"Imagine booking a cottage through ImagineIreland only to discover it was not what you imagined. The cottage they were so proud of that we booked for a weekend was dark, damp, dreary, dirty and dingy. We had to buy our own toilet paper, there was no Calor gas for the cooker. The heating, when it worked, which was seldom, we had to pay extra for and the wood burning stove in the sitting room had no wood. Altogether an utterly miserly experience like no other cottage we’ve booked before. For the privilege we had to pay TWO booking fees of £46 and don’t be fooled by the picture: the cottage next door is derelict."
"Terrible experience with imagine Ireland. I booked a cottage for particular dates and when I went to contact the man about keys, I realised that cottage was booked for the wrong dates. I contacted imagine Ireland who were rude and unhelpful and tried to blame me. Once they checked Back over emails and telephone, realised that it was them who made the mistake. Long story short, had tk get another cottage and pay extra. It was a lot of hassle getting the money back and the attitude of staff was diabolical!"
"My disabled mother booked property 14959 in Cullenstown 28TH JULY/4TH AUGUST. (For 8 adults)
This was to be the first holiday for her in three years after a serious illness.
The advertisement showed photos of a sitting area with a leather sofa and arm chair with modern flat screen tv and a kitchen area with a table and 6 chairs.
One room (17ft x 13ft at a rough guess) with the table and chairs smack in the middle, with one two seater sofa behind it and a tv that can only have been from the 80s!!
Making hooking up modern technologies impossible!!
The advertisment stated unlimited Wi-Fi access, at a small fee, which we were more than willing to pay, as this was one of the main reasons we chose this property. Firstly, because my mother is unable to get around so the internet is a main source of entertainment and secondly for me to access work whilst i was away.
Firstly told by the owner, the box was broken. Secondly we were told to "SWITCH OFF FOR THE WEEK' and the final solution was to hook us up to the neighbours Wi-Fi which, unless you sucked the adjoining wall to the neighbours house, you couldn't even get one bar of a signal!! USELESS!!
The appearance in the advert indicates that this is a clean modern set up.
MOULD IN BOTH BATHROOMS
DIRT BUILD-UP BEHIND TAPS IN KITCHEN
BARE BULBS (in fact one bare bulb to light up the whole social area!!)
He laughed as us when we told him about our complaints!! No help at all!
The contract is with the owner and therefore IMAGINE IRELAND TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY ONCE THEY HAVE TAKEN YOUR MONEY!!
AVOID AND BEWARE!!!"
"I booked property 14959 in Cullenstown 28TH JULY/4TH AUGUST. This property was supposed to accommodate 8 adults. I paid over a thousand pounds for this holiday and was devastated when we found that the advert /photographs had no comparison to the reality of the said property. The owner had very deviously taken pictures of the property by removing furniture and making it look as spacious as possible. Actually the advert said it was all in one room but the deception was that the room was no bigger than the average sitting room with a kitchen, dinning room and sitting room all in a 17&13 feet space. One two seater sofa and a television from the 1980 s with no access to modern day equipment. NOTHING like in the advertising Imagine is promoting. No INTERNET, MOULD in both bathrooms, bed totally below any standard all round poor hygiene. I left on the 1st August because it was so uncomfortable and complained to the owner who laughed at us and was not interested in any complaints we had. I contacted imagine Ireland customer care and was told it would be investigated. After a week of no comeback I rang the customer care team and was told someone would call me back that day no one did, finally I rang Imagine Ireland today 20th August and was told basically that my contract was with the owner who is still advertising the same false photos on this property with Imagine Ireland. I was promised an investigation but got nothing from your care team."
"Out of 4 properties only one was truly outstanding. The company does not seem to regularly visit and check properties. Standards of cleanliness were poor in 2 properties and all three needed to be updated. We had to be relocated from one property ( which was tricky and took all day) as it did not advertise that it did not have mains water and couldn't guarrantee water was bacteria free. Apparently the CEO thought I was amusing and should be put back in my box when I complained... still awaiting compensation."
"Imagine Ireland is a terrible service! After staying in a horrible rental from their website, I wanted to do a review of the house that I've rented to let other people know about the conditions. My review didn't get posted on the website. I've sent an email asking about my review and the reply I've received was: "Thank you for contacting Imagine Ireland with regards to you below email. I am so sorry that you feel that your comments should be in a review." And that was the end of it. As you can see on their website, they're posting only the good reviews! Not sure that's even legal, not to mention fair."
"We had mixed luck with Imagine Ireland. Our worst experience was when we wrote a review that was critical of the property we had rented. Their response was "We're sorry to hear of the problems you encountered and can advise that your questionnaire was received. The feedback given has been forwarded direct to the owner of the property for them to rectify so that future holiday makers do not encounter the same problems. Therefore the review has not been posted to our site as it won't show a true reflection of the property now."
As I told them, I have to disagree with their position. The purpose of a review is to allow future guests to make a decision based on the experience of previous guests.
