we recently stayed in henryanna villa ref s23511 20 minutes from alicante airport,this villa is not at all as is advertised ,the owners met us at the airport as organised we then 30 minutes later arrived at the villa,the first thing i noticed was the high gates and walls ,and we seemed to be in the middle of no where ,there was a welcome pack which included the basics we were then informed this was an extra £40.we were then informed of a list of rules and what we could and couldnt do .from then on the holiday just went from bad to worse, we realised that we had to depend on them for everything ,they were our only form of transport and at a expensive rate ,we were seriously stuck in what was the next nearest thing to a prison camp,with 6 children on tow, we couldnt make noise the kids were given out to on several occasions by the owners for being too loud at the pool,we had no air conditioning and they had access to the villa at all times ,it was absolutely appauling ,we had the worst holiday of all times ,we spent all our money on there taxi service so we could get out of the place. i would not recommend this villa to anyone,in the welcome pack there was 3 bottles of beer dated 2010.it is so misleading and not at all advertised properly,
100004660988827 found this review useful
The site is basically a way for private individuals to advertise their own property for rent with no validation firm any independent agency.
Therefore, there is no guarantee that you will get what appears to have been advertised and there is no comeback if you ave a bad experience.
You are better off using an node pendent vetting organisation like Gites De France for example, where standards have to be consistently maintained.
You may be lucky, but you are renting the property as seen with no guarantees.
This happened to us a few years ago in France, and we would not us this particular service agin because f this
I know that it depends on how you present and describe your property on this site, but I can honestly say that my enquiries and bookings have increased dramatically since listing my Florida property on this site in June 2012.
I have decided to no longer advertise on any other websites, apart from this one as the bulk of my enquires are generated from site.
What ever it is you are doing, keep doing it, it works!
Thank You :)
The reviews on the OwnersDirect website are not representative for two reasons:
1) You can only leave a review if the property owner invites you to do so. Obviously, the owner is only going to invite reviews from people who enjoyed their stay.
2) If you are asked to submit a review, OwnersDirect can decide not to publish your review if it doesn't meet 'certain standards'. Guess what - if you submit a review that is negative in any way, it doesn't meet those standards, and doesn't get published.
Obviously, there must be plenty of great properties on that site - what I am saying is don't choose a property based on the glowing reviews alone.
There are plenty of other websites out there that are a lot more transparent - I recommend you use them instead.
Three weeks ago my daughter and partner hired Stancombe Manor farmhouse for a family holiday. This was to be a treat to celebrate a special birthday for me, also including my son and grandaughter.We were to be joined by other family members making 9 adults and 2 children both under 2 years old.
My partner and I arrived first at 17.30 and discovered the site to be a complex of well maintained houses and gardens, however no sign of our host and unaware as to which building we were allocated.
We made an enquiry with a helpful resident who identified our allocated abode being the farmhouse.
The door was wide open but no one to greet us nor any official directive as to whether be this ours to stay.
We had phoned and had informed the owner we would be arriving after 16.00 so we were expecting a contact to be in place.
We were informed the owner lived in the adjoining property so we knocked and rang to no avail.
We looked inside for a welcome pack, no such document was found. Having travelled a long journey we felt within are rights to inspect the property and have a drink and shower.
The kitchen was large with lots of furnishings, great aga cooker and plenty of cooking utensils to hand.
The lounge was small by comparison and not large enough for our needs however this could have been overlooked had it not been for the appalling smell percolating from the carpet underneath the rug which had been thrown back to allow it to dry after a bucket of water had been empted on it prior to our arrival we later learned from the owner.
We went upstairs [access was gained by a spiral staircase with chipped paint and a stained carpet] to shower to find there was no hot water. The bathroom itself needed a good scrub and was below standard from a presentation stand point.
We had a cold shower and decided to watch the T.V. to see if Andy Murray could succeed only to find the T.V. would not work.
My son arrived at this point and with the aid of a multi meter got some reception from the
T.V;and when the owner finally did turn up hours later and was greeted by my son who was told there had been a spillage in the lounge; the hot water could be turned on from a switch sited under the consumer unit sited in a cupboard in the kitchen. I fail to see how a guest can have prior knowledge of these facts.
We mentioned the stained carpet etc and the retort was this is an old property indicating this is what is expected of an old place. It was pointed out that the price of £1950.00 had been paid out for a week’s accommodation and for that price we would expect the place to be in good order, clean and working, and a welcome of a professional order.
My daughter arrived later to discover the cot which had been promised to be erect was not so, and there were 7 lights fitted with faulty lamp bulbs.
The next day my daughter spoke to Mrs West pointing out that it was totally unacceptable to leave a wet carpet in this manner. The reply was that there was a heater upstairs we could use to dry out the carpet and there were light bulbs in a drawer we could do the lamp changes ourselves.
It was then pointed out to Mrs West this was the hottest July we had had this century and a heater in the lounge was not to be had at any price; also we were not there to carry out electrical maintenance on her property.
