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The experience of others with Yourstay Lodging.

From unsolicited emails received by NotYourstay.

Posted here with the permission of the author.

P A G E    T W O


The following YourStay comment was received by e-mail on 22-December-2003:

I am so sorry to hear that you had this terrible experience with your apartment rental!   I too recently had a somewhat similar experience.   I know what it feels like to have your holiday is shambles after months of planning.   I just received my AMEX bill only to find that we were charged for the entire week for an apartment we spent less than an hour in!  

AMEX has heard my dispute and has reassured me that they will contact the company and help me resolve this unpleasant issue.   In the meantime, the charge has been suspended from my account.   AMEX told me that regardless of what type of contract I may have signed, the apartment company failed to provide me with what had been promised.

Yourstay has a very nice website which looks nothing like their actual accommodations.   I have copies of over twenty e-mails of my very specific questions and their replies.    I also took pictures of this disgusting place as I just knew I would need them in the event of something like this.

The following YourStay comment was received by e-mail on 26-October-2003:

We booked an apartment in London for four days in October, 2003. After we selected the apartment I called and spoke with an individual who said his name was Raz. And who offered me a LUXURY APARTMENT, which he said had just been completed, for 180.00 a night instead of the usual 350.00. And he confirmed that the apartment would sleep six people.

Another follow-up call confirmed that the building did have an elevator. Which was important as an elderly lady was accompanying us to London.

I called YourStay again later and enquired about linen and towels, and was assured that it was a luxury apartment and they supplied everything.   I again mentioned again about the importance of the elevator. And was again assured that the building had this.

We arrived at the apartment building at 1:35pm, and waited for the person with the key to meet us there.   At 2:00pm I called YourStay and inquired about the key to the apartment. As we had been standing outside the apartment building where it was very cold.   And I was told that someone would be along in fifteen minutes with a key.

At 2:20pm a young man arrived with the key. In checking out the building we discovered that it lacked an elevator. Bringing this attention to YourStay I was told I had been misinformed, and they would give us 30.00 a night off the price.   I then asked to speak with someone in charge. I spoke with an individual who said he was a manager and he told me there was nothing they could do as everywhere was booked up so they couldn't move us to another apartment.

During this time I also took a look around the apartment. Which was no more a luxury than any three star hotel.   The second bedroom was a small room off the main bedroom, and had a single bed and another bed that pulled out from underneath.    The apartment also had two fold-up beds, one of which was wedged behind the single bed.   There was also a mop and bucket and a broom and at the other end of the bedroom.

I was told by the manager that six people had slept comfortably in there last week.   I asked him to come over and show me how they could do this.    And I also requested their idea as to how to best get an elderly lady up and downstairs.    He said he couldn't come but he would send a maintenance man out.    When we left at 6:40pm, no one from YourStay had yet to arrived.

After many contacts, and attempted contacts, with YourStay I finally stated that the apartment was of no use to us, and I expected a refund. Asked to explain, I again told them that the building lacked an elevator, which they had assured me - during numerous phone calls - was the case.    The manager said that it was only my word against theirs.   Before hanging up the phone I replied that we were leaving.

I called YourStay the next day and said I had the keys and would like to return these and get some confirmation that our credit card charge had been corrected.   The woman I talked to she said it would take three to five days to refund.   I said I would return the keys after I confirmed that the refund had been recorded.

The writer then provided the legal action they were presently taking against YourStay.    Those who maintain this site agreed that such information should be excluded from a publicly accessible forum.

The above comments were also edited for length.


The following YourStay comment was received by e-mail on 22-September-2003:

1) I contacted YourStay.com to get a room for the 8th of April through the 1st of May.    And received confirmation on March 26th for 2120 for stay at Property Buckingham Palace Apartments reference #3428-LONLVPL1

2) On April 3rd I wrote to them again, as we were getting ready to come over, and I found I had been charged 2119 + 94.66 for credit card usage.    The person I spoke with explained that if I wish to pay for it by check they would remove the 94.66 pounds (4.5% added due to American Express - not identified either on the site or when getting confirmation!).

3) On April 8th we arrive at apartment (after having major problem getting the keys!) and discover the room is not only filthy, but missing most of the furniture.    I contact them directly, and they assure me someone will be over with more furniture, pillows and to fix the Television (it was not connected, nor was there a working remote even though there was a package on the floor near it for a brand new universal remote).

