I rented a vacation house with five friends in Leavenworth, WA to celebrate Oktoberfest. We had a great time and the house lived up to its advertising. We were careful to leave the house clean and in excellent condition.
I paid $1305.00 plus a refundable deposit of $400 for three days. When I did not receive the deposit back, I contacted Sunspot and asked them about the deposit. They told me that they were not going to refund my deposit because I had ten extra people staying the weekend there. That, of course, was a total lie. There were six adults and one 5-year old child staying in the house, all of which were disclose on the rental agreement. No one else stepped foot anywhere near the place over the weekend.
They refused to discuss it with me, or to provide any evidence of these additional 10 'phantom people' that they claim were staying there. I wrote over ten letters and had all of my friends sign affidavits stating that no one else stepped foot on the property (the affidavits were provided by Sunspots). After all of that, they still refused to refund the deposit.
I filed reports with the Better Business Bureau and the Washington State Attorney General, but Sunspot refused to respond to the complaints. I was contemplating taking them to small claims court when, to my surprise, I received a letter from the Attorney General stating that they had gotten a judgment and settlement against Sunspots. They followed up the letter with a check for a partial refund of my deposit. While I only got less than half of my refund back, I felt totally vindicated. There is justice in the world.
Stay as far away from this company as possible. Even though the Attorney General and the courts forced them to pay up, I dont believe for a minute that the experience caused them to grow some ethics and integrity.
Firstly, this company already has an unsatisfactory record with the Better Business Bureau, and when we added our complaint to the pile, the company did not bother to respond. We stayed at one of the Sunspot-managed properties for a weekend in October, 2007. When we were making the initial reservations, the Sunspots staff was very disorganized and slow to respond to inquiries. They kept making excuses like their email system was down, and they wanted to do everything by fax, even though we explained to them that we don't happen to have a personal fax machine in our home. We had visitors coming in from overseas for the vacation weekend, and wanted everything confirmed in advance, but Sunspots did not provide us with the necessary details (directions, key code) to get into our unit until the day before our scheduled check-in, which was frustrating and stressful. On top of that, when we did receive our contract, our names were misspelled and the numbers in our address transposed. We notified the office of their mistake, but they made no corrections on subsequent paperwork they sent. The amount of the deposit we were required to pay was more than the total rent for the entire weekend. Sunspots took several weeks to return the deposit, and when they did, it was not in full. The Sunspots staff offered various excuses as to why the deposit was not completely refunded. We were initially told that there was a "burn hole" in the carpet. When we pointed out that the unit had hardwood floors, the excuse changed to a "burn mark" on the kitchen floor. When we asked for further proof, and information on the exact date that the damage was reported by the cleaning staff, Sunspots "manager" (actually, we were told that they were too small to have a manager, so we were referred to a member of the accounting staff, Lynnette), said that she could not find our file, and would have to call us back. She never called back and subsequent calls/messages/emails were never returned, and even when the BBB got involved, Sunspots did not respond. Their staff are totally disorganized and irresponsible and their handling of our situation clearly proves that they can not be trusted with other people's money or property. Both property owners and guests considering Sunspots should beware.