The rest of our party arrived on the Sunday and they were surprised with the shabbiness of the place. However we enjoyed the complex and what it had to offer as it was very
well maintained with lovely pool, games room, tennis court, swings and in a very tranquil area of Devon.
There are other parts of the complex with what appear to be privately owned cottages or apartments and these seem to be well looked after so this review in no way reflects on them. It is such a pity the farmhouse is not so well maintained.
To sum up the farmhouse needs to be upgraded. Also it is not ideal for small children nor the elderly or infirm due to the spiral staircase. The lounge is far too small to accommodate ten people with seating for only 5 or 6 at the most which means not all our party could be seated to socialize together.
We are surprised that a property in this condition and with such slip shod management can be advertised on your site and given the conditions be charged out at such a rate.
Mrs Jean Snaith.
I booked the Apartment in Keswick as it was small and compact, perfect for a week on my own when I just needed a base in the centre of Keswick. The pictures on the website made the apartment look modern, minimalist and clean. How deceiving can photographs be?
I arrived at the key collection point which was a bar in Keswick close to the apartment. The guy was polite and showed me how to get my car across the confusing one way system to the apartment block & as the parking spot does not have direct access to the external steps to the sixth floor apartment, he told me to park in the entry whilst I unloaded my luggage. He gave me the key and returned to the bar.
I climbed the steps with the strong smell of tomato bolognaise sauce filling my nostrils from the Italian restaurant which is on the ground floor of the building. I also need to point out that all the industrial bins from the restaurant were also at the foot of the steps (not the best welcome).
On opening the door to the apartment it was immediately obvious that it had not been cleaned or aired. There was a strong stale smell of food, lots of long hairs and crumbs on the wooden floor, the settee was full of dust and crumbs, the work surfaces in the kitchen had not been even wiped down, the bathroom was full of dust, hairs and black mould etc on the tiles and the whole first impression was terrible.
The one bedroom was a decent sized room but the wallpaper was really peeling away from the wall in several places (badly damp) and the skirting boards throughout the apartment were full of dust.
I immediately rang Owners Direct and described the problems and they said they would get someone round straight away. I went back down the steps to get my next lot of luggage and got a mouthful of abuse from a man who wanted to pass my car in the entry which I was blocking. As I had been told it was OK for me to unload there, it was a bit of a shock to the system.
The guy from the bar then returned and I gave him the key to the apartment whilst I moved the car. He went up and when I joined him, he agreed that the apartment had not been cleaned, apologised and said his cleaner was on the way.
She turned up and he had to tell her where the dust and dirt was!!! Quite amusing really!! He then got the bed stripped and sent her off with the linen and towels to get replacements whilst he hovered the floor and mopped it. Once the bed had been remade he asked me to go into the flat with him to check it. Obviously there was no way it had been cleaned in all areas in the time they had been in it but I just wanted to get in the shower by this time as I had been walking from 7am that morning and now it was 5 o'clock. Just as they were leaving, a lady came out from the next door apartment and asked if the man who was dealing with my apartment was also responsible for her apartment. He said no and why. She explained that she had experienced problems with hot water and the shower and she had had to call someone but since then she was still having problems. It was established that it was nothing to do with my guy at which point I said to him, 'I hope that I am not going to have problems with my shower and hot water and if I do, who should I contact?'. He said to go through him for any problems and that if I needed any milk, tea or sugar whilst I was there I should just ask him and he apologised for the apartment not being cleaned and left. It was only when I had got undressed that I realised I didn't have the key to lock the door. I couldn't find it anywhere so I had to ring Owners Direct & they rang they guy again to see if he had it and he did, in his pocket! So he had to come back with it before I could have a shower.
After he left for the third time, I undressed and got in the shower and surprise surprise, there was no hot water!! So, as I didn't have the guy's details, I had to get dressed and go round to the bar to tell him about the latest problem. He came back to the apartment with me and said several guests have had problems with the hot water and it is a switch on the wall!! In response to this, instead of screaming, I suggested he put a laminated notice somewhere prominent or gave some basic information to guests with the keys. He agreed it might be a good idea. ! He also offered me a free meal at the bar/restaurant to apologise for all the problems.
I finally had a good shower, unpacked and cleaned the apartment properly. The shower and bathroom were the worst and I didn't feel properly clean all week and went home with a very bad cold. Did I catch the germs in the dirty apartment??
Anyway, needless to say, I didn't go for the free meal as it would not have made up for the disappointment when I had been looking forward to my week away for eight months and I will not book through Owners Direct again.
Just had a great holiday in an apartment we booked through owners direct ref: P9466. First time in Portugal. The apartment was lovely comfortable and clean we could not have wished for anything better. Oasis Parque is a fab place for us with our 2 kids, they had the freedom they wanted while we were able to relax. The owners were great to deal with extremely helpful. Will certainly be looking to return here next year. Thanks Patrick and Sue X
Just returned from a fantastic 10 days in a beautiful apartment. Cannot recommend highly enough. Owner Andrew kept us fully informed. We sent flight times and a taxi was booked for us from the airport. Such excellent service. Ref no: S17518.
