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Villa Scam

Discussion in 'Accomodation away from the Resorts' started by Littlewinnie, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Littlewinnie

    Littlewinnie New Member

    We have always managed to get a good deal with regards to renting a villa, however this year we have fallen foul of a clever scam involving paypal. We negotiated a deal on a villa in Windsor Palms, we paid the deposit of £300 and within half hour of paying it the owner has decided to increase the price, by a further £225, obviously we weren't going to pay the increase so told the owner we will not be renting the villa and requested the deposit to be paid back, I am sure you can guess the answer (the deposit is non refundable). We have tried to get it back through paypal , and put in a dispute but because it is not goods they fall in favour of the owner of the villa. therefore we are £300 out of pocket and I refuse to stay in her property as this would mean paying her more money. She is from Canada so the uk law doesnt stand but I am in contact with a canadian lawyer to see if there is anything we can do. So beware, make sure you have the rental price set in stone before paying any money. If anyone is thinking of staying on Windsor Palms and wants the owners name before booking send me a private message.
  2. jenster5

    jenster5 DoingFlorida Associate

    My god,that is awful littlewinnie I really feel for you.I hope you manage to get your money back but even if you do you will have lawyers fees to pay I'm very grateful for this thread as today we were looking at possibly booking our trip for next year and we are looking at villas in that area, I had concerns about paying a deposit and then the villa being foreclosed on as who knows what financial situation the owners are in. I think I will now go with my gut feeling and book through a travel agent of some sort,I hope you get sorted
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  3. Muppet fan

    Muppet fan Member

    That is terrible, you always feel some security with PayPal, not so apparently. In the past we have used suncentre villas and www.floridadreamvillas.net who have a great choice. I hope this gets sorted out quickly for you little Winnie, holidays should be fun to arrange not stressful before you even pack a case. Good luck
  4. gutfa

    gutfa Member

    We have always booked our villas through sue at www.floridabees.co.uk.
    We've paid £450 a week for a 4 bed, 3 bath with pool villa in Westhaven.

    If you want to have a look at where we are staying google Amethyst Springs and it will come up on trip advisor.

    Friends of ours stayed on the same development, albeit a different villa in Feb this year and said it was lovely.

    This is the cheapest villa we've had in the 9 years we've gone with the kids.

    Hope you get sorted its not nice to be done!
  5. Justice Socks

    Justice Socks DoingFlorida Associate

    I would send a copy of all the details to the local Florida newspapers to see if one of them would follow up your story. You could also send one to Orlando PD if you suspect it is a regular fraud, they would love it.

    Name and shame sometimes works. I did this with the Lake Eve resort, naming them and a member of the management team on Tripadvisor and got immediate satisfaction.

    Don't mess, go for the throat. You could start here with the villa name and owner details. I didn't think Tripadvisor would print my complaint but they did. If DoingFlorida admin don't like it and delete it you won't have lost anything so give it a go.

    This sort of thing makes my blood boil. You didn't just go out and find 300 quid in the street or Santa drop it down your chimney, you worked damned hard for it. Go get em'.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  6. Justice Socks

    Justice Socks DoingFlorida Associate

    This is my letter to tripadvisor. I got my money back within a few days. No point in being nice to somebody who has just ripped you off.
    Reviewed 1 June 2011

    This resort are very good at charging your credit card without informing you. You only find out when you next receive your credit card statement. When you try to contact the resort they will not answer your emails and when you phone and ask for a manager there is no one available 'at this time'.

    I booked and paid for 15 nights and have the booking invoice to prove this. We actually stayed 14 nights, the extra one we paid for was to accomodate our late flight home. When we first entered our room we found the place to be rather dirty, lights not working and the lights over the kitchen area flickering on and off. The cooker had not been cleaned since day one and mixed assortment of kitchen utensils were also dirty. The refrigerator had a broken drawer and the coffee maker was mouldy from the last pot of coffee to be made as the bag was still in there! We reported these faults to the desk and the broken drawer was replaced the next day. NOTHING ELSE WAS DONE!

