[Resolved] VRBO 110625 / seeking refund on bad property/owner won't reply
As one who looks for good in just about everything, I will start with what I liked about VRBO property #110625 at 2199 Calle Conejara, in Palm Springs, California. The property is in a very quiet and peaceful neighborhood, and the kitchen is nicely done, with high-end appliances. Really, that's all the praise I have for this property. We arrived on a Wednesday, began looking for another property on Friday, and moved out on Tuesday.
We had planned to spend five weeks here, but after a few days, we just could not imagine putting up with this property for that long.We arrived in Palm Springs at 1:30 on January 15, but we had been told, in advance, that we couldn't have access to the house until 4:00 that afternoon so that the house could be cleaned. We hung out in the city for 2 1/2 hours, and after the designated time, we entered the property. Perhaps certain aspects of cleaning had happened, but we found that hard surfaces had not been dusted, leftover food from the previous renter was still in the refrigerator, the glass shower doors were covered in dried water spots, and used bars of soap remained in the showers. This just left us with an uncomfortable feeling, wondering what else might not have been cleaned. This was not a good way to start our vacation.
Later that day we discovered tiny black bugs on the kitchen counter and around the frame of the kitchen door (and these bugs made an everyday appearance).
An insect bit my husband's hip the first night we slept there, resulting in a raised welt the size of a dessert plate. I washed all the bedding the next day.
The pool and spa did not look clean. There was a hose dangling in the pool; the property manager told us that there was a leak in the pool, and that we should turn on the water from time to time to fill it. The pool and spa were not cleaned until day five of our stay.
Brooms, ratty pool noodles, and a dog's chew toy were strewn to the side of the house. Too many items were stored in the closets. Paint was peeling from the back of the house.
Sunglasses and used emery boards from previous visitors were in a wicker basket in the kitchen, and used eye shades were in the side table drawers in the master bedroom.
A sliding door that accessed the garage from the back yard could not be locked, which gave us a sense of discomfort and insecurity.
This pet-friendly property came complete with dog poop in the back yard. Disgusting!
The back of the house was in need of some attention evidenced by peeling paint and other issues.The listing said that there were "unobstructed views of the mountains, " and that "each room within the rental yields stunning views of the mountains." This is simply a lie! If you are planning on sitting in the yard and viewing the mountains, forget it. You can see the very top of the mountains if you stand at the back of the yard. It would be necessary to trim the privacy hedges by 6-8 feet to see the mountains from the yard. For a good view of the mountains, it is necessary to stand in the street.
The property was said to come with a 60" plasma screen TV in the living room. We enjoy watching movies in the evening, and this feature appealed to us. However, the TV in the living room was much smaller in size.
There is water damage in the master bathroom behind the baseboards and walls, evidenced by brown water stains, and also behind the shower tiles.
The VRBO description stated that the interior of the home was 1700 square feet. The property looked smaller than that, so I looked up the property online, and found several listings that indicated that the square footage was listed as 1270 finished square feet; another misrepresentation.
A sheet of paper on the kitchen counter included the password for Wi-Fi access, which we appreciated. However, it would have been helpful to us (and to future vacationers, I'm sure) if the owner or manager of this property had put together a notebook of information.
As I said, by the first weekend we began looking for another place to stay. We knew that we ran the risk of losing our rental fee, but we decided to risk it. For the same amount of money, we moved to a large property in a gated community on the 8th hole of a beautiful golf course; the property had an amazing spa and infinity pool, and was beautifully furnished. We could see mountains in all directions.
We made three attempts to contact the owner (two directly, one via VRBO) to explain why we left and to ask for her consideration in giving us a partial refund, but she ignored all three messages. I see that the property has been rented for most of the days we had expected to be there, so she did not lose any money by our leaving; it's a shame that she could not even give us the courtesy of a reply.
This property just doesn't measure up. It is an average house with some deferred maintenance issues. We found those few days at this house to be very stressful due to the issues I mentioned. This property was a disappointment in many ways, and we feel it was not accurately described on the VRBO website. It's bewildering to us that so many people gave the property a 5-star rating on the VRBO website .If you decide to rent at this property, do buy the vacation rental protection. We wish we did. We will never again rent a property sight unseen.
After reading through our contract, we learned that we were not entitled to a refund. Once we discovered that detail in the contract, we realized that there was no point in pursuing this. Many positive reviews have been posted on this property. Our criticisms still stand.
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