I have used owners direct on three occasions just back from murcia with friends,house we booked this time was fabulous Ref ( S23138) had everything in it we could possibly want very modern and clean, pool area and gardens in excellent condition, location was fab 10mins walk to the supermarket and beach,enjoyed it so much we have booked again as soon as we came home for next year, anyone looking to go to murcia i would recommend this 100%.
The owners kept in touch throughout the booking, and couldn't have been more helpful
My family and I booked a holiday through Owners Direct, apartment ref s13543, costa del sol, Mijas Costa in Riviera del sol, and the experience was dreadful !
The apartment was disgusting in terms of cleanliness , pillows looked like they’d not been changed for at least 5 years, maybe longer . I could go on telling you more, when on holiday with two small children all I ask is the apartment we rent to be clean.
Also the owner refused to give any of our security deposit money back as she said we’d damaged the T.V! We reported the damage which was already there shortly after our arrival.
It feels like we totally wasted our hard earned cash. Owners Direct do nothing to help you. All that was suggested by Owners Direct was that I keep in contact with the owner to try to resolve the stealing of my money issue myself, which I have asked her many times for it back, not too politely though, as I was rudely told that I was a liar. I will not be using Owners Direct again. Please stay away and do research into your holiday before booking.
I have been calling and writing the "Managing" Director and his partner for over a year (!) to get a response and a phone call back. They have no customer care and completely ignore complaints or questions for clarification.
I have been an advertiser for a few years now (this will be my last year!) and was told when we signed up that the properties were all rotated so that, although we were a long way down the listings one day, we would be on the top on other days. After a few months, I looked at the movements and recorded what page we were on- it stayed the same, in fact, went down as new properties were added. I wrote for an explanation and was told:"Thank you for contacting us. Please accept our apology in the delay to replying to your email. Our Head of Development has been out of the office and in order for us to establish the reasons for these results we need him to investigate the issues you have experienced." This was in June last year. Since then they have been on holiday, out of the office, blah blah blah. No intention at all. I will not advertise again and I would strongly advice paying property owners to look at other sites. This company is part of other web based companies, so check it out before you part with your money- you might be paying them twice...!
We've listed our properties and used OD for booking holidays for many years now.
From an owners perspective, the site is easy to use - the interface for managing adverts is simple and the ads themselves are attractive. The site generates a decent level of enquiries for us at a reasonable cost.
From a traveller's standpoint, the site is easy to navigate and the adverts clear & logical. We've booked at least half-a-dozen properties through OD and it is always our first point to begin a holiday search.
It is worth remembering that OD themselves are just a listing site, albeit a very well managed one: they are not a holiday company. As both owner and traveller, I would always recommend calling a property owner to verify that they are bona fide before parting with any cash and to seek evidence from past guests in the form of reviews (most properties will have something like reviews on Tripadvisor these days).
Overall, very happy indeed with Owners Direct.
i recommend looking through owners direct as we have found some lovely villas and apartments when we go on our holidays to fuerteventura,so easy to use and always quick replies ..we would never use a travel agents again
I was recommended the Owners Direct site by a friend and have subsequently used it to look for a last minute weekend over Christmas and a summer break. At first I was slightly worried about having to liaise with owners to work out availability. However, it worked really well and even in mid-December, owners were responded to my availability requests really quickly so it was very easy to narrow down choices over a 24 h period. We rented a gorgeous villa in Italy for a summer holiday - the owners (based in Edinburgh) were really helpful and every aspect of booking, getting directions and keys etc worked smoothly. We will definitely come back to the site to look for other holiday destinations as there is so much choice.
A friend recommended Owners Direct to me. It was very clear and easy to navigate, I quickly found the villa in Spain that i wanted by using the advanced search function; and I could check availability and book online - score!
We recently stayed in a great Owners Direct Cottage near Leeds Castle. The property was to a very high standard and we couldn't have been happier. We will most definitely use Owners Direct in the future. We like the site and the huge range of properties from which to choose.
I have stayed in three different Owners Direct properties and all have been brilliant! The properties were even better than I imagined from the photos and descriptions on the website. We found a beautiful place in the mountains in southern Spain, a delightful apartment on the Amalfi coast, and a very cosy and convenient city hideway in Granada. The owners were really friendly and helpful - they were on the end of the phone if we needed directions to the property or any assistance throughout our stay, they met us at the property when we first arrived, and in one property they had left delicious homemade food and wine to make us feel really welcome. I would recommend this company to anyone looking to book a happy holiday!
Absolutely recommended! Great site full of lovely holiday properties in Cornwall from caravans, to lodges, apartments, cottages, houses and many more!
A massive choice of holiday accommodation, from budget to super luxurious!
I’ll definitely be using Holiday Lettings Cornwall again when planning my next holiday in Cornwall! Thanks!
Dear Boho Villas / Owners Direct
This is a copy of a complaint letter sent to Boho Ibiza Villas the agent and Owners Direct in September 2012. To date no response has been received from either party.
