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Vacasa Rentals - Vacation Rental Illegitimate Fee Damage Fee
Posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 1:47pm CST by 5bf9ad00
Product: Marine Street Rockaway Vacation Rental
Company: Vacasa Rentals
The short story is that Vacasa is trying to charge us a $250 damage fee for a stain in the carpet that we honestly did not cause. We did not notice this particular stain while we were at the property. It could have been there before or it was caused after we left. We just know that we did not cause any damage.
Here is the long story:
When my friend and I arrived at the property we followed the check-in instructions and tried to open the electronic lock. However, the lock would not turn and we were unable to get into the house. I called the Vacasa office (between 5 and 6 p.m. on 1/27) and though the person on the phone was very friendly and trying help, she was unable to do so. She explained that she was new and would have to find either her instructions or someone else who could help to get us into the house. While we were holding the phone we kept numerous times to turn the lock in order to enter the house. It seemed to us that the lock combination was correct but the lock was stuck as it did not turn. Finally after about 45 minutes of trying we were able to turn the lock and enter the house. But we noticed that the lock was stuck and we were unable to lock or unlock it from that moment. I told the person on the phone that the lock was stuck and she asked me if I wanted a maintenance person to come over. I replied with yes, that I did want that person to come over and fix the lock. We were at the house the whole evening and the maintenance person never showed up( and never came during the entire stay).
Once in the house we noticed that the kitchen surfaces and the microwave were not clean. We wiped the kitchen surfaces and the microwave. We noticed that the carpet had several brown and white stains and talked about how it should be replaced. As the house was very cold, we took blankets out of the closets in order to keep warm while watching a movie. We noticed that the blankets were stained and smelled bad. We washed the blankets and put them in the dryer so that we could use them later (which we did). We were aware of the fact that we had paid the cleaning fee for this vacation rental. However, we wanted to enjoy our weekend and focus on the things we wanted to do rather than complain about it.
Since the maintenance person never showed up, and we could not lock the house with the lock being defect, we had to lock all of our valuables in the car every time we left the house.
On January 30, 2012 I received an email from Vacasa Rentals stating that there was a stain in the carpet and that it was going to be cleaned inexpensively and they would charge my credit card. The person referred to a picture that was supposed to be attached. However, there was no attachment to the email. I replied that we did not cause the stain, that I would not authorize the charge to my card and that they should please send me the picture.
On February 1, 2012 Vacasa Rentals emailed the picture (showing a redish looking stain in front of the couch )to me stating that if I did not pay for the damage the matter would be sent to small claims court. I called the Vacasa office right away and explained that we did not cause the damage, and I followed up with an email stating the same.The person on the phone said she would check with the cleaning person and get back to me.
On February 8, 2012 my friend and I received another email this time from a different person suddenly stating that the carpet needed to be replaced, that there was red substance on the kitchen counters and in the refrigerator and the cost for replacing the carpet would be $250, threatening us with a collection agency. We have now idea where the red substance suddenly comes from. We don't remember seeing that at all when we were there. And we don't remember seeing the redish looking stain. We did not cause it! I called the Vacasa office right away(and also responded with an email) and asked to speak to the person who sent the email. The person on the phone was struggling with connecting me to the right person (who had sent the email) and after about 3 minutes of waiting on the phone I was finally connected . I explained again that we did not cause the damage to the carpet and could therefore not pay for it.
We did NOT cause this damage and I am shocked about how this matter has been handled by the Vacasa staff. I have a picture amongst several oter pictures I had taken on Sunday 1/29 as we were packing to leave the house. I wanted to show my husband the house with the intention to stay there with him some other time. I still cannot see a red stain in that picture.
We never noticed a red stain in the carpet during our stay. We never ate or drank anything on the couch. We had one meal at the dinner table and the rest of the time we ate out.
We cannot pay for damage that was not caused by us. We realize that our attorney fees will be higher than the $250 but feel that it is unethically to have to pay for damage that we did not cause. We left the house, following the check-out instructions on the counter. We put the sheets in the office, washed the dishes and put them away, wiped all kitchen surfaces and put the garbage in the garbage bin located in the driveway. We left the house spotless, without having caused any damage to it.
Our only explanation is that maybe the stain was there prior to our arrival and we did not notice it. However, on the picture I took shortly before we left, I cannot see a stain. Or the stain was caused after we left, since we had to leave the door unlocked (because it was defect) when we left the property.
Had we known that we needed to inspect the house upon our arrival and report any kind of damage that was caused prior to our stay, we would have done so. However, there were no instructions to inspect the house upon our arrival.
Had we known that we needed to protect ourselves and call the rental agency upon leaving to report that we are leaving the house clean and asking whatelse we need to do to proof that it was clean when we left, we would have done so. But there were no instructions for the customer about how we can make sure we are protected.
We are being charged with a damage fee for damage that was caused by someone else. That is unfair and unethical and we are very upset.