A GROUP of girlfriends were horrified when they arrived at the £5,500 luxury villa they had booked via popular holiday rental site booking.com, to discover there was no villa whatsoever – just deserted, dusty wasteland.
The group of ten girls from Paris had booked the “chic” villa on the island of Hvar, Croatia but were told by locals when they got there that no villa existed.
The girls arrived to find nothing but wasteland [/caption]
The original ‘chic’ villa ceased to exist, the girls discovered[/caption]
The group attempted to call the owner of the mysterious villa, but no-one answered.
And in an angry thread of viral tweets, would-be holidaymakers Chloe and Julie Melin launched an attack on booking.com customer service, saying they received no help from the site.
Julie wrote: “At the door of a wasteland when we arrived at the address given by @bookingcom
following a 5h call with the customer service of @bookingcom no help or commercial gesture.”
Although Chloe has since tweeted that booking.com are issuing a refund for the villa, the girls insist that the company made no effort to help the girls find alternative accommodation.
Branding the company’s handling of the situation “unacceptable,” Chloe shared on Twitter that a customer service adviser had insisted “it is not their problem that [the girls] sleep outside.”
Speaking to Le Parisien, Chloe said: “The Booking site, through which the reservation was made [did not] help. We had trouble getting them, we never had the same person each time.
“They all told us we would see a manager but after that, either the communication cut or they hung up on us.”
With nowhere to stay, the girls spent the first day of what would have been a luxury holiday wandering the town looking for a hotel.
The girls were forced to shell out for a hotel that night, before renting a new villa the next day.
Chloe said: “Two of our friends had to return to France because financially it was not possible for them to [spend] money again.
She also said she was struggling with money after spending nearly €1,000 (£914) on airline tickets and renting the scam villa.
Fortunately, the agency for the new villa were very accommodating and were flexible with the payment, Chloe added.
The group were initially meant to stay until August 31 but now are now thinking to cut their girls’ holiday short.
Chloe said: “We all arrived with an extra budget for outings, shopping and restaurants, but that did not include the budget for a new rental.”
A booking.com spokesperson said: “We live for our customers and are super invested in helping to connect them with incredible travel experiences.
“In the very rare instance that something goes unexpectedly wrong at an accommodation, our dedicated customer service team is on hand 24/7 to support in every way we can.
“We are very sorry for the difficulties that this group encountered.
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“As this is not the experience we want for any of our customers, we have provided a full refund for their original reservation, are covering all relocation expenses and have offered an additional amount as a gesture of goodwill.
“This property has also been removed from our site.
“We successfully facilitate hundreds of thousands of bookings every day that result in great stay experiences for our customers all over the world and we are committed to that mission.”
Julie Melin, pictured shared the scam on Twitter[/caption]
Another holidaymaker, Chloe said some of the group had to return home as they couldn’t afford to shell out for a new villa[/caption]
The scam villa was advertised with a luxurious pool and room to sleep ten people[/caption]
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