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Breadman


Jul 25, 2006, 5:07 PM

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rental fiasco

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I would like to hear some opinions of the following incident which occurred on our trip SoB last week.

We reserved a small town home to stay in for the 1st, 6th and 7th day of our frantic trip. In between we traveled to Guadalajara and Ajijic. On arrival, the property mgr. met us to give us the key. We paid him the remaining 2 days deposit, having already prepaid the 1st. At this time he informed us that the power company would be turning off the electricity for 4 hours in order to perform some repairs up the road. No problem, we had lots of running around to do, and upon returning, we saw the crew packing up, having finished their work. Once in the home (obviously hot from 4 hours without A/C) we proceeded to turn on the 2 wall controlled A/C units. The upstairs fired up and we adjusted it to 24. The downstairs turned on and immediately off. After several repeats, we called the property mgr. who told us that it could not get fixed until the following Monday (it was Sat. evening). We decided to “tough it out” and ended up spending the rest of the evening in the upstairs bedroom trying to stay cool. The next morning, I plugged in our hair dryer and it blew, then the same thing happened to a hair dryer on site.

From Guadalajara, the next Monday, I phoned the property manager and told him of the problem with the dryers and suggested that as a result of the electrical work, perhaps this was the cause of the A/C problem. He assured us it would be taken care of by our Thursday return.

On returning that Thursday at noon, we entered the house and immediately had the same problem. Remember that each time, the upstairs unit operated just fine from the wall keypad, but the downstairs unit would turn off and no matter what adjustments were made (fan on/off, temp adj, timer) would turn right off. At this point, rather miffed, I called the property manager and told him that we expected the problem to be fixed by 4:00 that afternoon, or we would be coming by his home to pick up the deposit for our last 2 nights. Again, we were assured the problem would be dealt with.

On returning after 4:00, the downstairs unit was off and the entire downstairs was hot. I called the PM and told him we would be coming by to pick up our money and would find other accommodations. At this point, he informed us that we would not be getting our money back, and the conversation went south from there.

So, here’s my question; do I stand a snowball’s chance of getting our money back, or are we out of luck? Make no mistake that the PM did not conduct himself in a manner remotely close to accommodating or “customer service” friendly, and frankly, he dragged me right down with him. But cussing aside, do I have a leg to stand on in any of this? Your input on either side is greatly appreciated. Adding further confusion is the fact that within a year, we will be living in the same town as this guy, so the vengeance angle is is NOT an option, nor, for that matter is muckraking…



Rolly


Jul 25, 2006, 6:36 PM

Post #2 of 26 (7277 views)

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Re: [Breadman] rental fiasco

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I doubt very much that you will ever see a peso.

Rolly Pirate


Irish

Jul 25, 2006, 9:12 PM

Post #3 of 26 (7241 views)

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Re: [Breadman] rental fiasco

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Welcome to Mexico!


Bubba

Jul 26, 2006, 6:53 AM

Post #4 of 26 (7195 views)

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Re: [Breadman] rental fiasco

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The only chance you could ever recover this money is if you have a specific contract written in Spanish and spelling out the responsibilities of the property manager and you. Then you will have had to complain in writing in Spanish (e-mails don´t count in any language) demanding rectification of the problem and then prove the manager did nothing in response to your demands. Then you would have to take the poperty manager ttrough a legal process and hope to prevail keeping in mind the judge may not even have A/C and probably has lived all of his or her life in your new town where nobody ever had A/C when the judge grew up and this sort of problem is normal. My guess is the judge would think you were a nutty gringo.

As I write this, I am waiting for the contractor who did my roof to come over and stop the same leaks he has been over here to repair about 20 times without success. If I were not nice to him he would stop coming altogether and then my option would be to find another roofer who would then come over and not repair the roof as well but would charge me for his having failed to fix the problem.

Save this thread so you can laugh at yourself as we all have a few years down the line and thank God you have the good fortune to live here.

At least the roofers here are not all meth freaks as in California.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Jul 26, 2006, 7:57 AM)


tony


Jul 28, 2006, 2:21 PM

Post #5 of 26 (7083 views)

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Re: How would it work

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in your hometown? Really who would give you a free room because the ac doesnt work?
I have stayed in some places in the US where I wouldnt even think of asking for money
back. One place in the US was infested with fleas when I complained they promptly
gave me the kays to another room - this was a major chain!

One thing in Mex is once money is exchanged it is very rare to get monry back.
However I just bought a BB gun from Commercial Mexicana and it sucks. All my
inlaws just shrugged and said Oh well. I went back to Commercial and they said just bring back
the receipt. Too late the receipt was tossed. Tony

"We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."


Cehovet


Jul 28, 2006, 2:36 PM

Post #6 of 26 (7080 views)

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Re: [Breadman] rental fiasco

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From my experience, once the cash is gone, so is any leverage one has (or had). Of course, there are exceptions but you would know right away if this was one, which obviously it isn't.