Phone correspondence meant Owners Direct said they had no responsibility and could not even contact the owner. No use or comfort in using them at all. Go through a reputable travel agent!!!
Complaint detail below:
We have now had a chance to reflect on our appalling stay at Villa Harmonia and having sought legal advice we are following up in writing in the hope that we can resolve the problems and inconveniences we experienced without having to go into legal proceedings.
Firstly we are deeply disappointed that since our return the £800 security deposit paid on 31st July 2012 into Katie Hall's personal UK Rotherham bank has not been refunded. Please ensure that this is actioned within the next 5 days otherwise we will be forced to take legal action regarding this.
As you are aware we were in regular correspondence with you prior to our arrival in the early hours of 5th August and at every request be it by phone or email to both myself and my husband we were assured that Boho Villas were an established and reputable travel management company. Your website (www.bohoibizavillas.com) boasts management of 10 luxury villas and your emails stating that your portfolio contains 6 managed villas on the island, of which Harmonia is one of them. Your credentials purport over 15 years travel industry experience. All of these facts were the reasons we were assured of the validity and reassurance of the property as to who we were dealing with and why we continued to book this holiday through yourselves. We advised both verbally, via email and our completed booking form as requested, that our party of 8 consisted of a family, including elderly grandparents in their 80's and teenage children and we were not a group of clubbers looking for a crash pad or a stag/hen do party. We were extremely concerned that everything went smoothly with this holiday given the fragility of the elderly guests travelling out to Ibiza.
In the week prior to our arrival we were sent the wrong welcome pack magazine which gave details and directions to a different villa, Bohemia. Only when we queried this did we then receive the correct welcome pack on villa Harmonia (30th July 2012). All contact details given to us in the emails received 30th July stated a management team at Boho Ibiza Villas, which consisted of 4 names Katie, Caroline, Jutta and Nadia with telephone numbers for both Katie and Caroline.
We were met at the villa in the early hours by Kate, who apparently is your PA. Unfortunately she had no knowledge whatsoever of the villa, its facilities and how to operate any of the domestic appliances. Obviously in August the weather is extremely hot and after travelling we expected to be able to relax into one of your "luxury best picked properties", detailed as a "luxury", "beautiful" and a "magical" villa and a "truly amazing sight to behold". This was certainly a truly amazing sight to behold, but unfortunately for all the opposite reasons to "luxury", "beautiful" and "magical"!! It was immediately apparent that there was no hot water or air-conditioning, as well as no instructions for the operation of any of the domestic appliances ie, cooker; generator system; or airconditioning unit. There was no welcome pack / manual folder in the property whatsoever. When we asked how to get these appliances working we were advised by your representative Kate, who had a complete lack of knowledge either purposefully, or as a result of no training or background information, that she did not know how things worked or where things were, as she was just your PA. This has become a very popular phrase repeated throughout the week by Kate. When asked if there was a BBQ she said she wasn't sure. Every other question was met by a suitably vague, non-committal response. Due to the lateness of our arrival and the fact that the outside lights were limited as your representative did not know where all the light switches were, we agreed verbally that she would send somebody out first thing on the Sunday morning to rectify the air-conditioning and lack of hot water problem. It was extremely obvious that Kate's only desire was to get away from the villa as quickly as possible to go out for the evening with her boyfriend who was waiting in a vehicle for her and who never offered to assist in anyway.
We foolishly continued, in good faith, to hand across in cash the requested balance payment of €1,650 and accepted the keys. Upon our further walk into the rest of the stifling hot villa we found each and every room to be tired, worn out, old damaged furniture and old, worn dirty bedlinen on the beds. Where you state that the villa is a "distinct bohemian feel" and "The decor is rustic and bohemian with Spanish antiques mixed with modern furnishings" and again purport that "All the rooms have been lovingly professionally interior designed" I can only drop my mouth in astonishment. Whilst we have an appreciation for antiques there is a significant difference between tat and quality antiques which would sell for some value - I can only say that nothing in that villa would have any value even collectively. Modern furnishings, I can only imagine that we are talking the difference between civilisations in history as nothing in that villa was modern and if the explanation of having tables and chairs of some description equates to modern then maybe you are correct in this phrasing. There was not even an electric kettle! Before retiring to bed, we attempted to have showers in order to try and cool down, however not only with the lack of hot water 2 showers out of the 3 bathrooms did not work at all.
On the Sunday morning a local Spanish handy man arrived who did not speak any english, which made it difficult to discuss usage of any of the appliances or instructions on how to operate. He managed to turn on the generator which allowed us hot water and to get the air-conditioning working in each of the bedrooms and main living room. This is something we would have expected our holiday representative to have had working for our arrival. It transpired though that in one of the bedrooms the unit was not safe to use as it was pouring water out of the electrical console. This was discovered after a full suitcase on the floor in the corner of the room below and its contents had been completely soaked. We had to put large saucepans underneath the unit to collect the water and kept emptying this every few hours. The problems with the 2 showers not working seemed to be left that the handyman would return the following day (Monday) and replace shower heads and fix the dishwasher, which we also found to not be working properly. Once the handyman had left, we also then found that we did not have sufficient and usable cutlery, cups, plates for us all to be able to eat at the same time. When sitting at the kitchen table one of the old "antique" kitchen chairs literally fell apart and I sustained bruising to both my legs where the broken side struts on the chairs had cut into them. I am not exactly heavy (around 9st) and all I was relieved about was that neither of our elderly guests had suffered this experience as with irregular heart beats the shock and pain would have been enough to ensure we would have had to find a local hospital.
