The problems started at booking. The flat was advertised at the price of £100 per night, plus a £100 damage deposit and a £30 booking fee. This seemed like a great deal, especially since the flat appeared to be in a good area and to be of good quality in general, and since some members of my party required more affordable accommodation for our trip. So I sent a booking request for a three night stay. However, the owner contacted me to say that the price was incorrect, and should have been £150 per night. I was worried, but was at work when I received the email and did not have time to respond. Upon returning home, I checked my emails again and was relieved to see that my request for booking had been accepted. I immediately thanked the owner for accepting despite the advertising problem, and expected that to be the end of the matter.
I was wrong. The owner contacted me again to say that my offer had been accepted on condition that I understood that the price would be £150 per night for the three nights. At this point, she had already accepted my offer. £90 of the deposit had been paid. I had said nothing about paying any additional money, and yet I and my friends were expected to pay a total of £480 (plus deposit) instead of the original £330.
Unhappy with this state of affairs, I contacted Holiday Lettings, letting them know that I had been asked to pay additional funds outside the bounds of the agreement on the Holiday Lettings website, the Manage Your Booking page of which still showed the same £100-per-night deal that was originally advertised.
After this, the owner offered me a price of £125 per night- still a full £75 in total over and above the original deal. At this stage, my friends debated taking the offer, but for some of them, the price had been a deciding factor, and so I was left with no choice but to demand either the original price or a refund. Only then did the owner graciously allow me to have the actual deal that she had officially agreed to.
If only that had been the only problem. From my first enquiry about booking, I had asked whether a cot would be available for my friends’ baby, stating that it would be useful for my friends to know whether they should bring one of their own. The owner stated that she could provide one, and again, I foolishly assumed that that would be the end of it.
Again, I was wrong. I sent the owner a text message just as I was leaving for Edinburgh, just to make sure that a cot would indeed be available. She replied that since I had stated that my friends could provide one of their own, she had not provided one. Now call me crazy, but if you ask someone whether they can supply a cot, and they reply “we can supply a cot”, you expect them to supply a cot. So, on the day we were due to arrive, she told me that she would supply one at the last minute.
We arrived at the flat. There was a cot there. A useless cot with no mattress. So, the child’s father and I found a baby equipment rental place a half hour walk away and spent the first hour of our holiday gathering equipment that we were told would be waiting for us when we arrived.
But despite all that, the flat was nice enough in itself. Situated in a nice area, with a lovely sushi take away opposite, a short walk away from the centre of Edinburgh, fully equipped with large rooms and all the things that you would expect a nice flat to have. Sure, the plumbing seemed to have some issues, but we could overlook that- after all, the haggling and the shenanigans with the cot were over and we could look forward to enjoying our stay in Edinburgh. But the flat had one little surprise left for us.
One of my friends had brought a quiz game, and so I was sitting on the living room couch with a pencil in hand, ready to mark down my answers. But I happened to drop my pencil and wondered if it had gone down the back of the couch. So I put my hand down the back of the couch. And I felt something rubbery. An elastic band, perhaps? So I pulled it out. And there it was- a burst but thankfully unused condom.
Overall, a lovely flat marred by management of the poorest kind, highly recommended for anyone ready to put up with a lot of pointless haggling and unpleasant surprises. For everyone else, well, I’m sure you will be able to find somewhere else more agreeable in Edinburgh.
|How easy was it to book the property?||How easy was key pickup/access to the property?|