RODANTHE (OUTER BANKS), NORTH CAROLINA -- I just returned from the Outer Banks from the worst vacation I have ever had. For one year I have planned my first family vacation in ten years. Decided to rent a home for the week in the town of Rondanthe (Hatteras Island Estates)in the Outer Banks of North Carolina through Surf or Sound Realty. After a very crueling drive to the Outer Banks, we were exhausted but excited to start our vacation. The house was gorgeous but not very clean. Master bath on the fourth floor had hair covering the floor, the shower, and curtain. And I mean ALL types of hair. Then I proceeded to the kitchen, clumps of food were in every corner. Okay, It's not perfect. I go to the living room area and notice something under the couch. Pieces of dried up playdough left by previous tenants and the house was "cleaned" before we got there. Now I'm annoyed. Rental Companies advertise that homes in the Outer Banks are cleaner than your own. Because I had a two year old in the home and the rental agency was closed I cleaned up the food on the kitchen floor and the playdough. I cleaned my bathroom because it was very nasty and I could not use it with all the hair all over the floor and shower.
Sunday morning I get a call from the realtor stating to me that the house is up for sale and they were bringing prospective buyers through between 11 and 2. They gave me really no choice they pretty much just said We are coming and that's it. So the owner of the home shows up around 12:30 to show his home to these buyers. My day now is pretty much screwed. We planned to go to the lighthouses in the area but I was very hesitant to leave with my personal items in the house knowing that strangers would be walking through every room. Now I have paid close to $5,000.00 to rent this house for the week. Surf or Sound Realty gave me the impression that I didn't have a say about any of this. I was just stunned by the way I was being treated by these people. I was at a loss on what to say or do at this point. So I rearranged my vacation to accommodate them.. this happened twice during my stay.
Monday morning we were awakened around 8 am by this intense construction noise. Nail guns, construction cranes, pile drivers, generators, pumps, trucks pulling in and out of my driveway...trailers hauling pieces of these houses...and where is all this going on...not 10 feet from my house. Not only are they building 1 house they are building 3, right next to me and all are on a deadline to be finished by July 1st. And because the builder who was also the owner of our home had no temporary eclectic service for his construction site, They tapped into our electric. They were constantly blowing our breakers and had to come in the gameroom to where the breaker box was located. Or he had generators running. So to be able to go out and RELAX by the pool was impossible, the noise from the generators was so loud you had to scream to person sitting next to you to be heard. The entire house at times vibrated from all the machinery being run outside. My daughter and I both cleaned the gameroom before we left and saw no damage to anything: and believe me with the way I was treated by the parties involved I paid very close attention and making sure that the gameroom and the rest of the house was perfect so they could not come back and say we did something. But they did anyway. I'm am being charged for damage done to a pole in the gameroom for the amount of $200.00. Even though numerous people not in MY party were in and out continuously: As we were packing to leave the workers were waiting with baded breath for us to get out so they could come into the home. So, who really did the damage to the gameroom? If it had been my party I would have been honest and upfront with them just like I was with the rail outside.
My driveway was blocked by all the construction vehicles we could not freely come and go, and when we did we had to go through the grass next to the driveway which was next to these houses being built to get out and needless to say 2 of our vehicles had to have tires repaired due to nails being in them. Can I definitely say this is where the nails came from, NO, but any intelligent person can draw their own conclusion. Not only were they blocking our access to the house they were also blocking emergency vehicles from reaching us if we needed them because the whole street was blocked by vehicles numerous times and for long periods of time.
My family and I tried very hard to make the best out of this very bad situation that we were put into by no fault of our own. In my opinion, the parties involved should have had more respect for me and my family and told us that construction was going on and give us the choice of staying at this house after all the facts were disclosed, or offering us a refund, or another house at a different location. We work very hard for our money when I enter an agreement with someone I expect people to be up front and honest with me. In my opinion,the parties involved were not. I was: with them. I had a pirates of the caribbean party for the kids. I placed a banner of pirate flags on a rail by the pool. With the weather, part of the banner damaged the paint. I immediately called and reported this. Took full responsibility. The owner came by surveyed the damage and stated that it would take $300.00 to repaint the rail: but for all our "inconvenience" he would not charge us to have the rail repainted. In my opinion, this in no way compensated us for any of our "inconveniences": It was like spitting in the ocean.
In all my experience with rental agencies, Surf or Sound Realty has been the worst rental agency that I have ever dealt with. They never offered an apology, In my opinion, they treated my family and myself like dirt. I will never use Surf or Sound Realty again and I will not recommend anyone that would ask me to use them either. In my opinion, Surf or Sound and the owner of Hatteras Island Estates owe me a full and complete refund with an apology for ruining our vacation.