Now you know how this person is, so when you move there later, you're all the wiser.


esperanza

Jul 28, 2006, 5:07 PM

Post #7 of 26 (7046 views)

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Re: [Cehovet] rental fiasco

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Here's another point of view: during this last week, I had occasion to return an item to Costco in Guadalajara. I had lost the receipt. They took the item back and returned my money, no questions asked. In addition, I remodeled a bathroom and had quite a bit of tile left over. The tile company (a small business here in GDL) took the excess tiles back and refunded the money, no problem. They also refunded the price of a towel bar I didn't use.

I think a good bit of whether you get a refund or a runaround depends on how you've treated the people you want to treat you well. The OP, by his own admission, treated the property manager as poorly as he felt the property manager had treated him. Patience and politeness win the day, any day.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Rolly


Jul 28, 2006, 5:24 PM

Post #8 of 26 (7040 views)

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Re: [esperanza] rental fiasco

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During my construction project we bought a lot of tile from a local store. A couple of boxes had a number of broken tiles which we returned for replacements with no problems. We bought too many electrical plates which we were able to return to the electrical supply house without a receipt. I am sure the relationships we established made a big difference. In both places, the folks seems to enjoy helping the gringo struggling with Spanish.

Rolly Pirate


Bloviator

Jul 29, 2006, 5:53 AM

Post #9 of 26 (6989 views)

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Re: [Rolly] rental fiasco

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My wife is a confirmed Nordstrom shopper. They will accept returns of shoes that have obviously been worn for years. They accept anything. My wife tends to take advantage of this. She buys stuff she isn't really sold on and then returns it. She never, though, returns anything she has used or after a self imposed time in possession cut-off.

Our first trip to Liverpool taught us a very valuable lesson. Liverpool is not Nordstrom. She bought something she didn't want. We went back to return it. They did finally take it back, but it was a several hour process involving a number of people who spoke no English, my very weak Spanish (one of lthe reasons I'm determined to go away for a month of intensive Spanish as soon as possible), my wife's non Spanish, and a whole lot of anguish for everyone.

We now realize that return policies in Mexico are not like NoB. In fact lots of return policies NoB aren't like Nordstrom. We will return things locally to shops where we are regular customers, but never again to unfamiliar retailers.

We have since decided not to shop at Liverpool anyway. Poor quality, high prices, and our stupid lack of awareness of a lot of the customs and realities of Mexican upscale marketing. Also, the infamous $16 US dollar car wash in the parking lot was the final straw.


Georgia


Jul 29, 2006, 8:08 AM

Post #10 of 26 (6958 views)

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Re: [Breadman] rental fiasco

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Air conditioning? Ajijic? Last week? Surely, you are kidding! If the a/c that you seem to need didn't work, why not simply ask for the use of a fan? Threats simply don't cut it here.

Actually, thinking about it, I don't even know anyone who HAS air conditioning here. I know there must be some ... I've just never seen a house with it. Most wiring here is not heavy enough to carry that kind of load anyway ... as you've discovered.


Bubba

Jul 29, 2006, 8:17 AM

Post #11 of 26 (6955 views)

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Re: [esperanza] rental fiasco

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I think a good bit of whether you get a refund or a runaround depends on how you've treated the people you want to treat you well. The OP, by his own admission, treated the property manager as poorly as he felt the property manager had treated him. Patience and politeness win the day, any day

Well put Esperanza. This is especially true in Mexico.

I, for one, think Liverpool is a splendid store for Guadalajara and suggest those of you who have not been there try it for yourself. I have always gotten very good service there which certainly has not been my experience at WalMart across the parking lot.


Gringal

Jul 29, 2006, 9:15 AM

Post #12 of 26 (6942 views)

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Re: [Bubba] rental fiasco

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I have to agree about Liverpool. You don't have this problem, but for us women: just try to find a decent bra at Walmart!!
In some departments, Liverpool rules.

As far as returning things is concerned, Costco and Home Depot are easy. Most other stores seem to think you lacked foresight or a prior try-on, especially in the clothing department. Nordstom is the kind of fond memory we expats need to place on an altar with Trader Joes'.


thriftqueen

Jul 29, 2006, 10:30 AM

Post #13 of 26 (6919 views)

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Re: [Bubba] rental fiasco

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Last winter friends of ours flew into Obregon. Upon arrival they discovered their luggage didn't arrive with them. The airline promised it would be located soon. The couple stopped in the Obregon Wal Mart and purchased $150.00 worth of clothing to get by on. Shortly after their arrival in Alamos a van from the airline showed up delivering their luggage. This is an 80 mile trip. We were impressed!

This couple announced they would just return the newly purchased clothes to Wal Mart on their way out of town. We snickered as we knew getting money back from a store is a rare occurence. To give WalMart their due, they accepted the returns with full reimbursement. Sometimes attitude makes a difference but not always as we all know.


johanson


Jul 29, 2006, 10:38 AM

Post #14 of 26 (6918 views)

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Re: [Georgia] rental fiasco

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AIR CONDITIONING: Georgia: In 1998 when I started to stay in Ajijic for longer periods, I had a full house evaporative cooler and a master bedroom A/C installed.

