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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

How would you handle this frustrating situation?

Asked by WillWorkForChocolate (23150points) November 15th, 2010

My family rented a cabin in Oklahoma this past weekend, for the annual Fall Festival. The cabin goes for $120 a night, but it sleeps 4–8 people, so the price sounded reasonable enough. BUT… when we got there, we had to spend an hour and a half killing wasps and yellowjackets, and almost got stung a few times. Even after all that killing, we were stilling killing more, here and there, for the remainder of our stay. That’s the first problem.

Then we pulled out the sofa bed to get it ready for bed. There were roach droppings on the mattress pad. There were also no sheets to put on the sofa bed, even though I had been assured there were plenty of linens in the cabin.

There were also no trash bags and no dish soap to clean the cabin dishes. No cleaning supplies at all, and no way at all to clean out the fireplace we used. There were only three forks, two spoons, and two butter knives, which promptly fell apart. She knew there would be 6 of us there. And we had been assured the cabin was stocked with everything we could possibly need.

It was very frustrating to have rented a cabin that was dirty and horribly undersupplied.

We’ve requested to have one night of the bill taken off as compensation. What would you do? Would you request half off like we did? Would you grin and bear it? Would you request a free weekend in the future or flat out refuse to ever stay there again?

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30 Answers

nebule's avatar

I would ask for a full refund actually, no-one should be expected to pay for staying in surroundings like those!...

Soubresaut's avatar

That’s disgusting. I wouldn’t pay either. I would explain to the lady as calmly as I could everything you just told us. That she promised a good stay for $120/night, and what you got was a nightmare. She didn’t hold up her end of the deal, so you feel no reason to hold up yours. (And you really shouldn’t feel any reason to)

crisw's avatar

I would have called the owner as soon as I saw the condition of the cabin and demanded that the problems be dealt with.

erichw1504's avatar

I would have asked for all my money back and drove back home. That’s down right disgusting and unacceptable.

chyna's avatar

I would not request a free weekend in the future as I would never stay there again. I, too, would’ve called the owner and left if she couldn’t get there or give you another cabin. The fact that you did stay means you will have to pay something. It’s like getting a meal in a restaurant and saying it is not edible, but eating it anyway and demanding your money back. You can’t have it both ways. But I would absolutely tell the owner in writing and on the phone what all was wrong with the cabin and ask for some compensation.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@crisw She doesn’t live in the area, and relies on a cleaning lady to take care of everything. I guess she could have sent the cleaning lady over though. We did what we had to do to make it habitable, including getting trash bags and dish soap, and improvising with the sofa bed.

And I asked my sister in law (who stayed there with us) to call her with the list of problems, since I do have a wee tendency to get bitchy when I’m angry, LOL.

chyna's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I hope the fall festival was fun though.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@chyna It was, thanks! The kids had fun making candles and there was a petting zoo and tons of delicious, unhealthy food and drink that we scarfed down.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would have taken pictures, that’s for sure! And written up a formal complaint, no money.

marinelife's avatar

You should have notified the owner right at the beginning of your stay. Lacking that, I think half off is reasonable. Did you take photographs of the problems that you could send her?

Always say something at the time, Not afterward.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

The main reason we didn’t call immediately was that it was late at night when we arrived, and the owner doesn’t live nearby anyway. Another reason is that we kept having a lot of trouble getting a decent signal on our cell phones.

hug_of_war's avatar

Usually I think people whine too much but that is truly appalling.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@hug_of_war I usually think that too. But I mean, it’s not like we were expecting there to be food in the fridge or designer soaps in the shower or 500 thread count Egyptian cotton/sateen sheets… just for it to be tidy and habitable. It was awful.

wundayatta's avatar

Still—$120 for a cabin that sleeps four? I would have expected built in bunk beds but your bring your own sleeping bag. Certainly no dishes or silverwear or soap. And an outhouse. No flush toilet.

