Owners: Information about phone numbers

Mar 25, 2017

Dear owners,

We'd like to make you aware of a recent upgrade to our site. 

As you know, we list your phone number on the site (where you have provided it) which means users of the site can call you direct. This is exactly what we aim to do - put you in contact with guests directly.

There's a couple of problems with this though. First, sometimes spammers search the internet for numbers to auto-dial and many owners would prefer not to show their number, potentially missing out on bookings. Second, we have no way to identify when you get a call generated by our site so neither you nor us can track your listing's effectiveness. We do ask guests to mention us when calling but we have no way to ensure this happens.

We've thought long and hard about how we can work around these issues whilst still sticking to our "direct contact" ethos, and we've come up with a solution.

On your listings, a new number will be shown: 0800 8021821 or +44 3333 442837 (non-UK). When a guest calls it, they just need to enter your property number and they will be put straight through to you on the number entered in the Phone section of your control panel.

This has numerous benefits for you, guests, and us:

  1. You will not be spammed by automated calls and you don't have to publish your private number.
  2. Guests from the UK just have to call a local rate number, and it is included in any free minutes they may have from their mobile operator.
  3. You, and us, can track how many calls you receive. We don't record the calls or talk to the guest ourselves, or promote any other property than your own.
  4. If your number is French, we will still forward the call and the guest only pays local rate (if calling from the UK)
  5. There is no charge at all for calls we forward to you or any limits on number of calls (we may review this on a case by case basis if call costs become prohibitive)
  6. You can opt out of or into the service at any time (if you do then no number will be shown on your listing). Useful if you are on holiday and don't want to be hassled with calls.

Note: Please ensure the phone number you wish to receive calls is in the correct format. A uk phone number should follow the format: 0xxxxxxxxxx without spaces or other characters. International phone numbers should follow the format +33xxxxxxxxxx (or other country code) with the leading zero removed. Our system will try to work out the correct number but it's not infallible - if you can help us out that will be great.

Why not give it a go by logging in to Gites.co.uk to check your number. Just login then click My account -> Change Profile. Look for the number next to Phone - this is the one our system will dial when you get a call. Make sure it's in the correct format detailed above. Then just visit your public listing to test the service by calling the (UK Local Rate) number yourself. As with all our systems, we welcome your feedback!

Thanks for your time. If you have any questions, please email mail@gites.co.uk and we'll do our best to help!

The Gites.co.uk Team.