Barsala Apartment booked on Hotels.com

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May 23, 2018
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#1
On Wednesday, January 17, 2018 I booked a room for three nights through Hotels.com at the Convention Center Apartments by Barsala on Pacific Highway and West E Street in San Diego, California. Check-in date Feb 22, 2018 to Feb 25, 2018. I was charged $1,033.39 for the reservation, which was immediately deducted from my credit card. The Hotels.com reservation number was xxxx The apartment was advertised as being bay view, having a bedroom, free wifi, flat screen tv with premium channels, washer/dryer. I was given the phone number of xxxx to contact if there were problems. On February 19, 2018 I received an email from Barsala saying that I was booked into Harborview 820-237 located at 820 W G Street. (Not the address that I had booked) It informed me that I should go to the G Street Deli and text Alma at xxxxx. Alma would meet me at the Deli and give me the keys to the apartment. The letter was signed by Barsala Guest Experience, 1601 5th Avenue,Suite 1103, Seattle, WA 98101. On February 22, 2018, at about 9pm, I arrived with my husband at the G Street Deli. Alma did not show but texted us on how we could enter the apartment. Upon entering the apartment we discovered the following: •the balcony of the apartment was under construction •the apartment did not have heat •the tv only had one channel •there was no wifi •there was mold in the AC unit. In other words the apartment was not habitable. We called 1xxxxxxxx and spoke to a person who told us to contact Alma. She said via text that she could not do anything for us but did give us an option of looking at another apartment in the same building. The next morning we looked at the apartment. It was an inside apartment looking at a courtyard that was under construction. We spent the rest of the morning looking for another place to stay and informed Alma via text that we were moving out. Upon arrival home we contacted Hotels.com. They were very apologetic but stated that because our payment went direct to Barsala that they could not do anything except offer us a $100 credit on our next stay. On our contacts with Barasala, they stated that our reservation was non-refundable. Do we have any recourse? It is not the money as much as the fact that we were scammed by a Seattle organization. We have all the paperwork to support the facts presented in this letter. We appreciate anything that you can do to help us resolve this matter. Regards, Susan and Albert Chandler

Note- edited to remove booking number and identifying phone numbers.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
This looks like a shoddy organization. The office is a shared work space, The owner of the company is names Michael Monu. It seems that they put out a website, and have all these unverified "luxury corporate housing" individual apartments -- and some of the reviews are just awful.

have you contacted barsala? They seem to not respond to many complaints. Did you actually move out? I am trying to think of a way to help you as this sounds like a dreadful business.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,294
13,014
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
Who charged your card- hotels.com or Barsala?

Did you contact hotels.com while you were there to report this or only when you got home? You needed to call them while you were at the hotel - they should have helped you find another place.
 
May 23, 2018
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#4
This looks like a shoddy organization. The office is a shared work space, The owner of the company is names Michael Monu. It seems that they put out a website, and have all these unverified "luxury corporate housing" individual apartments -- and some of the reviews are just awful.

have you contacted barsala? They seem to not respond to many complaints. Did you actually move out? I am trying to think of a way to help you as this sounds like a dreadful business.
Yes, I contacted Barsala. They responded that the reservation was non-refundable. We moved out first thing the next morning. By the time we settled into the room and discovered that it was not habitable it was too late to start looking for another place. The woman Alma texted to look at another apartment in the building, which we did, but it was as bad as the first. We notified Alma that we were moving out.
 
May 23, 2018
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#5
Who charged your card- hotels.com or Barsala?

Did you contact hotels.com while you were there to report this or only when you got home? You needed to call them while you were at the hotel - they should have helped you find another place.
My credit card was charged by Barsala and the room confirmation said that if there were problems to contact Barsala directly. They gave me the phone number to call if I had issues: 206-xxx-xxxx or 800-xxx-xxxx. The confirmation letter was signed by Alma, Sean and Eugene. My communication while I was in San Diego was with Alma by text at 619-xxx-xxxx. The exact words on the confirmation are "If you have already checked in or have questions related to the property contact Convention Center Apartments By Barsala at 206-xxx-xxxx"
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,294
13,014
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
This is a really odd situation. You did everything you were supposed to. Have you tried to dispute the credit card payment if you are not having any luck with them? Although by now you may not be able to go back.

You may have to sue them in Small Claims Court. Were these actual apartment buildings? I am wondering if they were legal rentals with the run around you got in truing to get keys.
 
May 23, 2018
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#7
I think that small claims court is more effort than I am willing to exert. I did not try to get a refund from the credit card, I did not think that was a possibility - it certainly wasn't their fault I got scammed. The apartment was in San Diego in a complex that was still under construction. My gut feeling was that it was not a legitimate rental. There were people there that seemed to be full time residents. Also, the fact that I wasn't met at the apartment led me to believe that "Alma," the contact to let me into the apartment, was keeping her distance. I was given specific instructions "Please remember to not disturb Leasing Office with any questions, or concerns, rather contact me directly." - that was on the confirmation that I got from Barsala on Monday, February 19, 2018.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,294
13,014
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
I have a feeling you are right - that was my initial thought.

A chargeback is to protect YOU. The credit card company doesn’t get hurt- they go after Barsala for the money. The cc isnt out anything. It was really the only way to get your money back, but you only have up to 60 days to do a chargeback.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#9
This sounds like a dreadful company -- a lot of bad reviews on line about this sort of switching to different locations, difficulty in getting in touch with people. This is someone trying to be corporate or "luxury" air bnb and failing.

The WA state consumer protection cannot do much, such as force a company to answer or refund, but it still may be good to put this company on their radar

http://www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint

And I would consider a chargeback.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#10
Susan, I am so sorry to read your story. My advice is to prepare a concise, chronological list of the specific events and dispute the charge on your credit card. You've tried everything to solve the problem without result, and this is what the CC dispute procedure is set up for.
 
May 23, 2018
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#11
I have a feeling you are right - that was my initial thought.

A chargeback is to protect YOU. The credit card company doesn’t get hurt- they go after Barsala for the money. The cc isnt out anything. It was really the only way to get your money back, but you only have up to 60 days to do a chargeback.
Thanks. I am obviously over the 60 days, I'll know next time if something like this ever happens to me again.
 
May 23, 2018
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#12
Susan, I am so sorry to read your story. My advice is to prepare a concise, chronological list of the specific events and dispute the charge on your credit card. You've tried everything to solve the problem without result, and this is what the CC dispute procedure is set up for.
I will call the credit card company tomorrow to see if I have any recourse through them.