I booked my trip for the "Tranquility" cabin through Escape to Blue Ridge in September. We were scheduled to arrive on 11/12 and leave 11/14. The online calendar had no bookings for four days before our scheduled arrival, so we called the week of our vacation to ask about checking in early. Denise said the earliest we could get there was at 1pm and that was fine with us. We arrived at the cabin at 12:55 to find a pleasant woman wrapping up the inspection. My family waited in the car while my husband went to check with her if we were allowed to come in. She said she was just finishing up and everything looked great, but we may see a random ladybug here or there.
At the top of my list for our relaxing vacation was to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the wrap around deck. One of the first things I did when we got there was to check out the deck. I was immediately aware that there was an unusually large amount of hornets swarming around the deck. So many that I could not stay on the deck. I went back inside and carried my luggage to the upstairs bedroom where I found a live hornet crawling on the floor. We called the help desk at that point and spoke to Lee. She told us that unless we saw a nest that nobody would come spray and suggested we use the bugspray in the kitchen cabinet. My husband Robert went outside and sprayed. And sprayed....and sprayed. No amount of spraying was decreasing the hornet onslaught. We called again and spoke to Lee. She sent someone from maintenance to come check it out within thirty minutes.
The maintenance rep was very nice. He discovered three active nests and sprayed them all. We were informed not to go outside for a couple of hours. As soon as the pest control rep left we noticed one wasp, then another, then another in the upstairs bedroom. Fearful of getting stung, we collected our suitcases and headed to the main floor, shutting the wasps inside the upstairs bedroom. Within ten minutes two more appeared- now in the main living area- and we watched as two more flew in from a crack above the dining room ceiling. Now, any normal minded person would be hesitant to stay inside a house that hornets were actively flying in to. Again, we watched as hornets came into the house from a crack or separation in the ceiling. I knew we had to evacuate. One significant factor here is I have a three year old daughter who was with us. I was very concerned for her most of all. I was not about to stay in an unsafe cabin and risk her being stung and possibly having a serious reaction. We couldnt go outside, and we couldnt stay inside. I called the desk again. Lee said she was unable to reach management until Monday. I asked if there were other places to stay and she said they were all booked. I let her know about the situation with the hornets now flying into the cabin from the ceiling and that we were leaving. Her exact words were "So y'all are *choosing* to leave?" At that point I knew were this whole situation was going. I replied that we were not *choosing* to leave but rather we are being forced out by a hornet infestation due to a crack in your cabin roof. As we were pulling out of the driveway the manager Janay (unsure of spelling) called Robert. She asked about the situation and then replied that someone would come back out and spray some more or Robert could kill them himself! She even said that we could always go to the bottom floor if the were infesting the other levels. I did not prepare for this trip for weeks, wasting lots of time and money to be trapped inside the game room downstairs. She basically said that if they offered someone to come out again and we said no that it was our choice and they would not provide any type of refund. There was no apology. There was no concern for us as as customers. It was just this attitude of deal with it or dont, we dont care what you do but a refund is out of the question. I understand that we had an agreement but there are situations where the customer is not at fault for leaving early. In our case the fact that hornets were able to fly in through the ceiling and were swarming inside was an absolute exception to our agreement. We gave them a chance to make it right. Janay didnt even want to work with us. No form of compensation was offered of any kind. Not a different cabin, or a different weekend, no refund....nothing. Not even an apology or empathy of any form.
Initially Janay said we would not be refunded because we did not have permission to arrive early. She said they told us 'tentatively' that we could, but that we were to call the day of our arrival to confirm. I dont think this was said, but it may have been that they were to call us that day. Robert gave them his cell phone number during the conversation so Im thinking that was the plan, for them to call. Regardless it makes no difference. She said the inspector was rushed since we got there early so she couldnt do a proper inspection. To my way of thinking, if your inspector-for whatever reason- does not do a proper inspection that it is the companies fault, not ours. But the lady was not rushed and was actually done when we got there. If she wasnt done it is still her responsibility to do a proper inspection no matter of the arrival time. But again, she said she was done and everything was fine. After explaining that to Janay she switched her argument to the fact that they offered someone to come out for the second time and kill the bugs inside, or that we should do, or we could go downstairs. She basically made the case that we chose to leave since we had options. Here were our options: hide downstairs in the gameroom for two days. She said it was only affecting a couple of our vacation hours and said we could travel to Mercier Farms or another popular location. That is not what I came to Blue Ridge to do. One of the most important things to remember in this situation is that because hornets were entering the house from the ceiling crack no amount of killing the ones inside would prevent more from entering. And leaving would not seal the crack up either. Janay was totally unsympathetic, unwilling to help, snippy, and cold. As a customer, I have never been treated with such a lack of concern. She rudely suggested that I find a different vacation spot in the future as hornets are part of the deal. Again, failing to understand the significance of the hornets flying in the cabin from a structural flaw. She said "Visa and Mastercard back me up" to which I knew there was no point in going further.
I just want to state again, the lady who was finishing the inspection when we arrived as well as the maintenance guy who came to spray the nests were both very friendly and helpful. I needed to include them in this complaint just because they were involved, but they were as pleasant as they could be and very willing to help. It was management and also the help desk who were unwilling to offer us any type of useful assistance. And management ultimately for not offering any kind of compensation or other reasonable option (like a future stay) when it became clear that we could not safely stay in the cabin.
So here we are....ten hours later, back home. Out nearly 500 dollars, 700 if they steal our deposit money too, and feeling so taken advantage of. I will never book with Escape to Blue Ridge again, and may not even go back to Blue Ridge. The whole experience has left a very bad impression on us all. I will not give up. I am going to research what my options are when I have had a good nights sleep. I will not let them get away with screwing us like this. At the very least I will leave my reviews all over the web, with friends, family, coworkers, so that potential customers can be warned about the risk they take when booking with this company. I have also filed a complaint with the BBB.