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AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

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AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency


posts: 2

reviews: 47

Villa Guibert Paris Rental - BEWARE

Dec 04, 2013, 3:31 PM


BEWARE OF THIS PARIS RENTAL APARTMENT - currently listed on Flip Key: http://www.flipkey.com/o/566757/

Listed either as "Villa Guibert" or "Gorgeous Villa in Exclusive District"

There is a reason you can not find online reviews of this property. We tried to post this review and photos, but so far it's not up. We are happy to share information about this experience with others so you can avoid an awful property.

Please note . . . you will have much better luck with apartments from www.welcome2france.com. Their properties were all filled when we looked and we sadly ended up in Villa Guibert, at that time managed by Halladis (also to be avoided because they were ineffective in identifying and addressing the problems) with the following experience . . .

We stayed at this property for a full week in the beginning of July 2013. It's an amazing location and the apartment is spacious, has some charm and nice characteristics, and could be a top quality rental if the owner would take the time to fix the problems, which are numerous and severe.

Rodents. There were mouse droppings all over the kitchen, including on counters. We never used the kitchen for this reason, and due to the significant MOLD growing on the wooden counters. Mice also ran around the baseboards at night. There were "electronic" devices "to keep the mice away" but they didn't work. We purchased our own mouse traps and caught mice every day.

Bugs. When we arrived at the property, I walked into the kitchen and there was a virtual eruption of ants and winged ants teaming on the floor, especially near the washing machine. The floor boards have huge gaps between them and they were pouring out from the cracks like some kind of a horror movie. We grabbed some bathroom disinfectant spray and killed them and had to wipe and vacuum them up. This happened several more times during our stay.

The place was filthy with dust and dirt. Our kids walked barefoot for 10 minutes and their feet were black. The dust was visible to the naked eye. Half the lightbulbs were out. Rugs were disgusting. Floors, when I wiped them with a damp dishtowel, were literally black with soot, age, dirt.

Chairs and furniture had spots, stains, holes. Ragged. Several chairs (three of 8 or so in the apartment) were broken and could not be used.

Sheets & towels were clean, the only clean items in the apartment. Pillows under the cases were disgusting. Stained, old, matted, hard as rocks. I stripped one bed to look at the mattress. . . wished I had not.

We had the place cleaned - it took two cleaning ladies two 12-hour days each, and it was still barely habitable. No refund or apology.

Avoid this property at all costs.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

Avoid? Yeah - I would have packed up my family and gotten out there in under 10 minutes. Who stays in a place like that and especially with kids?

IF they did stay - no sympathy, no sorry though I expect this description is a wee bit exaggerated but, seriously, they stayed?

San Diego...
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2. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

Hmmm - Ok now I've read it. I remember reading about halfway through late last night w/o reading to the finish. I do recall though thinking that it wasn't a 'fake' post because of the number of reviews they have done on TA - 47. I didn't take anyt ime to look at their reviews so I don't know if there's any kind of pattern.

I, too, would never have stayed there. What I do find particularly surprising is that there's no mention at all of contacting the agency / owner about these issues. No mention of contacting the agency / owner at all. Which I think would be the very FIRST thing anyone would do.

So, if the post isn't fake they handled the situation in a completely different way then I ever would have. I would have taken a ton of pictures & contacted the agency / owner and demanded that they either move me or refund my money. Either way I would have gotten out of there. That's for sure!

Paris, France
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3. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

The "details" have a ring of authenticity, because even in my own apartment, I have on occasion had to battle mice or roaches (but not winged ants), so I know that they can suddenly appear out of nowhere when there was not the slightest problem "last week."

Indeed, the disturbing thing in the review is not mentioning contacting the agency or owner about the problem.

Edited: 05 December 2013, 22:19
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4. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

I think this also speaks to the problem with just paying in cash. This agency takes check, cash or credit card or so its website indicates. If this was a credit card purchase and the "goods" or "services" were not as expected I do think one would have some leverage to recoup the loss. I'm not saying it would be easy but I would have documented by photo everything he describes. Of course the first thing the cc company would want to know is what the owner/agency is doing about it. You have to try to resolve the situation on the spot. Amazing if you note the poster still has nice things to say about the apartment....droppings alone would have had me at the nearest hotel.