Here is our review of the Millgrange Cottage: Staying in this large, one bedroom, one bathroom cottage was very interesting and very disappointing. It is well located near the town of Carlingford, and many sights of the Mourne Mountains and Boyne Valley are easily accessible. However, we’re not sure why the Bord Failte has given it a four-star rating, unless their scale is from 1 to 10. We would give it a 2.
Pros: Location is good; there is a washing machine and dishwasher in the kitchen; a good amount of space; and the hospitality shown to us by Mary.
Cons: No Wi-Fi, but we knew that when we rented. You can access the internet at a nearby golf course or, as we did, go to the Louth County Library in Dundalk, about 25 minutes away. The kitchen is very poorly stocked – a few unmatched dishes, pans but only one small skillet, only one sharp knife; the floors boards are loose and very squeaky – don’t expect to sleep if anyone is up and moving around downstairs; two single beds in the loft bedroom; small bathroom with no place to put anything like combs, deodorants, shower items, etc., no light over the sink for shaving and, due to the design and sloping ceiling, don’t plan to stand up to use the toilet unless you are under five feet tall; the water pipes squeal when turned on and off – again, light sleepers beware.
But perhaps the most disconcerting issue was that on at least three occasions, the owners came into the cottage while we were out, without our knowing they planned to do so. Yes, they did empty the trash, but we were given instructions for what to do with the trash when it needed to be emptied, instructions which we were prepared to comply with. We have been traveling for over a year and a half and stayed in over 40 cottages and apartments all over Ireland and Europe and have never had this experience. During one of these intrusions, we even noticed the beds had been moved – not sure why.
Although Don Brassil is listed as the owner of the cottage on the Imagine Ireland website, in 12 days we never saw or met him until the last night of our stay. His wife Mary greeted us upon arrival and did a good job of showing us how things worked. She asked if we would like heat and we said an hour in the mornings would be nice, but that didn’t happen. We did speak with Don on the phone once when he answered our call one wet and chilly morning when we were asking if we might have some heat turned on for an hour, which he did – just that once. We will certainly never revisit this apartment and cannot recommend that anyone stay here without clarifying with the owners the rules of privacy and the policy for providing heat."
"We rented a cottage for Imagine Ireland in Spanish Point, County Clare (Property Number 9792). The house was fifty dirty, uncared for, unmaintained, broken showers, broken crockery, dirty saucepans etc. Out of date fire extinguishers (by 13 years) and out of date fire alarm (by 4 years). We did manage to recoup our electricity money of 70 Euro but that wasn't without it's battles. We have been in contact with Imagine Ireland about 5 times about the property and they simply don't do anything productive. The final response came today and basically we can take the matter up with a third party but they feel they've done enough - the sum total of nothing is simply not sufficient. I strongly urge you NOT to use Imagine Ireland - you will not receive any customer care once they've received their money, they immediately refer to contracts and take no responsibility.
It would have been beneficial if I'd read reviews like this before I'd booked the holiday through Imagine Ireland as I'd never have used them.
Ireland is a beautiful country filled with beautiful towns, people, scenery, pubs, beaches and holiday homes but DO NOT book your holiday through Imagine Ireland - they are HOPELESS."
"We booked 3 properties ( 2 weeks each ) through Imagine Ireland in December,2016.
The 1st property 15338 in Duncormick, Co. Wexford we wouldn't recommend.
The 2nd property 5100 in Muckross, Co. Kerry was really good thanks to the young owner.
The 3rd property 10076 in Ballinamuck, co. Longford was disgraceful.
On arrival we were given the choice of 2 apartments . We chose the one that ' looked' the
least worse for wear.
Here is a list of what we found:
1. Only one entrance, the interior of door surround covered in black mould.
2. Fridge freezer exterior rusty. Inches of thick ice on Interior of freezer. Having never been defrosted.
3. Filthy washer.
4. No drier ( Drier stated in Imagine Ireland details) Owner said never been a drier.
5. White settee ingrained in dirt. ( used dog blankets to save our clothes ).
6. Window sills covered in dead flies.
7. Wasps in bedroom on 2 nights ( in December !! ).
8 No heating temperature control, other than adjusting radiators valves.
9 Imagine Ireland website & brochure states UKTV channels. This is out of date information going back to 2012 when Ireland went digital. The owner was adamant he could get UKTV channels, until we pointed out he needed to buy special equipment and pay a monthly charge.He told us, no way was he paying that.
We had arrived on the Friday afternoon, by Monday we had, had enough. We left early Tuesday morning, staying overnight in a hotel, en route for home.
Having since reported all this to Imagine Ireland and having read comments of others who have booked with them. we realize we did the best thing in just leaving & returning home.
They were going to subject us to the same useless ordeal with no satisfaction at the end of it.
Although they say they got in touch with the owner, guess whose word was accepted...not ours. In our naivety we assumed some one would go and physically check....not so.
Imagine Ireland told us the properties are only inspected once, and that is when they go their books. So no spot checks ever !!!!!
Oh, we sent a £35 voucher redeemable against our next holiday. We sent it back.
What has added insult to injury is today ( 6/2/17 ) we received an email from Annette Collins, Managing Director of Imagine Ireland asking us what we thought of the property at Ballinamuck
What a shower !."
