In a way, I am counting myself lucky for having found out before departing my place of origin that the apartment I booked through this holiday letting agency was not communicated to the landlord properly, hence I had the chance to make alternative plans, albeit costing me twice as much.
There did not seem to be any follow up with the landlord on their behalf, I had to find out myself that the landlord had no record of our booking, even as the agency collected the payment. First payment, the deposit, was made at the time of booking (March 2014) and the final payment payment a few weeks before the start of the holiday (July 2014). I had called the landlady to ask for particulars that the agency could not answer, 10 days before we had to leave.
Travelling with children and also a senior citizen, it was not easy to find alternative accommodations for 17 days in a popular summer destination like Malta. In the end, we've had to settle for moving between 2 apartments and then finishing off the holiday with a hotel stay.
The agency did suggest one place, but it was not available for the entire duration of our trip and it was nothing like what we originally booked, plus it was more expensive, the only concession offered was that they will waive their agency fees.
Anyway, it's been 3 weeks and I am still waiting for my refund to come through. Several exchanges of emails suggests the transfer had been effected more than a week ago, so there is still the thought of a scam going through my head, considering this is a transfer within EU Member States, a week seems a long time for funds to come through.
I found no reviews on this agency prior to booking, and a popular estate agent in Malta, Frank Salt, was how I got the link to this website, it seems to be their short-term lets counterpart on ten main island, so it seemed legit.
So I hope that somehow, this review can help consumers make an informed decision when opting to use an agency to book their holidays here in Malta, there doesn't seem to be the protection that you would hope to find when booking through an agency in lieu of the more popular method of booking directly with landlords.