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Gites Parasite


bixy

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Has anyone come across an organisation Bxxxxxxgites, which makes gite bookings, has a blue background to its website.  I was horrified to find that friends had booked a gite with this organisation and were paying over 100 pounds more than if they had booked with Gites de France [for one week]. This organisation is just ripping off the info and photos from the GdeF site and then charging people a massive mark up, for doing essentially nothing. Can anything be done? Do GdeF know?

Patrick

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It would help if you would allow us a little more information as regards to the name of this company. Go on, give us the name!

Can your Friends not book their Gite direct with the owners rather than using GdeF?

 

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[quote user="Jura"]It would help if you would allow us a little more information as regards to the name of this company. Go on, give us the name! [/quote]

Just a friendly reminder of the section of the forum Code of Conduct, which says:

"There is to be no 'naming

and shaming' on the site. If you have any complaints about particular

individuals/companies, contact the relevant parties or authorities.
"

Forum moderators

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So I cannot name these people - but their title might imply bon marche. Our friends should have booked direct with Gites de France, as we recommended they did. It's amazing, isn't it - there's no little fiddle or con that people won't get up to.

Patrick

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  • 2 weeks later...
Without wanting to defend or condemn, I guess that the justification they would offer is that the site in question does say that it is a search service - people are (theoretically) paying for them to find a property that suits. 

[quote]

N.B. THE PROPERTIES LISTED ARE ONLY

A SELECTION OF THOSE AVAILABLE. IF NONE OF THE PROPERTIES LISTED MEETS

YOUR EXACT REQUIREMENTS PLEASE CALL xxxxxxxxxxxx OR TEL/FAX xxxxxxxxxxxx AND WE WILL SEARCH FOR OTHER AVAILABILITY FOR YOU

We offer a "find a holiday" service. Please don't ask for a search

unless you really want to book a holiday as each search is undertaken

individually and involves telephone calls and faxes to owners and

agencies in France. This takes time and if you are unsure whether you

really want a holiday in France it is also unfair on the many people

who are genuinely looking for a holiday and who are having to wait

while your request is being processed.[/quote]

The properties on their site are from many sources, not just Gites de France.

The first one, in the North, is called Rxxxxxxxt and costs £325 high season with this site; if you go to the personal site of the gite in question (a Clévacances gite) it is €300 (about £240-ish).  Nice commission! [:D]

My initial questions would be

  1. do owners know what is happening and

  2. have they given permission for their photos to be used?  Because in the case I've quoted the images are identical to those on the owner's site.
I can't see anywhere on the site where owners can apply, so I guess they have garnered the details from other sites. 

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[quote user="cassis"]
The first one, in the North, is called Rxxxxxxxt and costs £325 high season with this site; if you go to the personal site of the gite in question (a Clévacances gite) it is €300 (about £240-ish).  Nice commission! [:D]

My initial questions would be

  1. do owners know what is happening and

  2. have they given permission for their photos to be used?  Because in the case I've quoted the images are identical to those on the owner's site.

I can't see anywhere on the site where owners can apply, so I guess they have garnered the details from other sites. 
[/quote]

Blimey, what an eyesore of a site! If the owners don't know (have gone through those in my area but don't recognise any) I wonder how the booking process works? And whether the owners of the site (they are in Burnley, GB according to Whois) are registered as letting agents in France (which is a legal requirement when advertising and taking money for others' properties)?

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Hi Jo

From the booking instructions, it looks like the punter makes a request for a property, the site owners book the gite, take the punter's money and pass it on to the gite owners (less their modest commission). 

I would  guess they make the booking in the punter's name.  As for being registered in France, would they need to be if they were based in the UK?  I've no idea.  Hard to tell where they are as they have both French and UK telephone numbers.

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Whether they're in the UK or France, they do have to be (should be) registered as letting agents when letting properties situated in France as agents; the law was tightened three or four years ago. For instance, thiis resullted in the Holiday Cottages Group (whose brands include French Country Cottages / Cottages 4 You / Blakes / Welcome Holidays / Chez Nous / Individual Travellers Company / French Life / Stillwells / EasyCottages etc.) creating a French umbrella company - Vacation Rentals SARL. These are all perfectly legal above-board agents.

It's not legal for any agent to take more than a 25% deposit (on the price of the holiday or a holding guarantee deposit) any earlier than six months before the start of the holiday, so they'd be on a sticky wicket there, too, if they (the site discussed in the previous posts) are taking the whole amount in advance

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