We do not recommend this property or broker. This property is not secure.
When my wife arrived at the building with our children around 11:00 am she found the front door unlocked. She walked up to the third floor apartment. The woman from Staysmart who was waiting in the apartment was surprised when they knocked on the door. She asked how they got in. She had no explanation for why the door would be unlocked. She did not even understand how the exterior door worked. My wife began to realize that the building was not secure.
After a few phone calls and fiddling with the door the woman figured out how to reset the door mechanism so that it automatically locks after being opened. She suggested that a child might have accidentally switched the setting. My wife found this to be farfetched; it seemed that someone had purposely changed the door setting to stay unlocked upon exiting.
My wife had just arrived from Penn Station with four children and had nowhere to go. She ignored her reservations and paid the balance due in cash as was requested. After that transaction she was told the keypad code.
The method for generating the codes is ridiculously simple. My wife was told that the reason for the simple code is that if a traveler forgets their code they can quickly figure it out. Anyone could figure out anyone else's code as well.
Upon hearing the code and putting it together with the unlocked front door my wife realized that it would not be safe to sleep there with the children.
The building reeks of stale cigarette smoke. This smell seeps into the apartment. The apartment was advertised as "non smoking only - low allergen environment". Our older daughter has asthma; we take poor air quality seriously.
The response to our concerns was slow and unhelpful. At 12:25 I called Ellen and requested our money back as we could not stay in the apartment. She said she had to check with a colleague. When I didn't hear from her I sent another email at 1:51 asking for a reply. At 2:49 I got a reply from Damon. He was adamant that the contract be honored and no compromise could be made. We moved to a nearby hotel.
My wife's assessment of the apartment is that it is spartan. There are too few towels and no extra blankets. There are particle board wardrobes instead of closets. The kitchen is spare. There is no broom. Everything about the place feels stingy.
P.S. My wife walked by the building at 9:30 the next morning and the front door was unlocked.
Owner's Response: All of the reasons the customer cites were, or could have been addressed. Further, we even suggested that we move them into another apartment if they were still unsatisfied, but we later realized that they moved to a hotel within an hour of their arrival and were simply trying to make excuses to try and get a refund for not honoring their contract.
Specifically in regards to their concerns:
1) They argued that the building door was broken and that it was unsafe and that is why they needed to move. We realized that the door wasn't broken, but rather, that someone switched the latch on the side of the door to unlock. We therefore switched it back and reached out to the other tenants in the building advising them that they should not change the main door setting (there are only 3 apartments in the whole building btw).
2) The smoke smell in the hallways was not cigarette smoke. Our rep did notice, however that there was a very faint cooking smell that did NOT permeate into the apartment.
3) Not an hour passed in between correspondence. I would consider this very responsive. The customer called at around 12:30PM complaining that the door was broken and must be fixed immediately. We sent a repairman very shortly, only to realize that the door wasn't broken, but that the latch was just switched to unlock. On 1:51PM, he sent another email demanding his money back. At 2:48PM, after gathering all the facts from out maintenance manager and check in rep, we advised him that the door was not broken, and that it was too late to get a refund, but if he gave the apartment and neighborhood a try, we were confident that he would find it fantastic. (BTW, Julia Roberts lives in the building directly behind this one. Gramercy Park is one of the safest and nicest neighborhoods in Manhattan. We have NEVER gotten a complaint about security in any of our Gramercy Park neighborhoods).
4) The Keypad code was simple can be programmed any way the guest wants. This was never brought to our attention as something that he had any issues with. Had we known, we could have re-programmed the lock and issued them another code that they could chose themselves!
We tried working with the customer all day up until 4PM when we suggested that they move to another apt, when the customer finally admitted that he had already moved out! This is not fair to us. We are happy to try and work with an unhappy guest, but they have to want to work with us too!
Helpful votes: 5/8
Did you find this review helpful?