Online payments - staying safe
A quick guide to booking and paying safely
We get to know all our owners because we handpick and inspect them. We've met them, eaten their food and stayed at their Special Place, so we know they are real, lovely people. You shouldn't have any problems with booking and paying for your stay directly with our owners.
In the past a few of our owners have had their email accounts hacked, and a scammer has replied to real booking enquiries by deleting the email enquiry and replying from another email account, pretending to be the owner. Unfortunately it's a common scam and it's not unique to the travel industry: anyone who is selling something and has their email account publicly available can be targeted. We work with our owners to warn them about these scams and help prevent them from being targeted. However, as with any online payment, it's always best to be vigilant:
We recommend that you call or email the owner directly to book, using the phone number that we provide the 'Enquire now' button. That way you can be sure you're speaking with the real owner, and it's a good way to get to know them before you come to stay.
Once you've sent your enquiry you'll see a confirmation page and receive an email confirming your enquiry has been sent. Look out for a reply from the owner from firstname.lastname@example.org, or from the owner's direct email address. If you get a reply from a suspicious-looking address, treat it with caution, particularly if it is from 'Rental Properties Manager' or another vague email address. If you are in any doubt at all, give the owner a ring or get in touch with us at email@example.com.
Many of our places are small and independent and unable to take debit or credit card payments. Some owners, particularly of self-catering places, might ask you to pay a deposit to confirm your booking. If you are unable to pay via debit or credit card, you'll probably have to pay by cheque or bank transfer. Bank transfers are quick and easy, but also irreversible and not covered by any guarantees by your bank, so please make sure you are certain you have the right person's bank details before you transfer any money.
Happy and safe travels!
The Sawday's Team