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Difficulties booking a holiday apartment directly with owners?

Difficulties booking a holiday apartment directly with owners?

Feb 7th, 2011, 11:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 34
Difficulties booking a holiday apartment directly with owners?

How often would you attempt to contact a vacation rental before giving up and trying another? Our first choice rental has a inquiry form on their website which does not seem to work. I then contacted them through the given email and received a response as to the available units, but over the past 2 weeks I've tried to contact them 3 more times to actually book the rental - twice by email and once through their online form (which still doesn't seem to work) - but I've gotten no further response.

Is it time to give up and try another? I'm very hesitant to call because my German is poor - I've been sending my communication in English and German with the help of an online translator
Moselle is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,523
Hi Moselle,

we rent out a property and if we treated a potential customer like you've been treated, I'd be ashamed of us! it doesn't smack of efficiency does it? we get lots of enquiries in German and make sure that's how we answer them - so they ought to be able to do the same for you, especially as more germans speak english I think than vice versa.

in short - try somewhere else.
annhig is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 415
I would not persist. You are dependent on the owners to deliver on the promises made about the property on their website. If you can't rely on them to respond quickly to a potential customer then I think that creates doubt about their delivery of everything and I wouldn't take the risk.
GregY2 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,319
OK -- what is wrong w/ the telephone?

There are lots of reasons someone might not contact you -- • they did but you didn'treceive it; • they didn't receive it in the first place; • Their e-mail is on the fritz; • They've been on holiday or ill; • They don't handle the website/e-mail themselves and rely on a webmaster; • etc.

If you really like the place --phone them. If you ared sort ofso so in it -- move on to another one.

You will find that many Europeans don't attach the same 'urgency' to e-mails that many Yanks do . . .
janisj is online now  
Feb 7th, 2011, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,138
Renting from an individual owner you're already taking a bit of a chance -- as GregY2 points out. If they're not responsive and careful about getting renters, how are they about maintaining the rental? What if you had a problem while in the unit? Would they respond quickly and solve the problem? Probably not.

This reminds me of when we bought a used car that died on the test drive. You've received a warning not to deal with these people. Heed it.
Mimar is offline  
Feb 7th, 2011, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,512
I would try only twice (the first time and one followup if I did not hear within a reasonable time -- say 4-5 days) and then not want to have anything to do with them in terms of a business transaction. It would reflect their entire method of doing business to me, it isn't businesslike, and could reflect potential problems in other ways.

It may be just that there are some email connections problems, if that is true, do you care about it or not? In this day and age, I expect some place I book to have working email and to be able to communicate with them that way. For heavens sake, even podunk little places in the middle of nowhere have been responsive to me promptly by email in France, for example. The ones who didn't respond finally told me when I tracked them down by FAX or phone after repeated tries that they hadn't responded because they were all booked up for the dates I wanted (no, they didn't think it necessary to tell me that, just didn't respond because they didn't need my business).

You obviously know the email system seems to work with them as you got one response, but no followup. I suspect they don't want your business. This is presuming you know to check your spam folder and have (sometimes things do get put in mine and I can't figure out why as they bear no relationship to spam).
Christina is online now  
Feb 8th, 2011, 01:05 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,056
Clear communication is so important when negotiating accommodation - if I were in your shoes, I'd give up and move on to someone else.

When I was looking for private accommodation in rural France, I sent emails out to all that were of interest. So many didn't even bother to reply, but from those that did, we found a gite that suited us perfectly. The fact that the owners didn't speak a word of English wasn't a problem at all! Di
di2315 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,228
In Germany, I do not generally think that a failure to respond via email means that the rental is a dump or that the owner is negligent. Many responsible apartment owners are elderly; they often have regular guests who phone for reservations and have conducted business by phone for decades. The local tourist offices often encourage them to get an internet connection, which they are then sometimes not capable of operating effectively once they have it. Sometimes the TI's provide inquiry pages for the owners and then end up phoning owners when an inquiry comes in - then there are all kinds of opportunities for poor communications.

I would call directly, or call the local TI directly, if it's a place that looks good to you. You might waste 10 or 20 cents, but it might just work.
Russ is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 03:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Put me in the telephone camp.

Telephone them for goodness sake! It should be the first thing you do if an initial email isn't responded to quickly enough (or even if you DO get an email reply), not the last. It also gives you a much better idea of what the owner is like and always yields much more information (including things you didn't think to ask).
bardo1 is offline  

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