I think they tried to offer too much and, as a result, made things much worse than if it had been just a simple wooden cabin with nothing.

JustJessica's avatar

I’d ask for a full refund… The customer is ALWAYS right! If they were any kind of professionals they would honor this refund, no problem! I live in Oklahoma, I hope you guys enjoyed the nice chilly weather and the beautiful colors of fall even though your stay was a tad uncomfortable.

mammal's avatar

i would feign cabin fever by downing a quart of 192 proof polish vodka, put shaving foam round my mouth and ask to speak to the managment Tout de suite.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@wundayatta No, no, no… that’s how all the cabins are in Beaver’s Bend, OK. They are fully furnished, fully stocked cabins. They have everything except your food and your drinks. Every other cabin we’ve stayed in there has double or queen beds, some have extra twin beds in an upstairs loft. They all come with stocked kitchens. Dishes, sink soap, utensils, cooking utensils, grilling utensils, marshmallow roasting utensils… Extra linens, towels, tiny hotel bath soaps, central heat and air. Hell, some of the cabins we’ve stayed in even have their own private hot tubs.

These aren’t bare bones, redneck cabins you find on a deer lease. All the cabins are like little homes that you rent for a weekend, a week or even a month.

I did find out, though, that my sister in law finally got hold of the lady and told her about the state of the cabin and she was shocked and very apologetic. She agreed to take half off the bill, and said she’ll be calling her cleaning lady today. I bet that cleaning lady gets an earful.

wundayatta's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate How can she make any money renting it for $120 per night? That just seems too low to be true.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@wundayatta The cabin rental places out there usually own anywhere from 3 to 15 cabins, and they are constantly rented out. And I mean, all the time. Sometimes, you have to book a cabin two months in advance, just to be sure you get one. It’s a beautiful state park, and people constantly go there to relax and trout fish and generally putz around.

Trust me, the cabin owners are making money!

Oh, and it’s not a gigantic cabin, either. Most of them are small (maybe about 400–700 square feet), yet clean and inviting enough for a weekend or a week vacation. The living room, dining room and kitchen are all one big room. We have stayed in a really really nice cabin before that was more like a personal home (around 1800 square feet) with large spaces and a huge stone fireplace two stories tall and a gourmet kitchen that rents for $300 a night. There’s another one that’s really ritzy with a media room for $350 a night.

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WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@noelleptc They were the cheap kind where the handle is colored plastic and the knife part is inserted into it. Apparently the little piece that held the two parts together just wore out, and the knife tip fell out of the handle.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’d call someone right away and ask if they’d like to come down to the cabin to document your complaint and either bring the needed items or to give you compensation/refund in order to immediately find somewhere else to stay.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would ask for full refund in lieu of not posting a negative review on every travel and rental site I could think of.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Are you sure that you all ended up in the right cabin? I’ve stayed at hotels were I was checked into a vacant/dirty room by accident. In your case, this one should have been on Out-of-Order status.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I’m sure, LOL. We had specific directions on how to get to it, and every individual cabin has a specific name.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Gracious. In that case, please send me a PM with a link to the site. The place needs outside help to either clean it up or be condemmed.

Seriously though, if it wasn’t brought to the staff’s attention on the front end, the best that can be done at this point is to contact the owner and let them know of your displeasure. If the bill has already been paid and you all stayed, there is little that can be done at this point or to expect in retribution.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

The owner doesn’t charge your card until after your stay, so my sister in law managed to talk to her about the situation before we were charged, and the owner agreed to take half off the bill, so we only had to pay for one night.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate, that’s a good conclusion to the situation, then. Congratulations!

partyparty's avatar

I would most certainly ask for a FULL refund. You can’t be expected to start cleaning a place you have rented out for a holiday!!
And for the place not to have even enough knives, forks, spoons etc is disgraceful. Were they expecting you to share the eating utensils?!?
I hope you took some photos of the mess!!
Glad you enjoyed yourselves DESSPITE the awful conditions :))

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