Recently I booked a guest house via travellerspoint. When I met the guest house owner I noticed that he had an email from travellerspoint with our creditcard number including owner and expiring date on it.
Why is this ? With this information he can do a lot of things on the Internet which will be very hard too prove and he does not need this information anyway. I think travellerpoint is breaking into privacy rules !
In the Netherlands, but in other Europe countries too e.g. France, a new rule is to ask for credit card information in case of reservation.
When you don't show up or make annulations you run the risk of being debited.
I strongly advise NOT to give credit card information! Certainly not via Internet sites or mail.
Confirming your reservation by telephone or mail must be sufficient.
Hi Marcel and Gurt.
How can you ever use a credit card if you never give the number to anyone?
There is too much paranoia about using your credit card. It is absolutely impossible to use a card 100% risk-free. Your job is to make a judgement on the trustworthiness of the people you are giving the information to, and assess whether you would have any redress if things went wrong.
Imagine all the millions of travellers out there who make hotel bookings in good faith, but then plans change, things happen. And they don't make it. You cannot expect hotels to reserve rooms for you without some security - and the ONLY way to do that is with your credit card number.
How do you know the car you buy won't blow up a mile down the road when you've just handed over cash (a lot easier to spend than plastic)?
You don't. You assess it, make a judgement and buy it. Or not.
I booked a RTW trip for myself and family, booking hotels all over the world, all via the internet. We even sent a cheque to New Zealand to someone we'd never met before, just to reserve a cottage for Christmas, 14 months in advance.
In order to travel, Marcel, you are going to have to be cautious but have a lot more faith in human nature. Go to places that scare you, and come back and tell everyone how fantastic, yet 'normal' it all was.
Hi Marcel et al,
I just answered the email you sent me regarding this too Marcel, but then noticed this post. I'd like to explain this a little more because there is a lot of (unnecessary) misunderstanding regarding this.
First off, in case this wasn't clear, we (Travellerspoint) do not run the booking systems used on the site. Instead we use systems provided to us by three specialized accommodation booking engines. We chose these specific three because they are reputable and work with some of the biggest names in the industry, they know what they are doing, have been doing it a long time, are quick to respond to customer queries, have a proven track record AND (of course) all offer encrypted bookings. I don't think you will find a lot of sites out there anymore that take credit cards and aren't encrypted when doing so. Any organization serious about this kind of thing will have it and if you find one that isn't, NEVER use it to place a booking!
Anyway, any booking is facilitated by these agencies and when booking, you agree to their terms and conditions in order to make any booking. One of the terms of a booking is that the hotel/guesthouse/hostel owner can charge one night to your credit card in case of a no show or a very late cancellation (again, I don't think you will find a system anywhere online that doesn't have this). In order to do so, the owner must have access to these details. Most accommodations will not take a booking at all without at least some kind of guarantee, usually a credit card, whether the booking is by fax, phone or otherwise. This might not be the case for smaller accommodations, but certainly for the more established and better accommodations, they will all want something to 'hold the booking' as steve also mentions.
It is important to note that this information is not sent by email to the accommodation provider. The accommodation provider is notified that there is a booking without any further (personal) details and he/she then has to sign into a secured online system where they can print out the details of the booking. These systems are all encrypted to ensure maximum protection of personal details.
All things considered, I think it's possibly more safe to book online than via phone/fax or otherwise since then you have no record of giving out your details and to whom you have done so.
I hope this helps explain the situation somewhat. Also, if it helps, since we started working with these agencies, we have not once received a complaint about any charges that were due to misuse of the card in any way