"Complaint regarding rental property No: 11520, rented from Imagine Ireland Ltd
Castletownshend, View Halloa, Coast Road, Castletownsend, Co. Cork, Ireland
We arrived at this property on Saturday 9th of July 2016, intending to occupy the property for a week. On first impressions the property appeared to be poorly maintained on the outside. The window frames were in poor condition with extensive flaking of paint evident.
On entering the house we were immediately aware of the high levels of dust in the house. Within a few minutes all of us could sense irritation in our nasal passages. There was also an unsanitary smell throughout the house. We subsequently noted that all of the curtains and many of the internal window frames were covered in mould. It is likely that this mould was contributing to the smell in the premises.
It was clear that a proper clean had not taken place at the premises. There were cobwebs on many of the internal window surfaces. There were also cobwebs in the shower and a spider to go with them. We found dog hairs on the bedroom carpet. We also found debris in the window sills, including an old ribbon and a bobbin from someones hair. We also found stains on the bedroom carpet and a pillow case. A serving spoon in the kitchen was found covered in rust.
It was also very concerning to note that the smoke alarm had been disabled and was left in a window sill with no battery in it.
The premises was also misrepresented by Imagine Ireland as a three bedroom house. There are only two bedrooms. A poorly appointed single bed takes up the small landing area, but is in no sense a bedroom.
We contacted the Imagine Ireland emergency line as it was late on Saturday evening. They asked us to go through their procedure whereby the owners agent would be contacted and given an opportunity to rectify the situation. We consented to this. The owner’s agent arrived and told us there was nothing she could do about replacing mouldy curtains at short notice. She did concede that she hadn't cleaned the premises to a high standard. However she reported back to the company that she was happy the premises was cleaned to a good standard. Imagine Ireland offered to re-clean the premises. However we formed the opinion that due to the high levels of dust and mould in the building, it was too unhygienic for us to stay there with our two children for a week. We were of the opinion that the unsanitary nature of the premises gave us no choice but to hand back the keys and go and find alternative accommodation in the area. We were fortunate to find a hostel in Skibbereen with a clean family room. We stayed there for the night.
Imagine Ireland have refused to give us any compensation for this experience and we are left with no alternative but to pursue a claim through the European Small Claims Procedure on the basis that the property is not fit for purpose as a holiday rental due to the high levels of mould and dust in the premises and the fact that it was misrepresented as a three bedroom house, when there are only two bedrooms.
Dr John Mullen MVB"
"Imagine Ireland Ltd leaked details of its customers credit and debit cards and sent it to one of its customers, a complete list of names credit card numbers and other information. It was found that Imagine Ireland were not registered with the ICO when they should be as they handle customers personal details. This was a breach of the Data ProtectionAct. The company was reported and investigated by the ICO. The company has since registered with the ICO. This company deals very badly with customers who complain. Please read reviews on trip advisor and think carefully before booking with Imagine Ireland."
"Imagine Ireland Ltd charge booking fees of £35 per week. So if you are looking at staying over a week it adds up. The issue is that when I booked over the phone there was no mention whatsoever about booking fees. Nothing was said by their reps in the UK office in Yorkshire. Their booking fees are like hidden charges I feel. In my case I was charged £140 . I only realised this after they took my money for the deposit and saw on the email sent the next day after my phone booking that the charges of £140 had been added in. This is a rip off and should not be allowed. Imagine Ireland are only out to make money. There is no complaints procedure and they rarely respond to emails. They are very difficult to deal with and their Director Annette Collins is very dismissive when if like me a complaint is sent to them. Please do not use Imagine Ireland Ltd. They rip people off with hidden booking fees."
"Please, please, please look on trip advisor and take the complaints to heart before booking with them.
Sure there are people who enjoyed their holiday and that's great but if anything goes wrong - forget about getting told anything other than 'there's nothing we can do about it' once they have your money.
The rather hefty booking fee is supposed to include them inspecting the properties to make sure they meet the descriptions provided when the customer makes their booking.
However they refuse to do anything about it if the description is lacking or significantly different that what is provided.
Please note that as far as I can tell they have ZERO accreditation in Ireland, or in Britain as a travel agent. There is virtually no chance them resolving a complaint or actually refunding and no way to make them do so unless you take them to small claims court. They literally told me to get my lawyer when I tried to reach a resolution with them (one I thought was really fair - to compensate us 30 euro for a series of mistakes and several days gone from our 'holiday'.)
They wasted several days of my 'holiday' time involving me in their mandatory complaints procedure which resulted in us being downgraded from a 3 bedroom to a 1 bedroom unit listed at 65 percent of the price we paid for, and a refusal to compensate us for the difference in price. However when they 'offered' to move us to another place they demanded we pay them even more than we already had (even thought that one was also listed as less expensive than the one we paid for).
This has been the worst holiday experience of my life.
AirBnB has excellent customer service, or use an agent accredited in the country you're renting.
Oh and they also record phone conversations without your consent. But you do have a right to request any and all documentation they have regarding your business with them and they must provide it according to British/EU law."
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