Charging for Housing In Days Instead of Nights

Most people who write a bad review about an experience with a company, expect at least an apology or a promise to improve. Instead, Pedro and Grace, who are traveling around the world and blogging about their adventures, were insulted by the US-based company Furnished Quarters.

One of their upcoming destinations is New York where they will be staying a month starting mid-January 2008. To get a better feel of New York living, they intend to stay in an apartment rather than a hotel, and so they looked around for a company that would rent them an apartment for a month. New York-based short-term housing provider firm Furnished Quarters seemed to have what they were looking for, so they tried to get everything booked and that is when the problems started.

Once they got their bill, they were surprised to learn that they were charged 32 days when they are only going to stay for 31 nights. Furnished Quarters said that it was company policy to charge in days rather than nights even though the customer can only check in after 4pm and must check out before noon, thus effectively charging them an extra day. When asked why they were not told about this ahead of time, Furnished Quarters said that it was standard practice. However, no hotel would charge like that and no customer at a hotel would agree with being charged for the time they couldn’t stay there, which is why hotels charge in nights.

Unhappy with response and other aspects of Furnished Quarters’ customer service, they decided to blog about it to let others know about the hidden differences in charging and that it might prompt somebody at Furnished Quarters to help them sort it out.

Instead, their blog was hit by a barrage of fake comments which have all originated from an IP address in Furnished Quarters. The insulting comment had many ironies in it, one of which goes like this: “this guy sounds like he’s trying to hide something” when the comment itself was from Furnished Quarters hiding behind a fake name and pretending to be one of their customers. It looks to me like Furnished Quarters doesn’t understand how easy it is to trace an IP. I guess they’re not very Internet savvy. So what are Pedro and Grace going to do about it?

Well, our credit card has already been charged and it’s too late to cancel without a hefty penalty, so we will probably have to stay there. We just hope our belongings won’t get damaged or stolen and they don’t later make up some claim so as to confiscate our security deposit, but if they can insult us with false comments on our blog, we won’t underestimate what they might do to us.

I travel a lot and in all that time I have never been charged for a room in days. It has always been in nights. Is this standard practice for short term housing? This is the first time I heard of anything like it.


42 thoughts on “Charging for Housing In Days Instead of Nights”

  1. Rhys says:

    I travel loads and I’ve never heard anything of the like. It’s quite amusing from an outsider seeing this develop, it appears this company is kinda shooting themselves in the foot a the moment!

    1. David Chew says:

      Maybe to attract the attention of people. 😀

      1. Faisal says:

        Its really funny why they are doing this stupid thing

    2. Alan Johnson says:

      Same here, it’s definitely not something I’ve encountered. Having such an approach and not informing people at the very least is just plain foolish.

      Alan Johnson

      1. MoneyNing says:

        They probably don’t inform people because everyone would complain if they do. I am surprised that it’s not written somewhere in some contract though.

        1. Alan Johnson says:

          In the end, not informing people has definitely backfired and their blog comments only made matters worse.

          Alan Johnson

      2. Whats funny is they say it is industry standard.

  2. DayJobNuker says:

    Great post as usual from a great blogger. How do you do it? How do you keep coming up with topics that are so darn interesting? Ive never heard of being charged by the day either. Again, great post!

  3. seo audit says:

    Bad move with the comments.Is like putting a “Guilty” sign.

    1. Indeed they already proclaimed themselves guilty.

    2. Alan Johnson says:

      It’s definitely not an approach which would convince people to take them seriously as a company, 2 wrong steps which will definitely hurt them in the long run.

      Alan Johnson

  4. David Chew says:

    They charge differently which is unusual because most of the company will do it the other way.

  5. Teddy Wong says:

    It is unbelievable that the accommodation is charged as day instead of night. We must careful about reserve apartment or at least be careful Furnished Quarters.

  6. There should be some kind of rental/hotel act that protects the consumer against gouging like this.

  7. KiwiPulse says:

    Pedro and Grace are brave, I will not stay there after receiving bad comments from the Furnished Quarters. It’s a scary story, I hope they will be fine staying there for 1 month. They should take a live webcam with them, So if anything happen to their stuff. They can always put it on YouTube. :mrgreen:

    1. MoneyNing says:

      I agree. I wouldn’t stay there either and they are brave.

  8. Liviu Pantea says:

    Well since it`s a hidden fee and it was not mentioned anywhere before they can also sue them.

  9. Holly says:

    I do alot of traveling and I did hotel mystery shopping for a while. This is not a standard practice and I have never seen anyone charge like this.

    Just from the companies response to the post you can tell they are unprofessional and are just trying to scam people out of there money.

  10. CatherineL says:

    Well done for exposing those idiots John. I did read somewhere that a law will be coming in soon to prevent businesses from writing fake anonymous stuff about themselves on the web.

    If it were me I’d try to get my credit card company to retrieve the cash, on the basis that I was not getting what I’d paid for.

