rudest rental agency in Rome

Jan 21st, 2008, 11:02 AM
  #1  
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rudest rental agency in Rome

Renters beware of Roman Homes. The man who runs the agency, Dr. Mauro is so rude, it will shock you. You can search the site for other posts but they are all pretty old. I wanted to put a fresh update to let people to know to avoid this company at all costs. As reported by other members, Dr, Mauro's responses are so full of venom and rudeness that one can only conclude that he must be unstable. We put a deposit on one of his apartments and later discovered this message board. What I read caused me some concern and I contacted Dr. Mauro to confirm that the apartment we had secured was indeed quiet and clean. I also asked about his cancellation policy. His response was suspicious, wondering where I had heard about noisy apartments and he also made it clear that they do not refund deposits. I sent another email asking for a reference of someone who had stayed in this same apartment. I will include highlights of his response below.
"Your umpteenth message with doubts, clearly indicating that you are still undecided whether finalizing the rental of the apartment, passes the landmark of normality and entails big potential damages for the proprietors (last and not least to the agency)."

"(1) "REFERENCES":

References in Europe are not considered due diligence but possibly borderline illegal.
It is rather a North American habit, maybe also British. In Italy,
it is the potential tenant who must supply references (in other words, in North
America tenants think that the ones renting should convince them, in Italy
it is the opposite: tenants should convince the agency or the proprietors,
as homes are very expensive and the Italians care a lot about their homes
and about manners). We do not follow both criteria for the
same reason (they are not international criteria, but rather regional).

- references can be organized dishonestly by bad people in cahoots, telling
you all they want."

And Finally:
The potential damage of your behaviour:We are giving you FIVE BUSINESS DAYS to send another 50% deposit.- If you don't agree, then we will consider yours as a de facto cancellation, for which you will lose the (modest) deposit you sent.

Needless to say we secured another apartment with another rental agency where the prices are much cheaper and the people are actually friendly and easy to deal with. We had to eat the the $650 that Mauro calls "modest". The other company only charged 1/3 of that amount to put a deposit on their apartment. Go figure. If you want more info on the company we are renting from feel free to email me.
ringading is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 11:15 AM
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Wow!

That's all kinds of crazy. Since you asked any other questions, he demanded you either send him more money (despite your already being in the midst of an implied or even explicit contract) or he was going to steal the 100's of dollars you'd already sent him?? Whoa...

Doesn't Italy have some laws on this sort of thing?
Clifton is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 11:18 AM
  #3  
 
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There were negative reviews of this agency on SlowTrav, but they had to be removed due to litigation threats. I remember this happened some time ago. You can see the remnants here. Sorry you had to have that happen.

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/vr/review.asp?n=2042
WillTravel is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:01 PM
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My goodness! Buyer (or renter) beware! After reading his response to your inquiry, I would never consider dealing with his agency.

We are renting an apartment for the first time for our next trip to Paris. We are using vacationinparis.com, and they happily supplied me with several references.
luckygirl322 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Oh my god...is there nothing this poster can do to reclaim their deposit?
lucygirl is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:08 PM
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How horrible!
Duly noted - I will never risk renting from this agency and will warn others not to as well.
Thank you for sharing your experience and I am so very sorry this happened to you. The owner sounds like a complete crook!
TexasAggie is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:12 PM
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You are new on Fodors so probably don't know about this guy.

Dr Abate (I think his first name is Mauro) used to post on here all the time. This was years and years ago - maybe in 2000/2001-ish. Then he changed his screen name a few times. Boy, did this bring back memories. I haven't seen anything from him in a long, long time. But he seemed like a real nut case.

Be glad you are done w/ him. But I don't think you have any recourse to get your deposit back.
janisj is online now  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:32 PM
  #8  
 
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On Slow Travel, Pauline who ran the site, listed several reviews on Roman Homes even though she knew of the problems reported on Fodor's. This is how Dr. Abate reacted http://slowtalk.com/groupee/forums/a...4255#625104255
Henry is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 12:35 PM
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Oh, janis, thanks for clearing that up. I wouldn't have picked up on the name. Yes, that Dr. Abate was way beyond merely abnormal. I think he needs to be locked up somewhere. I'd say ringading's unfortunate loss of deposit is a small price to pay for not actually having to deal with that guy!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:09 PM
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Has anyone reported Dr. Abate to the Italian Tourist Board or other authorities?
StCirq is online now  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:19 PM
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I think it was right after 911 that I first came onto Fodor's and I remember reading about Dr. Abate at that time. This fellow sure makes a reputation for himself doesn't he? Ringading, I am so sorry that you lost your deposit. I am glad that you started this thread so newer Fodorites will have the opportunity to read about how Dr. Abate handles his business.

