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“Do not trust”

Written on: 16/10/2019

Do not trust

They only care about the property owners, not the clients who actually pay everyone's wages. We had a terrible experience with one of their advertised properties: Casa Eryl, Ardales, Andalucia, Spain. ID 5780. Our holiday there was an absolute disaster, where we, a family of 4, had to access the property by walking through open sewage roadworks, leaking raw sewage; where we had only a trickle of cold water in the bathroom basin, not even enough to wash our faces; where the one toilet, once flushed, would not flush again for over half an hour - with a family of 4 it was insanitary; where we had only hot water in the kitchen, in self-catering accommodation, to prepare and cook food; and various other problems in a property that was run-down in appearance inside, and had an air of being unwelcoming, unmaintained, and uncared for.
The property had been given a good impression by the promotion photos on the website - which was not the case in reality. The photos all seem to have been taken a long time ago, with better furnishings, etc.

When we asked to discuss the above with the owners, the next morning after arrival, they became very angry and insulting and told us to leave, and refunded us. But that area of Spain, in August, is 95 - 99% booked and we couldn't find accommodation, and faced a night in the hired car, so very reluctantly had to ask to go back to Casa Eryl. They took all the two weeks booking money from us again. The property does not have parking – despite stating it does on the Spain-Holiday website. Public parking is up a hill quite far from the actual accommodation. So we struggled down the hill, went down into and through the sewage roadworks with our 5 suitcases, and into that awful place again for another night.

The next day, thankfully, we managed to find accommodation in Fuengirola. The holiday would have been an absolute disaster if we hadn’t found this alternative accommodation. But it meant we paid for two accommodations.

When we complained to Spain-Holiday on our return to the UK, and supplied photos, the customer service manager had no interest in supporting us. Indeed, she made the ludicrous mistake of muddling us up with a Finnish family who'd just stayed there before us and had written a terrible review of Casa Eryl. She said that the owners had already answered us. (We saw the Finnish family's review when we got home.) She even quoted the owners' reply to the Finnish family in her email to us. At that stage we hadn’t even written a review. It was so obvious she hadn't read our complaint properly, to make such a stupid mistake between us and the Finnish family.
When I complained to her about this, she wrote back to say she'd 'do her best to get the owners to pay the full refund we claimed'. And that there were 'now two unhappy families who'd stayed at ID 5780 this summer.'
The next email she'd completely changed again, and said we were the only people to complain in 11 years, which was totally untrue, and that the case was closed, with no refund. Thereby acting as judge and jury. We were dismissed, despite our very serious complaint about Casa Eryl.

Clients can only post a review of a Spain-Holiday property by asking Spain-Holiday to email a review link. This gives Spain-Holiday complete control over the review process. We had to ask Spain-Holiday to send us the email link because they hadn't done this. There should be a facility to review a property on their website, without the need to request a link from Spain-Holiday. Or else send out the review link automatically, if the review process is to be seen as fair - which is not the case with this system.

Conveniently for the owners and Spain-Holiday, Casa Eryl is presently taken off the Spain-Holiday website, so that the bad reviews from the Finnish family and ourselves cannot be seen. We are sure that, when the property comes back on their website, our bad reviews will not be there.

The owners, according to the customer service manager, refused to refund us our booking costs for the accommodation because we didn't tell them we'd left again. We didn’t ring the owners, to say we’d left, because they’d rudely said “No more phone calls” when we went back to Casa Eryl, and we couldn’t bear to hear any more rudeness and insults. They’d already utterly ruined the start of our holiday. No apologies from the owners and no refund (and a big debt for alternative accommodation) – well done, Spain-Holiday.

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