Sunday, October 25, 2009

Westside rentals sucks

Westside Rentals is a gigantic apartment/landlord/tenant connector for the greater Los Angeles area. Basically, it's the craigslist housing section with an added cost. It's been over a year since I lost all hope in their service and can only wonder if things have improved.

In 2008 I needed to move, so I decided to pay for a membership - after all, Westside Rentals's network is huge. You can't go anywhere in LA without seeing a "FOR RENT" sign by WSR. What I soon found after joining was that, much like Craigslist, WSR has listings that lack information, photos, and reliable landlords to assist you. I swiftly asked for my money back:

Westside Rentals,

My girlfriend and I recently purchased a dual membership to find a new apartment. Over the past two weeks, we have become frustrated and extremely disappointed in your service and are asking for a full refund.

Our complaints with your service vary from website detail to landlord communication. The fact there are listings without both meaningful written descriptions and a single photo is a waste of time to consider. Most of the photos on your website are of poor quality in resolution, composition, and quantity. We have contacted many listings on your website and were extremely disappointed in their poor return rate; many phone calls, voicemails, and emails were never returned. One landlord emailed me back a week after my inquiry of a phone message and email, telling me that their unit was "JUST leased." Another landlord I contacted and scheduled a viewing of their unit cancelled on me twice: both 1 hour before our scheduled meeting. Needless to say, I couldn't afford to schedule a third meeting.

One of the listings we visited to see was distorted greatly in their listing. Not only did it clearly state that it was the second floor (when it was the first floor) – the pictures online were not of the unit available for rent. We are asking for a refund for the full amount that we paid for our membership. Not only did we fail in finding an apartment through Westside rentals, we also endured stress and loss of time and money trying to manage our search using your service.

Refund our payment and cancel our account immediately.

Soon after, we were refunded HALF of our payment. No letter or explanation. Half? I had to waste more time to find out that they refunded only half because I used the service and therefore, should have to pay for it. I was pissed so I posted a review on YELP, not that this was the solution, but just a side note before making calls and more faxes:

If I could give WEST SIDE RENTALS a negative rating, I would. They are terrible and a waste of time. I could write a short novel here, but I'll try and keep it short and simple: poor pictures (if any), poor descriptions, faulty descriptions (I went on scout and the places I saw were grossly incorrect from their listing), poor communication from the landlords who posted listings (would never call back, or call back a week later), over priced listings, lacking search criteria. DO NOT waste your time with this place.

I bought a dual account for $70 and got nowhere after 2 weeks, wasting much of my time and energy trying to find a place with them. After everything went wrong, I demanded a refund and it was nearly impossible to get a hold of anyone to do so. After 4 weeks of struggle, they gave me $35 back from my $70 stating that since I didn't complain earlier, I will not be getting the full refund.
Craigslist is much better. Of course, craigs is the best and worst of both worlds, but it is free and for the most part, has more information and any landlord who knows what he/she is doing will create a good listing.


This was interesting because it sparked the interest of the refund manager at WSR. He called both me and my girlfriend asking about this "David G" review on yelp. After several calls and pointless conversations, he agreed to refund us the rest of our payment back. What a mess.

1 comment:

brodskyorganization said...

I certainly have heard a lot of complaints about West Side rentals . Aren't they one of the largest rental companies in Los Angeles? It certainly limits your options, doesn't it.