I am not sure how to start this review. This process has been about a month long, and its been terrible. I rented the apartment for a client of mine to stay in while in SF for work. At first the HomeSuite employees, particularly Mea, were very helpful, with multiple personal phone calls etc. I was very excited as I book accommodations for clients in SF several times a month and thought I had found a great service, which I expressed to Mea. But that was the end of the personalized customer service.
The first sign of trouble was receiving three automated invoices that were not clearly marked as to what the amount due was for. We had to call to figure out that it was for security deposit (labeled as Feb rent for some reason), February rent, and March rent, ok, fine. Paid.
Then my client arrived in San Francisco and found that the apartment was not secure. The front door jammed and would be easy to break into. There was a spider infestation (visible nest in the window sill), the house was not clean, the sheets were so uncomfortable that my client had to go out and buy a new set as she broke out in a rash all over her body after only a few days of trying to make it work. This is someone who spends most of her time on the road for work, staying in many different places. She is not sensitive, she is used to the stresses of travel. This was just an extremely uncomfortable place.
When I called to say we needed to break the lease I got Meas answering machine as well as the machine from the main office. I wrote to Mea, and got an away message, I wrote to the general customer service line and got an automated reply. The next problem I encountered was the HomeSuites does not use a regular email service, they have some kind of horrible third party service that creates tickets for every correspondence and is not to a personalized address on their end. This meant that when I would send an email I would also receive an email, from myself, in my inbox, and a different person would answer it each time. It was horribly inefficient and clumsy.
Not one person (and I spoke to at least 4 people) gave me the impression that they understood or felt badly about the experience had. Not one person took the time to explain their policy on cancellations. Instead we were sent random refunds for amounts that still, have never been adequately explained to us. My client stayed in the apartment for 6 nights and was charged a disproportionate amount, as far as I can tell.
We had to request the lease termination to be revised twice as the HomeSuite people did not understand the date that the property was vacated, even though they were informed multiple times. We were billed for the cleaning fee on a rental that had not been cleaned properly in advance of her arrival. We were billed a processing fee that I had to request yet again to be refunded and this came through a third party service bill.com, which we had to set up an account for and which took about 10 days to arrange as the HomeSuite people never sent me the invite until I reminded them several times.
When I wrote a very clear email expressing the intensity of my frustration with the processing fee refund and the fact that no one had explained the logic of their refunds to me, they did not reply. Instead they wrote to my client via this non-email messaging service and told her about the refunds that I already knew about. Because the system is set up in a way that a random employee picks up each email, she was confused and wasted our time talking about other refunds when I was asking about the bill.com refunds. Completely disregarding my manifest frustration as well as not understanding that I had written the email, not my client.
When I asked for a receipt to know what was actually charged in the end I was told they were not capable of that, however Katie offered to make one. She then sent me a word document that did not account for all the charges/refunds. When we asked again she just sent us links to the different old invoices, links to the refund invoices, and a link to the bill.com transaction. I then spent about 40 minutes putting it into a coherent document so that I can explain to my company what was charged. This is an absolutely unacceptable way to treat a customer.
I never heard from Mea who at the start of the rental was so kind and personal. I will never book through HomeSuite again and I will not recommend this service to anyone. I am left with the understanding that this business is run only to make people feel comfortable to the point of booking and then leave them behind. It took a great amount of persistence to get the refunds I got, and I am still dissatisfied, just resigned to the fact that I do not believe they are capable of doing right by this. The system is designed in a way that makes you want to give up. I did not have a single moment in this ordeal that felt like HomeSuite cared about my experience, or my clients experience. It was a truly horrible and bewildering experience. I am writing this in the hopes that they will see the need within their own company to change how they relate to clients, as well as to warn potential customers about how they may be mistreated.