SALVO, NORTH CAROLINA -- I so wish I had searched the internet before I rented from this company. What started out as a great vacation turned into a nightmare!!! Toward the end of our week one of our guest discovered what they thought might be bed bugs and sure enough that's what they were. Pest control showed up Friday morning and found them throughout the top floor of rental (**).
I called Surf or Sound Realty Friday afternoon at 4, expecting to discuss this issue and never received a return phone call. Then when I went to the office the next morning I was treated as if it didn't matter that bed bugs were at our vacation rental and it was no big deal. The one customer service lady even tried to tell me she lost her phone the night before and that is why she could not return my phone call!!! What a Joke!!!! They have no clue what Customer Service is!!!
I will never rent from this company again or recommend them. And if I was the owner of the vacation house, I would choose another company to manage my property, especially one that has better procedures for checking for bed bugs.
AVON, NORTH CAROLINA -- If I could give Surf or Sound (Avon location) a minus 5, I definitely would in the customer service department. We arrived @ 2:00 pm and called to see if our house was ready, since that is the earliest they allow. We were told it was not, but decided to drive by just to check out the house, only to find the cleaning personnel just leaving. We waited until 3 to call back to check on the time we could pick up the keys, and again we were told it wasn't ready. Finally by 4 we still hadn't received a call to tell us it was ready, so stopped into the office.
A woman behind the desk was on the phone with another renter and put her on hold to complain to a co-worker that the renter had called twice to check on their house and was getting on her nerves, then said she will be getting into her house late for all the phone calls to me... I proceeded to ask when our house might be ready and she said the inspector was at the house (which was a lie because my sister was parked in the driveway since 3:00 and nobody came or went) and it would be ready momentarily, went to sit in the driveway and wait for the call that they promised would be momentarily.. No phone call.
My brother-in-law went back over to Surf or Sound, which was just across the street from our rental house @ 5:00 and was told it was still not ready! So he left to join us in the driveway, but before he even got back to the house, Surf or Sound called my cell to tell me the keys were in the box and the house was ready. Why were we given such a runaround when nobody came to the house after 3:00...Yet we did not get into the house until 5:30. We will never rent from Surf or Sound in the future because of this.. We rented 3 other times, but never had to deal with the Avon office.... Rude beyond rude.... Already booked next year's trip through Midget Realty.
AVON, NORTH CAROLINA -- We just finished a 1 week stint at a beautiful home rented through Surf or Sound. Although the home was everything advertised, the rental company was less than accommodating when it came to issues. When we arrived, we were greeted by a LARGE pile of dirty linens left in the hallway and a God awful stench. I called Surf or Sound and was told that it would be taken care of immediately.
Immediately turned out to be 24 hours later and only a fraction of the linens were removed from the hall, the bedrooms were in disarray and the stench remained. Upon further investigation we found dirty diapers left in a variety of areas. We also found blood in one of the showers and on the shower curtain. The kitchen was filthy with dried on food on the stove, counters, refrigerator, and sinks.
My repeated attempts to contact Surf or Sound went unanswered and we spent the better part of the day armed with cleaning supplies. Additionally, the pool was full with debris, which we cleaned out and the hot tub had no chemicals. Again our repeated requests for service went unanswered. Seems like they were more than happy to take our money, but service levels went downhill once their payment was received. We plan on future trips to OBX and are actually looking at investment property in the area, but will not associate with this rental firm again.
SALVO, NORTH CAROLINA -- Yes. They are pretty horrible. They have some good houses. But they spend no effort making sure these houses are kept up during the season. Their policy is that they are not responsible for anything outside of the house. So when we arrived, the pool area/tiki-bar/outside grill area were a disaster -- garbage under cabinets; cans and bottles behind the grill; the sink and grill looked like they hadn't been cleaned in about 2 months.
When I called to complain they simply said they were not responsible for outside areas. I told them the inside of the house was disorganized too and that the cleaning service was sub-par; they basically made the beds and emptied the garbage. They swept the floors too. But the house just felt dirty and there were lots of interior maintenance issues too -- leaks in the ceilings when it rained; broken windows; broken sliding doors; broken stairs; no functional pool sticks (which pretty much makes the pool table a big waste of space); broken hot tub... I could go on.
When I told Surf or Sound that I was not happy about having to spend the first day cleaning up and organizing the house, they told me that I did not have to clean up when we left... "for our troubles." Pretty sure that's what they tell everybody when they complain which is why the house is a disaster.
We stayed at the Sundance in Rodanthe. The house has a great location -- right on the beach; 50 yards from the water. But we would not stay there again because of the condition of the home. Sad, because the homeowner pays Surf or Sound to manage their property and they just do a bad job.
WAVES NC -- This company only wants your money they could care less about customer service. We were supposed to get in our home by 6pm, but got in at 6:45pm and only the top floor because they are not finished cleaning. Someone crapped all over the bathroom and they told us, "Oh I'm sorry, someone will come out tomorrow." Really? Be careful people... they have totally disgusted me.