This is just to warn everyone about a company my mother and father inlaw used to book a private apartment in tenerife.
My mother and father in law booked an apartment for one week in tenerife back in October. They arrived to find the apartment was disgustingly dirty, mould on grout on floors, oven with cooked in dirt, patio furniture torn and falling apart. Tiles and paint tins and rubbish pilled up on the balcony..... the list goes on.
Contacted Karen Durant who owns Holidays4u.org on arrival to sort out issues and gave her untill 12pm the following day. She never sorted anything out, kept giving excuses, then they heard nothing from her the next morning but got a text to ask if they were sure they were in the correct apartment, Bear in mind they had the keys before leaving UK and I would hope they would only open the one apartment.
In the end I had to book them into another hotel and they left after 12pm the following day. On return to UK we proceded to contact Karen Durant to get back the money for the apartment, she refused and it meant we had to take this to the small claims court.
Once court procedings were issued and a date had been set (yes she said she was defending it ) we contacted her three weeks before the hearing to see if she wanted to settle out of court and it would save her travel expenses from England to NI, she replied back stating no we will see you in court
The court date was yesterday, she turned up to defend. The case was heard and the judge decided in our favour and awarded the cost of the apartment plus £50 compensation for the night they had to stay.
Karen Durant has a list of companies she trades under. If you google her name you can see we are not the only ones to have issues. This is a list of the companies I have gathered so far:
Thankfully its over and we can put this experience behind us.
Link to some of the photos taken in the apartment http://s1062.photobucket.com/albums/t486/allymc316/
To be honest, one look at the website would have sent me running - no address and only a mobile phone number, Nor is her name mentioned, had it been Google would have shown complaints going back about 4 years. This one is quite good http://dreadstar-rambling.blogspot.com/2010/10/karen-durant-travel-agent-to-avoid.html
You can add http://rosaliacottage.co.uk to the list (Devon) although that one does show name and address - with the same mobile number.
The big problem here is that the vast majority of people will not check before they book, most only research after things go wrong.
She wrote a cheque on the spot to stop a CCJ against her credit report. Money has been received and banked. Only positive thing to come out of the whole mess!
Tenerife is the best island I've been. And I recommend everybody to visit it. However my advice "ANYWAY AVOID KAREN DURANT AND holidays4u.org" It's 100% fraud. If you want to throw your money apply to Karen. here are some reasons why I say so
- apartments on her site and real apartments are different (as you understand on photo they are perfect)
- you can prepay for it but next day Karen Durant can say that it's already booked and she offers you to rent another. Nice idea, because you' ve already paid and won't refund.
- Karen Durant wants 100% prepayment. No one agents work the same. Prepayment is 20-30% no more
- if you want to cancel because of force Majeure YOU WANT GET YOUR MONEY BACK.
- you can find in Google dozenz negative reviews about Karen. (more than 2/3 of her clients applied to the court
I had a look at her website and it plainly says, several times, that the contract is between you and the apartment owner and that she acts only as an agent.
I guess that this is essentially what travel republic etc do and wonder therefore, if you won your case then people with issues with TR etc should have the same results.
THE COMMUNITY FEES WERE NOT PAID FOR THIS APARTMENT.
The internet wasn't available as the community fees weren't paid, as the fee wasn't paid we asked for the public liability providers name for the apartment & Karen ignored this request, so that left us coming to the conclusion there was no insurance on thus apartment.
This apartment is over a crèche & from early morning there is constant crying from the children, so if you are looking forward to a nice quiet breakfast on the balcony, forget it.
The apartment was filthy & very badly maintained, the equipment advertised on the website were NOT in the apartment.
When we arrived there were no bulbs in the living area & Karen from Holidays4u.org told us that as this was a self catering apartment we were responsible for the bulbs. She also said that she was not going to provide the radio & we should rent a DVD player & we would be reimbursed at the end of our holiday. We bought a DVD player, as renting was bothersome & more expensive than a new one, we told her it was €30 with that she told us it wasn't a good one, so at the end of the holiday we just gave it away, as we didn't need to be subjected to any more of Karen's horrible customer service.
The shower was over the plastic/ fibre glass bath and was very slippy when used, we asked for a non slip mat & were told to use the mat form the floor, so it was a case of either slipping in the bath or out of the bath, Karen later sent a message saying she wouldn NOT provide a non slip mat in case people would pick up verrucas.
We were there for 3 weeks and from the beginning Karen just told us to move out, find another place & she would return two thirds of the full amount, she was taking a weeks full money for one day.
This women is an absolute nightmare to deal with and under NO circumstances could we recommend her nor her company or any company she is involved with.
We were offered another apartment which we could only stay in for 2 weeks. This was part of a seven week holiday.
We were met at the airport by a woman called Nikky, whom we found out later was well known around Tenerife, who turned up over half an hour late with the excuse that she was stuck in traffic. ( Start of the Lies.). When we carried on quizzing her she admitted that she hadn't been given the revised details and didn't actually leave her place to pick us up until she got the phone call from us saying that we had arrived and where was she.
She also had the cheek to ask for another 5 euro's on top of the agreed transfer fee because it was a local bank holiday and as she charges the same as local taxis she wanted the extra 5 euros.
She told us that the apartment in The Panorama was in a bad state due to the flooding but workmen were going in en masse on Tuesday the 8th Jan and it would be ready within the 2 weeks and we could move into it. ( Lie. )
We went to look at the Panorama and looked at the apartment on the 16th Jan and no work had been started. We spoke to the people at reception who told us that the apartment had been damaged some months ago. Well before my wife received the mail to say that it had just been flooded.
We were also told , by reception, that the apartment could not be let out as it was illegal to do so, under Spanish Law.
( we visited this apartment a couple of days before we left Tenerife and work had still not been started. For Nikky to say that the apartment would be ready in a couple of weeks meant that she must have had a start date. Another lie. )
Later that same day we received a mail to say that we had to be out of the apartment by the 22nd Jan 2019 and the only apartment available was high in the hills across the motorway.
We declined the offer as we were to be in Tenerife a further 4 weeks or more and to constantly have to take taxis to get anywhere was not acceptable.
They told us that they couldn't help any further and would refund part of the money that we had paid.
We were then left stranded and spent 2 days looking all over Tenerife for accommodation.
I mailed Karen to say how we felt and that we wanted 200 euro compensation for losing 2 days holiday trying to sort accommodation which was really down to her.
She agreed but to this date we haven't received a penny. ( Another lie)
I would stay far away from this company , Karen and Nikky as they are deceitful ,lying, parasites.
When we finally got sorted it was with the very helpful Maria and Sabrina at Flamingo Properties in El Duque. Highly recommended.
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