NAGS HEAD, NORTH CAROLINA -- Best of the Beach? No longer - I guess the now ex-number one tends to get very complacent about customers.
I rented the house "Amber Nights" in South Nags Head through Stan White Realty, for a week this summer, as we have done for most of the past decade. It was nice to get my family back together. My newlywed son and wife made do by moving a twin bed next to its mate, however, a distance of maybe two feet. Apparently this was a gross breach of the rental contract, especially since they failed to move it back to the original position and I didn't notice it being out of its prescribed position.
The realtor informed us that the cleaning lady has a torn ACL and did not think she should move it back, so they dispatched a maintenance service to do so, for a $60 charge - nice profit for ~10 seconds work. They then called me to inform me that they were billing the $60 to my credit charge, but neglected to mention that they do this through a service that charges an additional $29.95 for the privilege. When I asked why they weren't billing the insurance that they pretty much mandate, they said "because there were no damages".
Funny, they didn't offer us any discounts for the broken dishwasher, dryer, and wifi that were part of the rental. $90 seems a bit much for ~10 seconds worth of work - so I called the billing service, and at their request my credit card company and de-authorized the payment. I also had my bank send a check for $60 and my incensed wife wrote an email to Stan White (still no reply). I thought that that would be the end of it, and that I might select future rentals from one of the numerous other realties, since Stan White obviously does not like customers with good long term rental histories. I doubt that the house owner would be too pleased either.
Then I got my un-cashed check back with a statement showing a zero balance. Could it be that they came to their senses and waived the fee? Alas, no they showed a credit from the credit billing agency, so I had to call the realtor yet again to straighten it out. Then the real nastiness began. A "manager" told me that they don't accept personal checks for "deposit" bills and that I had to use the credit card and pay the fee. MasterCard had told me that the fee was outrageous and probably against their contract which I mentioned to the manager, who assured me that ripping off their customers is all perfectly legal.
I mentioned that it was a bank check I sent them so she told me to calm down. (I was nearly yelling because it was the only way to get a word in edgewise - the manager was totally uninterested in anything I had to say). I told her that I had de-authorized the payment and she indicated that was fine they would dispute it with MasterCard. I asked for Stan White, and was told he was unavailable. I asked for her boss, but she was on the phone - would I like to be called back? I said I'll expect the call this morning, she said it will be when the boss finds it convenient.
I donât know yet how the story ends. Will reason prevail? It seems unlikely. Will they accept a bank check for $60? Is a history of more that $25,000 in rental business worth waiving a ridiculous $60 fee? Is the highly biased contract worth signing ever again? Does the owner want their house to go unrented? The only good I can see coming of this is perhaps sparing someone else the hassle, so OBX renters beware.