How to Protect Yourself when Making Travel & Hotel Reservations over the Internet
(Bookmark this page – it applies to Internet reservations wherever you may go.)
In spite – or perhaps because of – the continuously growing number of choices on the Internet, selecting and subsequently reserving the right hotel or villa and choosing the right travel agent for your holiday is getting more difficult every day. Remember, this is YOUR vacation, and you cannot be too careful. The joy of saving a few dollars is very short-lived compared to memories you may have of a spoiled vacation.
Some web sites advertise deceptively low rates for hotels, villas or vacation packages as a teaser to attract potential clients and then try to sell them something else. Some promise services they don't deliver or advertise hotels or villas which don't even exist. Others tell you outright lies on their web pages. For instance, they claim:
"(We are) a Bali based company. We live here, we know the people, ...". When you check the background, the owner of the web site is a company in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. So be careful.
Some hints on how to protect yourself from false claims and/or unreliable companies so you can avoid possible disaster:
- Search the web site for detailed information on the company which offeres its products/services on the site. Look for the place and date of incorporation, paid up capital, street address of the office, the telephone and fax numbers, names of management and key staff, and the company history. You should find all this on an "About Us" or "Corporate Page". (For instance, see Balivillas.com/Bali.com Ltd Corporate Page.)
- Always check whether the company accepts all major credit cards. If the company has been doing business on the Internet for many years and works with the major credit card companies, you can be sure there have been no serious customer complaints. No credit card issuer would continue to do business with a company if card holders have repeatedly requested refunds because of the problems they have experienced.
- Check whether the company and the owner of the domain you are visiting are identical. You can do this by going to this WHOIS database and keying in the domain name (e.g. "xwebsitename.com").
- Check the Site Security Certificate. You can do this by clicking the certificate provider's icon on the web site which will show you the validity of the Certificate. If you cannot find any Security certificate provider's icon this probably means no security arrangements have been made. In this case be VERY careful submitting any personal data or other confidential information.
- Check other credentials of the company e.g. membership in trade organizations such as the Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA), and so on. To search the PATA members database you have to select the first letter of the company name and then scroll down the subsequent page.
- If the company is registered with D&B (Dun & Bradsteet), you can find even more details there. Most companies in international business nowadays have obtained a D-U-N-S number which is required by many global industry and trade associations, including the United Nations, the U.S. Federal Government, the Australian Government and the European Commission. (Bali.com Ltd's D&B D-U-N-S No. is 66-389-8141.)
- Look for testimonials of recent guests. However, disregard them if they are shown without full name and address of the contributor since there is no way to verify them. Bali.com Ltd only publishes testimonials with the full contact address.
- It's an important advantage if the company has its own professionally staffed office at your destination to help you with any problems which may arise during your stay. Only companies with their own on-site office are in a position to be on call around the clock to help in emergencies.
Bali.com Ltd (with its divisions Balivillas.com, Baliresorts.com, Balivacations.com, and Balicruises.com) has handled hotel, villa and cruise reservations for thousands of visitors since 1992 and maintains its own Reservation & Service Center in Bali.
The company is a member of PATA (the Pacific Area Travel Association), and Balivillas.com's practices and web site have been certified by TRUSTe, Public Eye and has a SSL Security Seal.
For any additional questions on traveling to Bali you might have, please don't hesitate to contact Ms. Endris Juliawati (in English, German or Indonesian), or any of our staff in English or Indonesian by fax (+62-361 847-3637), telephone (+62-361 703-060), or by e-mail to email@example.com.
- Go to Private Vacation Villas in Bali
Choose from the most beautiful villas in Bali with 2 to 7 bedrooms, tropical garden with private pool, trained cooks, maids, gardeners, etc. In-house spa treatments and an air-conditioned car with a reliable driver included. Your best choice for a relaxed vacation in Bali, and cheaper than staying at a good hotel.
- Go to Bali Hotel Bargain Finder
Take advantage of the GUARANTEED best rates for all kinds of hotels in Bali.