HomeAway.com — scammed
Have used this website successfully for 10 years now. Booked my 2011 villa which looked like the best yet, early to secure it. Sent the enquiry through the website to the owner as usual, got an answer, a contract, bank details to transfer 50% deposit (2300 Euros), a phone call etc. Then, received an email mid December asking me to pay the final 50% by the end of the month. I emailed back saying that I couldn't and that in accordance with the contract, the final payment wasn't due until April. I was also asked for copies of our ID. I was suspicious and refused and asked if that meant that my booking was cancelled. No reply, gave it a couple of weeks, called the numbers I had been given, all unobtainable. Called Holiday Rentals for help. They put me in touch with the REAL owner who knew nothing about me. Had received one enquiry from me back in Sept, but one where my email address (as my contact) had been changed to someone else's email address. I have lost my money and my holiday. Owner been quite helpful. Holiday Rentals said it is not their fault and it is between me and the owner. Since then, I have left three messages and none of them have been returned. I have reported this to the police, bank etc. I have asked to speak to someone at holiday rentals who can reassure me as to using their site again - how can I be sure this wouldn't happen again to me? What can I do to protect myself? They are so uninterested in me, they have not bothered to even call me back. They may think that the users of their site are unimportant, but I would like to see what happens to the revenues if people stop using their site as they are worried about security and fraud.
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