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Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

Oslo, Norway
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Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

Going to New York City in mid May. Figured we try something else than hotels and booked this apartment through Wimdu.com: www.wimdu.no/offers/42S07TF5…

Later learned that it's not legal to rent out apartments in NYC if it's for less than 30 days : unless it's rented out while the owner lives there (not the case with the apartment we booked) or it's a class B apartment. More on the subject here: fodors.com/community/united-states/heres-the…

Tried using the Dep of buildings website to figure out what type of building this was (class A or B), but only got that the property was not filed correctly (using 67 for the building number and 73 as the street number). Then proceeded to call the office number for the dep of buildings, but no-one could help me and in the end they just hung up on me. I was super polite so def not because of any abuse on my side.

Anyone on Tripadvisor that could possibly help me out a little here and figure out if this is a class A or B building?

Just trying to figure out if this is an illegal apartment rental to be able to file for full refund. If it's legal then all is a-ok I guess even though the place can still be a total dump of course.

(This is a cross post from the Wimdu thread in the Barcelona forum).

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

What is the actual address?

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

67 West 73rd street

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3. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

…nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByLocationServlet…

Brooklyn, NY
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4. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

It's Class A, as best I can tell.

…nyc.gov/cofo/M/000/080000/M000080039.PDF

Oslo, Norway
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5. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

Thank you very much for this guys. So seemingly an illegal rental for < 30 days then.

The marketing scheme of Wimdu seemed so legit for a novice apartment renter. The "verified host" and "quality controlled dwelling" signs are truly misleading if this is an illegal NYC rental. I recently read an article in the NY Times about how sites like airbnb and Wimdu close their eyes to the problem, but this was from back in 2011 I think. I am going to send a link to Wimdu to this thread and see if they are willing to come into this thread and give an official statement on this particular case. Very interested to hear what they have to say.

In an other article I found (nymag.com/realestate/…) an Airbnb spokesperson says that the site’s terms of service demand that users comply with the law, and Homeaway’s rep says the site “encourages owners to educate themselves on the individual rules and regulations that may apply.”

Wonder if Wimdu has the same TOS as Airbnb and if so if it means I'm in for a full refund instead of the refund that comes with the general cancellation clause the appartment had and that I've received so far.

I might just call 311 tomorrow too as the article states since I have the office adress to this company and know they handle tons of apartments on Wimdu and maybe an investigation from the NYC building dep can shut an operation like this down (if confirmed illegal)..... Does anyone know what the 311 would be when calling from outside the US?

Oslo, Norway
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6. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

Almost forgot the last update on the case itself. I emailed both Wimdu and the company renting out the apartment and cancelled the booking. Here's the dialogue that instantly came back.

1. My email to both Wimdu and the rental company

Cancellation of booking!

We are cancelling our booking for this apartment. Please refund in accordance with your refund policy. Please confirm!

Best regards

2. Rental apartments (immidiate) answer

Hello Alexander

Unfortunately if you cancel the booking you cannot get any refund

Thank you

Best regards

Mohamed

3. My reply to both Wimdu and the rental company

That's not in accordance with the rules:

You will be refunded half of the total price minus the Wimdu cancellation fee if you cancel the booking at least 7 days before check-in (by 12 noon, local time). For cancellations that are made less than 7 days before check-in, you will be refunded 5% of the total price minus the Wimdu cancellation fee.

This comes into your hands more than 7 days prior to check-in.

So please refund asap.

Best regards

4. Wimdu's immidate response

Dear Alexander,

thank you for contacting us. We are happy to take care of your inquiry.

We have proceeded to cancel your booking 5UFxxxxx and the refund of 540 USD has been also processed. You will receive the refund within the next 5-7 business days.

For any further questions or inquiries, please don't hesitate to contact us or search our FAQ and “help” section at www.wimdu.com.

Kind regards,

Denis for the Wimdu Support Team

5. And last Mohamed returns with their new response

OK no problem

we can cancel booking

thanks

"Amazing" how the rental company just flat out denied the refund that is within the rules of the rental agreement. Hopefully Wimdu finds this shady too.

Edited: 2:39 pm, April 30, 2013
Brooklyn, NY
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7. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

Not really amazing: more standard operating procedure. Companies that participate in illegal dealings are rarely upright.

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8. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

Is that your total refund? I hope so. Are they refunding you via credit card, wire transfer, Paypal - how?

Oslo, Norway
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9. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

@ Yeah, I agree. Not amazing at all, thus the use of the " " ;) Would you happen to know what I need to dial to call 311 from abroad?

@ What

Edited: 3:17 pm, April 30, 2013
Oslo, Norway
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10. Re: Used Wimdu.com for apartement booking in NYC - need help

@BrooklynBrdge Yeah, I agree. Not amazing at all, thus the use of the " " ;) Would you happen to know what I need to dial to call 311 from abroad?

@MomCat1992 Why do you hope that is my total refund? It's like 1/3rd of what we paid. Sorry for asking, but english is not my first language so I don't always get what the true meaning of a question is. I'm not sure how they will refund me. I used a Eurocard (mastercard) for the payment and they haven't asked for a bank # so figureing they'll just ship it back to the Eurocard.