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Lucca apartment review

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Houston, TX
Level Contributor
122 posts
6 reviews
Lucca apartment review

We rented the Casa Guiliana apartment from Sidrak Masetti for 5 nights. The apartment is just as the pictures depict, but the advertisement is not completely truthful. The ad claims that the apartment is on the first floor, which is the second floor American, but this apartment is on the 4th floor American. The claims that the apartment is suitable for the elderly and infirmed, but it is NOT. The ad said that there would be a small discount for stays longer than 4 nights, but no discount was given. When we asked about it we were told that discounts are only on 7 nights or longer. We decided that a small discount wasn't worth agruing over. The ad also says that all utilities are included, but then at booking we were told that we would have to pay extra for heat. The next problem was with the deposit. Even though we followed the directions exactly we were told that the deposit was 41 euros short. The first explanation was that our bank charged a fee, but when we produced evidence that we paid the fee separately the explanation was that our bank used a "middle-man" bank that charged a fee. When we produced documentation proving that the funds went directly into Masetti's account the explanation became that a euro in America isn't the same value as a euro in Italy. We said that one euro is one euro no matter where you are, but he insisted. We also told him that we had rented an apartment in Rome, which is also in Italy, and there was no problem. The euro in Rome had the same value as the euro in America, but he wouldn't budge. So, we either had to eat the 41 euros or the entire deposit and go elsewhere. Lucca is such a charming place that even this man's deceitfulness didn't spoil our trip.....but we will never rent from him again. We read reviews from people who had dealt with this man and they were mixed. If you are one of the renters who had no bad experience with him consider yourself lucky. I just want people to know that you rent from this man at some risk.

Edited: 5:32 pm, April 22, 2011
United States
Destination Expert
for Cinque Terre, Lucca
Level Contributor
9,404 posts
14 reviews
71. Re: Lucca apartment review

Be aware that many of the rentals being offered by Mrs. Sonia are really Sidrak's. When you send the PayPal payment the account goes to Sidrak Luciano Masetti. I knew the problems with rental with Sidrak but there was only one post mentioning Mrs. Sonia.

Things have changed during the rental period and I wonder what will happen by the time I get there.

TAB

1 post
1 review
72. Re: Lucca apartment review

This lady has been hired from several owners (my step father is among this group) to take care of the rental properties in Lucca. Sidrak is not taking care of the rentals anymore.

San Diego
1 post
73. Re: Lucca apartment review

I noticed your post and although it's from 2011 I was hoping to get info on the lady from Chicago. We would like to visit this summer and need a good trustworthy lead.

England
Level Contributor
107 posts
4 reviews
74. Re: Lucca apartment review

Is sonia reliable? I am renting an apartment from her, one of sidraks, and am a bit worried after reading these posts. First the amount of the apartment changed from 700e to 850e, although this was priot to booking, so i could have chosen to book elsewhere, and i assumed it to be a genuine error. Now the apartment we booked in sept 2012 has apparenty been double booked and we have been given a new apartment. It looks very nice and sonias emails seem very sincere, but i am anxious as i have grandparents and young children with me and we arearriving late at night.

VictoriaBC
Level Contributor
61 posts
30 reviews
75. Re: Lucca apartment review

I would just like to mention that last year we rented an apartment through an agency, Lucca Holiday Homes and they were great to deal with, no problems at all, would definitely recommend.

United States
Destination Expert
for Cinque Terre, Lucca
Level Contributor
9,404 posts
14 reviews
76. Re: Lucca apartment review

Mrs. Sonia is Sidrak's mother and at one time they both worked in the agency owned by her cousin or uncle (I forget which). There was an earlier posting that Sidrak has left but he was there in the fall when I rented the apartment. Mrs. Sonia handled the initial contact and apartment greeting but said that Sidrak does the internet and some of the emails. The agency handles listing for many owners and Mrs. Sonia and her son do not actually own all the apartments they represent.

I did have to pay the PayPal fee in addition to sending the correct amount. There were no other charges on arrival. There were a few minor problems with the apartment not having what was listed on the internet but once the owners were notified, they brought the critical items over right away. It was a new listing and I had a feeling that they didn't even know what was listed on the internet.

I was pleased with apartment and the rental process (with the exception of the additional fee which should have been stated up front) that I have re-rented the same apartment for an upcoming trip.

TAB

England
Level Contributor
107 posts
4 reviews
77. Re: Lucca apartment review

That has put my mind at rest.

I think i will go ahead and then leave a post here on our return in case it is of help either way to future people. I will also query potential paypal charges in advance. Thanks.

United States
Destination Expert
for Cinque Terre, Lucca
Level Contributor
9,404 posts
14 reviews
78. Re: Lucca apartment review

The PayPal fee is not that significant in the total scheme of things, about €6 but I do think it needs to be stated up front that you will need to pay it.

When you get a statement that the full deposit amount has been paid and then get told that they didn't get the full amount and that Euros from the US are different in value than Euros in Italy, you get the feeling that you are being scammed. It's just a different way of looking at the process. They don't want to pay the small fee of "doing business". For some people that's a line they won't cross and chose to rent elsewhere.

TAB

Surrey, United...
Level Contributor
3,313 posts
4 reviews
79. Re: Lucca apartment review

Hi WeeHB,

As I've said in previous posts on this thread we have been very happy with the apartments we've rented through Sidrak/Sonia. This coming summer will be our fourth booking with them (third time for the same apartment) and each time the PayPal fees have been deducted from the deposit. This year, for the first time, the request by email from them for the deposit states "We consider this amount net from any transfer/reception fee." For us paying the PayPal charges is cheaper than making a bank transfer.

mesh

Edited: 2:44 pm, January 21, 2013
Seattle
Level Contributor
129 posts
62 reviews
80. Re: Lucca apartment review

The paypal fee is minor compared to the rent, but this is the only place out of the dozens of places I've rented from that ask for the paypal fee. Also the unit I rented is advertised to have wifi, but after 5 mins of usage, the wifi quit working. They do not know why it was not working. I had to troubleshoot the problem by bringing the wifi device to the wifi ship in Lucca. The problem was that it was out of minutes, and by the time the wifi works, we were about to check out.

The rental we rented was absolutely fabulous. The check in process was horrendous. Even though we called while we were on the way to the apartment, the lady showed up over 1 hour late. It was downright unpleasant for my family to wait outside the building in the hot summer weather with all the luggage.

Their rentals are legitimate, but their business practice is poor and miserly.