At this point we called Katie the owner of Boho Villas. Following several voice messages left for Katie we finally had a call back. Having updated Katie on the problems that we had encountered since our arrival, she seemed somewhat bemused and certainly gave the impression that she didnt feel any of the problems were a real issue and we were advised repeatedly that nobody else had complained! We explained that we felt the villa had been mis-represented in the particulars and a good example of this is that one of the pictures in the welcome magazine on Villa Harmonia (3rd picture down) is simply not taken from the villa in question and shows a beach view through a trellis edged balcony - total mis-representation and illegal. After further pressure Katie agreed to replace the crockery and bedlinen and bring these to us the following day (Monday). We were advised that there was nothing more that she could do other than this gesture as there were no alternative villas available that she knew of on the island.
On Monday, we got up early in anticipation of the handymans return and waited until lunchtime. He did not appear. We also did not hear back from Katie, whom we'd expected to see or at least hear from with an update. We left the villa early afternoon and returned around 6pm expecting to find that items had been replaced and fixed as requested as promised. Upon our return we found nobody had been all day and nothing had been resolved with the dishwasher, faulty air-conditioing unit, showers, kitchen chair, kitchen utensils/crockery, and bedlinen still in the same state. We were appauled and upset that nobody was taking our concerns seriously and reacting accordingly. There was no communication whatsoever. There was also a complete lack of urgency to respond or resolve anything and our 7 day holiday was reducing without us being able to actually have any sort of a holiday. At this point, we regathered our belongings and vacated the villa having locked up securely and turned everything off as necessary. Luckily we had received a return call that afternoon from a reputable travel operator back in the UK who had managed to find a cancellation villa that was available on the island. We left the villa and called to secure the booking of this alternative villa, Casa Mar for an additional cost of £1,695. We had deeply hoped that this would be avoidable if Boho Villas had responded as promised to fix the appliances and replace crockery / bedlinen, however since our conversation with Katie, over 30 hours+ previous we had received zero communication or contact.
We waited for a further 24 hours (evening of Tuesday 7th) expecting an update from Katie. Having still heard nothing, at 20.21 on 7.8.12 we sent a message to Katie as below:
"Katie, very disappointed as we haven't heard from you or received anything you promised. This reflects extremely badly on both you, your business and the owner. You have miss represented the villa and services you were going to provide. Extremely upset and disappointed and won't be treated this way. We expect compensation for having our holiday ruined. Justin"
We had a response back from Katie late on Tuesday night to this message:
"Hi Justin I have bought you all new crockery and a kettle. I have also bought new sheets for you, they are getting washed at the laundry as we speak as they are pretty stiff if you do not wash them. Housekeepers will be up in the morning to sort for you. Thanks Katie."
The lack of communication and update to our requests at arrival to Kate and our phone call on Sunday morning to Katie is in our opinion totally unacceptable. We had at this point effectively spent over half of our 7 day holiday waiting for Boho Villas to resolve sub-standard, mis-represented holiday accommodation.
On Wednesday 8.8.12 at 11.09 we advised Katie the following:
"Katie, hadn't heard anything from you. Only have a week. Couldn't afford to mess around any longer and therefore left on Monday having found another villa that is up to standard and does meet our expectations! Need to discuss refund with you as have occurred additional costs due to misrepresentation of villa and lack of any urgency in sorting matters out. Justin ps. have retained the keys for security reasons."
Since this message was sent we have had no response from Katie to date in any way shape or form. Radio silence is not an acceptable response and reflects extremely badly on any individual or company, especially one representing customer service!!
We sent further messages as follows:
8.8.12 @ 16.23
"When do you want to meet to sort this out?"
8.8.12 @ 19.33
"Katie, please have the courtesy to reply to me please. Thank you Justin"
Calls were made to both telephone numbers for Katie and Caroline as detailed in the emails sent to us before we arrived in Ibiza and we left numerous voice messages for somebody to call us back.
"Hi. Please can you call me urgently. Thanks Jo"
I finally had a response to my message above not from Katie but from Kate on the number advised for Caroline.
9.8.12 @ 12.59
"Hi there i have just missed received your message. I have a migraine so am not able to answer the phone right now. Is there something you want me to pass onto Katie?"
Whilst I have the greatest sympathy for any migraine sufferer having suffered myself with this ailment since I was a teenager I was a little surprised that anyone with a migraine, which impairs your vision, was able to concentrate to construct a text message and send this but not take a phone call. It did feel more and more as though we were just being fobbed off by Boho Villas. I would also not expect someone who was ill to have to be responding to clients as there should be someone else in the business who could cover for sickness / holidays of other employees.
