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visa applications


Artois

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We have recently had requests for booking confirmation in order that people can obtain a visa.

We reserved a week for a lady based in the UK who then requested a confirmation of booking naming her South African relatives who would be staying in our farmhouse in order that they could apply for a visa. Shortly after we had done so she cancelled, thanking us but telling us her plans had changed.

We confirmed a booking to a Vietnemese family again living in the UK, following receipt of a cheque and booking form. We were then met with a similar request. We obliged only to receive a reply requesting a refund as the visa application had failed. We replied that we would only refund the money owed once their cheque had cleared at our bank. This morning we received a message telling us he has cancelled the cheque.

We have lost a weeks booking and now have another vacancy next week with little chance of re-letting it at this stage, not to mention our wasted time.

More importantly should we be suspicious or is this coincidence?

Has anyone else experienced similar?

Artois.

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Or illegal immigrants who use your booking to convince UK immigation that they are really only in the UK as the first step in their holiday - probably also have weeks booked in Italy and Spain just to make it all look kosher.

 

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We have taken a booking from a UK based family, who also needed proof of accommodation for visas ( I think they are being joined by family from India).  We have had full payment (all by bank transfer) plus a list of names for people staying, so I'm hoping that you were unlucky and ours are genuine!  They're due to stay in August, so fingers crossed.

 

Marie

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  • 3 weeks later...

We've been getting a run of these ourselves.

We went through about five or six bookings from South Africans before the first one arrived. In hindsight, I think that the others were genuine as I had the chance to have quite a conversation with the guy that did make it (and others have subsequently) and it seems that it's a major, major effort to get a Schengen visa if you're South African.

At the moment, we seem to be going through a similar process with the Chinese and have had around 4 or 5 cancelled bookings before the first Chinese guests arrived. Again, it appears to be a visa problem.

All the above were living in the UK and wanted to come to France on holiday.

We've already had some Indians stay so keep your fingers crossed. Ours had to be sponsored by their employer to get the visa.

 

Arnold

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ours are still having trouble getting visas - months after booking, and despite several letters from us confirming their booking and payment. What do we do if they can't get a visa? They are due to stay next week, so it's the middle of high season, and we have turned away several requests for the same week.  Would you return any of the money - we obviously can't relet it, as we won't know until the last minute if they've got the visas or not? Terms and conditions state that we don't refund unless we manage to relet - should we enforce this? Advice please!

 

Marie

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we obviously can't relet it, as we won't know until the last minute if they've got the visas or not? Terms and conditions state that we don't refund unless we manage to relet - should we enforce this? Advice please!

If you are running a business then I think you have to act according to your terms and conditions. Just imagine you  are a big holiday company, what would they do?

Would these clients be able to make a claim from their travel insurance? possibly not if it is a visa problem.[:(]

Bon courage

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[quote user="Marie"]

Would you return any of the money - we obviously can't relet it, as we won't know until the last minute if they've got the visas or not? Terms and conditions state that we don't refund unless we manage to relet - should we enforce this? Advice please!

[/quote]

Marie - no point in having terms and conditions unless you are going to enforce them.  Yours seem clear enough to me!

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We apply our standard terms. However, when we have a booking from someone we know will need a visa, we highlight to them when they'd need to cancel to avoid us charging them or to receive a refund. Additionally, we try to get an e-mail off to them a few days before the various "no refund" dates come up.

One thing we've also done for this and other "no-show" problems that we've been having lately is to significantly increase our deposit amount which is up from around 20% to 60% of the balance due where re require a deposit. To make it fair, we've also changed from the deposit being non-refundable (unless we relet the rooms) to it being refundable if it's cancelled one week or more in advance. The one week period is due to us running mainly as B&B; for gite bookings I'd say a month or more would be more realistic.

 

Arnold

 

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We had a similar request last year from an American guy wanting to stay with us for 4 nights but needing written confirmation in order to get his Ukrainian wife a visa.  No problem giving the confirmation but he also paid a non-refundable deposit but in our case they did actually arrive.  I wouldn't have any qualms about giving the confirmation of booking but I'd want my deposit and it wouldn't be refundable reliant on their getting their visa.  That's their problem (and risk), not yours.
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