People usually try to avoid broken glass while on vacation.
A family says they were shocked when they arrived at the “luxury” villa they rented in Los Angeles. According to them, the building was covered with rubble, exposed pipes, broken glass and other signs of active construction.
The Russel-Illingworth family, from England, booked their vacation for January, news agency South West News Service (SWNS) reports. They say that when they arrived, however, it appeared to be in the middle of a massive renovation, despite them having paid over $3,000 to rent it for a week through Booking.com.
“Staying in Los Angeles is something we have always dreamed of doing,” Becky Russell-Illingworth told SWNS. “Mark went in the villa first to check it out. But when he came back to the car he said, ‘Love, we’re not staying here, it’s not suitable.’ So I went in afterward. I walked out to the back and just thought, 'Oh my God.' I could not believe what I was seeing. It was a bomb site and I was just so shocked. I was angry and very upset.”
Her husband says that “the stairways were covered in metal and there were bits of glass everywhere. The pool was full but it was a horrible green color and had glass in it. It was like I was standing in a building yard.”
While the family was able to find other accommodations nearby, they say they were initially only offered a 30 percent refund for the original rental (which was later increased to 40 percent).
The family says that after contacting Booking.com and getting in touch with someone they believe to be the rental property’s owner, they were able to get a full refund.
In a statement obtained by SWNS, a spokesperson for Booking.com said, “Because our overarching aim is to facilitate smooth and enjoyable travel experiences, in the very rare instance that a customer might show up to a property and it does not meet their expectations, our customer service team is on hand 24/7 to investigate and advocate on their behalf, including relocating them to another property if needed. We have apologized for the customer's experience due to the renovations taking place by the property and have offered to cover the cost of their alternative accommodation, alongside additional compensation. Furthermore, we are working closely with the property to ensure that they set accurate expectations for our customers in the future with the information they list on Booking.com, particularly with regards to any renovations.”