That air conditioner has been on one or two afternoons per year, and isn't really needed.

However there were many a hot and dry April and May afternoon, where is was nice to turn the evaporative cooler on low and cool the whole house while adding humidity to the very dry air.

When I built my new house I did not install an A/C, but I did, of course, install a wall mounted evaporative cooler. Remember these coolers do not cost that much and use a fraction of the electricity that an air conditioner does.

The only time one needs an A/C is when it is both very hot and very humid. In Ajijic, when it gets very hot the humidity is low, therefore allowing one to use the cheaper Evap cooler option for cooling.

In PV, for example, when it gets hot the humidity is usually very high. Therefore for cooling you would need an A/C.


Georgia


Jul 29, 2006, 11:00 AM

Post #15 of 26 (6910 views)

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Re: [johanson] rental fiasco

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Yup. And that's why we live here! I don't even find a need for the evaporative cooler because I live right on the lake. Blankets every night. Or maybe it's just old age.


johanson


Jul 29, 2006, 11:39 AM

Post #16 of 26 (6901 views)

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Re: [Georgia] rental fiasco

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Georgia, you are just tougher than this northern cold weather wimp. On a hot afternoon, when it is 86 out and very dry (I know that is not hot to most of you) I like to turn the evaporative cooler on and drop the temp to about 76.

Do I need to? no. But why not?


Gringal

Jul 29, 2006, 12:19 PM

Post #17 of 26 (6898 views)

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Re: [johanson] rental fiasco

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86 degrees is hot, dammit. Those of us from cooler climes know it and if we can get things to plug in and make it all better, indeed, why not?


johanson


Jul 29, 2006, 12:31 PM

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Re: [Gringal] rental fiasco

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Right on Gringal, especially when they are cheap to operate.


caldwelld


Jul 29, 2006, 2:14 PM

Post #19 of 26 (6870 views)

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Re: [esperanza] rental fiasco

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I have noticed little difference between Canada and Mx wrt return policies. I purchased a ton of stuff when renovating my house and that included clothing and furniture (in addition to hardware and building materials) from a variety of different stores here in SMA, Celaya, and Queretero. Never had a problem with returns and there were quite a few. Some involved getting money back some simply exchanges.
dondon


dtracy8671

Jul 31, 2006, 9:57 AM

Post #20 of 26 (6719 views)

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Re: [esperanza] rental fiasco

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Amen, Esperanza! You are so right.... My motto; What goes around, comes around.


dtracy8671

Jul 31, 2006, 10:04 AM

Post #21 of 26 (6717 views)

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Re: [johanson] rental fiasco

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Pete, I am originally from Bigfork, Montana, and now I reside in Dallas, Texas. No comments please. Needless to say, I am dripping wet constantly and would give anything for 86 and dry. At night we turn the air conditioner down to 72 just so we can sleep. When I am in Las Vegas it is wonderful even though it can reach 110 during the day. Oh to be in Ajijic!


Gayla

Jul 31, 2006, 10:19 AM

Post #22 of 26 (6715 views)

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Re: [Gringal] rental fiasco

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Gringal & Pete, you don't have to be from colder climates to be a weather wimp :-D. I'm one too, and I was born and raised on the border in San Diego, CA. Too much above 85* or too far below 60* and I'm outta my weather comfort zone.

Humidity is something we didn't have a huge amount of growing up in SD, but we've sure got it now. Weather patterns are definitely changing. A 2-week heat wave, accompanied by tropical humidity just broke. The weather news reported last week that it was 79* with 91% humidity at 6:45 AM. I can tolerate a little humidity but not that much. Now we just have humidity and normal temps. I am really looking forward to Guadalajara in 18 days :-)


PeggyS

Jul 31, 2006, 11:41 PM

Post #23 of 26 (6617 views)

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Re: [johanson] rental fiasco

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We too put an A/C in the upstairs master bedroom "suite" which closes off to the closets and bathroom too. They say that heat rises, (we agree) when after sitting out in the patio/garden looking down at the lake, and we went inside and up to bed - sometimes the bedroom becomes stifling hot, because the whole front of the second floor of the house is glass- windows that look out on the lake but don't open. Beautiful view, but can get very hot with no cross-ventilation.
Thanks for telling us about the evaporative cooling system.


johanson


Aug 1, 2006, 12:41 AM

Post #24 of 26 (6614 views)

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Re: [PeggyS] rental fiasco

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Yes it is a lot cheaper Peggy. By the way, I still have B&W pictures of you as a young lady in a bathing suit standing on a float of a sea plane. At least I think it's you. Smile


PeggyS

Aug 3, 2006, 12:20 AM

Post #25 of 26 (6498 views)

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Re: [johanson] rental fiasco

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Yup, it's me, Pete. But not my airplane. I do have my seaplane pilot's rating, and was asked to be on the cover of an aviation magazine. You have copies of some of the pictures taken that day. My airplane at the moment is in Key West with a friend, after my years of flying and racing planes in Mexico.
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