Bed spread scam:

Discussion in 'Rentals - Vacation' started by jkgdesign, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. jkgdesign

    jkgdesign Beach Crab

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    Has anyone ever been scammed on "damage" to a vacation rental? I know that alot of people abuse vacation rentals. We do not! I have been vacationing in SoWal for over ten years. Always a good experience with rental agencies. This one was not! I planned a last minuet trip to SoWal. I could not find a retnal so I went on VRBO. I posted what I wanted to pay fr 12 nights. I got a reply to accept my price. The home slept 12, I only needed to sleep 4 but the price was the same if I rented a unit that slept 4. We checked in, the home was beautiful. There was 2 master bedrooms & baths, a queen bedroom with bath, a bunk bedroom. My 24 year old took the second master suite, my 20 year old took the queen.

    The 24 year olds bedroom was on a seperate floor. I only went in the bedroom once when we checked in to see who got what bedroom.

    The last time I went in there was to remove the sheets for the cleaning service.

    I cleaned the unit, washed all towels and folded them. Ran the vacuum, bought cleaning supplies and I kept the home cleaner than it was when we checked in!

    My husband and 24 year old could only stay 6 nights, that left that big home to my 20 year old and myself.

    We checked out a week later on a friday. On Saturday morning very early, the reantal office manager called and said that booze bottles were left everywhere! Not true, and that the bedspread that was in the bedroom where my 24 year old stayed in was "trashed". I was shocked! I explained that I was a "neat freek" I told him I cleaned, vaccummed, washed and folded all towels, I even scrubbed the master bedroom shower because it was so scummy! He was very rude and told me that he had already ran through 300.00 to replace the spread! The bedspreads were from Target, I know, I shop there often. I told him I could purchase the exact bed spread for $69.00 and I would mail it next day air! He said that he already purchased one. I thought I was at his mercy, his work against mine. I hung up the phone very mad.

    As I thought about it, I realized he needed to prove this bed spread was trashed. I phoned him back and asked for him to email me pictures. He said sure and emailed them that very moment. He didn't say, okay but give me time to go over and take these pictures. He already had them, why?

    When I showed my 24 year old - said, no those tares where already on the spread, they were on the under side. and also said, I did not use the spread, the room was too hot at night.

    My 20 year old said the same, the tares were there.
    My parents also vacationed with us but stayed elsewhere. When they met us at the rental unit when we checked in, my mother went into the master bedroom to check it out and saw the tares, since my 24 year old folded it back already. My mother later told me when I told her about what the rental company did to me. She confirmed and said , no I saw the tare and wandered why such a nice home had such "ratty" bedding!
    Then I looked at my check-out receipt and I was charged for an extra day!

    That was it,I called my credit card company and filed a complaint, they placed a hold on the $300.00 and the extra night charge. I am waiting to see what happens!

    Sorry so long winded!
     
  2. Unplugged

    Unplugged Beach Fanatic

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    :welcome: Gizmo

    It sounds like the property you rented receives a lot of heavy use during peak season, and that it may have been time to change out the bedspreads (and a few other items) any way. It is possible the management company is using you as the scapegoat to replace a bedspread that was damaged from a prior guest.

    From an owner's perspective, I don't see this as a big deal - it falls under the heading: 'normal wear and tear after a busy season' IMO. Many owners factor these type of replacement costs into their annual budget just in case.

    If the credit card investigation doesn't go your way, and/ or the management company does not change their position, my advice is to contact the owner directly if at all possible, to explain your side. They may or may not be receptive to your call, since they hired a management company to handle these type of situations, but perhaps it's worth a try. I suspect most owners would hear you out, and be reasonable.

    There are countless stories on this msg board about owners who have been burned by guests (and management companies), so you may very well hear other viewpoints.

    As an owner myself - I would want to hear from my guest in this situation, esp. if they feel they are being wrongly accused, then I could settle the issue amicably.

    Hope that helps!
    ____________________________________________
     
  3. GVM

    GVM Beach Lover

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    I would do a charge back on my credit card, ASAP. As an owner of a vacation rental, I'm acutely aware that 'stuff happens.' It's a cost of doing business. Unless it's abuse pure and simple, you don't worry about it.
     
  4. John

    John Beach Fanatic

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    It was a VRBO yet there's a management company involved? I don't understand...
     
  5. Unplugged

    Unplugged Beach Fanatic

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    Many owners utilize a 'hybrid' system: they promote and book their properties in concert with the management company, and also utilize the management company for check-in/ check-out and often cleaning and/ or inspection services as well.
    ______________________________________
     
  6. InletBchDweller

    InletBchDweller SoWal Insider

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    i dont either.....:dunno:

     
  7. InletBchDweller

    InletBchDweller SoWal Insider

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    :blush: thanks....

     
  8. tfolse5

    tfolse5 Beach Comber

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    I would like to know who the management company was as I am having an issue with one right now. Thank you.
     
