Posts Tagged ‘north carolina’

Lights, Camera, Action – My Outer Banks Nightmare

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

I am on vacation with Joe and several friends in the Outer Banks – and I need to share our horrible experience so far.   Really, I am not one to complain about things – I don’t like conflict – but this house rental in the Outer Banks through Carolina Designs is unacceptable.   

Lights, Camera, Action – house rental number 646 from Carolina Designs is the biggest dissppointment I have ever had on a vacation – seriously.  

We are renting this house from September 6 -13 – the total cost of the rental came to over $4500.  The description of the house is a complete lie.  The rental description boasts about a volleyball court, horseshoe pit and outside gas grill.  This is what we arrived to at Lights, Camera, Action in the Outer Banks.  Here you go, Lights, Camera, Action!

The lovely volleyball court - full of burrs and broken shells
The lovely volleyball court – full of burrs and broken shells

The “volleyball court” at Lights, Camera, Action was full of weeds, burrs and broken shells.  The net is barely hanging on.  We actually weeded the court, and it still looks like this.   Next to the volleyball court is the horseshoe pit…exactly that, a pit.  There may be no horseshoes, but you get a bunch of complimentary cigarette butts and empty beer cans.

Anyone want to play?
Anyone want to play?

The pool at Lights, Camera, Action which was suppose to be cleaned on the Sunday in which we arrived was full of dirt and funk:

it is Tuesday, and I am still looking at the same dirt in the pool.
Hum, it is Tuesday, and I am still looking at the same dirt in the pool.

So yes, Carolina Designs could “fix” the issues and I wouldn’t be doing this – but it is Tuesday, day three of our trip, and I am overlooking the same dirty ass pool and run down volleyball court.

How about a dip in the crystal clear pool!
How about a dip in the crystal clear pool?

Ok, so we can’t play volleyball, how about a nice steak on the grill?  Would you cook on this thing?  Ha, well don’t worry – you can’t!  It doesn’t even work.

Would you cook on this thing?
Would you cook on this thing?
Is that a chicken bone?
Is that a chicken bone?

So, the grill at Lights, Camera, Action doesn’t work – what are we gonna have for dinner?  How about something out of the fridge?  There was enough food and gunk left on the counters, in the cupboards and in the fridge to keep the bugs happy for weeks.  We all spent hours cleaning the kitchen from top to bottom when we arrived.  Just what you like to do on your vacation, clean someone else’s dirty house.

Now, in Carolina Design’s defense, when they called me back the next day they did say they would have come out to “fix’ the issues if we would have called earlier than we did.  Mind you, check in time was 4:00PM, they close the office at 5:00PM.  So, I would have had to pick up my keys at 4:00PM, drive 30 minutes, get into the house and stage my complaint within that hour.  They say, we  shouldn’t have cleaned, but rather left the house as it was until the next day.  I doubt anyone would have left the house as it was.  It was gross and unsanitary.

To give you an idea of the dust and grim…take a look at what the vents look like:

Clean huh?  Disgusting.
Clean huh? Disgusting.

The reason I am so upset is because we rented this house specifically because of all the amenities – because of the outside grill area – because of the volleyball court – because of the horseshoe pit – because of the 2 whirlpool tubs (there was only one) – because of the video library (10 bad movies) – because of the games and puzzles (1 game with missing pieces and some scattered lincoln logs) – because of all the so called “amenities”.  All falsly advertised. 

And you know what I asked for as compensation?  All I wanted was the owner of the house, or Carolina Designs, to cover the $400 pool heating fee.  That is all.  This is the response I received from Carolina Designs:


I sent your initial email to the owner this morning in an effort to expedite a resolution as I await your official request. I asked for his thoughts regarding complimentary pool heat and he has declined to offer approval.

We can certainly contact the pool vendor and have the heat turned on for you; however, by our policy, the full fee of $400 plus tax will be required before it can be activated.  The reason for this follows: the fee is a fuel fee, and the majority of fuel is used in actually getting the pool up to the maximum temperature of 85 degrees. So, even if you add the heat option several days into your visit the same fee applies.”

Seriously…you won’t cover the cost of the heating of the dirty pool?  Nice!  We cleaned your house, 6 of us, for probably about 2 hours each – 6 times 2 equals 12 hours of work.  12 hours!  My time is valuable, even more so when I am on vacation.   

Just take responsibility and do something about it - that’s all.  The maintenance man was here yesterday to fix some minor things – broken chairs, missing toilet paper holders, broken door handles – but claimed “to be the wrong person to complain to”.  Of course. 

Again, in Carolina Design’s defense, my rental agent explained to me that I personally signed item #15 in my lease that clearly states that no refunds will be offered, no matter what circumstance.  Obviously, not likely written in those same terms – but in some round about way.    The only way to get any sort of refund is if the house is “deemed legally uninhabitable.”  Well, I would hope so. 

My rental agent from Carolina Designs then proceeded to explain to me that the reason that the house was in such a shambles was because it was late in the season and because it was so popular.  “Things like this happen”, she explained.  That was their excuse.  Honestly, I don’t care.  I still paid full price.  Not to mention, I didn’t even complain when I received a bill for an additional $40.70, well after the final payment was due and had been paid,  because they miscalculated or didn’t account for a tax increase.   

So thank you Carolina Designs;  thank you owners of Lights, Camera, Action house rental #646 in Corolla, North Carolina; thank you for making my vacation to the Outer Banks vacation so “special”. 

 UPDATE – it is 11:44AM on Tuesday – we finally got a new volleyball net.  The sand has still not been raked and nothing else fixed. 

12:18 – The landscaper is working on the weeds in the volleyball court – thank god.  Oh, but mentioned we should watch out for the Black Widows nest.  Wow, it keeps getting better.

 12:49 – Wow, the volleyball court is back to normal.  Weeds removed, new net, raked out – looks great.  On to the grill now.