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#85810 - 11/25/09 01:30 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: steve robinson]
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 22
Still no reply to my email sent on Saturday 21st November - nor to the one sent on the 15th.

I'm now kinda perplexed. I run a business and always reply to paying customers within 24 hours unless I'm actually not here. But I have no back-up and they have plenty of staff.

What to do? Just go uh-huh and wait some more, or (sigh) phone Spain and appear to be a very impatient possibly mad English person? Which I'm not. I just want someone to reply to me!




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#85812 - 11/25/09 06:58 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
Donna Cuervo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 92
Loc: New York, NY
Steve, thanks for enlightening me on what the gas boiler is all about. The two rental apartments I had in Paris didn't have this.

Do they ever explode or anything like that?

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#85818 - 11/26/09 12:57 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: Donna Cuervo]
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 22
Donna, Hi

Gas boilers don't explode wave if they did, they wouldn't install them. We've got a gas boiler at home but admittedly not over the sink.

Regarding the non-English speaking person who checked you in, that would be Maria, yes? And I can see your line of thought that with a Spanish surname there was no need to supply an English speaker........but I have a Polish surname yet I speak no Polish. Maria came along and ranted at me in Spanish then rolled her eyes, sighed heavily, phoned someone else and shouted in Spanish down the phone, then slammed out of the apartment. Nice lady, REALLY GOOD for customer-relations, I thought.

While you're there, you said the apartment was half-decent. What were the half-not-decent parts? Do tell.

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#85833 - 11/27/09 09:47 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
Donna Cuervo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 92
Loc: New York, NY
It's a relief to know that gas boilers don't explode. I was worried about that.

I didn't get the name of the woman who checked me in. She was a woman of late middle age wearing tight jeans. I kind of got the impression that she worked for the building rather than for Sevilla 5, because I saw her opening closets in the hallways where cleaning supplies were kept.

In the United States people tend to expect those with Spanish surnames to speak Spanish. Spanish is much more of an important world language than Polish. People here don't expect those with Polish names to speak Polish.

Perhaps it's because most of the Latin American immigrants raise their children to speak both Spanish and English with varying degrees of success.

The European immigrants tended not to keep the language of the old country. Many of them had such problems themselves trying to learn English well enough to get jobs and fit in with American life that their main concern was raising their children to speak English without a foreign accent. Nobody was traveling much in those days, so they didn't consider that it would be nice if their children could speak both languages. They did what seemed right for them at the time.

As for what was wrong with the apartment, there wasn't much of importance. I felt I got good value for what I paid. There were a lot of burned out lightbulbs. Usually I'd just go out and buy new ones, but these had a different size from the normal standard socket, and I didn't want to mess with strange electricity, so I just used the ones that worked. The bed sheets and blankets although clean were rather old and shabby and should be replaced. The television set was very small. I didn't bother with it much, but a woman in the next apartment claimed hers got only a few channels and asked me to try to fix it.

All in all, it was actually better than I anticipated, you don't get much apartment for your dollars in Europe these days, so I have no really serious complaints.

Next year I'll go to Buenos Aires and live in luxury.

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#85842 - 11/28/09 03:56 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: Donna Cuervo]
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 22
Originally Posted By Donna Cuervo
It's a relief to know that gas boilers don't explode. I was worried about that.

I didn't get the name of the woman who checked me in. She was a woman of late middle age wearing tight jeans. I kind of got the impression that she worked for the building rather than for Sevilla 5, because I saw her opening closets in the hallways where cleaning supplies were kept.



That'd be Maria. She opened closets in our apartment where linen was kept and locked them again. She's the multi-purpose greeter and very impatient cleaning lady.



Quote:

As for what was wrong with the apartment, there wasn't much of importance. I felt I got good value for what I paid. There were a lot of burned out lightbulbs. Usually I'd just go out and buy new ones, but these had a different size from the normal standard socket, and I didn't want to mess with strange electricity, so I just used the ones that worked.


You'd BUY new lightbulbs yourself? Why? Doesn't a lot of burned out lightbulbs speak of poor housekeeping? Doesn't that tell you that no one inspects the place and that no one has reported dud lightbulbs? (Including you?) Why on earth should paying customers also be somehow expected to replace lightbulbs?

Definition of Professionalism: Constant Attention To Detail.


Quote:
The bed sheets and blankets although clean were rather old and shabby and should be replaced. The television set was very small. I didn't bother with it much, but a woman in the next apartment claimed hers got only a few channels and asked me to try to fix it.


Exactly. (see previous paragraph)

Quote:
All in all, it was actually better than I anticipated, you don't get much apartment for your dollars in Europe these days, so I have no really serious complaints.

Next year I'll go to Buenos Aires and live in luxury.


Don't agree! You can get a lovely apartment, with attention to details, in Europe. My last one in October in France, the owners could not have been more helpful, kind, friendly, and eager to please.

BTW, where's MadridMan these days? Something I said?

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#85848 - 11/29/09 01:47 AM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: StripedShirt]
Donna Cuervo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 92
Loc: New York, NY
You're right, of course, about the lightbulbs. The lighting was adequate with what was working, although it would have been better if they all worked. Most of my past apartment rentals have been in Argentina where light bulbs cost a few pennies, so I never thought twice about replacing them. On second thought, the ones that burned out there happened in the middle of a long stay. That's a lot less irritating than just arriving and finding them not working.

I know there are lots of nice apartments in France. I stayed in two of them earlier in the year. However, they were much more expensive than this one. I dealt with a company called Special Apartments. The apartment I rented was a small relatively inexpensive one. A few days after my arrival, the shower leaked into the apartment below. They then upgraded me to a much more expensive apartment for the rest of my stay. It was really nice to spend most of my vacation getting more than I was paying for. Having been in the travel business myself, I know that it's not what goes wrong, but how it's handled and made right.

On their website, Sevilla 5 shows all the people who work there and boasts about all the foreign languages each one speaks. That being the case, I wonder why one of those people can't get themselves over to the apartments to greet foreign clients. Leaving that poor cleaning woman to do it is not fair to the guests or to her. There's no reason a Spanish cleaning woman should be expected to know all the languages of the world.


Edited by Donna Cuervo (11/29/09 01:53 AM)

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#85854 - 11/29/09 02:19 PM Re: Madrid: SpainSelect apartment [Re: Donna Cuervo]
StripedShirt Offline
Junior Member

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

Regarding languages, did you know (I wrote about it on TA) that in the Seville apartment there was a washing machine. Not the dishwasher, the laundry washer. This machine was completely brand new and very complicated indeed - I think it was a washer/dryer combination. I examined it for ages then decided not to try to fathom it out and washed some shirts by hand in the bathroom sink.

Why? Because the handbook was in the following languages:

Italian, Finnish, Polish, and Rumanian.

I have no reason to make this up!

I'm not surprised it was completely brand new: no one else had worked out how to work it. In a holiday apartment in Spain, how many Italians, Finns, Poles and Rumanians do you think rent the place? Hardly any, I'd have thought. I would have thought that the vast majority of renters were English speaking (from UK, USA, Australia, Canada); or French or German or even Spanish.

Ho hum. Yet another aspect of their lack of attention to detail, which would keep the punters happy.

BTW, when I reported all to the agency they were not interested. The only thing they replied to was regarding the coffee machine spewing boiling water everywhere; they said they already knew about that. rolleyes

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