AMEX/Kensington Park Apts. Nightmare!

Oct 24th, 2003, 03:31 PM
  #21  
 
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Sadly, lyb, I guess you never read the original post. I feel sorry for you with the people who stay and then pull that scam, but if you read the post, you'll see that Calamari never spend a single night there -- it was too filthy. So your entire post has absolutely no value or meaning here.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 04:03 PM
  #22  
lyb
 
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Patrick,

I think you didn't understand the point of my post. What I said, is that because people pull scams, Calamari is probably being punished for those people that the credit cards no longer believe. I never said that Calamari was pulling a scam or that the place she rented wasn't dirty. What I said is, and let me repeat.... American Express' refusal to refund all of her money is probably as a result of people pulling scams. I gave the background information as to what happened to us so that you would all understand what I meant by scams.

I'm sorry you couldn't understand my previous message.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 04:08 PM
  #23  
 
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Calamari, what a nightmare. I've always had good luck with my credit card company backing me up, so I'm interested to know that Amex is not as good as Visa or MC in this situation.

Posters who have cautioned you about libel (I believe if it's written it's libel and if it's spoken it's slander) are correct, however, I think you can describe exactly what happened without any risk if you omit your unproven assumption that the whole deal was bait-and-switch from the beginning.

Did the contract you signed state the apartment would be clean? If so, then KPA did not live up to its own contract, and you have photographic proof. If they breached the contract, why should you be held to the financial side of it?

At any rate, I think Scarlett's suggestion is fabulous. This is just the sort of item that Ombudsman likes --it's a little bit different, you've tried to remedy it through other means, and you, the poor consumer, are clearly getting screwed. I will keep my fingers crossed that they decide to help you. Keep us posted and good luck. Don't give up!! If this happened to me I would make it a personal vendetta. (I must have some unknown Sicilian ancestor in my background.)
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Oct 24th, 2003, 04:44 PM
  #24  
 
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lyb, sorry. Guess you are right. I read your post as being about the original problem, not just about getting restitution later. I apologize for misinterpreting your meaning.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 07:02 PM
  #25  
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Well, I am really impressed by some of the outstanding comments relating to my ordeal.

Marilyn -
Yes, they promised me an arms length list of things that never transpired. I have copies of each and every email. They are in breach of contract on absolutely every point and that is exactly why I took the photographs. I sent copies of my info to the magazine. We shall see. Hopefully, they will not print my AMEX # which I forgot to delete.

LYB.
Prior to this experience I considered myself to be a seasoned traveler. I have been living and traveling around Europe alone or with friends since I was 16 yrs. old. Being a business owner myself, I am hyper vigilant when it comes to customer service and customer satisfaction. I jump through firey hoops on a daily basis to keep my clients happy. After all, everyone knows that bad news travels faster then good. Dishonest business practices and crap customer relations would put me out of business in a NY minute. I assure you that while you were not accusing me of "running a scam" I most certainly was not. As Patrick pointed out, we never even slept there. In fact we left after the shock wore off within 90 minutes. That included being verbally battered by the manager after I requested that he kindly show us to the room we were promised. We left with small children in toe after travelling all day to get there and ended up in a hotel which cost more than twice the price.

AMEX did not refuse my plee on the bases that they thought I was running a scam. The hourly employee who wrote me the most recent letter, decided that a contract is a contract is a contract and offerd me $300 towards the $930. While nobody returned my calls to voicemail land, I am on a MISSION!

When I present contracts to clients, I deliver over and above that which is expected. I should be treated with at least half of that level of consideration.
Calamari is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 07:11 PM
  #26  
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KPA may get some walk by business, however I would bet that most people keep walking once they get a look at the place. They must rely heavily on their nice website.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 07:30 PM
  #27  
 
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You go, girl!
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Oct 24th, 2003, 07:33 PM
  #28  
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Marilyn

How kind of you to read all of my blabber. I truely do appreciate your kind consideration. You are a wonderful cheerleader!
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Oct 24th, 2003, 07:57 PM
  #29  
 
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"What I said, is that because people pull scams, Calamari is probably being punished for those people that the credit cards no longer believe."

What a silly and preposterous statement. As long as Calimari did not stay in the apartment and she has pictures and documentation of her complaints, American Express owes her a full and complete refund. If I were her, I'd send all correspondence, with pictures, to the CEO of Amex.

