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