Kamloops couple warning others of potential vacation rental scams

By Dylana Milobar
December 2, 2018 - 11:12am Updated: December 3, 2018 - 8:34am

KAMLOOPS — Vacationers beware, and do your research — the message from one Kamloops couple who had a less than satisfactory experience with a rental in Mexico this weekend.

After booking through TripAdvisor at a rental property run by Progreso Vacation Rentals, Jolene Eschyschyn says her and her husband arrived in Yucatán yesterday at what they thought was going to be a beautiful spot to stay.

Eschyschyn says their alarm bells went off when initially the rental manager wanted check-in to be for 10:00 p.m, and was allegedly reluctant to let them have an earlier check-in time in the daylight.

"We went there, and the caretaker just basically quickly walked through and spent most of the time trying to figure out the internet," she says. "And then they left."

After seeing the fridge was leaking on the kitchen floor, Eschyschyn explains she then went to go use the washroom and was shocked to find feces on the wall, the outlet plates, and on the toilet.

"I called my husband over and went 'oh my God, okay we need to pull the sheets down and check this out'," she says. "And there were live bugs and dead bugs, and hair, and spots of blood all over the sheets. And we went over to the other bed, and it was in a similar fashion."

The couple called the property manager, who Eschyschyn says, claimed their standards were too high.

Eventually however, a caretaker was sent over to remedy the situation.

"He just began scraping the feces off the wall with his fingernails, and the toilet, and started scraping the blood off the sheets, and just kind of shrugging his shoulders and saying sorry."

Eschyschyn says after having someone come to change the sheets, and arguing back and forth with the property manager, the couple decided to call the booking company about the cleaning situation.

"So when I was finally able to get ahold of TripAdvisor, they said, 'yeah the guy had already contacted us and said that you were complaining about the environment'," she explains. "And they said 'well you know, we're going to have to take a look through his pictures because he says it looks beautiful there'."

The couple went through the Yucatan beach group on Facebook they had joined, and saw that multiple people had cited Progresso Vacation Rentals as a tourist scam, newspaper articles had been written about the company, and reports were sent to police. 

"So we left there, because I'm sorry, the guy was rubbing poop with his hands, and then touching everything," Eschyschyn says. "And I couldn't literally walk in to the kitchen."

Now headed to a different place to stay, without getting their money back, the couple wants to spread the word to make sure other vacationers don't get caught in the same situation. 

"I have always trusted TripAdvisor, we have booked several vacation rentals," Eschyschyn explains. "I'm really disappointed because you try to go through reputable places, and you try to cover your tracks, and they are not helping us. And it's obvious that they have been told about this place many times."

Currently, Eschyschyn says they have no plans to use the booking company in the future.

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