4) That evening, a guy comes to the door who does not speak any English.   And he attempts to fix the television, but since there is no remote and no batteries for the one that is sitting there, he goes away and indicates that he will return.    No pillows and no additional furniture with him.

5) On April 9th, mid day, I get a different person over to try to fix the Television, again, no extra pillows and no other tables - also, the guy never returned the previous day.    He goes away and two hours later comes back and gives me a remote and proceeds to walk me through the channels.   There are 4 of them and only one is without snow. I ask where is the "Complete entertainment center" as advertised on website.  He says the Cablebox (which is there, just not attached to anything) is only there for looks and is not available for this apartment.

6) That night I contact YourStay.com again (this is now at least the 10th time I have contacted them in less than 24 hours!), and tell them this is not acceptable.    We will not be staying in that pig sty and that there was supposed to be a "Fully kitted kitchen" as well, but I have not been able to find any thing to bake with or any large pans.  That is when they showed us another apartment that was listed on the website - and we moved into it the next morning.

7) Once there, we discovered it also had no telephone.    I again contacted YourStay.com, and also told them that since this kitchen didn't seem to be "fully kitted either", I was going to be buying some baking dishes and some other things for the kitchen, and that they could take the difference off the bill when I settled with them on or before the 1st of May.    This was Thursday night, and they assured me someone would be by with it.

8) On the April 11th, I contacted these guys again, since no one had come by, and they assured us that a phone would be there when we returned from our meetings.    We arrived in the apartment about 1800 hours, no phone.    When I contacted them again, they said it would have to wait until the next day as all their staff had gone home.

9) On the April 14th after having called them periodically over the weekend, I told them that if we did not get the remaining issues with this apartment completed, we would be leaving the following day.    By this time I had used all of the 20 PayAsYouGo mobile phone time, and had 5to purchase another.   We got back to the apartment that night, still nothing.

10) On April , we informed YourStay tht we would be leaving and to get the bill ready for the 8 nights (which included until the 16th).    That since I would be moving into another apartment I would take the kitchen things I had purchased with me so there would be no need to compensate me for them.  I also suggested that they get their act together and get the things that they said would be there done before they again get another American into these apartments.   Helene and Lucy, the primary people I had been working with, were very understandable and said they would get things together.

11) On April 16th, I get a call from Raz, who was not only verbally abusive but told me I would not be getting any refund, that if I wanted to move out he couldn't stop me, but that he would not refund any of my monies.   I told him I was going to get my credit card company to remove the charges from my card, and once that was done, I would pay for the 8 day stay - mins the 200 deposit that was made in March.

12) When I returned to the states, I contacted my credit card company, American Express, and they immediately removed the charge pending confirmation.    I then sent them ALL the documentation, including the emails I had from Raz where he basically laughed off the issues of my concerns over the apartment, and acted like a complete ass. I also included the pictures I had taken for documentation on the original apartment we were rented. I copied the website details which included a complete entertainment center, fully kitted kitchen, ability to sleep 4 (I thought it was a fold out sofa, but it was a fold away bed), and maid service.

(a) Entertainment Center: Television, Cable box - not connected to cable, and separate boombox CD player with speakers. No VCR or DVD player, so not sure what was meant by an entertainment center.

b) Fully Kitted Kitchen: It had place settings for 4, a wok with no spatula or any other non-sticking device to use in it, an oven splatter pan, and one small sauce pan.    No utensils for baking, frying or cooking with.    No fry pan, no baking dishes to bake lasagna or any other one dish meal, no hot pads to get things out/off the stove, no dish soap for washing the dishes.

(c) Ability to Sleep 4: In the first apartment, there were not even any extra pillows, not to say any linen for an extra bed, or even an extra bed. The second apartment had a roll away bed in the bedroom, but no extra sheets, blankets or pillows to use on it.   And the night before we left they came and took the bed - no explanations or any indication that they needed it, they just showed up and asked if they could roll it out (the same individual who didn't speak English came in and since we had no way to communicate -- he just took the bed and left).

(d) Maid Service: - not even close! Never saw anyone even near the apartments except when I contacted them several times, and never once did anyone even think to CLEAN the first apartment even after I complained that is was filthy.   (it had fake wood floors and when you walked on them you could feel the dirt/grit due to the lack of cleaning).