Kate did then call me but she expressed that she was ill and hence the whole conversation was undertaken in whispers. I updated Kate on what had happened and advised that we were really disappointed Katie had gone radio silent. I was advised that Katie had lost her phone on Monday. Again, this seemed extremely odd given we had received communication back from Katie on Tuesday night!?! I asked Kate to reconfirm when Katie had lost her phone in case this was a mistake but was assured it was definitely Monday, which again doesn't seem plausible. It also is not acceptable for any individual in this 'modern' day and age with technology to a) not get a replacement phone and b) operate a business where the owner is uncontactable. I also asked where Caroline was as the number Kate was contacting me on was advised as Caroline's. At this point I was informed Caroline no longer worked for the business. I did ask who else was employed by Boho Villas as if Katie had lost her phone and Kate was unwell there should still be other team members Jutta / Nadia etc who could help resolve our situation. I was advised that the only person working at Boho Villas was Katie and Kate was just her PA. Kate repeatedly stated that she was just Katie's PA and couldn't help with anything. This is a deeply distressing scenario for a supposedly reputable business to have an owner who is not contactable by any means, person, phone or email and to have a PA, the face of any business, who knows nothing about the business, the clients or the properties they manage and retail to clients. At this point I was more than starting to question the authenticity of this business. I asked who it was that had the 15 years travel industry experience if there was only Katie and Kate working at Boho Villas. The response from Kate was "I don't know what it matters". I did remind her that this would mean that they were breaching their legal requirements by fabricating their business credentials and that it was extremely important as it was based on these credentials and facts that people like ourselves agree to make contractual agreements and book holidays with them, but if these facts are not true then that is legal mis-representation.
I was asked why we had not left the keys in the villa and confirmed that we would not wish for anything untoward to have happened if we had been this careless and for security reasons we had retained the keys. I asked if Katie could come and meet us to collect the keys and discuss resolving the situation without this becoming a much bigger issue, ie compensation of the costs we incurred on having to move villas. I was advised that Katie could not come to meet us as she did not have a car and that Kate had this and that there was no way we could contact Katie. The call was left that we needed to meet to return the keys and that Kate would try to contact Katie somehow and get her to make contact with us.
I followed up our conversation with a message to Kate:
9.8.12 @ 19.38
"Hi. Please can you confirm back by 10am tomorrow who will be coming to collect the keys and what time? Also, can you let me know in advance where we stand on the refund and ask Katie to contact me.Thanks. Jo"
No response was received.
10.8.12 @ 10.04
"Hi. Ive not heard back from you or Katie. Please can you get Katie to call me before midday latest and can you advise what time you or Katie will be able to collect the keys and pass on our refund. This needs to happen today. Thanks Jo"
At this point I called the telephone number for Owners Direct in the UK to try and track down 'James - the Account Manager' who was detailed as BohoVillas main contact and who was in regular contact with them. Given the experience we were suffering I was unsurprised that they had regular contact from Owners Direct as I cannot believe that we are the only clientele who have received such poor service and been disappointed and raised the concerns on mis-representation and mis-selling holiday property. I spoke with a lady at Owners Direct, called Katie. This was becoming increasingly complicated with everyone being Katie, Kate or Katie, however I was advised the channels to complain to and that Owners Direct would liase directly with the actual owner rather than Boho Villas to resolve our complaints and concerns. It was Owners Direct who then contacted Boho Villas to get hold of someone to arrange for them to contact us and collect the keys. I had a call back from Katie at Owners Direct to advise that Kate would be in touch shortly and to confirm that our complaint needed to be put in writing.
Shortly afterwards we had the call from Kate and a meeting point of Crystal Beach Bar in Playa d'en Bossa was agreed for 20 minutes time. We then had to drive down from the villa to this location point, once again disrupting yet more of our final day of holiday. Upon arrival Justin met with Kate and the keys were handed over, however when he re-iterated our treatment by Boho Villas he received the now familiar phrase "I'm just Kate's PA". When it was pointed out that surely a PA carries a degree of responsibility, he was once again subjected to continued bland responses, one of which was "I'm just a fashion designer!".
We are beyond exasperated with the extremely dire communications and handling of all of our raised concerns. We tried hard to work with Boho Villas to come to a mutual agreement that resolved some of the issues and to deal with our own disappointments during the 7 day trauma in Ibiza. However the complete lack of responses and non-action on rectifying the problems with malfunctioning equipment and sub-standard bedlinen, of which there is no excuse for things not to be clean even if they are old and tired.
Finally, one of the most upsetting points is that this is without doubt the last time Justin's elderly parents will not only join us on a family holiday, but will be their last holiday abroad and it was meant to be a pleasant, relaxing and extremely memorable week, instead it turned into the worst week abroad we have ever experienced and resulted in un-necessary heartache, disappointments and upheavals as well as additional cost to us for having to relocate. We spent the whole week trying to resolve matters and could not relax. Whilst we tried to be reasonable and ask for the cash final payment element to be refunded of €1,650 to cover the additional sterling payment of the villa we moved to, we now feel that this gesture would be unacceptable and that a full refund is required to compensate for everything that was mis-represented, mis-sold and the time and effort still having to be undertaken in seeking legal advice and writing these lengthy complaint letters to capture and document everything concisely.
