Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Gtes de France - Terms and conditions clarification (Stu or others?)

Gtes de France - Terms and conditions clarification (Stu or others?)

Old Sep 19th, 2022, 04:15 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gtes de France - Terms and conditions clarification (Stu or others?)

Bonjour!

Looking at renting a gte in southern France in early spring (late March/April), which is still the middle of winter where I live. I am a little unclear on the cancellation or modification policy and seeking advice from people who have actually rented from them in the recent past.

It would appear that a 25% deposit is required upon reserving, and that it is non-refundable - is this correct? The optional cancellation insurance on their site says that it is only available to continental Europe residents, which is not my case (even though I think it would cover this deposit). Also, the balance must be apparently paid in full 30 days out, but some of those monies may be (or not) refundable depending on the cancellation time frame.

I would be very interested to hear from those who have had to modify or cancel their reservation in the past: is my above interpretation correct? Were there any surprises or difficulties involved in getting the reimbursement? For lengthier stays (more than just a few days), were you able to negotiate a small discount with the owner(s)? Did you always contact them through the Gte web site? Any other potential pitfalls I should be aware of?

As we are living in uncertain times and that this trip is still several months out, I am simply trying to understand my options for risk mitigation.

Merci.
kanadajin is online now  
Old Sep 19th, 2022, 11:28 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 198
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Book direct with the establishment.
Especially if their t&cs are more advantageous to you.
Personally I am leaning away from the likes of any aggregator like Booking, Auto Europe, Google, Trip Advisor and the rest
If something goes wrong it is getting harder to get your money back these days. I have found advantages with t&cs when going direct.
I acknowledge find the website for a property can mean a little more work.
VANAARLE is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 06:24 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2022
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree, try to book directly to get best rates.
A good tip for the French Riviera & Provence is to use Provence Web website, they have a nice selection of bed & breakfast and hotels for each village in Provence.
wollastoni is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 06:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,981
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This is where travel cancellation insurance comes in. Choose a cancel for any reason one.
In my admittedly limited experience it depends on the owner what deposit they want and when they want full payment and their cancellation policy.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 07:19 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,535
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gites de France is not an aggregator, it is a respected organization for holiday rentals in France that has been around for decades, long before Airbnb etc.

I haven't rented one recently but the terms are given to you that spell out the refunds. I think they vary by department, they aren't the same everywhere, but all the contracts I've read on there are very specific as to refunds so there shouldn't be confusion. And yes, the amt kept varies by time before cancellation. The contracts I've seen on there often say you lose 25 pct if cancel more than 3 weeks out, 50 pct if 8-20 days, 75 pct if within the last week, and all if just a day or two before arrival. Something like that.

For example, this is the one for the Vaucluse which you can get if you are contemplating booking a place on there, you click the link.

CGVLVP.pdf

That is very clear in item (9). That may not work, but the terms were generally what I noted above.

I'm sure their assurance company is legally only allowed to cover people in certain countries, so if you don't live there, there is nothing you can do about that. You can buy travel insurance all over the world as far as I know, just buy it from companies in your country that do that. In the US, you can view insuremytrip.com, for example, and buy a policy with the terms you want. The Gites insurance doesn't cover cancel for any reason anyway, you have to have documentation of something serious like an accident or illness.

It sounds like you are too afraid to do this if you don't want to risk anything and perhaps cancel at the last minute. Maybe this isn't the method for you. Also, do you speak French pretty well? Or at least read it? Because a lot of those owners only speak French,, and if you cannot read the contracts, etc, that could be a problem, as well as communicating stuff. But the listing should state that.

AS for trying to bargain with the owner for staying more than a few days, I presume owners set their prices at what they want, based on the dates you put in. Some won't even take stays less than a week, at least in high season. I think such tactics might offend someone as it kind of spells trouble, but maybe this is a thing I don't know about that other people do.
Christina is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 05:56 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you Christina for your detailed response.

I do understand indeed that the Gtes de France organization is not an aggregator, which is one reason why I was looking at them as they seem to have many properties which are not found elsewhere from what I can tell. I am not a newbie to France, and lost count of how many times I've been (since 1976) but have never used Gtes de France before hence my initial query.

I did not realize that the T&C may vary by department or region, so that is very useful info! I had only looked at the cancellation policy for 2 specific places in the same general area. I will need to look into this further.