I hope when you return from Rome you will find time to give us a trip report. Wishing you a wonderful trip!
LoveItaly is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:35 PM
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You forfeited your deposit because you didn't like an emails TONE? You implied in your email (after your deposit) that you were not sure the apt. was "quiet and clean"? Based on what?! A lot a people could take offense at that.

Anyway, we rented through Roman Homes in 05 and had a perfectly pleasant experience all around. This included a driver waiting for us at FCO and someone waiting at the apartment. Also, our 1BR apt. on Via Giulia was very spacious, convenient, and drop-dead gorgeous (as was the area neighborhood).

I'm curious as to how many posters (if any) on this thread have actually stayed at any of the Roman Homes apartments???
bardo1 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:40 PM
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bardo: No one said the flats aren't great - wonderful even. We are saying Dr Abate can be totally impossible to deal with. Looney toons IMHO. Just based on his posts on here - I wouldn't stay in one of his places if it was a grand palace for €100 a week . . . . .


janisj is online now  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Oh, by the way, ringading, nice first post. Welcome to Fodors.
bardo1 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:50 PM
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bardo1 - we KNOW this was ringading's first post. However, Dr Abate had a long and "glorious" history on fodors. Every word in ringading's post rings true just based on the crazy things Dr Abate posted on here and on slowtravel.

Great that you had a good experience.
janisj is online now  
Jan 21st, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Very true about Mr. Abate's behaviour. I remember having email exchange in similar tone with him. Good luck, he offended me already BEFORE I sent him any deposit, so I never did...
franco is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 02:11 PM
  #17  
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Wow! I am overwhelmed by all good will and commiserating posts. Thank you Fodors friends! I do take responsibility for not doing more research prior to sending in my deposit. As the rudeness in the emails escalated I began to fear that the entire experience would be miserable. I have rented many vacation rentals in various US cities and have never had an experience like this. Quite frankly, it was worth it to lose the deposit just so that I can give my money to a professional organization that does not abuse potential customers. For all I know, the apartment we were planning to rent from Roman Homes might be a palace but it would never be worth the aggravation and insulting way we were treated.
ringading is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:06 PM
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"I'm curious as to how many posters (if any) on this thread have actually stayed at any of the Roman Homes apartments???"

bardo1; I'm curious if in '05 you searched (I assume you didn't) for RomanHomes on the net would you still have rented from them?

Google would have pulled-up negative Fodors posts that would lead to negative Slowtrav posts that would lead to 1 or 2 negative websites.
And other websites like
tripadvisor which also might have negative info.

I remember the pulled original thread from years ago where he played the injured party and the many posts from 1st timers who *just happened* to be surfing the web and *just happened* to come across that thread. Odd back then Fodors' post were not archived in google (maybe Deja then) ?
Regards, Walter
ParadiseLost is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 06:41 PM
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Bardo, for you to side with this bizarro Dr.Abate (of whom I ahve read much here and mainly in Slowtrav) is not logical. How can you call his behavior normal and take umbrage on the OP asking for more info, after reading about the problems with DR. Abate?

Great, you had a good experience with him, but many other renters have had awful experiences. The man sounds unstable and I for one I'm grateful to the OP for posting about it.
cruiseluv is offline  
Jan 21st, 2008, 07:29 PM
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I have also had the misfortune of dealing with Dr. Mauro Abate. I had read a positive review on Fodors from bardo1 regarding romanhomes.

I had already contacted another agency and had a 48 hr hold on an apartment. I was still searching for the 'perfect' apartment, and after reading bardo1's post, I went to the website and found an apartment I liked much better. I emailed asking if it could be rented for only 5 nights since the website said it was rented weekly. My 48 hrs on the other apartment was up the next morning at 10 AM, so I contacted them via Skype and was told my request would be handled in the order received and he would not tell me if a 5 night rental would be considered.

I waited til almost 10 - had not heard from him so I sent my deposit info for the other apartment. That evening I received an email from Dr. Abate telling me the apartment was available. I wrote him back and told him "I only had 2 hours left before I had to make a commitment on the other apartment or lose it. Since I didn't know if your apartment would be available, I had to make a decision and I'm very disappointed that I missed getting to rent your apartment. I sent my deposit for the other apartment, but if there are any problems that would cause it to be canceled I will certainly check back with you to see if your apartment is still available."
More to follow.....
JJ127 is offline  

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