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Eight months before leaving for the Chianti festival in Greve, Italy, my wife and I researched villas and apartments near the festival. We wanted to be able to walk to the festival and enjoy the tastings without worrying about driving. Rentvillas, an agency in California that acts as an intermediary between travelers and owners of villas, found us an attractive 3-room property with a private entrance, covered terrace and wonderful view. We paid Rentvillas the full rent months in advance and soon received their confirmation.
When we arrived we found that "our" apartment had been rented to someone else. The property owner offered us a totally unsatisfactory substitute. After hours of looking we finally found a nice hotel in Siena, 40 very-winding-road miles south of Greve. Needless to say, for the three days of the festival, with that drive, we couldn't enjoy tasting many of the wines. And, since we stayed in a hotel, had to buy meals out, etc. we spent an additional $700 that week.
We believed a good business would apologize for the error and do all they could to make our stay better. Rentvillas offered no assistance at all, even though we called immediately giving them a detailed account of our unhappy situation.
They had not honored their part of the contract and when we came home, we asked them, in e-mails and telephone calls, to return our rent. They stonewalled for a while, and then refused to give back our money. Rentvillas is a poor choice. I would strongly recommend finding another agent for renting a vacation property.