We expect a response by no later than 5pm on Tuesday 28th August 2012, otherwise we will have no option but to engage our lawyer to take these matters to the next stage and seek full compensation, damages and costs.
NO RESPONSE EVER RECEIVED EVEN TO LAWYERS LETTERS. BEWARE!!!
Was the worst holiday apartment we have ever seen. Not at all as described on the Owners Direct website. The Cornisa 5-3 apartment in Los GIGANTES Tenerife Ref:C3123 was unsafe and dirty, we stayed for 1 hour although we payed for a week. The owner, Mr Lindsay Brown from Edinburgh said we would get our money back but we never did. He even kept the security deposit so he owes us over £500. Owners direct were not prepared to get involved and they still advertise this apartment today. We are trying to get our money back via the court but the owner is definitely clued up on getting away with this sort of thing. Family holiday ruined for us, please don't make the same mistake. We will always use a site with customer reviews in future.
We booked a villa in the Algarve in Portugal - P3080 - for our summer holiday this year through Owners Direct. It is the first time we have used this company and it will most definitely be our last!!
We choose this villa for its secluded location as privacy and relaxation are our top priorities for our annual holiday.
The villa was actually quite nice but the main problem was the owners who “lived nearby”. This villa is clearly their own house that they rent out in summer and while that meant the villa was very well equipped it also meant that the owners where reluctant to leave us alone!! We booked the villa for 10 days and during those 10 days we saw the owners FIVE times - so much for a relaxing holiday!!
There where several things advertised which where clearly not correct. They advertised a sun terrace for private sunbathing – the gate to this was locked. When we asked about the terrace we were told it could not be used because of a new roof? A Wii was advertised for “family fun” – there was a Wii in the villa but NO games so it was pretty pointless. Weekly changes of linen and towels were advertised but we did not get this either. The owner promised us a welcome pack but, once again, this was never given. On our return home we double checked our emails to make sure we had not dreamed up this offer of a welcome pack (we hadn’t) so contacted the owners to ask them. They initially denied the offer but then, after being sent their own email, said they would refund us £20 – we never got it.
We contacted Owners Direct to tell them of the issues we had at the villa, including the incorrect listing for several items which we never received and, like others who have posted here, they told us that they were simply there to advertise the properties for the owners and would NOT get involved in any issues between the owners and the renters – they are happy to take the money for the listings but then wash their hands of any other involvement – great customer service!
We have been renting villas, all over the world, for the last 7 years from Europe to the USA and have NEVER had a problem until we choose Owners Direct.
I did ask Owners Direct why they did not have a “review” section with each listing so that people could see what other holiday makers thought of each property before they made their decision to rent, or not (this is something that most other villa rental companies offer) and was told it is something they are thinking about! I know what my review would have said if I had the option to add one – perhaps that is why they won’t add a review section because they know what will happen!!!!!!!!!!
We booked a villa in Cornwall for our first holiday with our sons but for some reason the owner decided they wanted to use the villa instead a week before we were going there so was left in the proverbial shit!!!!
Beware of OWNERS direct because they didn't care and said the owners can do what they want because there only a publishing company. The owner was Karen Croft Beware
DO NOT BOOK THROUGH OWNERS DIRECT AND DO NOT BOOK A PROPERTY FROM MR CHRIS LARGE.
SERRA NOVA MANAGEMENT GROUP (SN GROUP)
BECAUSE HE IS A CROOK AND A CON- ARTIST.
We booked a villa via Owners Direct in Italy Property Reference: IT3474 Villa Casa Izabella, Near Serra Nova Puglia. The owner is Mr Chris Large (Serra Nova Management Group) SN Group.
We booked the Villa for a week in August 2012. The site miss-sold the property with a misleading and false description of the Villa. We complained to the owner while we were away and he said he would give us a full refund when we returned to the UK, however he has not given us a refund and he has not returned our 300 euro security deposit either. He will not answer our phone calls and he is ignoring our emails. We have complained to Owners Direct who state they are only an advertising site and do not monitor the properties they advertise, so therefore the site is open to abuse from unscrupulous owners such as Mr Large. We are now forced to take legal action against this man and the Owners Direct site do not want to know or help us.
DO NOT BOOK THROUGH OWNERS DIRECT AND DO NOT BOOK A PROPERTY FROM MR CHRIS LARGE.
SERRA NOVA MANAGEMENT GROUP (SN GROUP)
BECAUSE HE IS A CROOK AND A CON ARTIST.
