HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Someone else’s hair greeted Marissa Leavitt’s family at their Hot Springs vacation rental.
“This is the shower, this is when we got here,” she said in a video.
“I couldn’t believe what I had walked into,” she said over Facetime. She and her family live outside Houston.
She originally saw what looked like a beautiful property on AirBNB. It’s one of several owned by Timeless Memories, LLC.
After walking into a mess she decided to give others a more realistic tour.
“It’s filthy. It’s disgusting,” she said in a video she recorded from inside the house.
Even appliances meant to clean things were dirty.
“See that at the bottom of the dishwasher?”
It has an inch of liquid and grease at the bottom.
“This is not what I paid for, this is not what I saw online,” she said.
“There was trash all over the place, the carpets were disgusting, there were bugs everywhere. It was just unsafe to be inside the house,” Lewis Castro, another unhappy renter said.
Castro lives in Austin and needed space for 19 people when he booked the house on Portia Circle.
“When we got there we were very shocked to believe what we were actually getting ourselves into,” he said.
Both families paid thousands of dollars for their vacations, including boat rentals that never showed up and amenities that were behind locked doors.
But they didn’t pay through the travel sites AirBNB or VRBO, instead through paypal directly to Timeless Memories, LLC.
“A way around their fees,” Castro said was their reasoning. That way they could offer the renters a better deal.
By not going through the company’s website, it also kept the renters from their protection policies and guarantees.
“As he was sleeping, this vent leaked on him all night long,” Leavitt said is her tour. Her son woke up wet in a bunk bed.
While her videos, and now lawsuit filed by the Arkansas Attorney General live forever, this vacation is one they’d rather forget.