TROUBLESHOOTERS: Vacation home not what it was touted to be

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s the height of tourist season at area beaches, and we’ve received some complaints from visitors lately who were less than pleased with their accommodations. The problems seems to be people who are advertising their homes for rent, promising luxury accommodations, and failing to deliver.

Marcie Corral found an ad on Craig’s List for an oceanfront house in Kure Beach. She booked it, and then drove here from Raleigh with her family to find that the house did not live up to the images in the pictures. She took some pictures of her own, before calling the owner to ask for a refund.

“Went in to what would have been the master bedroom, and it looked nothing like the photo,” Corral said. “There were different, older, stained bed covers and an opening to a washer and dryer that was covered in rust and dirt, and nasty pillows hanging out of everywhere. It was just filthy.”

The house’s owner, Catherine Marvel, refused to give Corral a refund, saying she turned down a dozen other potential renters once Corral had booked the house. Corral says she highly doubts that, considering she booked the trip the day before she came. Regardless, Corral says this is false advertising, and she is now trying to get her money back through the bank, since her family ended up staying somewhere else.

She also called the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce to Complain. They’ve gotten enough complaints about Marvel, who also owns the Mermaid Manor Inn, to yank her membership. “It also only takes one person to turn a number of people off the opportunity to enjoy Pleasure Island, and so we’re very very conscious that our reputation is everything, and without it, we’re just another destination that’s trying to get visitors,” explained the Chamber’s Bruce Holsten, of the standards they expect of their members.

Catherine Marvel declined our request to go on camera, but says Corral’s allegations are just not true. She says she’s been in business for 20 years, and has received plenty of positive feedback.

While you can save money by going through sites like Craig’s List, you also expose yourself to some serious risk, as Corral learned the hardway. In the future, she plans to use a more repuatable agency, so she has some recourse if her accommodations don’t live up to her expectations.

Categories: New Hanover

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