Need advice and opinion on an issue we are are facing as Guests. We booked a 5 night stay in Paris in a great 3 bedroom apartment for 6. This was not a cheap place, and we have no issue whatsoever with the apartment itself. We have 2 travelers with us who are older, one walks with a cane. For us, “Elevator in Building” was essential and the primary selling point. We would not even consider an apartment without one.
As soon as we arrived we find out that the elevator is broken. The person that checked us in was not the owner but the cleaning person, who was actually very concerned when she saw us. We immediately were disappointed and nervous, but just getting of a 9 hour flight we just rolled with it. The cleaning person and the able bodied of us lugged 1000lbs of luggage up six flights of European spiral staircase under the promise that the elevator would be fixed.
I then spoke the the “Assistant” of the listing agent who said she is working the issue and told her the issue and that the main issue was not convenience but a real safety issue concerning the older person who uses a cane to traverse up a narrow , spiral staircase, 6 floors. And really the biggest concern is going down the stairs. And keep in mind these are narrow stairs, not like U.S. stairs.
We went to dinner , and was informed that the elevator was fixed to our relief. We headed back and made it up to the apartment. We were relieved.
We start our day the next morning on a Saturday to find the elevator would only make it to the second floor, then it would not close. Our elderly guests were able to make it down, but it took 15 minutes and everyone was nervous about a fall.
I called to let them agent assistant know of the situation, and heard nothing back. But we went on with our day, and came back to a fully broken elevator. Now we are in trouble. I made some frantic calls an emails to the main lister and her assistant. I dont think the actual owner is involved at all. She informed us do to French law that no technician would be able to come out on the weekend and work, and it wouldn’t be fixed until Monday. I made it clear that we were in dire straights at this point. I didnt hear anything back for 3 hours or so, I couldnt contact the assistant or the listing agent, no one.
Finally she got back to us and offered to let us take another apartment, not nearly as nice as the one we were in but we were in a tough situation. At first we considered this as an option until we found out what she meant was she would let us rent it for a special price to “help us out”. What ?? Yes we would pay for the current apartment for the full 5 days AND for our trouble she would let us rent another place in Paris for the remainder of the stay!. So we would be paying for 2 apartments at the same time. I was floored. I told her that she should have offered to cancel the remaining days in the current place and offer to rent the other place for the remaining days. Or just offer to cancel altogether the remaining days.
Her argument is that the elevator is not her problem, and out of her control since it is not part of the apartment. So no offer of cancellation would be given. My argument is that the elevator was a selling point in the listing and its the first item in the list of amenities for a reason. And although its the buildings elevator, and not her fault, it is the ONLY reason why we considered this apartment. We would have never considered it unless they listed this as a selling point.
I couldn’t believe after informing them of the risk and situation they didn’t immediately offer to cancel. I would have. I wouldn’t be able to sleep as an owner knowing an old man could fall down my building stairs AFTER being informed of it. But it was truly a slap in the face when they offered to rent a second apartment from them as “help for our situation”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or be pissed at that offer.
I would like others opinion on this matter.