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DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

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California
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215 posts
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DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to spread the word about the bad experience I had using Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals (also under the name of Don Berard). We have rented at Sea Ranch for over 10 years and have used several of the rental agancies with no problem whatsoever. We paid the $500 deposit required and at the end of the stay we received the deposit minus $125 because they said we stained a duvet cover and burned a cutting board. We knew about the damage on the cutting board because when we arrived we pulled the cutting board out already damaged. The company apparently knew they couldn't verify that they search all the kitchen cabinets for damages so they refunded us $25. We never received any money back for the alledged stained duvet, nor would they grant my request of pictures or more details. They were very rude and were very much like "well, you ruined a cover so you have to pay for it" without compromise or politeness. The problem we think is that the owner came up for vacation immediately after our stay and found everything wrong since the last time they'd stayed and we were the most convenient group to blame. I am perfectly willing to pay for any damages that I incur during any stay but I found it so completely rude to be blamed for something we didn't do! We're not a group of young partiers who trashed the house just a family who enjoys a yearly vacation to Sea Ranch to watch the ocean and look at the whales. Which by the way, we saw the most amazing little whale playing in the water so close to the beach. It put on a show for us jumping and playing in the waves for a good 10 minutes. That was the highlight of our trip that a nasty rude rental agency couldn't ruin. I'll let anyone know more details if they need and I would highly recommend Beach Rentals in Gualala. Thanks.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
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31,598 posts
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1. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

Hmmmm.....we have rented in Sea Ranch lots of times and used Don Berard for some. We have also rented condos all over the world. I protect us by reporting to the rental agency anything like 'burned cutting boards' or 'stained duvets' as soon as we move in, and ask them to either come to inspect or give me confirmation that I reported it upon our arrival.

Caveat Emptor

California
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215 posts
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2. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

I should have reported the burned cutting board when I saw it, but it was still usable, just a burned spot on it, so I assumed that it was fine. And as for the duvet cover, we never saw a stain on it and the couple who slept in the bedroomstayed in the room for 5 nights, made their bed every day and never saw any stain. Sea Ranch Rentals would never confirm where on the duvet it was stained and kept changing their story as to when the housekeeper found the stain. It was very frustrating because they were so RUDE! They made absolutley no effort to compromise or even to talk to me in a civil manner. The owner of the company refused to talk to me and they had the worst customer service I have ever received.

New York
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3. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

This past summer, I rented two homes at Sea Ranch from Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals / Don Berard and the staff could not have been more accomodating. During the reservation process, they work with me patiently to find two homes that would meet our needs. The staff was delightful at check-in - and during our stay, we had a problem with the cooktop in one of the units and Berard's staff couldn't have been more concerned and helpful. They even gave us an adjustment because of the problem at check out. I applaud their customer care.

This was our first rental experience with Berard, but I will use them again. I've rented at Sea Ranch from two other agencies - both pleasant - but the staff at Berard was great and the properties were nicer. I don't think they would last long treating customers as you suggest they did. Perhaps your housemates did ruin the duvet but were afraid to tell you.

Placerville, CA
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398 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

Hopefully you paid for the rental on a credit card and notified the credit card promptly of your dispute....they can insist on the evidence, and get somewhere...

Denver
1 post
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5. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

If you're sure that you were taken advantage of... report the incident to the BBB. Don Berard won't be in business long if others have had the same experience.

In my opinion, it's not your responsibility to report things like a marred cutting board or a stained duvet.... as long as it's not interrupting your satisfaction and doesn't need to be taken care of right away.

Unless there were other problems or you left the place a mess... they should have taken your word for it.