My query is not at all about being afraid to do this, but rather to hear about other experiences with Gtes de France. I would be ideally renting a place for a few weeks, so for example in the case of a 4 week stay, the 25% deposit would then be one week's worth of rent plus taxe de sjour plus related fee. This would usually represent a sum which I would not consider as petty cash. I would be fully intending to follow through on a reservation, but given the ever changing travel rules and restrictions these days, especially this far out and with the onset of winter in between, I am simply trying to better gauge what I would be getting into in the case that I would be prevented from traveling (this happened to friends of ours).

BTW my French is stronger than my English, as it is not only my mother tongue but also my culture I have regularly been able to negotiate small discounts with owners for lengthier stays on several occasions, and this works quite well in my experience (or at least used to) as long as you are not in high season obviously. I am not sure how one could do this through the Gtes web site, as it all seems to be centralized in this case.

I do highly appreciate all these kind words.
kanadajin is online now  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 06:14 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes Vanaarle and Wollastoni, if I can manage to somehow track down a separate web site, that would be preferable. This is easier done for hotels, hostels and such but sometimes not as obvious for apartments/houses (sites do not always exist or are well hidden!) although I did have some success doing so before.

I have not looked into Trip cancellation insurance just yet, but thanks for the tip hetismij2!
kanadajin is online now  
Old Sep 20th, 2022, 07:31 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 7,166
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
If there is a picture or two of the place, try a Google image search for other web instances of the same picture.
AJPeabody is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2022, 12:07 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 479
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kanadajin View Post
As we are living in uncertain times and that this trip is still several months out, I am simply trying to understand my options for risk mitigation.

Merci.
That is why travel insurance exists. Your best bet is to take out comprehensive travel insurance that would cover you for cancellation and/or curtailment of your trip. That way you can claim for any cancellation charge even if that includes the total cost, depending on the reason for the cancellation (eg illness etc). This type of insurance is very usual for Europeans who would not likely travel without it. In the US or NA it seems, reimbursement is sought from the suppliers no matter what the reason is for cancellation, thus the search for fully refundable rates and the belief that booking direct will give them lower rates + more favourable cancellation policies (unlikely).

Some posters are advising to book direct: sometimes but not often (esp in the case of car rental) that gives you the best rate but be aware that agencies mentioned in the above thread such as Autoeurope and booking.com have more favourable cancellation and refund policies than booking direct. Autoeurope are very easy to get a refund from if you cancel within their stated cancellation policy, some of the properties represented on Booking.com have better cancellation policies than booking direct. That is the nature of booking giants that can negotiate better deals with suppliers than booking direct. In fact most of my bookings now are through agencies that package air + hotel or air + car because when flights are cancelled or there are sched changes, much easier to amend the hotel and/or car than trying to deal with it directly with the suppliers as often I have found, they charge amendment fees and reprice the hotel and/or car rental.

The booking conditions are clearly stated on the Gtes de France website including the contract you are entering when booking one of their gtes, doubt the booking conditions are going to be that different if you book direct with a property but you might get better rates.



balthy is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2022, 12:36 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 22,782
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
I've stayed with Gites-de a number of times, always worked well
I always take out full travel insurance before I start booking holidays unless the sum involved is petty cash
I've negotiated with non-Gites-de gite owners which I normally find from town websites
My french is moderate
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Sep 22nd, 2022, 03:03 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 284
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
AJPeabody, that is an excellent suggestion! I never thought of that (nor done that) but I will give it a try and see if anything comes up.

[QUOTE]This type of insurance is very usual for Europeans who would not likely travel without it. In the US or NA it seems, reimbursement is sought from the suppliers no matter what the reason is for cancellation, thus the search for fully refundable rates and the belief that booking direct will give them lower rates + more favourable cancellation policies (unlikely).
/QUOTE]

I think you may have a point about travel insurance perspectives differing according to the part of the world. It is true that this is something that usually does not pop up in my mind automatically. And bilboburgler, I indeed note your comment and endorsement of this approach. Thinking about it, it is quite certain that the insurance premium would amount to less than the potential loss of deposit monies for longer rental periods. This had been a little off my radar screen but I shall certainly investigate further as it just may solve the dilemma.

I highly appreciate these pertinent comments and suggestions!
kanadajin is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
StuDudley
Europe
81
Aug 1st, 2014 01:54 PM
italynovice
Europe
15
Jun 2nd, 2012 03:14 PM
suffrock
Europe
5
Mar 23rd, 2006 01:48 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -