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Housetrip.com

Lincoln, England
4 posts
1 review
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Housetrip.com

We stayed in an apartment in Paris for our honeymoon, December 2010 - Jan 2011.

Unless Housetrip change their policy on bookings, or you get a cast-iron assurance they will not do what they did to us, our advice is to STAY WELL CLEAR OF THIS COMPANY.

We had the worst holiday ever, because having received all our money well in advance, Housetrip did not act on their duty of care to us to inform us that the host we were staying with had withdrawn from them before our stay.

Consequently, once she had the money, our host had no obligation to Housetrip and we had no protection. She quicky moved 6 other people into an apartment that was only just fit for four, and was generally foul towards us.

Housetrip refunded a paltry amount to us, which didn't even cover phone calls trying to sort out the mess.

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1. Re: Housetrip.com

My name is Junjun and I work for www.housetrip.com. HouseTrip is a website that connects guests with property owners. We make it easy to book an apartment directly with a property owner.

I am familiar with Barry’s situation having exchanged many phone calls and emails with him. We feel very sorry for Barry’s situation. At HouseTrip we aim to delight every customer and we do everything we can to offer the best service possible. In this instance we regret, despite our best efforts, Barry had problems with his stay.

We aim to protect our guests with our payment policy. As we explain on our site, “We keep guests’ rental fee until two days after guest’s check-in. If we don’t hear anything from the guest within two days of check-in, we will transfer the total rental fee to hostess”

We believe HouseTrip is among the safest holiday rental website in the industry because of this policy. Other websites are usually classified advertising sites and as such guests have to transfer money to the host directly by bank transfer or Paypal long before their arrival.

In Barry’s case, HouseTrip’s customer service team tried to contact him twice before and after his arrival during the initial two days to see if everything was arranged properly between him and the hostess. Twice we didn’t manage to talk to him and only left messages. We also left both email and a telephone number so that he could contact us if there was any problem.

Since we didn’t hear anything from him within two days of his check-in, we transferred the rental fee to the hostess as we promised.

Later, five days after Barry’s check-in, he contacted us and told us that there was a huge problem with the hostess because she was renting out another room of her B&B to a group of 6 people. This group of people also occupied two of the three communal living rooms which were supposed to be shared by all guests. This group of people had just arrived and the apartment was crowded. The hostess received this booking through another website.

HouseTrip called Barry back immediately to better understand the situation then contacted the hostess to get her view on it. We agree that the hostess was not being very accommodating because she stated that she didn’t think there were too many people in the apartment and she thought Barry was exaggerating his case and being unreasonable. In the event, she refused to refund any rental fees to Barry.

As far as we understand, Barry and the hostess had a disagreement causing Barry and his wife to leave earlier than they had planned.

HouseTrip contacted both Barry and the hostess several times after that to try to resolve the issue. We spent hours (we covered all the international phone bills) on the phone with Barry and tried to help as much as we could.

We were completely sympathetic to Barry and tried to convince the hostess to refund some money to Barry but she refused. As a gesture of goodwill, HouseTrip then made a €100 payment to Barry and apologised to Barry for all the troubles he went through.

This is the last booking we had with this hostess and we will no longer work with her. HouseTrip has processed over 5,000 bookings in 2010 and this is the first and only time we’ve had a hostess accommodate so many people live in the same apartment.

99% of the apartments on HouseTrip are rented as “entire property” so the guests get the whole apartment for themselves.

The remaining 1% properties are rented as “private room” (this information is clearly stated on each property profile) and guests, like in any bed & breakfast, are supposed to share the apartment with other guests or hostess and sometimes it might cause some problems if the chemistry is not exactly there. We will now pay more attention to these kinds of properties.

After Barry’s case, HouseTrip contacted all the property hosts who rent out “private rooms” and communicate the problem to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

We apologise again for Barry’s situation.

Best regards,

Junjun

17.01.2011 HouseTrip Lausanne office

Mentioned in this post
Lausanne
Lausanne
Canton of Vaud, Switzerland
Lincoln, England
4 posts
1 review
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2. Re: Housetrip.com

We categorically state that we received absolutely no communications from Housetrip before we left England to notify us of the host's withdrawal from them, and I was online until the moment we left for the rail station, and my mobile was working until we entered the channel tunnel. Of course, if they tried after this, while we were on the way, some might say it was a little too late, eh Housetrip? Oh, there were no such messages in our inbox n return either. Interesting?

If you are considering booking through Housetrip, perhaps you could ask them when they knew the host had withdrawn, and when they supposedly contacted us about this. (Incidentally, the only reason we knew the host had withdrawn was when this slipped out from her during our stay. Housetrip chose to keep this quiet until I raised it with them!)

What a shame Housetrip did not make attempts to contact us as soon as

the host had withdrawn. It might have saved a lot of hassle for us and

them, and meant our honeymoon was not ruined as a consequence of their

inaction. Prevention is better than cure.

