Written on: 30/06/2013 by reviewhappy (1 review written)
This review is for UNITE St Thomas Court, Plymouth.
Unite is possibly the worst company I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. There are very few positives about them. First, the booking was made extremely difficult with an email being sent with an attached tenancy document which you had to print yourself and given one week to return. That was a bit difficult being out of the country at the time. Eventually it was regrettably sorted and I was looking forward to moving in. I got there and was checked in by out of hours security to find my student pack (cheap cooking utensils and cheap cutlery) that I had payed £150 for wasn't in the room as promised. I had to travel up flights of stairs with the box in my hands, no help, no lift in the buildings so I felt very fortunate not to be disabled.
The room itself was small, tacky and old fashioned with yellow paint, not very homelike, I would compare its features to a prison cell. The vent above the oven was hanging by it's hinges which probably isn't safe. The walls are about the thickness of tissue paper, no exaggeration meaning you are subject to every noise around you from footsteps and talking which you can deal with to screaming and loud music. This may make me sound very miserable but this is how it is when you cannot sleep at night and you are using your room to try and do assignments. The accommodation is on the way to Oceana nightclub which has its benefits if you are going on a night out however every night it is open (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights) you will hear people screaming on Exeter Street from around 11pm-4am. This combined with the bed (a slab of metal a few inches off the floor with a tired mattress where you can feel every spring, completely messed up my sleeping pattern. Not helpful with 9am lectures.
The website will advertise free internet. It is not free internet. They give you 2MB speeds which wasn't fast in the 90s you can pay over £100 for the term for 10MB speeds and I cannot remember the price for 20MB but I think it was £150 or so. This was for the term so September - Christmas; January - Easter etc. Despite paying for that the internet is still slow and is only wired by a cable although apparently they are installing WiFi over summer 2013.
The building itself is quite attractive from the outside located near a Tesco express which is convenient and about 10 minutes from Plymouth university depending where you needed to be. There is very rarely cleaning of corridors and stairs. The window on the door into the block was smashed by drunks one night and it took a week to be replaced. There were brown marks on the wall in the staircase that appeared and I don't know for sure what this was but it looked like feces, however to UNITEs credit they did paint, yes paint, over it a month later. The people living there are quite undesirable a lot of times people would ring my doorbell in the middle of the night and bang on the door and wouldn't leave until I answered. It is also a haven for cannabis so if that is your sort of thing maybe UNITE is for you. The post would arrive daily and be put in your postbox in the reception area except Saturday where all post, bare in mind this could contain personal information such as bank statements were just thrown on the side so you might receive it with a bit of luck. So advance warning get all post delivered to your parents house, as aforementioned the people living there are not the nicest breed. There are no recycling facilities on site, when I questioned this I was told that people didn't used to separate it and UNITE wouldn't separate it themselves or pay the council charge to do it. I feel that is disgusting considering recycling is important and every home in the country has recycling facilities. To add insult to injury, because the bills are included in the price, wow, they have "Energy Ellen" who is a character you would use to teach a 5 year old about energy saving. They had displays on the reception areas about switching the lights off, closing the windows and turning the heating off. About the heating, this is yet another drawback. The heater is located right next to the door in a very enclosed area. You cannot keep the heating on you can only press the boost button which would heat the room until its sensors detect the right temperature. Bear in mind this was right next to the front door meaning that area would be warm but you are still freezing at the desk.
Laundry facilities do exist. There are 4 washing machines and a couple of tumble dryers. Washing machines are priced at £2.40 a wash and £1.20 for a tumble dryer. You had to put washing through twice because they didn't work properly so that is a lot of money to do the laundry. I only used it once I preferred to hand-wash rather than be ripped off even more by UNITE.
It would be unfair not to mention that the receptionist was always happy to help and the security staff were friendly and would try and resolve any issues you have after all it isn't their fault UNITE have no care for the students.
Overall I wouldn't recommend UNITE to anyone unless you love screaming and shouting outside the windows all night and you aren't interested in your university degree. My recommendation would be do a house share it is about half the price with bills included and very few people I know who done this have any problems. I hope I have warned you not to stay with UNITE considering there are very few reviews on the web I felt the need to write one.