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rentalinrome.com

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england
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rentalinrome.com

If you look through this forum carefully and Google rentalinrome.com you will find mixed reviews. This may be fair enough when it comes to assessing decor, location, amenities in apartments, etc. Different people will have different views.

However, what you should take careful note of is the experience of reviewers who have been ripped off. Unfortunately for me I only discovered that my experience with rentalinrome.com was not untypical, after the event. Had I done a bit of basic research I would not have gone near them.

We booked a 2 bedroom apartment and paid a deposit of 136 Euros. About a week before we were due to make our trip we were emailed by rentalinrome and informed that there had been 'extensive damage' to the apartment that we had booked. We were offered inferior one bedroom apartments nowhere near where we wanted to stay. (Again a bit of Google research will tell you that this is a not uncommon scam.) When I emailed pointing out that we needed two bedrooms as neither my wife and I nor my 83 year old father, who was travelling with us, fancied sleeping on a sofa bed I received the following reply:

'Dear Peter,

Unfortunately my research has proven to be unsuccessful, and I found no apartment available on the requested dates in the Colosseum area so If you are not interested in the options I have sent you the only thing I can do is to refound your money.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards

F******* G********' (name deleted to comply with Tripadvisor regs.)

Despite numerous emails and telephone calls the deposit was never refunded. This cynical outfit even made me go through the farce of filling in an online refund form.

I rather naively gave rentalinrome one last chance to do the decent thing and give me my money back before I posted this. However they have long since stopped replying to my emails.

The moral is this: rentalinrome may have 99 satisfied customers, but if just one customer has had money effectivey stolen from them what should you make of such an outfit? Should you take a chance and trust them? There are plenty of rental agencies in Rome. Do your research and go with one which has no history ripping its clients money off.

Philadelphia...
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3,852 posts
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11. Re: rentalinrome.com

Rental In Rome appears to send Michael to do a "clean up" fix of the sad cases that get to Trip Advisor's Rome Forum. I think that may be his job description. Michael seems to me to be a genuinely nice guy (in fact I expect him to post soon on this thread with an "all okay" and a high five, lol) but I get the sense that the agency is often out of their depth, unable to secure their bookings with owners or notify clients in advance when bookings goes bad or to rectify the situation with injured clientele afterwards. One might interpret this repeated practice as bait-and-switch. There are many reputable rental agencies in Rome, I'm very sorry this experience has colored your impressions of the Eternal City and hope that your recent interactions with RIR prove positive in securing the release of your deposit monies.

Rome, Italy
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487 posts
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12. Re: rentalinrome.com

Dear Miriam,

I sent a copy of the transaction to your husband's e-mail account. For the international transfers it takes a maximum of ten business days. Please let me know if you have any issues.

Please accept our humble apologies as we are sorry and embarrassed by this oversight.

Best regards,

Michael

Piacenza, Italy
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660 posts
185 reviews
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13. Re: rentalinrome.com

When I read then title of this topic I got curious and I checked it to see what ppl were saying about Rentalinrome. Well, I can say it's something like what happened to me. I booked an apartment in February for May, 10 days before going I wrote them to ask a question about the apartment facilities and they answered me with all infos I needed. Then 2 days before going they wrote me that the owner of the apartment isn't renting it anymore. I phoned the owner to know what was going up and he told me that he was living in the flat since January. Were they offering a flat that wasn't available since months?!?!? I got a very bad taste after that experience, I was offered another flat but it didn't match my needs and I coundn't do anythig else than accepting it. What else can you find in two day? For me, no more!

Atlanta, Georgia
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33 posts
7 reviews
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14. Re: rentalinrome.com

Mona,

When the late notice (day before departure to Rome) occurred with my rental, I left for Rome with three other females. We got a hotel upon arrival at the airport.

Many people would be very uncomfortable with the uncertainty of arriving in a foreign country without accomodations. To be honest, our accomodations were no where close to what we requested, but I had no other choice with the last minute change by Rental In Rome.

Did you receive any correspondance from Rental In Rome after this occurred? Did they give you any reduction in cost?

I'm very interested in finding what kind of shape the replacement apartment was in when you arrived.

Thanks.