Junjun is a founder member of Housetrip, incidentally. We agree that

we have both put a lot of communication in over the last couple of

weeks, though we seem no closer to a resolution, and while it is nice

to see them apologise, they need to take proper responsibility for

correcting two things:

(a) We don't want anyone to be placed at risk of going through what

we've been through. We have been pleading with Housetrip to make is

totally clear in company policy that they will not subject people

booking in good faith with them to what we have gone through. A

re-assurance in an email to me is not enough. There needs to be a line

in Houstrip's policy stating something like "If a host withdraws or is

removed from Housetrip after you have made a booking, we will notify

you immediately and offer a full refund. We will also make you aware

of alternative accomodation that might suit your needs". Why are

Housetrip so reticent to do this? Come on, if you're serious about

safety of booking, is that really too much to ask, Housetrip?

(b) We suffered losses and significant distress as a direct

consequence of Housetrip's failure to inform us of something which

meant the honeymoon we had booked was no longer of merchantable

quality. Sorry Housetrip, but a paltry 100 Euros just shows how little

you understand genuine people who wish to book through you, and how

much your inaction set in motion the ruining of what should have been

a fabulous honeymoon.

Edited: 20 January 2011, 10:19
Mentioned in this post
England
England
United Kingdom
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
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3. Re: Housetrip.com

We also are very disappointed in the false advertising and photographs on house trips site. We are from Australia and booked this apartment in Paris in good faith with our friends to stay for 4 nights. We are absolutely devasted at the condition of this apartment with appliances not in working condition and apartment not clean and nothing like the photos shown on your site. We were faced with not having anywhere to stay and causing us great anxiety at what should have been a lovely holiday stay in Paris. We have sent an email to your support site and expect a full refund plus expenses we incurred in taxi fees and having to find accomodation for the night in a hotel in seperate rooms, instead of a nice spacious apartment as advised on your site.This apartment is owned by Eva Leandre and is called Countess and is in the 9th district of which we were advised by local police to leave the area immediately. We either want another suitable large apartment or seek a full refund and other costs as we have photograpic evidence of the problems and if needed will post on this site or seek legal advice if we do not get a satisfactory outcome. My name is Sharon Morrison and booked this apartment and have paid in full and now have been left short of money due to these circumstances. Please fix this problem immediately.

Sharon Morrison

Mentioned in this post
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
4. Re: Housetrip.com

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Removed on: 10 April 2017, 22:30
St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
1,278 posts
10 reviews
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5. Re: Housetrip.com

Sorry your honeymoon was not what you wanted or expected. Just out of curiousity, what made you select Housetrip.com over all the other apartment rental agencies that regularly receive high marks on Tripadvisor? Just wondering ...

Bedoin, France
Level Contributor
4,908 posts
7 reviews
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6. Re: Housetrip.com

Just FYI, the OP posted this in January of this year, so may no longer be looking in...

Good question though SoundDiva.

St. Petersburg...
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1,278 posts
10 reviews
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7. Re: Housetrip.com

Toutou:

I always wonder how much research and what kind of research is done by posters who are irate and obviously not happy with their rentals.

Too late in the week -- didn't even notice the date the OP posted ... LOL

Bedoin, France
Level Contributor
4,908 posts
7 reviews
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8. Re: Housetrip.com

Agree, for a honeymoon, I would have done more research than normal (and I research everything to death !). I would not have stayed in a 'shared' property either. Not sure if the OP knew about that as was implied by the agency.

Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
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9. Re: Housetrip.com

I am pleased to announce that eventually after many phone calls and half our holiday in Europe spent sending emails back and forth we received a full refund for this shabby apartment. Please Housetrip inspect this apartment as is nothing like what is advertised on your site and would be devasted if someone else had to go through the anxiety that we did being elderly people and left stranded in an un safe area in Paris.

Sharon 23/9/2011

Mentioned in this post
Europe
Europe
World
Paris
Paris
Ile-de-France, France
New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
21,261 posts
25 reviews
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10. Re: Housetrip.com

<<This apartment is owned by Eva Leandre and is called Countess and is in the 9th district of which we were advised by local police to leave the area immediately.>>

This is very interesting. According to the map in the listing, the location is NOT in the 9th, rather the 18th. It's also between metro stations Chateau Rouge and Barbes-Rochechouart, assuming the map is even accurate, an area of Montmartre many warn against.

I'm wondering how it happened that the local police advised you to leave the area immediately?

I'd also be curious for details regarding "nothing like the photos".

So sorry this happened to you, but it's amazing that you received a full refund. Most agencies assume no responsibility for properties that are misrepresented.

And, a million thanks for taking the time to warn others!

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Montmartre
Montmartre
16,228 Reviews
Paris, France