Owner's Direct new website bad news

Share experience regarding ownership of property and/or living in Portugal.

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shaz1967
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Re: Owner's Direct new website bad news

Post by shaz1967 » Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:10 am

I agree that there are people trying to scam holiday makers on owners direct along with any other holiday letting company that they can think of but in my opinion most of the scams happen because people do not follow the procedures correctly & in some cases answer emails without checking the validity of the email & also make payments without checking things out first. I realise that people are maybe excited about booking a holiday as most of us are but they should still do as many checks as possible especially in this age of cyber crime which is rife in every walk of life. I would suggest trying to contact the owners of the property, checking with owners direct by telephone & pay by credit card or pay through owners direct.

widge
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Re: Owner's Direct new website bad news

Post by widge » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:49 pm

Interesting how things evolve. The internet has brought with it innovation which has become, over time, normality. Like everything, things move on and booking villas on the Algarve is no exception. I'm slowly withdrawing from the rentals market as I don't need the income so much but I empathise with those seeking honest dealers. I doubt you will find such people on the net, maybe look more locally ?

Alison
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Re: Owner's Direct new website bad news

Post by Alison » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:59 pm

shaz1967 wrote:I would suggest trying to contact the owners of the property, checking with owners direct by telephone & pay by credit card or pay through owners direct.
Not sure that paying through Owners Direct is any protection (see lots of bad reviews on previously mentioned Trust Pilot website: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.ownersdirect.co.uk - makes fascinating reading!). OD outsource all payments that do go through their site to a third party company in Southern Ireland that is not governed by any Uk legislation and their first reaction to any problems with payment is to refer you to this other company.

I would recommend that potential guests Google the property, google the owners as individuals, checking their address etc and talk to them personally on a landline where possible. Talking to OD on the telephone is not that simple - see reports on trust pilot from people who've tried to do this! (but maybe he didn't mean the Owners Direct company)

Owner's Direct's bully boy tactics and their arrogant treatment of their customers is not going to be forgotten in a hurry. Roll on their successor!

Alison
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Re: Owner's Direct new website bad news

Post by Alison » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:25 pm

Update: www.SimplyOwners.net is now up and running for European properties including Portugal, Algarve and Carvoeiro - looks like they are doing very well out of owners who previously used Owners Direct. Am hoping that they can build their site into the same successful model that Owners Direct used to be.

Alison
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Re: Owner's Direct new website bad news

Post by Alison » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:14 pm

Well, I managed to get my Owner's Direct listing to be reinstated by ticking the box saying that I was going 'to behave in future' - access to my listing was 'frozen' until I did this so there was no other way to get into my listing and cancel the automatic renewal option (which I have now done). Since then, enquiries have dried up - what a surprise! As we are already booked for much of next year I am not too concerned about that. It gives us time to watch what happens with various other alternatives.

I am trying out The Melrose Directory, SimplyOwners.net and Ownerholidays.com . The first two offer a free trial period for a listing and the last one is a cooperative venture with no fees (at present). SimplyOwners have made some mistakes in their haste to get up and running and take advantage of the OD fiasco. They still have some teething issues to sort out but at least they are trying and do appear to care about their customers, which is more than can be said for OD.

f you haven't already done so, besides TrustPilot reviews, have a look on the LayMyHat forum for property owners (beware some of the biased viewpoints from anonymous people who seem to have a vested interest in rubbishing new start ups).

It is all a bit chicken and egg for these relatively new companies: they can see the open window of opportunity with so many disaffected Owners Direct owners but they are having to offer free trial periods in order to attract owners until they can demonstrate a proven track record for providing bookings. In turn this means they are not getting much cash upfront. Developing the sort of successful model that OD used to have is not going to happen overnight and it will not be easy for any of the 'Davids' to compete with a Goliath but I for one am willing them on.

Alison
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Re: Owner's Direct new website bad news

Post by Alison » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:31 pm

Owners Direct are sticking to their guns despite the blizzard of negative feedback from both owners and renters - they (or more accurately, Expedia) have clearly decided that the potential gain from the new % service charge on all rental monies will outweigh the loss of subscription income from owners abandoning the site. Any other company that got the sort of feedback that they are getting on Trustpilot or the LayMyHat forum would probably be out of business by now. They obviously think they are big enough to ride out the storm and enough owners will be forced to give in to their demands for them to get away with what they are doing. Time will tell.

From 12th Jan this year OD will now be charging £249 +VAT= £298 for listings that enable online booking (so that OD get the % service charge from the guest on top of the listing charge that the owner pays) or a larger fee of £399+VAT(total £479) for those that don't. If I could be sure that enabling online booking would be worthwhile and hassle free then I might have considered doing it (thereby putting business objectives over emotional anger at their tactics). But there are too many people reporting problems of their property not coming up in searches, searches including inappropriate properties (because these properties pay OD more money regardless of whether they fit the client's criteria), confusion amongst guests about who they pay for what, problems with the third party Yapstone (?) company outsourced to deal with payments (problems which Owners Direct wash their hands of as being nothing to do with them)............So I can satisfy my instincts and abandon OD in preference to the many other parties available out there.

Roll on their successor!

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