TL

Atlanta, Georgia
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33 posts
7 reviews
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15. Re: rentalinrome.com

Michael:

Could you please update us on how Rental In Rome is working to handle the refunds, problems with apartments under contract with a traveler that are pulled at the last minute (under a month prior to arrival), and the repeated water damage issues? Are any of these issues being given to the owner(s) so they are aware of problems? I don't believe that I have ever heard anyone from your company address these posts other than yourself.

I think this is a great time to let everyone know if any new office procedures have been put into place to assist your customers when things do not go perfectly.

I am glad to acknowledge that my credit card company finally advised me the first part of September that my $711.59 USD was officially and permanently credited to my account.

I believe people and company managment can change for the better when they wish to do so. Please give us an update on Rental In Rome.

Thanks.

TL

New York City, New...
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39,551 posts
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16. Re: rentalinrome.com

What I find troublesome about all this as it seems that people who have had problems with this company only get a reaction/response from RentalInRome once they post on Tripadvisor.

That is a customer service deficit that needs correcting in a significant way. People shouldn't have to post on a travel forum to get answers/refunds/explanations from a rental company.

If a company can't do the right thing when a problem is not addressed adequately through private correspondence rather than responding only when taken to task on TripAdvisor, that company has big problems with ethics and management.

Rome, Italy
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487 posts
1 review
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17. Re: rentalinrome.com

Hello everyone,

Since last month I've been spending every morning inspecting apartments and writing reports to the owners and the cleaning, maintenance, and welcoming staffs. Once the report is delivered, responsibility for follow-up and execution is handed over to the respective managers (in the case of the owners, to our Owner Relationship Manager).

The owners are certainly aware when there are significant damages as we are, in most cases, unauthorized to modify the apartments or heavy appliances without their intervention. This project, however, is aimed at addressing problems that arise with time that may not present immediate damages, such as bad ventilation, eroding caulk, etc.

As to refunds, I consistently present issues that cross my desk to the responsible parties and have a solid record of resolving the issues presented to me.

I see several issues per week, from simple things such as wanting extra towels to more complex problems like having a malfunctioning boiler. They all receive responses, but most of these issues don't appear on TripAdvisor.

In at least one of these TripAdvisor cases, the guest did not respond to direct contact, and I was only able to acquire the necessary information through the guests' posts. In this sense, TripAdvisor is my way of catching issues that slip through the cracks, for whatever the reason.

I am the only mother-tongue English speaker in the company, so I make an effort to scan TripAdvisor when I can. Most issues are referred to me if English is the principal language used.

I hope that answers your questions.

Cynthia, I'm glad to hear the credit card company was able to claim your PayPal account. My apologies once again for the trouble.

Best regards,

Michael

Edited: 06 October 2011, 14:25
england
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11 posts
26 reviews
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18. Re: rentalinrome.com

The full refund from Rental in Rome arrived in my bank on Friday. I am pleased to say that Michael was as good as his word. Any problems with bookings through Rental in Rome - contact him. He seems to get things done.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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19,805 posts
208 reviews
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19. Re: rentalinrome.com

Michael, I am curious--is it a peculiarity in Rome or Italy for a rental company to need the owner's permission before making a repair to a property rented through an agency?

I own property that I have rented out through an agency (but not in Italy) and the arrangement I had was that repairs would be taken care of immediately by the rental agency without any "permission" needed from me, unless it was over a significant amount. (which was determined in advance)

Even then, if water was gushing out onto the floor, and severe damage was imminent, the property company could move instantly with contractors they had in place, again, without permission from me.

Why would any sensible owner want his or her property to sit in a state of disrepair, and lose rental income?

This seems strange to me.

Edited: 11 October 2011, 20:18
Rome, Italy
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487 posts
1 review
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20. Re: rentalinrome.com

Hi Laura,

Part of this is a cultural issue that would be much easier to explain by writing a book! The short version is that you can't really compare the Italian way of doing business to the United States.

Italians just don't hand over their property to be managed by others without maintaining control of larger expenses. It could be because they have friends or family that they think will give them a better price, trust issues, or a whole myriad of other reasons, but it just isn't an easy thing to receive the high-level authorization you described. It varies from owner to owner, but most want to be involved in the process from the beginning so they feel like they're doing it the right way at the right price.

I think the psychology behind it is much more complex, but hopefully that helps a bit.