The following was received via email 12-September-2003:

I went on a business trip to the UK and I was traveling with my family, my wife and 16 month old baby daughter from the end of June to the beginning of July. Both my wife and I were going to be in meetings throughout our visit so we arranged to meet my mother in the UK as well.    I made arrangements with yourstay.com.

Since my mother was arriving from Chicago and we were arriving from Argentina I thought it would be best to have my mother arrive first so that she could take care of our daughter and my wife and I could get to work as soon as we arrived the following day.

On the evening before our departure I received an e-mail stating that the room we had reserved was not available due to some maintenance work. They offered alternate locations but all of them were very distant to the first location that I had picked.    I had made my original choice based on the fact that I would be traveling to meetings throughout the city so location was very important to us.    I was told that one solution would be to have my mother stay the night at one of the alternate locations and then we could all check in to our original room the following day when I would arrive.

My mother was not used to traveling alone but she so wanted to spend time with her new 16 month old granddaughter and I reassured her that a car would be waiting for her with the keys to the apartment so there would be no problems--which is what yourstay.com told me would happen.

She arrived and the driver was late by 20 minutes. She didn't mind because he was nice enough and chatted with her during the trip to the apartment and he pointed out many sights along the way to her.    However, once they got to the apartment he asked her if she had the key to get in.   Obviously she had no keys and now she was really starting to get worried. The alternate apartment she was given was in a section of town near the millennium mile.    I can't quite recall anymore but it was across town. The driver then suggested that they go to the offices at the Citadine and get the keys to the apartment. The went back to the office and then back to the apartment. My mother finally made it to her apartment and it was only 1am!

The following day was our turn and it would turn out to be a very strange and unpleasant day.    We arrived and there was a driver waiting for us, so far so good. I asked him if he had the keys to the apartment and he mentioned that he did not. He also mentioned that we could go to the office and get the keys there.   We get to the office and there is no one there.    Luckily the driver had a phone with him and I called and was told that they were cleaning the apartment so I would not be able to check in.   I told them that I would at least settle for leaving my bags there and be able to change some diapers, that way we could leave and give the cleaning people some time to work.    I finally settled on taking the driver over to my mother's apartment (across town), picking her up and then dropping off the bags at the apartment. This would entail me meeting the cleaning people since they were the ones that had the keys.

After all the driving around we finally arrive at the apartment. I go and knock on the door and there is no one there. By this time we are sitting in the hallway with 7 bags, and a baby stroller.    This time the driver had left so I no longer had access to a phone.    I went downstairs to see if the concierge or desk person could help.   They could not use the phone. I told her my plight and she told me that the cleaning people were around the building. Just then their cleaning person walks into the lobby and I flag him down and I have to go through the whole story with him because obviously he knew nothing about what was happening. I persuaded him to let me in.    We both go upstairs where my family is waiting in the hallway. He opens the door and we find that there are other peoples belongings in the apartment.    This was just too much and I have to admit that I lost a bit of my cool at this point. The cleaning person thought that this apartment should be empty as well.

We went inside but put all of our bags in a corner of the apartment while I called yourstay.com from the phone inside the apartment since the concierge downstairs would not let me use their phone.   When I called they told me that first of all they would not be able to give me the original apartment that I had reserved so they changed me to another one within the same building. This new one should have been vacated in the morning so they did not know what to do.    Their solution was to have the cleaning people take this persons belongings downstairs, clean the room and then give it to us.

By the way, it was now 3pm and we had arrived at Heathrow at 6am that day.    I told them that what they were putting us through really was not fair and that they better think twice before charging me the full amount that we had agreed to.   Also, I was livid with them and demanded that they give us an apartment immediately. This conversation took a while because they hung up on me once because I raised my voice at them.   The person on their end of the phone really was not sympathetic to what we were going through. I did finally find an employee that would at least express her concern and would actually respond to my questions in an appropriate manner, her name was Natasha.