"I am glad to hear that American Express doesn't automatically take the customer's side."

Which explains why Amex's stature has deteriorated in the last ten years and the Amex cachet is long gone. The day the merchant becomes more important than the customer is the day the plastic-card-with-no-status becomes useless.

carnie
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Oct 24th, 2003, 08:02 PM
  #30  
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Amen Sister (or brother)!
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Oct 24th, 2003, 08:38 PM
  #31  
lyb
 
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I would try to explain again that I wasn't blaming Calamari, only showing the other side's point of view, but obviously some people don't want to hear different point of views. Sorry I forgot this was a place for discussions.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 08:39 PM
  #32  
lyb
 
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>>Sorry I forgot this was a place for discussions.<<

Sorry I forgot this WASN'T a place for discussions.
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Oct 24th, 2003, 08:51 PM
  #33  
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lyb
Please do not take offense. Your input is important. It is always wise to look at any situation from every vantage point. While many of your points do not directly apply to my situation, I could certainly see your point.

I understand your frustration as a business owner when one or two bad apples balk at standards or service that were acceptable to so many before them. When this happens to me, I bend over backwards (no a pretty picture) to please them. Some of my most difficult and impossible clients have turned into gems. They have sent me referrals more valuable then thousands of dollars thrown at advertising. Because I went the extra mile for them, they have repaid my integrity ten fold.

I certainly would not presume to tell you how to run your rental business however if it meant scrubbing the entire rental with a toothbrush and a jug of bleach, I would do it. Unfortunately, just those few unsatisfied customers can tarnish the reputation of a business you and your sister have worked so hard to build. That would be a shame.

Again, I hope you will not take personally any comments here. While I do not always agree with everything I read here, I certainly learn more and more about people and what makes them tick.
Calamari is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 10:06 PM
  #34  
 
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Have you considered asking for a supervisor at AMEX to review the underling's decision to provide you with only a $300 credit? All decisions are never final. AMEX may have a mediation/arbitration department to review unsettled claims such as yours.

Right now your gripe is with AMEX for not protecting your interests. It's very easy for AMEX to create a chargeback to Kensington Park Apartments. From what you have written, it is AMEX that is giving you the $300 credit towards the $930 charge, but not charging back Kensington Park Apartments.

I suggest that you do some research and get the name of the Vice President in charge of Consumer Services for AMEX. If you go to AMEX's website, look for the investor information section. You will find AMEX's 10K which is filed with the SEC. By scanning that document (it is lengthy), the information should be at the end, you will find the names of the president, CEO, various vice presidents, but also, AMEX's general counsel. I suggest you write a very stern demand letter to all of these officials making a demand for a full credit of the $930 plus the interest. In fact, I believe that when you contest a charge that all interest is held in abeyance, and is usually not charged even if there is a resolution that your claim is denied (but this may be governed by state). Also send a copy of your letter to the attention of the Consumer Protection Department of the Attorney General's Office in the state in which you live. Another resort would be to contact your local television consumer reporters. They love stories like this, so you can let them do some legwork for you.

It also may be worthwhile to contact a lawyer and have him prepare a demand letter, as I believe that our consumer protection laws in the US will award you treble damages if you win the suit.

Calamari, do a search for "consumer protection laws" in the state in which you live. If you live in Massachusetts, you would want to look at M.G.L. Chapter 93A.
leslie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 10:14 PM
  #35  
 
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One last idea in case you want to get some national attention. Write to the Today Show's travel guru:

Peter Greenberg
Today Show
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

I only suggest this because AMEX's corporate office is in NYC.
leslie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 10:16 PM
  #36  
 
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Calamari, is this a great website, or what?
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Oct 24th, 2003, 10:19 PM
  #37  
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Leslie,

you must earn a top hourly fee for this kind of advise. I feel like I should cook dinner for you and 20 of your nearest and dearest.

I can just imagine suing KPA from across the Atlantic and then trying to collect on the judgement. I may have become synical prematurely.

I like how you think and can tell that tomorrow will be a busy day.

