother - hope she is making a full recovery.

    As a property owner, I can tell you that we DO NOT receive any funds from Owners Direct (via their payment partner YAP) until a week after the guests have left - so saying that the owner has the funds is not true.

    Hope this helps
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