SALVO, NORTH CAROLINA -- We saved for several months to rent a home in Salvo through Surf or Sound Realty and even though we have rented with them before with no problem we ran into a problem this time as the Hurricane Maria visited us and we had to evacuate. We were not told that we could just go up the road "and wait it out." We were just told that we were under a mandatory evacuation and had to pack up and leave. We were devastated and very upset.
Not only were we NOT advised that if we did not purchase travelers insurance we would not get our money back we were mislead about how far we had to travel. We asked about going to Duck but were only told that we were being evacuated. Being from the northern Pennsylvania where we do not have to deal with hurricanes we did not know the ins and outs of how this worked and we're not informed by the employees at the Salvo office of Surf or Sound. I have had contact with the manager and was informed that we would not be getting any money back nor any compensation.
Not only this but the house was dirty, air conditioning vents were filthy and dishes in the drawers were unclean so we had to wash them before we used them. I think maybe we should have called the board of health when we arrived.
AVON, NORTH CAROLINA -- Surf or Sound does not have good business practices. I have rented from Surf or Sound several times in the past and decided to use them again this year. I have been going through negotiations with Ronni for two weeks throughout Thanksgiving for surf music. She called me several times to state that she was working with the owner but please work with them because of the Holiday. I did just that, waited patiently.
On Monday, November 28th, I received a call from Ronni stating that the owner has approved my offer. She told me to call her back, but that she was off on Tues and Wed and I could call back and speak to anyone "OR IF YOU wanted to WAIT for her" to call her on Thursday and she would reserve my reservation. I decided to wait since she knew my case and offer, I mean, she did say OR wait for me. There was no urgency in the message that if you do wait, someone else can pay the full price and the home would be gone.
I called on Thursday at 8:15am as her VM said and tried to pay for the home. Ronni told me that something was wrong and she would contact me right back. She never called. I received a confirmation email that night for "beach music." I emailed her to say I reserved "Surf Music." The next morning she calls me to say "oh I'm sorry," in the meantime someone reserved the place and paid full price so the owner accepted that. I called Dana the so-called manager to explain, how could something like this happen when the owner already accepted my offer. I called to pay and reserve, and now someone else has it.
Mind you, I waited for two weeks and bared with them because of their Holiday schedule. After being a loyal customer for three visits. Dana could care less. She wanted me to send her the VM from Ronni to prove that Ronni told me to wait. Are you kidding me? Then she went on to say that she would call the owner and tell him there was an issue after receiving my VM proof. Wow. why would I lie when I have the VM?
Dana goes on to give me a crook scenario "If you went to buy a car and you negotiated a deal at a lower rate, it was accepted and someone else came with a higher price while you were off getting the cashier check, the owner would take it." NO Dana I'm sorry, that's not how the world works. That's why it's called negotiating a deal! Once you give your approval and seal the deal, it's sealed.
Why would you put a customer through mess instead of trying to rectify the issue after you advised of the owner approving the offer. I would recommend you heed this place, as there are numerous places that rent beautiful homes. We had memories at this house and really wanted to go back, but after dealing with Dana and Ronni, I will never use Surf or Sound and I see why their reviews are horrible. Notice they only respond to the good reviews but no apologies whatsoever on the bad reviews. Sad sad company.
AVON, NORTH CAROLINA -- When we checked into Sundance (#771) in Rodanthe, we were disappointed that it had not been cleaned well at all. There were noodles in the sink, dirty laundry in the washing machine and crumbs on the floor. Upon closer inspection we found mold all over the house! Around the can lights, on the air conditioning vents and around light switches. The bath tub jets were moldy and there is a wet spot indication an active leak in the house. The entire first floor smells like mold/mildew. When we contacted the rental office, we were told there was nothing they could do except send out housekeeping again.
The manager of housekeeping came along with another woman from the office. Even they admitted that the smell in the home was musty and mildewed. Dana, the office manager, was rude and said she contacted the owner to ask for a refund (she claims our agreement is with him, not SOS but would not allow us to contact him). He refused. We are disgusted that the company continues to market this property at this price knowing that there is mold in the home.
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 -- Surf or Sound is refusing refunds to all families affected by the OBX Blackout. Even those who purchased travel insurance through them. They have already stated in an email sent to all customers that the travel insurance will NOT be covering this as it was a man-made event. Now Surf or Sound is suddenly changing its tune and begging customers to file a claim with the insurance company for reimbursement because they've apparently realized they will be held accountable for refunds under North Carolina state law G.S.42a-36. It is my strong recommendation to all, vacationers and home owners, do not do business with this company!
RODANTHE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Check in at 6pm and check out at 10am, swindles you out of a full day although you are paying for 7. It's gotten worse since they added the option of paying for 'early check-in'; now, don't plan on getting in early since they'll lose leverage in marketing the fee. It would be better for Surf or Sound to try harder to accommodate their guests; a little empathy for people who have driven many hours with children to visit the island maybe? I'm sure they've lost business to other rental companies due to this, and the homeowners should know.
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.
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 (#640 Frolic Inn).
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.
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.
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 Rodanthe (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 electric 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 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 bated 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 upfront 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.