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Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

Sydney
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280 posts
7 reviews
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Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

We are looking to book 2 villas for Dec/Jan. We have scoured flipkey and found a villa that we like, and emailed via flipkey. We received a response from a managing agent saying that *that* particular villa was booked out, but *this* villa is available. The second villa is not owned by the same owner.

We googled the villa name and the villa is available on reputable sites (expedia, agoda) etc and on what I assume is the official website for about 3-4 times the price we are being quoted. I assume it is a complex with a number of different villas, as sometimes the pictures aren't the same, but that also rings some alarm bells for me.

The villa is Kubu d'Kubu and the agents websites are BaliVillaHavens.com and HolidayBaliVillas.com.

I have searched TA forums and there are a couple of mentions of the agent and the same name as the sender, but most are saying they've booked and will be staying in the future.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Sydney
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280 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

Anyone?

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59 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

If in doubt don't book it !

Perth, Australia
Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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16,596 posts
161 reviews
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3. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

Good advice from Sunny. Sometimes the issue of villas in Bali can be full of drama with misrepresentation of both the property and contusion about payments, exchange rates and all that sort of thing. If you find something you like it would probably be a lot safer to book through a well known booking site such as expedia and agoda. That way at least you'll know that there isn't any hanky panky with payments and you have a company phone number to contact should there be a problem.

Perth, Australia
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832 posts
20 reviews
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4. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

we did book through them and went through agent for ginger suites .however the one we wanted at Christmas time was booked out so they gave us the name of the other one looked great on the computer but we were VERY disappointed .So be careful.

Edited: 15 May 2014, 02:58
Bali, Indonesia
Destination Expert
for Ubud, Pemuteran, Yogyakarta
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8,605 posts
101 reviews
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5. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

hm...sounds a little like the old "bait and switch" scam...be careful..

Melbourne, Australia
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438 posts
9 reviews
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6. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

As ubudpuppy mentioned, there is a scam with less reputable sites having a certain accommodation advertised. When it comes time to book, its unfortunately unavailable but then they switch you or recommend another completely different place, maybe they get a commission from the second place....im not sure. If you put in different dates, the response is most likely going to be the same...and they probably don't have any rooms for the accommodation you want in the first place. However when booking through hoteltravel.com i was also asked to switch to another place of their choice, as they didn't have instant confirmation for my first choice. I said that i didn't mind waiting, and they were able to book me the place and room i wanted in a matter of days.

i would say no thanks to this agent, and book something you like through reputable sites like expedia, booking.com. Good luck, hope you get the accommodation you are after.

Sydney
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280 posts
7 reviews
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7. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

Thanks everyone for the responses.

I know it is foolish, but I really like this place. As we are looking to book over New Years Eve, our choices are already limited.

There is the option to pay via FlipKey which has a $10000 guarantee. Would this give anyone peace of mind?

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
832 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

So long as you no EXACTLY where the villa is ,as the one we had was in a terrible spot looked close on the map .But not close at all.Had to catch a taxi everywhere and when there is 13 of us and it being Christmas time it was impossible

Good Luck

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
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24,267 posts
67 reviews
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9. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

The issues that arise with private rentals is usually very defined into two categories;

- Email account hacking, and the scammers make you believe they are the owners and they make you transfer money into an account that doesn't belong to the owner.

- Out and outright dishonest owners

By going through Flipkey, it technically 'shouldn't' occur, but it's still a largely unregulated industry. The utmost importance is to read and understand what exactly Flipkey will and won't cover. And the both online, is that it's nothing like Online Travel Agents who are directly contracted to hotels. They have multiple failsafes that prevent open abuse.

I'd approach it with a huge amount of caution. And I mean HUGE, like Dr Evil One Million Dollars huge.

Edited: 15 May 2014, 07:36
Perth, Australia
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832 posts
20 reviews
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10. Re: Flipkey response from Agent, not owner. Is this a scam?

Yes that what we found out as we had booked the villa in feb 2013 and wanted it for Christmas 2013.

However we were in Bali ,staying at a different hotel in July 2013 so we decided to go and have a look at it ,when we found out the location of it they refused to give us our deposit back ,because according to them they said what the location was right( we very much disagreed ) with that but as we had already payed $4500 deposit we couldn't afford to lose that so we went anyway hoping it would be good.

We were VERY disappointed.

So if you pay don't expect to get it back if you are unhappy,because they won't