Originally Posted by G'sMaman
While I agree that seeing your name on an official disney reservation page doesn't prevent someone from scamming you or cancelling your reservation, I don't agree that it means nothing. I still think there is some utility in being able to confirm that your reservation is there. A few years back on another board someone was having problems contacting the DVC owner they were renting from and when they checked online the month before their arrival date they saw their reservation had been cancelled. Since they already had their flights booked, they at least had time to make alternative hotel arrangements. Not a great outcome, but they made the best of it. For me, I would also be worried about someone's financial state. They could be a very trustworthy person, but then fall on hard times and have to declare bankruptcy and lose their DVC timeshare. Rare, but it has happened.
Those are valid points, but they still don't offer much protection. Seeing the ressie online tells you two things:
- That the person you rented from, in fact, has access to a DVC account and the ability to make reservations.
- They actually followed through and made a reservation in your name.
But as you also mention, there are a number of scenarios that could cause a cancellation. For example:
- The person you are renting from is scamming you. This occurs SO rarely it's almost not worth worrying about, but you should take sensible precautions to protect yourself.
- Some sort of action BY DVC to freeze the account -- non-payment of dues, unpaid room charges, non-payment of loans, bankruptcy, death, etc. This actually happens far more frequently than scamming, and probably a lot more than we know here on the DIS.
- Misunderstandings between the renter and the owner. This is probably the largest category of difficulties with rentals.
There are three things that are really requirements for a successful rental: trust, both parties understanding what they are doing, and complete understanding and compliance with payment schedules. You'd be amazed how many rentals go through without any problems where neither the owner or the person renting knowing what they are doing!
One way of protecting yourself that hasn't been mentioned is trip insurance. It's inexpensive and can provide protection not only for the cost of the reservation, but for many other components of the vacation cost. You have to be very sure you understand the CAUSES COVERED by trip insurance -- if cancellation by someone other than yourself is not covered, it would not
be helpful in the scenarios we are discussing here.