Booksi reviews, is an online platform that allows users to book vacation rentals such as cottages, villas, and apartments worldwide. While the website markets itself as a legitimate booking service offering affordable rates, mixed reviews from customers have raised questions on whether Booksi is trustworthy or potentially a scam.
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Founded in 2015, Booksi serves as an online marketplace connecting travelers to owners and property managers listing short-term rentals globally. The site claims to make booking vacations “faster, easier and safer” by partnering with licensed property managers and conducting verification checks on listings.
With prices up to 15% cheaper than alternatives, Booksi aims to provide budget-conscious travelers access to quality holiday rentals at alluring rates. Its booking process and customer support channels also make it relatively user-friendly for travelers.
However, despite the website’s appeals, several customer complaints have brought Booksi’s legitimacy and reliability into question. Issues around fraudulent listings, payment processing, refund issuance, and lack of response to complaints have led some users to allege Booksi functions more like a scam.
This article reviews Booksi based on customer feedback, analyzes common complaints issuers, provides tips for identifying potential scams, and offers recommendations on safely using sites like Booksi for travel bookings.
On review sites like Trustpilot, Booksi currently holds around a 4/5 star rating, with 76% of reviewers categorizing their experience as “Excellent” or “Great”.
Positive reviews praise Booksi for:
- Affordable rates, often 10-15% cheaper than alternatives
- Straightforward booking process and intuitive interface
- Quick customer support responses
- Properties meeting listed descriptions and locations
Positive testimonials focus on receiving high-quality vacation rentals at budget-friendly costs. This afforded value is Booksi’s strongest selling point for many happy customers.
“Rented a gorgeous apartment in Greece for a fraction of what I’d normally pay. No issues whatsoever, would definitely use Booksi again for my next holiday booking!”
However, alongside positives reviews, roughly 24% of Booksi’s Trustpilot ratings are “Poor” or “Bad” – stemming from couple common issues users have reported:
Lack of Customer Service Response
The most common complaint is the company’s lack of response to customer queries or issues. While reviews praise swift responses up till booking confirmation, users frequently report Booksi becoming unresponsive to concerns post-payment:
“Booked a cottage that looked amazing…But afterwards when I had an issue modifying my booking dates, Booksi wouldn’t answer my calls or emails.”
This lack of response extends to refund requests as well. Though Booksi has a Protected Refund Policy, multiple reviews allege difficulties getting repayment for accommodation issues:
“Asked for refund under their policy when property had hidden construction. No reply after weeks of calling, emails. Still waiting for my refund 2 months later.”
Without follow-up communication, users are often left in the dark on concerns they raise via Booksi’s helpline numbers and contact forms.
Property Listing Issues
Another recurring complaint is properties not matching the listings users book off of – potentially indicating fraudulent listings on Booksi’s platform.
Reviewers mention arriving at rentals that are:
- Much smaller than pictured
- Under construction or extremely dirty
- Located somewhere different than listed
“This was just straight up fraudulent. The ‘beautiful cottage’ didn’t exist at the address they gave. It was an abandoned storefront instead. Wasted my vacation time and money.”
While keywords like “misleading” indicate properties simply not aligning with expectations, words like “fraudulent” allude to more serious, intentional listing scams – certainly a concern for the platform.
Identifying Potential Scams
The previously highlighted complaints reveal some red flags travelers should watch out for to identify shady behavior and potential scams on sites like Booksi:
- Properties significantly cheaper than comparable listings on other sites
- Listings with limited photos or information
- Limited recent reviews from customers
- Vague company details like unknown offices addresses
- No direct customer service contact details
If you notice multiple such flags, extra skepticism is warranted reviewing the booking site and listings further before purchasing.
Travel deal forums like flyertalk.com can also help uncover community chatter on deal sites to further gauge consensus on legitimacy.
Safely Using Booksi
While Booksi delivers for many customers, it’s certainly still buyer beware using platforms with mixed reviews.
Here are tips on safely using Booksi or similar sites:
Vet Listings Thoroughly
- Reverse image search all property photos to check for use elsewhere
- Research addresses/locales on Google Maps to confirm hotel or residential presence
- Check lister’s reviews and response rate
Use Process Protections
- Avoid bank transfers; pay only via credit card
- Review refund eligibility and process before booking
- Purchase travel insurance covering cancellations, fraud
- Screenshot all listing details like descriptions, location, sizes, rates
- Save all email communication with the host/company pre and post-booking
With the right vetting and precautions, scoring amazing deals via sites like Booksi is possible. But caution is still advised responding to any red flag you encounter during the booking experience.
Conclusion & Recommendations
In summary, while Booksi can offer fabulous deals on vacation rentals, travelers should be cautious using the platform given:
- Mixed customer reviews, including persistent scam complaints
- Regular allegations of unresponsive customer service
- Reports of fraudulent or misrepresented property listings
To determine if Booksi is worth trying, compare:
- Pricing against other booking platforms
- Cancellation policies across sites
- Reviews for same properties on different sites
Focus reviews on recency, detail, and objectivity.
Also consider using a secondary fail-safe booking method like:
- Paying partially via credit card and remainder in cash upon arrival
- Securing backup accommodations refundable up till check-in
- Allowing ample travel time to arrange alternate plans if needed
While unlikely a pure scam, Booksi still requires caution evaluating listings and transaction security. But for thrill seekers comfortable assuming some risk, the platform could facilitate your next dream getaway on a budget.