    We asked 4 times for a change of room but finally gave in as we did not want to spend our holiday waiting at the reception desk. Having decided to clean the place to our standards we were even further dismayed to get no room service for 2 days which resulted in us washing our own towels.

    On our return I found I had been charged for an extra night and for the cost of the broken refrigerator drawer. I sent an email to Lake Eve asking for an explanation and had to resort to embarrassing them on Facebook to get an answer. This is when I found out about what the charges were for. I have emailed back to say we paid for the nights we stayed and sent proof and to also check their records to see that we reported the broken drawer. THEY HAVE NOW GONE QUIET AGAIN! NO REFUND AND NO CONTACT!

    I have visited Orlando over 20 times and have never had problems like this. Other hotels and resorts have been only too pleased to correct any faults that have occured and also seem pleased to welcome your business. Lake Eve is another matter! It has been reported on Tripadvisor before about the valet parking system they run at weekends. They form a one way system with traffic cones and put up a sign saying there is limited parking and to use valet parking. The car park is hardly the size of a football pitch so why on earth would anyone require valet parking. The idea is to get a few more dollars out of you.

    Maybe Lake Eve would care to reply to my comments on Tripadvisor as they do not seem to want to reply to me in person or give me back my money that was wrongfully taken from my credit card. The sales and marketing person responsible for this debacle is a certain Amanda Simon. Maybe one of her seniors would care to reply.

    I would certainly not stay at Lake Eve again as there are hundreds of other resorts in Orlando that give better service and do not try to gain a few extra dollars from your credit card after you have left.

    Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple2 of 5 stars Value
    1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    1 of 5 stars Service

    Was this review helpful? Yes 13

    Lake Eve Resort

    This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

    LCatena, General Manager at Lake Eve Resort, responded to this review
  7. magic

    magic Active Member

    That's awful, absolutely disgraceful. Can't believe that PayPal aren't willing to follow this up / refund your money. Assuming you have good proof of the original contract price it seems incredible that they say nothing can be done. Did you pay with a PayPal balance or with a Credit Card (we pay with a Credit Card via PayPal whenever there are higher high sums involved which gives an additional layer of protection).
    Totally agree with JS ~ name and shame and contact any organizations that may have a vested interest.
  8. Littlewinnie

    Littlewinnie New Member

    Thanks for all the good advice we have used Mr Socks advice with regards to the Orlando Sentinel and Tripadvisor which we can't leave a direct review as we haven't stayed in the property but we have left a message in the forum.

    With regards to Paypal it was paid from a PayPal balance which we are kicking ourselves for, Paypal state article 13 which only covers tangible goods which can be tracked.

    I've also contacted the owner directly by email to tell her who I'm contacting as this may trigger her conscience to refund the money.

    You learn the hard way, I'll keep you posted with what happens.
  9. happydays

    happydays New Member

    How awful. It is so easy to think good of people.
    Well done JS, excellent advice given there and I hope it all turns around very quickly Littlewinnie xxxx
  10. Jack

    Jack Well-Known Member

    Thats disgusting.
    I hope u get some sort of help/refund.
  11. winnie72

    winnie72 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to hear what's happened, hope you get your money back
  12. tinklancs

    tinklancs Well-Known Member

    Trouble is, it makes you dubious of all villa owners and most are honest, law-abiding folk. I've only ever stayed in my sister's villa or one belonging to somebody she knows so haven't taken any chances. Bad enough with Virgin taking all your money let alone villa owners!! :D Hope you get it sorted.
  13. janeyliz

    janeyliz Well-Known Member

    What a shame hope you get your money back Little Winnie and of course name and shame them as there are so many people viewing this forum who are not members and i am sure the word will get around so good luck in your fight:)
  14. mystic100

    mystic100 Active Member

    oh no how awful :( some awful people out there realy is hope you manage to get it sorted really do everything crossed for you

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