During this phone conversation the family whose belongings were in the apartment showed up.    It was a mother with her two children. The look on the children's faces as they walked into their apartment full of strangers just broke my heart.    They were scared and wondering what was going on.   My wife intercepted them and they started to exchange horror stories regarding yourstay.com

My story is long enough as it is so I won't repeat that family's ordeal but it was similar in some ways.    They had come back for their things but they said that they had talked to yourstay.com and told them that they would be leaving that afternoon.    It doesn't surprise me since while all of this was happening I was told that I could also check out late (my departure flight left at 10pm) when it was my turn to leave and as you can guess following what has been happening up to know I was not given the chance to do that.

This family packs up and leaves, the cleaning person comes and picks up a little and I remind them that I needed a crib and I didn't see it anywhere in the room.    We decide to leave and give them time to clean and get a crib while we go and eat out. We come back and see that the woman who was staying there before us left her wallet with her passport and credit cards.   I call yourstay.com so that they could use whatever means necessary to track them down (call on the phone, send an e-mail, etc.).   I could not leave it downstairs with the desk-person because they were not allowed to hold on to things either.    I know the two are not related but I was beginning to wonder what their function was (the desk people).   They certainly were not there to offer any assistance. Anyway, while we were in the lobby the woman had come back and we were able to give back her passport and wallet.

The apartment itself was very nice although the bathroom sink had a major leak.    The woman who stayed there told us that she reported it but nothing had happened so I reported it as well and as you can guess.....nothing happened either. We just had to live with a bucket underneath the sink while we stayed.

On our departure day I called to remind them that they had said we could check out late and they were sorry but we just could not.    We had to leave the apartment in the morning. I was really tired of fighting with these people since their heads were obviously made of stone.    I had to go look around the area to find a hotel room to rent for a few hours.    I was so glad to find that there were some hotel owners in the area who were kind, open minded and willing to help--just the complete opposite of yourstay.com

I am so glad this company has gone out of business and not at all surprised.    I was sure that this was not an isolated event because they had no foundation of good hotel keeping nor management that I could see.    The owners of this business should not be allowed to own any hotel management business at all.    They know nothing at all about this business.

The following YourStay comment was received by e-mail on 25-August-2003:

We recently returned from a visit to London and had the unfortunate experience of booking an apartment with YourStay.com, as follows:

We arrived at the building where our reserved apartment was located. The security guard informed us that they do not handle keys and we would need to contact yourstay.com to get the keys.    We borrowed the security guard's phone and called YourStay.com and they told us we had to come pick up the keys at their office building, a 20-minute walk.    We were traveling with 3 young children and didn't know where we were, let alone how to get to this "office building".    I asked if they could please deliver the keys and they said that they would but it would be 40 minutes before the keys could be delivered.

Two hours later, after several phone calls to YourStay.com, a taxi driver (commissioned by YourStay) arrived and asked us to get into his cab so he could take us to our apartment.    But, our apartment is here, in this building I said. The taxi driver said all he knew is that he was to take us to this other apartment because the one we were supposed to have was "broken".    After repeated calls to Raz (the owner of YourStay.com), being put on hold while he's trying to book new reservations, we finally agree to look at the apartment, whose building does NOT contain a pool which our children had their hearts set on (and was in the building of our booked apartment).

So, we loaded all our bags and children into the taxi and were driven to the other apartment.    After a brief inspection, we agreed to stay in the new apartment until the other could be fixed. Here's the good/bad of the new apartment:

Good: 3 bedrooms (booked one had only 2 bedrooms)

Bad: Not as good a "tourist location" as the other building (County Hall), floors were dirty, some of the beds were not made, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, general "unkempt appearance" to the apartment, and no pool.

After repeated calls expressing our dissatisfaction with the arrangements, the inconvenience, and waiting for 2 hours before we received the keys, Raz agreed to deduct 10 pounds per night from our 150 pounds per night rate - minimal !!

We were pretty upset with the whole experience and upon our return I decided to do some research on the internet to find out what I could about yourstay.com.   Wow!    What awful experiences other people had - it made us feel like we got the red carpet treatment!!    Also, the "pool" my kids were so looking forward to wouldn't even have been accessible to us, according to other people's experiences - what a scam agency Yourstay.com is - Stay far away from yourstay.com.

So, I've learned a valuable lesson - CHECK OUT THE BOOKING AGENCY BEFORE BOOKING ANY ROOM/APARTMENT AND SEE IF THERE'S ANY NEGATIVE FEEDBACK - Steer clear of any agency that has bad feedback.

Thanks for listening,

Another unlucky YourStay.com customer

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