• Report: #1144929
Complaint Review:

Holiday Villas malta

  • Submitted: Wed, May 07, 2014
  • Updated: Wed, July 02, 2014

  • Reported By: Michael P. — Scottsdale Arizona
Holiday Villas malta
Internet USA

Holiday Villas Malta (Owners Chris & Josette Cachia) Deceptive Vacation Rental Owners Ruin European Vacation Zejtun, Malta Internet

*Author of original report: New Live Website to Support My Dispute

*Author of original report: Final Rebuttal

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Client Trying To Find A Way Out Of Terms And Conditions

REBUTTAL BOX™ | Respond to this Report! | Consumer Comment

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Malta Trip In early December 2013, I began looking for seaside properties on VRBO (www.vrbo.com) for a vacation I was planning for my family (wife & three children) and my parents. My wife and I were married in Mosta Dome in 1995, as were my parents, who were married there in 1962. My mother Gina Calleja was born; and raised in Malta until she was married and moved to the U.S. in 1962. This was to be the trip of a lifetime to introduce our kids to their Maltese heritage, especially through the eyes of their grandmother.

On December 18, 2013, I received a reply and offer from someone named Roderick using an email account belonging to Chris Cachia who is the owner of several properties, including Villa Blueberry Hills. Villa Blueberry was advertised and marketed as a Marsaxlokk property. We agreed to a price of €3,000 for the dates of 26-Mar thru 16- April, 2014. Rather than complete the reservation and submit the payment through VRBO as is customary and would have been preferred (VRBO protects tenants against fraud), I was instructed instead to send two payments via wire transfer to Chris Cachia’s Bank of Valletta account.. [continued below]....


I now believe he chose this payment method to avoid a possible chargeback. Two transfers were made: the first on 16 Jan 2014 in the amount of €750 for the deposit; the second for the balance on 3 Feb 2014 in the amount of €2250. Incidentally, no rental agreement was ever presented or signed. On 6 Mar, I was sent an email instructing me to call a woman by the name of Josette who would meet us at the villa to check us in and give us the keys. I would need to give her an additional €300 in cash as a refundable security deposit. No receipt was given.

On 26 March, our family of 7 arrived in Malta, exhausted after a 30 hour journey from California and Arizona. I called Josette to let her know we had arrived and were on our way to the property. We rented two cars and hired a taxi to follow us with our 10 pieces of luggage. Josette was waiting for us at the villa. She gave us a quick tour of the property, collected the €300, gave us the keys and left. She informed us she lived next door at Villa Strawberry and to call her or just come over to the house with any questions or problems. Within 15 minutes of Josette leaving, we realized the villa, was in fact, not located in the seaside fishing village of Marsaxlokk, but was instead located in the relatively unknown village of Zejtun.

We immediately texted Josette, who actually happens to be Chris Cachia’s wife. I also walked over to her home next door and knocked on the door, but she would not answer despite all of us having seen her enter the house. Next, I sent an email to Roderick advising him that we were upset to realize that we were not in Marsaxloxx. Roderick responded and acknowledged that there was an error in the VRBO listing and that it was VRBO’s mistake. There was nothing he could do and was waiting to hear back from the owner. The fact is all property descriptions on VRBO are exclusively created, designed and submitted by the property owners.

After multiple texts, calls and emails over the next 1 1/2 hours and no responses, we made the decision to go find a hotel. It was only after Josette saw us getting into our cars to leave that she came out of her house, quite angry and aggressive because we were leaving. We advised Josette that we would not be staying. We left our luggage at the villa in search of a hotel. At 7:30 pm local time, we found a couple of rooms at the Cavallieri Hotel in St. Julians. It has now been 7 1/2 hours since we arrived in Malta, and needless to say, everyone is beyond exhausted and stressed.

