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Yapstone anybody??

 
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:34 am    Post subject: Yapstone anybody?? Reply with quote

Is anyone in a position to tell me whether or not Yapstone have improved since this last year?

http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=26748&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=yapstone&start=0

Guests currently at our cottage will be affected by Friday's strike by Thomas Cook pilots. Their flight has been rescheduled to so early in the morning that they will need to catch a ferry the night before and spend their final night in a hotel. This, naturally, is my first ever commission-based booking on Owners' Direct since I stopped paying to advertise and I have no personal experience of Yapstone whatsoever.

I have spoken with the guests who tell me they do not expect a refund but I think that morally/ethically I should give them something back. So I began setting that in motion and had to download a mandate for Yapstone to take Direct Debits from my bank account. This rang alarm bells. I could just bung them cash but I would prefer to wait until Yapstone has actually paid me the correct amount in the first place by which time in all likelihood our guests will already have left.

Any advice will be gratefully received - Thanks!
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Dusty



Joined: 19 Dec 2012
Posts: 301
Location: St Cernin de Labarde, Dordogne

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I understand it correctly you want to refund your guests for the one night that they missed of the holiday due to having to travel back early and you want to do that via Yapstone. Did your guests book through OD? I am not sure how you would do this via OD unless you took a damage deposit and were to amend the amount of the refund to reflect them cutting short their holiday. But do be aware that Yapstone will charge you 3% for the honour of using them to pay you client back.
I would also have thought that they would be able to claim from their travel insurance for any out of pocket expenses and their hotel costs and the loss of their holiday could be included.
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for your reply Dusty. Yes, as I mentioned in my OP, this is my first ever commission-based booking on Owners' Direct. I have spoken with Owners' Direct and they have explained to me exactly how I go about refunding our guests a portion of the money they have paid. Certainly I have no legal obligation to do this and there is no reason on Earth why I should lose out just because Thomas Cook want to treat their pilots and their customers abysmally. However, I believe in fairness and I would like to treat my guests fairly. I won't refund them the full price of the missing night because I have no doubt that nobody else is going to reduce their commission/service fee/call it what you will.
The way to achieve this apparently is to sign a mandate for Yapstone to take money from my bank account via Direct Debit and so my question is can they be trusted? I suspect not but I would like to hear from those who know.
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Giraffe



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 391
Location: Cornwall, England

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't understand why you think it's your responsibility to give your guests a refund. Their insurance should cover any losses and out of pocket expenses. If you feel you need to, why don't you just give them a cash refund if you are onsite. If not, arrange a bank transfer into their account? I do the latter for any refunds to customers. I would never give a firm like Yapstone authority to take money from my bank account.
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Giraffe. I think that is probably the wisest way forward. I was looking into the refund route because it has worked so very well in the past with AirBnB. That way the full amount doesn't reach our bank account in the first place and I don't have the Greek Tax Authorities thinking that I am being devious. Handing over cash is not going to be awfully easy because the guests have already said not to worry about it. I had rather hoped that it slipping quietly back onto their credit card would simply be a nice surprise for them when they got back home.

I suppose I am just old-fashioned. They have paid for seven nights but are not having seven nights so I feel I should charge them only for six. I have had to do this in the past when a flight has arrived too late for a ferry crossing at the start of a holiday.


Last edited by Tivoli on Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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zebedee



Joined: 12 Sep 2014
Posts: 843
Location: yorkshire dales

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about a discount for a return stay instead??
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yup, that's doable Smile
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Marks



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 2801
Location: Costa Blanca

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm firmly in the no refund camp. That is what travel insurance is for and you are not their insurers. Thomas Cook's business ethics and the actions of their pilots should not mean that you are out of pocket. I think zebedee's suggestion is the furthest you should go, if they don't book again then you have lost nothing.
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My default terms and conditions are very strict; no refunds - sort it out with your travel insurance. These guests are lovely, they have been shat upon by a big player who has the legal side all sewn up. I don't think most travel insurance covers this kind of stuff; it usually covers broken legs and lost luggage. The guests are taking it all in their stride and are being very Pollyanna-ish about the whole thing. My feeling is that a gesture of kindness is worth more than the cash involved.
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AndrewH



Joined: 12 Sep 2013
Posts: 1317
Location: Kefalonia, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not want Yapstones to be a part of any of this. It's an unusual one-off situation, and I doubt that bringing forward a flight time by a few hours would be a situation covered by travel insurance. In effect, you would like to make a cash gift (no obligation at all) to your departed guests who were caught up in this Thomas Cook failure. That's laudable, and kind of you to think like that.

Once your guests are back home from their holiday, I should email them and say you would like to send them something to help pay the cost of that additional night in an hotel. If they say yes, you could send a cheque to their home address, or ask them for their bank account details and/or their IBAN.

You have made the nice gesture and, if the guests are still adamant that they don't want any payment, then you should respect their wishes.
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your thoughts Andrew, I'm finding it extremely helpful to collect the range of thoughts on this one. We will have a chat with them prior to departure and play it by ear. This has been a very useful conversation and I thank everyone for their input and opinions.
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ManxRed1



Joined: 25 Jul 2016
Posts: 228
Location: Polperro, Cornwall, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is purely my opinion, but - given that Yapstone are unregulated in the UK (they have set up in Ireland, which enjoys a reputation as being largely unregulated) - and given the number of horror stories on the internet about people having money withdrawn from their accounts against their will by this company, massive alarm bells would be going off with me if I needed to sign a DD mandate with them.

My advice would be to avoid this like the plague.

If you do want to refund them, I would ask for their bank details and do a BACS transfer.
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COYS



Joined: 06 Jun 2015
Posts: 765
Location: Greek Islands

PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ManxRed1 wrote:
My advice would be to avoid this like the plague.


+1
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Tivoli



Joined: 19 Feb 2015
Posts: 140
Location: Glossa, Skopelos, Greece

PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ManxRed and COYS Smile Certainly alarm bells did ring having read horror stories about a year ago but I had wondered if Yapstone had cleaned up their act. Apparently not and so no mandate shall be signed. Thanks everyone for your input Smile
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