S'porean Family Denied Refund After Complaining About Dirty Apartment in Genting Highlands
Subscribe to our Telegram channel for our latest stories and breaking news.
The apartment management has reached out to SAYS to provide their side of the story. Article has been updated to reflect their statement.
A Singaporean family booked an apartment in Genting Highlands for a staycation just to be welcomed by cigarette butts and a bad smell
One of the family members involved, Adlina Mazlan, posted in a Facebook group, Complaint Singapore, to share the bad experience.
On 22 June, after a nine-hour journey by bus, the family arrived at the apartment, which was booked through Booking.com, and were surprised to see how messy it was.
Unmade beds, a full trash can, unwashed dishes in the sink, leftover food, opened drinks in the refrigerator, and cigarettes were seen lying around the house.
Adlina told SAYS that seeing the cigarettes lying around the house really disappointed them because it exposed their children to cigarette fumes, which can be very dangerous.
"It's like everywhere there were bottles of cigarette butts and packs lying here and there. It's so unsanitary," she said.
Furious and disappointed, the family contacted the admin, who responded 15 minutes later. The guests were then asked to wait downstairs while the staff cleaned the house.
However, they were told to leave their luggage in the apartment during the cleaning process, which angered Adlina even more.
"It is ridiculous to entrust our luggage to such management," she told SAYS.
To make matters worse, the family was offered another apartment that was just as bad, if not worse, than the previous one
After about 30 minutes of checking in and arguing with the admin, they were offered another apartment, which they reluctantly accepted because it would be a hassle if they were to look for a new place to stay.
Based on Adlina's account, the second apartment had a sewage-smelling toilet, mouldy walls, and dirty blankets.
"It's as though they never cleaned or replaced anything after each customer's stay," she told SAYS.
On their way back to Singapore, Adlina received a message from the host accusing them of dirtying their bedsheet and asking her to pay RM400, which was the deposit amount
They agreed to pay for the bedsheet to "get it over and done with" after the host "negotiated" with them.
However, when asked for a refund one week later, the host refused and said that they will only do so if the guests gave them a perfect review.
In the screenshot of the conversation between the family member and the host, the host asked the family, "Can you please give us a full rating (10 stars) so we can refund you the RM250?"
Based on reviews of the accommodation on Booking.com, other guests who have previously stayed there have also complained about the unsanitary conditions
They found the bedsheets dirty or stained upon arriving.
Guests also complained about how smelly the toilet and other areas in the house were, to the point where they suggested using air fresheners to get rid of the smell.
Previous guests also shared issues that they had with refunds
In the Facebook post, Adlina warned Malaysians and Singaporeans to beware of this tactic by apartment hosts
She reminded everyone, "This is their modus operandi, which is to dissatisfy customers and then accuse customers just so that they do not have to pay back the exorbitant deposit of RM400. Fellow Singaporeans and Malaysians, please beware."
Adlina also told SAYS that her family still has not received their refund. They are planning to lodge a police report, but are still not sure whether to lodge it with the Singaporean or Malaysian police.
[UPDATE] Genting Highlands Apartment Accused Of Being Dirty Provides Their Side Of The Story
The apartment management has reached out to SAYS to provide their side of the story, but requested to remain unnamed.
In their statement, they admitted that the initial unit was indeed not ready when the family checked in, and they then compensated by offering them another unit.
They then stated that the guests purposely did not show photos of the second unit to the public to make people think that both units are in the same bad condition. They also explained that the mouldy wall issue is common in Genting Highlands "due to the high moisture environment and weather." They said, "obviously it is not a dirty wall," and they claimed to paint it every 6 months.
Moreover, the host persisted that the family did dirty their bedsheets and turn the unit into a mess. However, they did not provide us with any proof despite saying that they have them.
Addressing the issue of a refund, they told us that they did not threaten to scrape the guest's deposits for a perfect review on Booking.com. Instead, they blame their admin staff for using harsh terms with the guest when being asked about refunds, causing the customer to misinterpret it as a threat.
Lastly, the host clarified the reason they have not refunded the guest yet is that the guest has not given them enough bank details after being asked on WhatsApp.