Be very wary of booking villas without speaking directly to the owners. I booked a villa (villa consuela fuerteventura) through owners direct by using the enquiry form on the site, the enquiry was then sent to the villa owner whose email account had been hacked. i received an email from sunnyrentalsspain@yahoo who posed as the property company, they answered all my questions and i booked the villa and paid for it using bank transfer. a week before the holiday i had another question and when i emailed a few times at got no response i finally phoned the contact number and spoke to the real owners who knew nothing about our booking. I ended up with no villa and the best part of a thousand pounds down. seems nobody will take liability for my data being mishandled. the police are investigating but i doubt i'll ever see my money again. I didn't find Owners Direct to be at all sympathetic. I think they should remove email forms from their site and just have phone numbers for the owners. Email is not secure enough clearly!!
I booked my holiday rental through Owners Direct sent the enquiry form for the property we found and got a response from the owner ,booked and paid the full amount as it was short notice going within a fortnight.However it appears that the enquiry was intercepted by a hacker who pretended to be the owner.The advert was real the property existed.Owners Direct refuse to take any responsibility for the fraud.I am out of pocket for 2,500 pounds and no holiday.Be Warned.
I booked a villa in Portugal, for a group of friends in July, through owners direct. It makes absolute sense to me to book directly with the owner. The prices were very reasonable, but I suppose you don't have a travel company taking their percentage and forcing up the price booking in this way.
We had a wonderful time. The owner (Eleanor) was a pleasure to do business with, friendly, helpful and so welcoming. We were contacted after our stay to check we had everything we needed and to take any suggestions for future guests.
I will definitely book with owners direct again.
I took my son to France by ferry this month with a friend and her daughter (both 4) as our husbands couldn't get time off and we stayed about 20 minutes from Cherbourg in a gorgeous big farmhouse (http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/france/fr4625.htm) - it was the owners holiday home and they met us on arrival and gave us a tour. They welcomed us to use anything we wanted from the larder, fridge and cupboards and there was also a plentiful supply of games, toys, books and DVDs. It made our stay so easy because everything was on hand. The utility room was great as we did all of our washing before coming home too! Renting a self catering property has huge benefits as many parents will agree it's sometimes more relaxing to eat once the children are in bed so we did just that and dined al fresco after they were asleep with a bottle of cold rose in the gorgeous garden. Arranging the trip was easy, we emailed with the owners to confirm our arrival details and had one phone call to check through finer points and ask a few questions. For families it's so simple and the choice is huge - you come home eager to plan your next trip and find another hidden gem!
We booked an apartement in Cannes as part of our honeymoon, we booked it ages ago, probably last year in July or August and we needed it for the second week of June 2012. As you can imagine a wedding takes a lot of planning and organising so it was nice to know the honeymoon was all sorted.
I regurlarly went onto the webiste to see if the availibility calender was updated and this was not the case. I figured, she probably doesn't have control over the updating. Somewhen in January 2012 we received an email from the owner saying the apartment was no longer available for us, she advised us she had a longer let and had to accept that as we were only there for a week. The calender is now updated to show the longer let, which makes me think, if our week was crossed out people would not have contacted her to book the apartement. Obviously this has made us very aware not to go through an owners direct site again as we were very dissapointed and it was quite stressful to try and find something else which is not through owners direct. We still had time to find something but did not want to go through owners direct again, or any other website where you deal with owners direct as we didn't want to take the same risk again.Imagine if this would have happened a week before going!
I am sure it is all just luck but I wanted make people aware that a booking through owners direct is not secured.
In answer to the person who wasn't happy with the owners of his holiday let. I am a person advertising on owners direct and also worry about the people using my property. I ALWAYS speak to them on the phone before making any arrangements and get an address from them which I then check out. I would advise anyone renting a holiday place to do this Louise
The problem we had was that Owner's Direct don't have any involvement in the actual lettings/bookings so if anything does go wrong you have to sort it out between you and the person you are renting the property from. We had problems with the apartment we rented in Paphos (CY1697) and the owners weren't very helpful at all - in fact we couldn't contact them directly. We had to wait till we got home to raise our concerns but to be honest they didn't care and didn't even offer us compensation/refund. To top it off they didn't return our £200 bond either and I had to chase this up - we did eventually get it back. You can't leave any reviews on the Owner's Direct website which I think is a bad thing - the reviews you see are what the owners have put on themselves (they are obviously only going to put the good ones on there aren't they?)
Just a word of warning to be careful when booking anything through Owner's Direct - although we have booked twice through them in the past and had no problems - we just had a bad experience this time. It has put us off booking through them again.
Before I start this is in no way a slur on the website ownersdirect.co.uk but a warning to any potential users. We found the website useful and friendly but it is marred by people who use it to fraudulently obtain money from it's customers.
We booked a lovely villa in Ibiza through the website and had a wonderful stay. Unfortunately when it came to returning our security deposit; the owner of the villa is unobtainable. Mrs Raeburn Sidi and her husband are criminals. They have retained our £500 deposit with no explanation or contact since our departure. When we try to call Mrs Sidi; on the odd occasion when she does answer, when she hears my voice she hangs up!
The downfall of this website is the fact that there is no guarantee that you are going to get what you pay for. The website does not verify the owners or the existence of these villas.
I will continue to chase our money but I don't hold much hope.
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