After we checked into the hotel, my two boys and I hired a van and returned to the villa to retrieve our 10 pieces of luggage and security deposit. The cost for the taxi was €31 Euros each way plus tip and more than another hour of time. The next morning was spent looking for another property to rent on short notice. We finally found a seaside apartment in St. Paul’s Bay. It would not be ready until the following day (28- March) so we incurred the additional expense of staying another night at the Cavallieri Hotel plus the cost of transporting our luggage again to the property. We were prepared to settle the issue for the immediate and full refund of €3000 by wire transfer.

However, the owners of rejected this offer and we have retained a solicitor to sue the owners not only for the prepaid rental amount, but for all additional expenses incurred as a result of this fraudulent and deceptive rental....including hotel rooms, taxi fares, meals and legal expenses. Chris & Josette Cachia intentionally and fraudulently deceived us into believing that Villa Blueberry Hills was located in the seaside village of Marsaxlokk. PS. As of 31 March, the owners have since changed the listing on VRBO to reflect the true location of the property. Fortunately, we had the foresight to take screenshots of the listing the way it was when agreed to rent the property. Despite being told that this was VRBO’s fault and they could not alter the listing, it was in fact, changed today and now reads "Zejtun Villa Description" instead of "Marsaxlokk Villa Description.”  

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/07/2014 09:07 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/holiday-villas-malta/internet/holiday-villas-malta-owners-chris-josette-cachia-deceptive-vacation-rental-owners-rui-1144929. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

New Live Website to Support My Dispute

AUTHOR: Michael P. - ()

I encourage all interested individuals, especially anyone planning a trip to the beautiful island of Malta to visit my new website which is now live.  


It will support all of my claims and refute this individual's feeble attempt to justify his deceptive and integrity lacking business practices.  The craziest thing of all is that everyone involved agrees this was not by fault.  Chris Cachia blames VRBO/HomeAway....VRBO/HomeAway blames Chris Cachia, but I am the one incurring the loss.

You will quickly see why I was led me to believe that his Villa Blueberry Hills was in Marsaxlokk instead of its true location of the industrial village of Zejtun.  Incidentally, I would never refer to this property as a villa.  It is a small home with outdated furntiture referred to as antiques.

Shame on me for trusting this individual and sending him full payment via wire transfer 3 months in advance of our arrival.  Regardless of the outcome, I hope this new website serves as a reminder to be very careful and to do your due diligence when dealing with businesses, especially overseas.  

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#2 Author of original report

Final Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Michael P. - ()

This owner is a storyteller.  I have taken the time to build a website that is based on facts and will support my entire case.  Please visit if you are interested.




A few last important points as I will not give the owner a forum to go back and forth to refute his dishonesty:


1) Owner continues to blame VRBO/HomeAway for the listing error which  I continue to maintain (as does VRBO itself) that it is controlled by the property owners,  This is proven by an email from VRBO supporting this which can be found on the website.  Even, if this is VRBO/HomeAway's fault......one thing is clear, it is not my fault. You can see the owner's desperate attempt to place the blame on everyone except himself.  Who has may cash? VRBO does not, he does!  If he truly believes that this is VRBO's fault, he should be going after them for his cash.  He us so desperate for the cash (he may not even have it anymore) that his strategy is to blame VRBO and me  Of course, he will never address how the listing magically changed literally overnight once his ruse was exposed. Again, please see the screenshots in this report or on the website that show how quickly the listing changed once we challenged its truthfulness.  This is despite the fact that they told us that they had been trying to have the listing corrected for more than 6 months.  The timing is amazing OR he took the 45 seconds it would take to log into his account andmake the change.  


2)  Zejtun is an industrial town.  Please visit my website showing the photos I personally took and required no more than a 6-second walk from the property.  It is is interesting how he asked you to Google nearby towns....anything but the town where all of his rental villas are located.  You be the judge. 