FYI- In California, all interest/finance charges are charged back to the consumer once a "resolution" has been made. Mind you, they may think it is resolved. Frankly, it is more a matter of principal than anything else. Thanks for your valuable advice.
Calamari is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 10:54 PM
  #38  
 
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Calamari, this is something that I'm good at, and I'm not a lawyer, although I do work for lawyers. When I moved from Massachusetts to Kansas in May, I experienced a few horror stories. The worst was that the rental truck that I rented (move it yourself), broke down. Now, I'm sure you've heard all kinds of stories about being ripped off by moving companies especially on out of state moves. Well, the same could hold true when you do it yourself and still rent a truck. Needless to say, I kept the name and telephone number of everyone I spoke to on my journey, and I kept every receipt. The truck rental company gave me a complete refund for the truck rental, all gas that I purchased for the truck, reimbursement for meals and extra nights lodging. The only things that I paid for were a few meals, one night's lodging, and tolls. Also, the truck rental company provided a swap team to move my possessions from the broken down truck to the truck that finally got me to Kansas. When I got to Kansas and unloaded my possessions, I found damage to a number of items that was caused by the swap team. The truck rental's insurer reimbursed me for all of the damage.

I was on record with the truck rental company and insurer numerous times during my journey, and I had a complete set of documents and photographs. The resolution was very cut and dry, and it only took a few telephone calls and letters after I got settled and unpacked my PC. I received full reimbursement within 30 days of my initial claim.

The second horror story was that I purchased a brand new diningroom set prior to my move. The salesman at the furniture store knew up front that I was moving, so the diningroom set was to be examined by the delivery personnel prior to my receipt. I had requested that the furniture remain wrapped and crated for my move to protect it. I had also purchased a 5-year national warranty in case there were any scratches or paint damages (I bought a Shaker-style diningroom set). Well, when we uncrated the furniture, we found that the paint did not adhere to certain areas of the chairs. I immediately called the furniture store who directed me to the company that had the national warranty. I got a run around from that company, and I got a run around from the manufacturer. Everyone was pointing fingers at each other, however, I was getting no satisfaction. The warranty company said that the warranty was not in effect because the damage was occurred by the manufacturer. The furniture store, however, was truly trying to be cooperative, but I had moved 1600 miles away. Had I examined the furniture prior to my move, I would have refused delivery. The furniture store even agreed to pay for someone locally to refinish the furniture. However, we agreed on a settlement, and I received a 50% refund on my purchase, plus a total refund on the useless "national warranty". The warranty company doesn't service Kansas. Here's the kicker, the customer service manager at the furniture store told me that the furniture was supposed to look the way it was delivered - it was supposed to look antiqued. Where the paint didn't adhere (looks like scratches) was done intentionally, however, I did not notice it in the store when I looked at the model, or else, I thought that it was normal wear and tear on a model set.

I believe that my horror stories were resolved to my satisfaction for a number of reasons; I stayed calm and always polite, I know not to shoot the messenger because an employee is working within guidelines, and to get a better resolution you have to speak to superiors that are decision makers, and lastly, although I moved out of Massachusetts, I still have family and friends that shop in this major furniture store.

Now, will I do business with the national truck rental company and furniture store again - you bet, they worked with me, and I walked away satisfied. Persistence pays off.

By the way, I'm not suggesting you sue anyone overseas, that is fruitless and expensive. I believe that you will get satisfaction. If you need any other help, let me know and I'll give you some ideas.
leslie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 11:12 PM
  #39  
 
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Calamari, one last thing (I have to get some sleep) - when you write to the executives at AMEX, etc., pose this question to them - Would you and your family have stayed here, exhausted on arrival, and paid for these accommodations under these conditions? Make sure that you include the photographs and refer them to KPA's website so that they can make their own judgment call.

By the way, you said [referring to your conversation with AMEX employees] "It was the live operators that pointed out the fact that I signed a contract based on false and misleading information provided on the web."

What a ridiculous comment for them to make. No one intentionally signs a rental contract based on false and misleading information.

I checked KPA's website. Is there some reason that KPA primarily shows off the livingroom in that IPX 360 degree format? You can barely see the other interior rooms.
leslie is offline  
Oct 24th, 2003, 11:15 PM
  #40  
 
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I should have typed "No one signs a rental contract making the assumption that the information is false and misleading."

Off to dreamland, TTFN.
leslie is offline  

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