I'm an exchange student planning to go to edinburgh.
I've just planned to stay in a self catering apartment. We've sort of confirmed our booking which requires that we pay a deposit soon and the full amount 1 month before we arrive in scotland via credit card
It has just dawned upon me..is this normal? I mean we wouldn't have any recourse if we arrive there and there is no such apartment? Or am I being paranoid. haha
Would sincerely appreciate ur advice if you've done this kinda over the internet booking thing.
I cannot comment whether paying 4 weeks in advance with credit card is normal, but I agree that it is risky.
If you book through Travellerspoint you are asked to pay a small deposit with credit card when you book and the rest of the money when you are actually there and are using the premises.
Paying the full balance one month before you go is not what is done on TP and personally I like it that way.
Maybe you want to take a look at the accomodation link on this website? I frequently use it myself and had no problems so far. Plus the owners Sam and Peter have in the past offered to help people who came here with a complaint about a certain property or company.
I would not do it, personally. There is masses of accommodation in Edinburgh especially at this time of year. Just make enquiries online or by phone and pay on arrival. If the place is gone for any reason, then at Waverley Station there is an excellent info desk that will find you a cheap room for a couple of nights while you search out something else.
Don't ever think you are being paranoid. There are a lot of sharks out there and this situation is easily solved without you having to give out CC details if you are worried.
Thanks appreciate the advice!
Is the difference due to it being an apartment and not a hotel room? It would be easy to find another person to take a hotel room if they flake out but I can understand a person with an apartment not wanting to take it off the market without getting full payment in advance. By the time they find out you don't like it, it is too late to find someone else to rent it. I've never rented an apartment for a month so this is just speculation on my part, but it makes sense to me.
In my opinion, apartment owners normally chearge one month's rent while hotel charges one night's charges as deposit in advance.
It is NOT advisable to pay whole one month's rent in advance. What happens if you don't like the apartment or some conveniences are not found to your liking?
May be you can rent the apartment for one week telling the owner that you might extend it if you like it . or
check-into some hostel or hotel for a few days, check the apartment and if you like it, then stay at the apartment.
Another wise move is to get a cab to take you to the cheapest 0* hotel, get one night there and look around all next day.
No danger of a C.C. mess and no money lost.