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caution booking on venere.com

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
37 posts
9 reviews
caution booking on venere.com

I'm writing to advise people to be careful about hidden cancellation policies on Venere.com.

I booked an apartment in Madrid. On the booking page where you put in your credit card info it says:"Payment not required! Payment is at the hotel. Your credit card is needed to guarantee the booking." In the link by that it says:"Venere.com does not debit your credit card." Well this was true; what they didn't say was that the apartment company would bill your card even though it the booking page said: "Cancellation without penalty until: Sunday, October 03, 2010 at 01:00 am (GMT +1h)"

What was hidden in the "full cancellation details" link next to that

was the fact that the apartment management bills the credit card for a NONREFUNDABLE deposit, and that there is a cleaning fee added on to the amount indicated.

When I got the confirmation email with the full details I immediately emailed venere protesting. I never got a reply. I called them but they said that I'd have to email to resolve the issue. They also couldn't give me the email of the apartment management. I wrote venere a second time and got a response that said my reservation had been cancelled but which didn't relate to the payment issue at all.

Finally, I found the name of the apartment management from my credit card company. i found their email and even though it was against their policy they were honest enough to refund me the money.

Have read a few other postings about people being charged cancellation fees when they weren't expecting it. So be careful.

Edited: 12:57 pm, May 07, 2010
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Swakopmund
4 posts
1. Re: caution booking on venere.com

This makes me very worried. I just booked on venere.com for a hotel in Milan yesterday. i got a confirmation email saying that i was only to pay the full amount upon departure/at the end of my stay. I then got a notification via sms that the full amount was deducted from my credit card about an hour after booking. Then i emailed them to find out what was going on and if it was infact the total payment deducted so that i won't pay anything upon arrival at the hotel they should confirm, but until now i haven't hear anything from them. How Legit are they?

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
21,859 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: caution booking on venere.com

We have used venere loads of times for hotel bookings in various European countries since 2004 and never had any problems and have always paid on check-out.

We have never used them for apartment rentals (they are dearer than vrbo etc for one thing) but it is true that in general apartment rentals have much harsher booking and cancellation policies than for hotels (eg an early deposit and 100% charged if you cancel less than a week, or even a month, in advance etc). I think this could be the root of the problem here although it is true that venere should have explained the difference re apartment rental over hotels if that is the case.

We have never been charged in advance by venere for a hotel (although sometimes have by Expedia, for example, but it has always been very clear). However when staying in Marriott hotels I have also received sms telling me my credit-card had been charged; this is apparently the Marriott's policy as a way of guaranteeing your card can cover the full cost of the stay. The first time it happened my husband (who was still at home) contacted our bank about this charge but it had not in fact been passed on as a real charge to the Visa card. All rather confusing! The Marriott explained to me it was "only" a guarantee which blocked that amount on my card and that they still needed my signature at the end of the stay to effect the charge. In fact they did another "guarantee" later in the stay; I'd reserved two rooms so the amount was quite high although on check-out the guests in the other room were going to pay their own bill.

Perhaps that is the situation in Inksta's case, it's just a "guarantee"? Was it charged by venere or by the hotel?

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2 posts
3. Re: caution booking on venere.com

Venere do charge at the time of booking for apartments. They did to me dispite what they say on the website. Your card will be charged.

When I arrived the apartment was not the one booked and contracted, they did not notify me before. What I got was substandard smaller and rather grotty, but they had already taken the full apartment fee for the one that I saw advertised on their site.

I spoke with the local agent by phone twice who promised to do something but didn't.

I emailed Venere but have had zero response.

Venere automatically generated email asked me to review the apartment but guess what they do not post low marking or unsatisfactory reviews in the customer reviews. I checked ca lanza in Venice and my review is not there.

So be warned the reviews you see are only the good (or maybe fake?) ones. When there is a breach (default) of contract venere will do nothing. There has been no response from Venere to date despite 2 emails and 3 phone calls.

TM

4. Re: caution booking on venere.com

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