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Paris A La Carte Apartment Rental Review - Bad Experience

Paris A La Carte Apartment Rental Review - Bad Experience

Sep 29th, 2010, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
confused. You provide someone with number and PIN?

Maybe I'm confused as to what 'debit' is defined as here. Is it really taking money out of banking account?
Michel_Paris is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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BTW Insurance is usually meant to cover circumstances beyond one's control, that is why you take it out. For unforeseen situations.
Christina is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 09:03 AM
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You usually just give them the number, not the pin, although I have heard of being able to punch the pin into the phone. It processes as if it were a credit card, but the rules are different both for the merchant and the customer. It costs the merchant less, and will come directly out of your account, sometimes instantly, sometimes in a day or so.
persimmondeb is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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There are some banks who permit the use of temporary or one-time pin numbers on debit transactions.

Buy the insurance and buy the right insurance.

That's a $3500 lesson learned.
Continental_Drifter is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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The owner and the rental company blocked the time for you and probably refused other interested parties in renting that apartment. They would have lost money if they refunded the money as they turned away rentals.

Take responsibility for your holiday and not expect others to pay. Insurance is the way to go now with the way travelling is.
TPaxe is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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On the Paris A La Carte website, there's a page for paying with a credit card via their secure server. A USA debit card can be used in the same manner as a credit card (and without a PIN).
djkbooks is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 12:21 PM
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"Even the 58 Tour Eiffel returned our deposit!"

No comparison. It's a restaurant, not an apartment. Other diners probably filled in so they weren't losing money.

If this happened to me I'd be upset too but mad at myself for not taking the insurance.
Luisah is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Well, a few responses are in order, I suppose!

First, why haven't we responded yet? Because we don't check this constantly, we just got home from work.

Second, of COURSE we should have bought travel insurance given what we lost. Our point here is that we find it incredible that other providers gave us credits for a circumstance truly beyond our control. This was not "Oh, the Bullions slept late and missed their flight, I suppose if we can re-rent it, we'll refund them." It was a volcano, we want to go back to Paris the next year, and other people credited us. Like the airlines, who COULD have given us a credit and not a refund, it's happened to me, and like another establishment where we put up a down payment.

Third, I take the point about not having traveled there, therefore is this truly a "review"? But we searched and searched, and couldn't find a place to put a review save here and Travelocity. And yes, instead of typing up different reviews - with the same meaning, I copied it. But we didn't plaster it around the internet. If you have other spots that would be better, we'll post it there instead.

Fourth, for those interested, it was a debit card that to them was really just a credit card. But for us, it was cash immediately gone from the account. (As we said, it was cheaper at the time, but now that I think about it, I'm not sure a credit card would have been any better.)

So like we said, A La Carte Paris did not break any rules or laws, and we could have saved heartache by purchasing the 99.999999% useless insurance. But their decision, we think, is short-sighted and not a little bit mean. We're angry, certainly using someone else next time, upset with ourselves, and missed a vacation in Paris. (We went to Florida.)
BubbaChubba is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 03:18 PM
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Oh, one last point - there was ZERO attempt on their part even to be helpful. Not even a compromise. Nada.
BubbaChubba is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 03:22 PM
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(Erratum: I am reminded we posted to Trip Advisor, not Travelocity.)
BubbaChubba is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 03:38 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with posting this thread. The OP admits he/she should have bought insurance and that the company doesn't legally owe him/her a dime. However, it seems like in cases such as these (volcano, flights grounded after 9/11) many companies went the extra mile for their customers to alleviate a bad situation that was in no way the traveler's fault. OP wasn't asking for a refund - just a credit to use at a later date. I would think in the interest of public relations the company would have offered something to the OP. Perhaps even a partial credit toward future travel or something of the like. I know they aren't obligated, but imagine the good PR they would have received - "wow this company went above and beyond to help us! We will definitely use/recommend them in the future!"
Attnymom is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 04:56 PM
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Sorry - I don;t think this is a bad experience. You signed a contract and they enforced it - rather than take a loss due to an act of god. Some agencies might give you a partial credit or something - but that would be generous on their part.

You certainly have the right to patronize another agency since you wanted them to cut you a special break and they wouldn;t. And that's your expectation. But I would suggest that most companies wouldn;t refund for something they couldn;t resell to someone else.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 05:51 PM
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I can see the airlines giving you money back or a credit, they didn't fly.

I don't agree that buying travel insurance is 99% of the time a waste. You're buying piece of mind. If I was at a blackjack table with a 20 in my hand and $3500.00 bet on the table and they offered me insurance at $175.00 EVERYTIME.

You should look at travel insurance as protecting your risk of loss. IF X happens, you'll get back your $3500.00. The risk may be low, but at 5% of the cost, especially with that cost at $500.00 per day, travel insurance isn't even debated.
apersuader65 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 08:56 PM
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I don't really consider this to be bad publicity for the agency, but more a word of warning concerning ALL apartment agencies. Agencies can't really be judged on how they will react to unforeseeable (and uninsured) circumstances. Any agency that would say "oh, we would always refund the customer in full if that happened!" probably would not be able to stay in business very long.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 29th, 2010, 09:22 PM
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"I don't really consider this to be bad publicity for the agency, but more a word of warning concerning ALL apartment agencies. Agencies can't really be judged on how they will react to unforeseeable (and uninsured) circumstances."

True - unfortunately the title is a total slam at ONE agency (who actually did nothing 'wrong').

A better title might have been Warning: Travel insurance is very important when renting an apartment.

But then that wasn't OP's intent -- to advise others to get insurance, but rather to complain about Paris a la Carte
janisj is online now  
Sep 30th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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I think divulging personal info about the guy is out of line --and even vindictive.
k9korps is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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I'm not sure I agree that the lesson here is to buy travel insurance when renting an apartment rather it should be to buy travel insurance if you don't want to self insure.

It's now looking like the OP is not really suffering from losing the $3500, he's just annoyed that his self insurance didn't work out and he had hoped that Ala Carte Paris would bail him out.

The above blackjack analogy is not the same as what happened here. With a 20 in my hand I'd buy insurance at 5% if I could since the dealer has over a 7% chance of getting 21.
Roger1x is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 10:50 AM
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Agree k9korps - it was not necessary to put it the link about personal info.
Sue878 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 11:04 AM
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It's quite clear that A La Carte did nothing wrong, and the OP admits this. That they are substantially less flexible than other firms that he dealt with is valid information. In hind sight, he should have purchased insurance, but he did not, and in all fairness, the circumstances were not only unpredictable, but wildly unlikely. Many people, myself included, will only purchase insurance if they can foresee circumstances that would prevent them from travelling. Obviously, this is an object lesson in forces beyond one's control.

Just because the OP seems to be in a better position to stand the loss than many of us, that does not mean he does not have a right to be annoyed by losing $3500.
persimmondeb is offline  
Sep 30th, 2010, 11:12 AM
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persimmondeb makes good points.

So does k9corps!
Leely2 is offline  

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