From August 14 to 17 we spent a short holiday in Amsterdam. Through Booking.com we made reservations for a small apartment the ‘Artist House Apartments’. The apartment is located in a central area from which you can walk to the museums and the main attractions of the city.
All apartments in this property are distributed along a steep staircase that can be an obstacle to the transfer of luggage or just to get in and out of the building.
The apartment we had been assigned was located on the 1st floor and was composed of a kitchen with a sofa and TV, a bedroom and a bathroom.
The kitchen is a bright room with a large window overlooking the street, while to the bedroom is very dark as it’s only window overlooks a backyard 3x2 meter, dingy and dirty, where the only view is the wall of the neighboring buildings and it is infested with mosquitoes in this season.
The apartments do not have a reception, and if need any assistance you have to rely on people contactable only by phone.
Our real bad experience started on 17 August during the return to Italy when we received a text message from the bank informing us that we were charged € 250.00 from 'Artist House Apartments’ in Amsterndam. Upon arrival in Italy we e-mailed an urgent request for clarification to this charge. The morning of August 18 we received a first notice of apology for the fact that there was a mistake and they would return the money. Then in the afternoon we received from Booking a note informing us that the owners of 'Artist House Apartments’ claimed 250 euro against alleged damage to a bench at the foot of the bed. The accusation was an iron burn on this bench. Damage we have absolute certainty of not having caused. Upon arriving we promptly removed the duvet and layers of extra bedding and cushions and placed them on the convenient bench at the foot of the bed until our departure (it is summer and all this extra bedding was too warm). We were on a short vacation and not there to do our ironing! We did not used the iron during our stay (and an iron is not something you use by accident!).
We have written the owners and Booking.com and to clear our position but nobody believes us, we feel completely helpless and rather ripped off, beyond the money, basically we have been considered liars and unjustly accused for damage by someone else. The assistance from Booking.com has been absolutely non-existent.
The extent of damage was calculated at the sole discretion of the owners of ‘Artist House Apartments’ – a brown iron mark on a brown fabric bench (difficult to see even in the photo they sent). The apartment therefore cost us an additional 250 Euros.
On important piece of advice that we would like to give to travelers who are interested in renting this structure: take care, at the time of delivery of the keys, to check the conditions of the apartment and the furniture and then record and report any damage in order to avoid paying a heavy extra fee. Upon departure, insist that there is a manager or person of responsibility to hand over the apartment. (In our case we were only asked to leave the keys inside and go out.) Also do not expect any help from Booking.com as their concept of customer service is to simply wash their hands of any problems!