  9. sunsetdunes

    sunsetdunes Beach Lover

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    Well, seems like the management companies want to stick it to both the guests and the owners! When I had a management company for a condo I used to own, they never once charged a guest for any damages (which were considerable) and I had to eat them every time. Many (if not most) owners already hate "management" companies, and most of listings on VRBO are for owners who don't use them. Looks like you just got unlucky. You did the right thing to dispute the charges. I would hate to think that guests have to take pictures of a rental to prove the condition it was in before and after they used it, but maybe that isn't such a bad idea!

    Here's a good example of what can happen: I had a dining chair that a guest (some time ago, apparently) had apparently allowed to get soaking wet causing the seat to warp and crack, (probably left outside in the rain.) The chair seat had to be replaced later down the road after that because the cracked seat finally broke. This year one of my guests reported that another one just like it had broken. Did I get upset? No, because I already knew the history of these chairs. I reassured my guest not to worry, because it was just normal wear and tear. That guest's honesty and prompt report of the problem spared them from worrying about it further, (and I highly recommend everyone do that!)

    Next time you are on VRBO, try to rent directly from an owner. You will probably save money and avoid this problem in the future. I am an owner that rents directly and I have never once had a disagreement with a guest over anything or had anyone leave any significant damage. Sorry you had such a bad experience.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2006
  10. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    I remember breaking a glass during a stay at Seaside and immediately calling to report it. I think they thought I was crazy!!!
     
  11. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    You ? crazy? ;-) Who would have thought that? :lol:
     
  12. sandflea

    sandflea Beach Lover

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    I'd like to know which company pulled that as well. As a local, it would be nice to know who NOT to recommend.

    Sorry you had that experience
     
  13. Paula

    Paula Beach Fanatic

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    Gizmo:

    It sounds like normal wear and tear to me, too, regarding the bed spread. I wonder if they got your unit mixed up with another unit or you mixed up with another renter of your unit.

    I, too, would dispute the charge on my credit card and ask them to withhold payment. We did that recently with a charge from a hotel (my husband left a hotel because it was disgusting when he arrived so he left. We won the dispute.

    Although many people who rent out their places through VRBO use a management company to manage their properties on location, using VRBO or a service like (Emerald Coast Tours) that is useful because you can contact the owners through email if there's a problem. I rent out our places through VRBO and use a local management company. Every now and then someone will email me with a problem they had and if I can fix it in some way I will. There's no guarantee that the owner of the property will come through for you, but at least you'd have another chance at a fair deal, especially if you explain your situation kindly to them.

    I hope it works out for you.

    Best,
    Paula
     
  14. goofer

    goofer Beach Fanatic

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    Gizmo,
    It might not be a bad idea to identify where you stayed and the management company you are dealing with. Might save someone an unplesant experience as well as giving the management company a little negative publicity. If they had any sense they would then cancel the charge and you could post on this board how reasonable and prompt they were to fix the situation. A little public pressure never hurts !!
     
  15. spinDrAtl

    spinDrAtl Beach Fanatic

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    Our management company in Florida has never charged a guest for anything (as far as I know). We have had little things disappear and I am sure housekeeping did not even notice and I'm not sure they even look to make sure things are in there that should be.

    This past weekend, I was down for Labor Day and we noticed one of our favorite decorative pillows was gone (a crab that my wife bought somewhere locally). I am not sure housekeeping would notice such a thing was missing, but the even bigger complaint is that probably some child decided they couldn't live without it and the parents either let them take it or noticed they had it at some point, perhaps during the drive home, and did not see fit to call us and return it. :bang:
     
  16. Mango

    Mango SoWal Insider

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    That's a shame. That's why I decided not to put anything anymore that I am attached too., especially with larger groups. My 4 bedroom house that has happened, but it doesn't in my smaller place. My throw pillows even had to be tossed because they had drool on them.
    Well, maybe they will get crabs from your crab. :lol:
     
  17. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    When we went into the townhouse last year someone that had been in the townhouse prior to us had broken a part on the railing at the stairs that keeps it secure to the wall. The replacement part was laying on the kitchen countertop. I know this may sound crazy, but my husband fixed it. I can imagine the owner's surprise upon finding it repaired when he went in after we left. This past September was the first time the owner and his wife were still at their beach house across the street. We heard from them more last year than we ever have out of all the years we have come down. They usually just call and check to make sure we made it in ok. We have always been very respectful of their furnishings and their place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2006
  18. spinDrAtl

    spinDrAtl Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks. It was not very expensive (about $5). We were not really attached to it but it was kinda cool to have in a beach place and since it was a local purchase, no telling if you will ever find anything again. It just makes us ill that some people apparently think their rent includes little nic-nacs.
    :nono1:
     
  19. ktmeadows

    ktmeadows Beach Fanatic

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    I bet the owner didn't even know the railing had been broken; most owners would have made sure it was fixed before renting again. My guess is that the cleaning person is the only person who knew about it and didn't report it to management (or did report it and management and just ignored it).
     

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