Charging for Housing In Days Instead of Nights

Most people who write a bad review about an experience with a company, expect at least an apology or a promise to improve. Instead, Pedro and Grace, who are traveling around the world and blogging about their adventures, were insulted by the US-based company Furnished Quarters.

One of their upcoming destinations is New York where they will be staying a month starting mid-January 2008. To get a better feel of New York living, they intend to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel, and so they looked around for a company that would rent them an apartment for a month. New York-based short-term housing provider firm Furnished Quarters seemed to have what they were looking for, so they tried to get everything booked and that is when the problems started.

Once they got their bill, they were surprised to learn that they were charged 32 days when they are only going to stay for 31 nights. Furnished Quarters said that it was company policy to charge in days rather than nights even though the customer can only check in after 4pm and must check out before noon, thus effectively charging them an extra day. When asked why they were not told about this ahead of time, Furnished Quarters said that it was standard practice. However, no hotel would charge like that and no customer at a hotel would agree with being charged for the time they couldn’t stay there, which is why hotels charge in nights.

Unhappy with response and other aspects of Furnished Quarters’ customer service, they decided to blog about it to let others know about the hidden differences in charging and that it might prompt somebody at Furnished Quarters to help them sort it out.

Instead, their blog was hit by a barrage of fake comments which have all originated from an IP address in Furnished Quarters. The insulting comment had many ironies in it, one of which goes like this: “this guy sounds like he’s trying to hide something” when the comment itself was from Furnished Quarters hiding behind a fake name and pretending to be one of their customers. It looks to me like Furnished Quarters doesn’t understand how easy it is to trace an IP. I guess they’re not very Internet savvy. So what are Pedro and Grace going to do about it?

Well, our credit card has already been charged and it’s too late to cancel without a hefty penalty, so we will probably have to stay there. We just hope our belongings won’t get damaged or stolen and they don’t later make up some claim so as to confiscate our security deposit, but if they can insult us with false comments on our blog, we won’t underestimate what they might do to us.

I travel a lot and in all that time I have never been charged for a room in days. It has always been in nights. Is this standard practice for short term housing? This is the first time I heard of anything like it.