Article Courtesy of First Coast News
By Julia Jenae
Published June 7, 2017
If you're thinking of renting a vacation condo online
instead of going with a chain hotel, there are a couple of things you should
look out for.
Summer break is here but before you plan your next vacation pay close
attention before reserving.
Cozy vacation condos can make for a more homey getaway but customer service
won't likely mirror the on-site staff at a chain hotel.
Complaining Florida vacationers leave hundreds bad reviews on Yelp, the
Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Facebook claiming their condo came with
Despite booking in advance some encountered dirty rooms, non-working
utilities and last minute cancellations by the management company.
Matt Cobey of Atlanta said his family spent hours locked out of his St.
Augustine rental because he had been provided the wrong code, and no one
answered the off-site office line.
After finally obtaining the right code, he says he entered a room still
dirty from previous guests.
"People are coming to vacation to enjoy a week away and not be bothered with
inconveniences," said Cobey. "I feel a company can take advantage of people
being from out of town and not knowing who to complain to."
One property management company explained their 16-page contract includes an
"unforeseen circumstances" clause that covers them in most situations. The
same contract also did not reference a turn around time for when maintenance
concerns would be addressed.
Before booking, ask the management company how often
units are inspected for problems in between occupants.
Follow up several times before the travel date to
ensure there has not been a cancellation on the owner's end.
Contact customer service a week in advance during the
same time of day you plan to arrive. You'll want to know if you can
reach someone if you encounter a problem, many management companies do
not have 24-hour office hours.
Check online reviews and sites like the BBB as part
of your research.
Read the fine print in any agreement, especially
cancelation, maintenance, and refund policies.