California
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215 posts
1 review
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6. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

hi everyone,

just an update - i did report them to BBB and nothing was accomplished through them, but they did get another negative ding on their report. they've had 5 complaints in the last 36 months and i think that's a lot. i didn't put it on my credit card, wish i did but they offer a discount if you pay up front in cash. i've gotten over my anger but sometimes it flares up when i remember how rude they were to me!! my son still remembers that whale so it was all worth it in the end to see that display of beauty.

california
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7. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

BEWARE OF THIS COMPANY! I just had an incident with Don Berard as well...This rental company is sneaky... THEY SPY ON YOU AND TAKE PICTURES OF YOU DURING YOUR STAY WITHOUT YOUR KNOWLEDGE!!! I rented a home from them and they refused to refund all my deposit stating I had a pet in the home that did not allow pets. I did have a pet visit.... OUTSIDE and not in the house. The contract said nothing about prohibiting pets OUTSIDE. I had a friend that lives in Gualala come over and she brought her dog over to visit. They claimed that this pet peed on their couch and we tried to cover it up with alot of perfume which was a flat out lie! I admitted we had a pet OUTSIDE but not on the furniture INSIDE. The "perfume" smell they accused us of using was Lavendar aromatherapy we burned every day. The rental agency was extremely rude and sarcastic to us when we tried to explain. We are demanding they send the pictures they took of us because we believe they had hidden cameras in the rental house... which is illegal and an invasion of privacy. If this company feels they need to spy on the renters, they should not be in the rental business. I'm so glad I reported the broken freezer and ripped carpet before I left otherwise, I'm sure they'd keep my entire deposit. DO NOT USE THIS RENTAL COMPANY, there are plenty of other rental companies at the Sea Ranch to use that are more ethical to their renters. I think they were just looking for a reason to keep our deposit. If they felt that we were breaking the rules, they should have come up to the house right away instead of sneaking around taking pictures of us without our consent. I feel so violated and wonder what else they saw us doing without us knowing!

Huntington Beach
Destination Expert
for Huntington Beach
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1,417 posts
23 reviews
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8. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

Thanks for your warning on the company. I value these reports because it does happen. One person can have a great trip and another a total different experience.

I was once "burned" by a rental agency in Lake Arrowhead. Furniture was broken upon our arrival. We did not report it thinking, "it is what it is"....and it came back to bite us in the butt. The only thing that saved us was that I had actually used a camcorder upon our entry of the home to film our arrival of the place. It clearly showed the broken furniture when we opened the door. But receiving our $1500 deposit back only slightly healed our wounds. The nasty attitude, dirty language and month long bickering we received by the agency still lingers with us 10 years later...and....it was bitterly hilarious to receive a note with that stated we were no longer were allowed to use them .....EVER! ...like we would!

It can happen to even the nicest of people.

San Diego
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9. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

I have rented from Don Beard many times and never had a problem. If the contract says "No Dogs", then you should not have dog even if its outside.

Rental car agencies are the same way. When you rent a car, don't you walk around the car to make sure there are no dings or scratches that the rental car company will come back and have you pay for.

I love Don Berard and will always use them again, and again, and again.

Gualala
1 post
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10. Re: DO NOT USE Sea Ranch Vacation Rentals/Don Berard

I am the owner of Don Berard Sea Ranch Rentals. We are family run business and take all comments from our renters and homeowners very seriously. I feel the need to respond to the above post by “aerofanstruck” above.

First, there are no hidden cameras in our rental homes nor do we spy on our guests - this is an outrageous accusation. The reason we were aware there was a puppy at this home is because it was reported to us by the people next door who knew this was a rental home that did not permit pets.

Second, while having a pet at the home was a violation of the contract (for which we could have kept the ENTIRE security deposit) , we did not do that. We charged only the standard pet cleaning fee. Once a pet has been in a house, we have to do additional cleaning, thoroughly vacuum and check the inside and outside patio/courtyard/grass areas for dog droppings.

And, finally, there was a large wet spot on the sofa, (as observed by two staff members, and one housekeeper) that needed to be cleaned.

My staff and I work very hard to keep both our homeowners and our renters happy. We welcome anyone to contact our office.

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