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#85519 - 10/22/09 01:07 PM Madrid: SpainSelect apartment
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 22
Hola

We went to Seville in September and enjoyed it so much (yes, really!) that we're going back to Spain for Christmas. This time: Madrid.

I've found the PERFECT apartment in Madrid, using SpainSelect agency.

Their emails are intermittent, to put it mildly. I put the apartment on hold while I researched air tickets and they replied to that email (but it does not show On-Hold on their website). Now, I've booked my air tickets and with relief emailed SpainSelect again saying BOOKED! Tell us how to PAY YOU!

No response so far.

Should I worry about their slow responses at every stage of the process? Please say no.

Thanks, Striped


Edited by MadridMan (10/22/09 01:09 PM)
Edit Reason: to include company link

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#85520 - 10/22/09 01:12 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
How much time passes from your email to their response? I'd say 4 days is borderline "too long" for a response. So no, I wouldn't worry about a slow response. They probably only have 1 or 2 people managing the reservations. These kinds of businesses are usually pretty small and completely run out of a one-room office. I don't know in the case of SpainSelect but many are like this.

Saludos, MadridMan
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#85521 - 10/22/09 01:27 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
Jan D Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/04/00
Posts: 157
Loc: Isle of Wight UK
Being involved in the accommodation business myself, I do think it's very bad business not to reply asap to customer queries !!

They have a customer service email address and a phone number on the website.

Personally I'd give them a couple of days then email again ( always request a "read receipt"). If you don't hear by email, phone them.


Edited by Jan D (10/22/09 04:56 PM)
Edit Reason: sp.
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#85522 - 10/22/09 03:28 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: Jan D]
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 22
I've had a reply now, it is a list of instructions.

I'll comply later or even tomorrow.

I must say it's not very friendly. I've rented apartments all over the world from USA (several in different States) through to Australia. This one has no "thank you for booking with us" or "we look forward to meeting you" or "Hope you have a good Christmas in Madrid" - little personal touches like that: just a list of instructions.

Oh well. I read elsewhere that Madrid people are reserved. I just hope we have a better apartment rental experience than we had in Seville in September.


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#85523 - 10/23/09 04:06 AM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
Madrid people are certainly not reserved when they´re out and about . They seriously like to , and feel it´s their god-given right to PARTY . But in terms of business thay have some way to go . And even small things like : I´ve been brought up to hold the door open for a lady , or somebody elderley etc... In the UK i always get a "thank you" .. Here in Madrid .. almost never .
Recently , I went to buy a digital SLR camera .. 650 Euros on average .. I went into the main store here in Madrid and quite frankly they couldn´t be bothered talking to me ( And I had a Basque friend with me ) .. And they had zero idea of the product . I ended up buying it for the same price in a local , independent store .
Madrileños can seem a bit rude ( against other European nations perceptions ) But once you get under their skin you´ll find they´re fantastic people with a real joy and zest for life .
In terms o business and bureaucracy it a whole case of the "mañana" thing ... Things will be done eventually but don´t expect it to be done on time jejejejejeje .

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#85525 - 10/23/09 06:13 AM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: steve robinson]
jazz Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 05/28/08
Posts: 434
Loc: Madrid
I always thank the friendly people, I think we educated

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#85530 - 10/23/09 03:34 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Originally Posted By StripedShirt
I must say it's not very friendly. I've rented apartments all over the world from USA (several in different States) through to Australia. This one has no "thank you for booking with us" or "we look forward to meeting you" or "Hope you have a good Christmas in Madrid" - little personal touches like that: just a list of instructions.
No offense whatsoever intended, StripedShirt, but I had to chuckle just a bit when I read this. I think this must fall into the "This is Spain" category.

A Spanish friend & I were talking on this very topic just yesterday. She says that it's just not in their culture to include these "Please" and "Thank you" details while communicating either by email or face-to-face. It does happen, but rarely. She said, in this regard, she prefers the manners of the USA, Britain, & Australia. Spaniards don't mean to be rude, of course not, but it's just not their way. (speaking generally) Among Spaniards, it's just-the-way-it-is and nothing negative at all. So don't take it personally.

One culture's norms may be another culture's oddity. - Quote by MadridMan
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#85533 - 10/23/09 05:16 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: MadridMan]
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 22
Hi MadridMan

I phoned them up today, some minor detail about actually paying for the apartment. The phone was answered immediately and in English. It sounds like a busy office. My needs were dealt with in a businesslike manner: briskly. Not friendly, but efficiently enough.

I admit to being somewhat disconcerted. There was no "Hallo Striped!" I had to add that myself to get a "Hi!" out of them. It seemed somewhat robotic, tbh. I get a friendlier response from my ISP or my mobile phone company or my bank, but it's ok I am not taking it personally.

There is a vague memory which springs to mind now: Paris. Parisians are rather haughty too, and famous for it.

Hopefully when we meet one of these people in person to get the keys, he/she will be friendlier in real life. Having said that I don't care much as long as the flight's on time, the greeter is on time and the apartment is exactly as I am expecting and stays that way. What else would one want?

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#85537 - 10/24/09 04:35 AM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
steve robinson Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/23/06
Posts: 1283
Loc: Hastings Old Town , England .
As my last note to this thread !! ( probably ) ... I have also hired apartments and suites around the world . My best experience was in South Africa ( Cape Town ) and the owners could not have been more friendly and accomodating ( mind you , I was paying a lot of money ! ) .. In Miami , they were incredibly friendly .. but in NYC mmmm I´ve been to New York City many times but normally in hotels . The last time I went was for thanksgiving and me and a friend hired an apartment downtown , in Bleeker Street .
On arriving , the East European doorman said he knew nothing about the booking and no keys were available .. his English wasn´t good .. but we had a print out of our reservation !!!
My friend and I went to a nearby diner , with our luggage and got something to eat and to discuss what to do next .
An hour or so later we went back to the apartment block and the guy said .. Oh , yes , I found the envelope with the keys .. 3rd floor please .
We had a great 2 weeks in NYC , as usual , but like most cities ( including Madrid and my home city of London ) , there can be annoying complications .

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#85559 - 10/25/09 02:36 AM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: steve robinson]
Donna Cuervo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 92
Loc: New York, NY
Sometimes you're better off when these situations are somewhat impersonal. I like it best when I rent an apartment, and I never meet or see the owner who is perhaps living abroad.

I rented one apartment in Buenos Aires owned by a woman who sent her housekeeper to spy on me because she seemed to be uncomfortable about having a woman on her own renting her place.

The housekeeper was supposed to come in and clean once a week at a set time, but she let herself in at 6 or 7 am and would walk into the bedroom while I was still sleeping to supposedly drop off towels or other nonsense. It was just so intrusive.

Give me an impersonal rental agency anytime. As long as they set things up efficiently, I don't need them to be friendly.

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