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Pre Payment for apartments?

Atlanta, Georgia
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23 posts
60 reviews
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Pre Payment for apartments?

Most of the apartments seem to want large prepayments often by wire or credit card. They are requesting whole amount on card or by wire before we arrive. If place is not as adviertised then it is too late to dispute credit card charge. Is this comon? This is the site:

www.cinqueterreriviera.com/Agreement.htm

Saint Paul
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2,185 posts
112 reviews
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1. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

I do not know if this is new policy, or something that has been around awhile, but the property we rented in Vernazza in Oct 2010 did not require this.

In fact, we actually had to track down Martina's dad the night before our departure in order to pay our bill. (We stayed with Rooms Martina)

tptr

Sydney, Australia
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25,314 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

I have done a lot of rental in France and Italy. It is more usual for apartments in France to charge the full amount before you arrive but there are many places that will not.

After a few disappointments I will no longer rent under the full payment in advance model. I want to see the place first. I have lost one or two nice looking places but there are others.

This agency is also asking you to pay credit card charges or PayPal charges, a service fee and will keep a proportion of your money if you cancel quite a long way out. Never send direct to a bank account unless you are very sure of the person as you have NO way of getting the money back or disputing a charge.

I would look elsewhere.

A 30% upfront charge is pretty normal. Pay the rest on arrival when you have checked that the place exists, is clean and is equipped as represented.

Atlanta, Georgia
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23 posts
60 reviews
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3. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

Thanks so much. We were double charged in Riamigorre a few years ago but were able to resolve it through our credit card company. We will look into Rooms Martina? Just frustrating because Italy can be questionable at times :)

South Africa
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42 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

Hi

I think the problem may be that you are going through an agency. I have just booked in Vernazza direct with the owner and did not have to make a pre payment. Some ask for Credit card details as a surety. This is fine as long as you do not give them the last 3 digit code. We will pay cash at the end. I have also booked in Umbria for a week and paid a 30% deposit so it does vary. However the agent fees do seem a bit steep. Good Luck.

Edited: 18 January 2011, 08:47
Chicago
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134 posts
16 reviews
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5. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

Zabe1 & tptr,

I am also looking to rent in vernazza, would you mind sharing who you booked your stay with?

Thanks!!

Lake George, New...
Destination Expert
for Lake George, Lake George
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2,121 posts
377 reviews
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6. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

I have booked in CT in advance and only had to pay a small portion with the balance in cash. The whole amount in advance is not a good idea - go with your instinct on this.

Edited: 23 January 2011, 23:12
Italy/Alaska
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1,572 posts
44 reviews
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7. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

It is more common for owners to get full payment in advance with a cancellation policy. Keep in mind that these locations are not hotels where if you were not to show up they would be able to get another client walking in from the street.

I've rented apartments/houses in many countries ..I've always had to make prepayments. If I am driving, with plenty of free time, and am unsure of my arrival dates, I have waited to reserve till I got to the area. That sort of thing brings its own risk - if you are in a well touristed area, you may not be able to find an apartment/house and be forced to stay at more expensive hotels. If you are traveling off season, less difficult.

If you did have problems, you can make a claim on your credit card. PayPal also offers dispute resolution and a guarantee option. Places like VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) has some sort of safe guard too.

As to the poster making a point about this service requiring the client to pay the PayPal fees - keep in mind that you will have to pay a fee to wire transfer or a fee to use an ATM machine at the location if you choose to wait to pay...so it isn't really a big deal or some sort of scam to pay the fees. I like using PayPal to make my rental deposits because I can use a credit card when rental homes in Europe often do not have any option to use a credit card. I certainly do not want to carry around so much cash to make my rental payments.

PayPal, in my opinion, is much safer than wiring money. There is no recourse after wiring the money in Europe - A different story if you are in the States where you can file a legal action.

Ask for recommendations and email addresses to get details from others who have rented the apartment/house.

Buon Viaggio!

Australia
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10 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

Stayed at Cinque Terre.No deposit or card required.Pay on arrival.Cheers

St Paul, MN
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20,675 posts
6 reviews
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9. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

You could file a fraud report with the issuing bank of the credti card up to 990 days after a charge is made. I would never wire a pre-payment.

St Paul, MN
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20,675 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Pre Payment for apartments?

"PayPal, in my opinion, is much safer than wiring money."

If you use Paypal use your credt card not your bank account.

If you use your credit card you have 90 days after a charge is made to file a fraud report and get a charge back. If you use your panjk account with Paypal you only have 30 days after a charge is made to file a fraud report