3) Finally, he states they never intended to "mislead" us.  If that is the case and they had been trying to correct the listing location for more than 6 months (as they admittedly claim), why did they not once say, "Hey, the listing has an error and and inaccurately describes Villa Blueberry Hills as in Marsaxlokk, but it is actually located in Zejtun."  NOT ONCE was this ever communicated.  His argument is that 4 days before our arrival, he gave us the postal address.  I requested this information from them at the request of my secretary who wanted it in case she needed to send me any business mail.  This is the argument the owner has the audacity to use as proof that I was given the address of the villa.....This postal address was given at my request 4 days before arrival and 4 months after we agreed to rent the property and he was paid in full.  Why would I even bother looking at a postal address before forwarding on to my secretary and how could this owner truly believe that I would understand aanother country's postal system.  For all I know, it could have been an address similar to a PO address here in the US.


I have never encountered such dishonesty and decptiveness in my 20 years of travel.  I can only assume that there are business individuals (and I use the term extremely lightly) willing to trade short-term gain for long-term loss.





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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Client Trying To Find A Way Out Of Terms And Conditions

AUTHOR: Holidayvillasmalta - ()

Mr Michael,

Please note that the VRBO data and descriptions are not managed by us. Details of every single villa is taken from the homeaway website by the VRBO personnel and uploaded in their website. We only had an option of paying an extra charge when renewing our villas in Homeaway so that they will be advertised in the United States (since we are located in Europe we only have access to homeaway). This was also confirmed by an email sent from the VRBO customer support were they apologized for the mistake done. Please find quote underneath;

“Dear Chris,

Thank you for your reply.  The VRBO listings were placed in the wrong geographical location due to a technical issue on our end. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

If you need further assistance, please visit our Help page at the link below to find commonly asked questions and answers.

Thank you for using VRBO—offering more than 190,000 rentals in 100+ countries worldwide.

Best regards,

VRBO Customer Support”

Also most of the villas that were advertised on the VRBO website, that in reality were located in Marsascala or Zejtun, were mistakenly advertised to be located in Marsaxlokk. After you remarked the mistake in the VRBO website we immediately contacted their customer support stating that most of the villas advertised had the location wrong. They immediately corrected not only our villas but also third party adverts.

Zejtun is not an industrial town and this can be checked by a simple search on the internet and is just located 5 minutes drive away from nearby towns like Marsascala, Birzebbugia and Marsaxlokk.

We never intended to mislead as you are stating. Infact all our villas in other websites such as Homeaway, Holidaylettings and even in our own website have their location marked correctly. Also the villa map location in VRBO was correct and marked in Zejtun. Even when you contacted us for the first time we immediately told you to visit our website for more information on our villa and should you require anything you could always send us an email. After you confirmed the booking we again told you to check our website for all villa information in our website. Even when you asked for the villa address about a week before arriving in Malta we stated that the villa was located in Zejtun, and when we asked you why didn’t you complain as soon as we sent you the email you just stated that you didn’t notice/realize that it was not in Marsaxlokk, even though you replied back thanking us for the email and once landed at the airport you came directly in Zejtun instead of heading to Marsaxlokk. We also tried to find a solution for you to stay at the villa and a discount was offered but you refused and decided to go in Sliema, which is about 25 minutes away from Marsaxlokk and Zejtun and then decided to stay in San Pawl Il-Bahar which is located on the other part of the island about 40minutes away from Marsaxlokk.

Regarding the payment this is agreed beforehand with our clients and is stated in our terms and conditions that full payment has to be settled two months prior arrival. Homeaway still don’t have the option for online payments in Malta. Online payments can only be done for a few selected countries, thus the only methods available are either by PayPal or by bank transfer.

The fact that you are still insisting that we tried to fraud you is unbelievable. If we intentionally opted to fraud our clients we would advertise all our villas in every website to be located in Marsaxlokk. The fact that the only mistake was in VRBO website shows that it was e genuine mistake (again all the data is collected by the VRBO personnel) from VRBO when uploading our villas and even third party villas since all of them were marked incorrectly.

Finally my offer for a part refund without prejudice still stands. Just to confirm how true my reply is to our future clients I am willing to accept 75% of payments on arrival as the location of our villas was never an issue. We have been in this business for ten years and we had thousands of satisfied guests.

We're uploading the screenshots further proofing our position.



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