…. because they’re ripping you off!
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb, Stayz-Homeaway, Bookings.com are not doing you, the guest, any favours. These unnecessary ‘middle-men’ are adding heaps of charges to the cost of your accommodation with their exorbitant booking fees, service charges and commissions. When you book through an OTA instead of booking direct with the owner, you are paying at least 15% more than you should be and often that’s up to 30% more – without the OTA providing you with any extra benefits or assistance in the event something goes wrong.
Good luck getting a refund from the OTA if you happen to cancel or, for some reason, the booking you thought you had turns out to be already booked and occupied by someone else when you get there. And don’t hold your breath waiting for your security bond to be refunded, regardless of how well you left the property.
They’ll just tell you to take all such issues up with the property owner, even though the OTA is the one holding all the money you paid until well after you’ve left the property – up to 30 days after! How can an owner refund your deposit if you cancel in good time when they haven’t even received it? And how can an owner refund your security bond when it’s never passed on to them by the OTA?
You need to understand that it’s the OTA holding ALL the money and if you want to get any back you have to deal with them and guess what? Once they have your money, they don’t care about you (or about the property owner). Not one little bit. But they’ll never admit to that.
To book accommodation in Yea – or anywhere else – our advice is this:
Just do a search for the property on Google and ‘Book direct and save’ … and be treated decently, like you really should be.