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Beware of using ApartmentsRamblas in Barcelona

Beware of using ApartmentsRamblas in Barcelona

Oct 3rd, 2009, 07:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Beware of using ApartmentsRamblas in Barcelona

In April of this year we booked an apartment through http://www.apartmentsramblas.com/. We arrived to take up our reservation at 10.45pm on Saturday 5th September. However, the apartment was completely unacceptable as a holiday let for the following reasonsbr />
• The initial entrance door to the property was insecure. There there was a missing panel of glass in the door and no lock. It would have been a serious security issue in any city, but given the area of Barcelona in which building was situated it presented major security problems.
• The entrance hall was filthy, with greasy layers of dirt on all the walls. On the date of our arrival we noted a used condom on the floor at ground floor level which gave rise to further concerns.
• We were prepared for the fact that the apartment was on the 5th floor and that there was no lift, but half the lighting was unserviceable on the staircases which presented an unacceptable risk to anyone using the staircase.
• In addition to the broken lighting, several of the steps were badly broken with loose tiling on the leading edges of the steps. This was a severe health hazard to anyone using the stairs.
• All the walls on the staircase were coated in greasy filth and had obviously not been cleaned for several years.
• On initial entry to the apartment we were greeted with a bucket right in our pathway, the bucket had at least a centimeter of grime coating it’s top surfaces.
• The bathroom emitted a smell of bad drains.
• The apartment bore little resemblance to the photos on their website. The brightly coloured sofa-bed was covered in a dirty looking grey blanket and the pretty bedspread was nowhere in evidence. All in all a dingy facsimile of the photos.

Please see the reality here http://s161.photobucket.com/albums/t...view=slideshow

We refused to stay at the apartment and were faced with finding a hotel at gone 11pm on a Saturday night. The person from Apartments Ramblas who met us with the keys seemed to think the hallway was perfectly acceptable and he was very unhelpful. We did find an excellent hotel (http://www.denit.com) with helpful and welcoming staff.

We went to Apartments Ramblas office on the Monday to complain, but they were not interested. We subsequently emailed them on our return home asking for a refund of our booking fee. They refused on the grounds that the accommodation was perfectly acceptable.

WARNING! Do not book through this website unless you are prepared for severe disappointment, bad service, dirty accommodation and a couldn't care less attitude.
PattiP_01 is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 228
sounds awful. good luck on getting a refund.
pauljagman is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
Please send them the photos and your request in writing to this fax

34 933 969 190. or by email to the head of teh company.
If you need more help if they still don't respond I will do the best I can. This is appalling and should have some press coverage.
lincasanova is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,472
thanks for posting
was the company recommended by someone?
danon is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 12:14 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Well - it's obvious the place was a dump and not suitable for renting.

My only question - was the price they charged appropriate for the accommodation (that is was it perhaps 1/3 as much as nicer apartments?).

If the price was way less than decent places - it;s a case of you get what you pay for. If they were charging the going rate - obviously you deserve a refund. Don;t know how you can get it if you paid in cash. But, I would post this on as many travel boards as possible, including the one you found it on - and make an official complaint to the Government Tourist Office in Barcelona.

Separately, given the reputation of Las Ramblas I would never rent an apartment there without some sort of guarantee that the apartment was decent.
nytraveler is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
This is not the frist incident I have heard of from people I personally know who have been totally "had" in barcelona at apartments in the Ramblas area. Hopefully this will get to the tourist board, Hacienda ( tax department), Hotel licensing departmentand to the Mayor also under a headline of "Welcome to Barcelona" .

A place like this should NEVER be ACCEPTED by this agency who claims to "cut out the middle man".

Maybe one needs a "middle man" to check things out.

I am sure these places are NOT legalized to be renting out.
lincasanova is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 20,300
That looks horrible! I don't blame you for being upset. I'd be interested in seein the photos they posted on their website. Which apartment was it? And do you have photos of the apartment or just the hallway?
goddesstogo is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 15
I'm a "middle man" who acts as a booking agency for apartments in Barcelona and agree with lincasanova's comment. We just completed a visit to Barcelona in which we met with five property owners and inspected - in one case stayed in - their apartments.
Generally I think most booking agencies and owners are responsible, but it's still best to use someone you've thoroughly investigated. And I second the idea that you must be extra careful in the Ramblas area, especially on the El Raval side.
rbartizek is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 03:56 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 795
Agree with NYT that it was a dump and also with LisaCasanova--that it probably was not legally rented as a holiday apartment.

I hope you paid "dump" prices. I looked at the renting agency's website the Op listed and it's pretty clear they aren't interested in taking responsibility for anything. Their concept of customer service seems to be even worse than Ryanair's.
Passerine is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 08:29 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 12,492
A lot of people/institutions are really interested in getting rid of these illegal rentals over here. They are such competition for the agencies that actually have a license and pay taxes and are investing in the country's well-being.

Not enough investigation is done from the government side.. and there are probably so many loopholes in the outdated law that there are other more important situations to be following.

But this is about the worst one I have seen. Bargain price or not.. no one could ever claim this doorway should be crossed, especially at night.

I hope you carry this through and at least make the authorities aware of its existence.

I would be happy to help with a translation to present to several bodies and newspapers that may be able to clamp down on them.
lincasanova is offline  

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