  11. It’s interesting that there are companies that insult the buyer instead of making an arrangement with the buyer and/or apologizing for the inconvenience. Now Furnished Quarters got some media attention…I wonder how much money they lose because of this. 😈

  12. Gina says:

    I should think they’d dispute the charge with their credit card company and find other accomodations. I’ve used services like that one for short-term apartment rentals in Amsterdam and Prague and never had anyone charge by days rather than nights. I think this particular company is unique in their methods.

  13. Michael says:

    Very deceptive if you ask me. You would think they will make more money without the negative word of mouth this practice will generate.

    Michael

  14. Simple Mindz says:

    There has to be someplace they can go to be heard? I would make a complaint to the BBB in the area. Or better yet – go check out their site to see if they already have had complaints against them.

  15. Shaun Carter says:

    It seems like they have brought some potential problems their way by blogging about it and the company finding out, before their stay. I certainly wouldn’t stay in the apartment after learning what the company did with the fake comments.

    Amex is great with chargebacks/cancelations, I’m sure if they used one they could get the whole thing refunded. If they had a centurion card they might even get a written apology! lol not likely but oh well.

  16. ShY Guy says:

    That’s good info…
    I just think that complaint give more info to other customer..
    GOod blog to read

  17. I’ve travelled all over Europe, Asia and a few times to the US staying in hotels and villa/home rentals and I’ve never heard of anybody charging days. They’re taking the piss.

  18. Prostream says:

    I’m not sure what this debate is all about. I looked at the Furnished Quarters website. FQ is a short-term furnished apartment provider, not a hotel. These type apartments are use by many who are on temporary assignments. How many of us pay for our apartments by the night? Typically, everyone pays by the month. You pay the same for February as you do for January.

    Just my 2 cents…
    prostream

  19. Benny Ong says:

    It seems like they have been taking advantage of their customers. It is good for it to be made known and their response using their own IPs was not a smart move after all. 😉

  20. That’s New York for you.

  21. Shelly says:

    I know of hotels that charge during the day by the hour. I have been to a few of those! And John, you are such a HUNK OF A MAN that I would love to hook up with you anytime at one of those by the hour hotels!
    Shelly

  22. Pete says:

    Hey there John Chow, I failed to find contact info for you, so I suppose I’ll try commenting here to see if you get to see it.

    I just want to tell you that the contest you held last year for a monitor inspired me to do one of my own to promote my site. See this link:

    http://ww2db.com/news.php?news_id=83

    The prize is not nearly as nice as yours, but it’s relevant to my audience, and I’m hoping I’d be able to attract some visitors this way. Thanks so much for sharing this tip. I’ve also just read your e-book; I hope to be able to monetize my WW2 history website better. Thanks!

  23. Contest Beat says:

    That sucks, the fake comments are just the icing on the cake

  24. After all this, I would have definitely decided NOT to stay with them and if they refused to refund my money, I’d sue them.

  25. KNau says:

    Just because the charge is on your credit card doesn’t mean you have to accept it. Most credit card services offer protection against fraudulent or unwanted charges. They should very easily be able to get a chargeback as long as it’s within a reasonable period of time (30 days).

    Also some states and provinces allow a grace period in which you can back out of any contract for any reason. You can be charged a penalty fee but otherwise the other partner is required to refund your money. At the very least New York’s Better Business Bureau should be contacted.

  26. Having stayed overseas and domestically, I’ve never been charged by day. This seems like a NY Scam to me. Given the comments on their blog, I wouldn’t stay there. Just call up the credit card company and let them know of the situation. I like AmEx for this as they are the least hassle with problems like this.

    If they do stay the webcam idea is good. For 1 day’s revenue I think they are going to lose a lot of money as this gets out there. If they’re smart they’ll change their name, but then again they haven’t shown much intelligence thus far.

    1. MoneyNing says:

      I guess they just don’t understand the importance of customer service!

  27. Caitlin says:

    That’s weird, and the fake comments bump it from “really weird” to “just plain creepy”.

    Having stayed in short-term housing myself, I must say I’ve never been charged by the day.

  28. Emmet GIbney says:

    I live in NYC for 6 weeks last year, and I rented a furnished apartment through a company called NYHabitat, and they were great. They were really flexible in terms of when I could be in and out. They are basically just a brokerage for other people wanting to sublet or rent their places. They even sent me a Christmas card this year : )

  29. ImageGag says:

    I hate companies with scum bag policies like this.

    A couple I know was given Serta Mattress’s b.s. “policy” that a new mattress must sag a full 2 INCHES in the center before they’ll let you trade it in (they actually had someone go to their house to measure it!). This after only 4 months of use. Yes, they’re heavy for their height, but both are under 200lbs.

    Now the wife is stuck with a bad back on their crappy mattress and they won’t even return her calls. Oh yeah, their measurement sag came in at 1 3/4 inches.

  30. Dan says:

    Sue Sue Sue

  31. Joy says:

    I’ve never encountered that kind of room charge system in hotels, short stays, vacation rentals/cottages, and B&B’s. These scammers are exposed!

  32. Haroon says:

    They don’t know about customers satisfaction

Comments are closed.