New Hampshire
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5. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

<<. If this was a credit card purchase and the "goods" or "services" were not as expected I do think one would have some leverage to recoup the loss. >>

If you check the terms of your credit card agreement, this is not likely covered. At all.

Generally speaking, " This right applies when the goods cost more than $50 and are purchased in your home state or within 100 miles of your mailing address. In order to dispute a charge for goods or services based on quality, you must have first made a good faith effort to resolve the issue with the merchant directly."

Mill Valley...
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6. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

djkbooks is quite right on this. I've seen many posts where people indicate that they pay by credit card or PayPal because they see it as more secure. It's not the case. To rent an apartment takes a leap of faith, which is why people are urged here on the Forum to do their homework. Even still, there can be problems.

I had mixed feelings initially about this post. I squirmed a little bit at the mention of another "good" rental agency and the notion of having the place cleaned to the tune of 2 people X 12 hours each. But, I did note that the poster had 47 reviews and there was a ring of authenticity to it.

In any case, just one mouse would have me out of that apartment in 5 minutes! Also, in my experience, virtually ALL of the apartments I have rented have required me to toss my slippers at the end of the stay. And I have stayed at some really nice apartments....

Nottingham, United...
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7. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

So this episode happened in July but only got posted on the forum yesterday. I wonder why it took so long to do this.

I have to be honest and say that I don't believe most of what has been said in this post and the tale of daily mice catching for a week has to be a joke. Nobody in their right mind would put up with that surely.

This just has to be a fake post or an over exaggerated one says me looking at pigs flying in the sky:-)

Le Bugue, France
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8. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

Agree. Why did it take so long for this to surface?

And as the owner of a house in France for 21 years,which is in a remote rural hamlet, I am completely familiar with mice, rabbits, snakes, lizards, wild boar, ants, house martens,,,you name it. You can't necessarily control those things, but it's entirely possible to have systems in place to have such problems dealt with quickly. Most of the things I've had to deal with wouldn't even be relevant to a Paris apartment. Sure, mice can appear anywhere (as can ants - not winged ones, never had them) - we get them here at home in DC from time to time too.

But the post about this apartment simply didn't ring true for me. First of all,whether I had kids or not and there was that level of issues, I'd have contacted the rental agency/person immediately, No mention of that at all on the post. Second, and what really rang false for me, was that the OP found and engaged cleaners to send two people for two days to clean the place???? REALLY? They didn't call the management company or owner first, but paid for 25 hours of cleaning??? Truly hard to believe. They PAID for that instead of contacting the owner/agency? It would have cost them about the same as moving to a hotel for the remainder of their stay. I know what cleaning costs are in the Dordogne and they have to be a LOT more in Paris.

I don't care how many reviews the OP has, this story is incredibly suspect.

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9. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

I have to agree with above skepticism about the post but I am trying to figure out why a person would make this up? Did someone hack someone else's TA account? It just does not make any sense at all. Now I see the "shame" post is closed too. I give up on this one and never once has the op come back. I also agree it would be next to impossible on the credit card company help but I would probably try just because no other avenue. That is just me. As I don't see what interaction op had with the company who really knows?

Paris, France
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10. Re: AS promised a repost of villa apt complaint Halidis Agency

This report is quite similar to those I used to deal with when I worked for VRBO/HomeAway. They were nearly always written by renters who were unhappy about something and wanted a significant refund - the exaggerated reviews were refused by the owners/managers, so they would post them wherever they could do the most damage.

I don't know if that's the case here, but there are a couple of points that ring off-key: hiring cleaning people for two 12 hr days is highly improbable (where would they find them, and no one works more than 8 hrs) and forcing children to remain in a filthy, insect/rodent infested apartment brings up parenting issues. The mention of the other apartment is pretty significant, too.

This was possibly written by an angry renter who wasn't able to get a refund. However, it's good to realize that these forums are not secure sites, and that hacking is not uncommon. Don't put too much faith in avatars, number of posts, etc. This might not be the original forum member. Remember dear old "Sara"...

Added: the credit card as protection is not a viable option, in the vast majority of cases. HomeAway/VRBO and other listing agencies are famous for touting this payment method as being virtually foolproof - it simply is not. Travel insurance, either bought through their site or independently, is also not 100% reliable. Read the fine print.

Edited: 06 December 2013, 06:02