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Reviewed 23 June 2017

I don't know much about writing a review. This is going to be my first which will just lay out the facts and let my fellow travellers learn from my mistakes.

My husband and I and another couple were planning a vacation to Tuscany and Sicily in May. We started planning around the end of March when our itinerary was still fluid. I made a few bookings at various hotels in various towns all with a free cancellation date around mid May. One of them is a booking at PopArtment for 2 rooms for 2 nights from May 16 to 18 for a total cost of Eur786.90 with a free cancellation date of May 14. I have diarized to check and finalize my booking on May 8 when I knew that our plan would have been finalized.

On May 8, I found PopArtment debited and credited my credit card for Eur438.90 on May 3. I didn't understand their in-and-out entry to my credit card so I emailed them. The answer was that they had to test the validity of my credit card and as a nice gesture, they only test it by Eur439.90 (only about half) instead of the full Eur786.90. They thought it was proper since they took and gave back the same amount of Euro. I explained the negative consequence of their testing to a credit card denominated in non-Euro due to different FX rates used for debits and credits. Also it was meaningless to test it before the free cancellation day because I could cancel the booking up to May 14 for free. PopArtment insisted it was their right to test the credit card validity whenever and said the most important thing for me then was to confirm if they needed to keep the reservation for me. On my reply email, I told them that we didn't need the rooms anymore because we were skipping Florence and just going to Sicily. I also requested them to reverse both debit and credit entries so I did't have to suffer a FX loss of about C$40. All the above back and fore emails were on May 8, 9 and 10. I also checked my hotel.com account daily after. My hotel.com account showed that I had no bookings upcoming and I have not heard back from PopArtment since then until May 18.

On May 18, I was shocked to get an email from PopArtment telling me that they debited me the full Eur786.90 for no show on the 16th. I emailed them to ask for a reversal since I have already cancelled the reservation with them on May 10 directly. Their reply to my protest was "emails are not a valid cancellation method and I need to cancel via Hotel.com". I further emailed to tell them that i didn't see any upcoming booking with them in my hotel.com account. Their reply was "you have to deal with hotel.com since their booking from hotel.com is still active ".

On the same day, I received an email from Hotel.com asking me how was the check in with PopArtment. In my reply email to that regard, I explain the whole thing to hotel.com particularly such booking was not on my hotel.com account report. I received no response from Hotel.com. A few days later, I got Hotel.com email asking me to provide a review on PopArtment. I replied to that email again repeating my reply to their "how was check-in" email. When I was in Sicily I tried a few times to call them to follow up why there was no such booking that PopArtment referred to included in my account. Unfortunately, the waiting was either 40 to 45 mins or when once I got to speak to a lady the system was down so she couldn't check my account.

I called hotel.com as soon as I got home on May 31 and finally got a person to talk to at hotel.com. He was cold and unfriendly to the extent being rude. After I explained the whole thing, he checked the system and found the booking was made by me with the same name, same email and same credit card as my account. However, he said that I booked it without signing in. Therefore, the booking was not included in my account summary. I have my doubt that I didn't sign in because I always make sure that I sign in to get the free night. I have been using hotel.com for a few years and I never forgot. As a result, I have accumulated more than 2 free nights already. I said to the customer service representative that even if I didn't sign in, shouldn't the bookings made by the same email address, same name be consolidated? Also, shouldn't they send out a reminder? Of course, the answer was a cold "you did book and you are responsible".

Eur786.90 is not an insignificant amount to lose and in addition, it left a distaste to my vacation. I am of course the primary party responsible for my loss. It was not wise on my part that I totally rely on hotel.com account statement to monitor my bookings. I was also not wise to rely on my email exchange with PopArtment believing that after I cancelled the booking with the hotel directly, I was free from my commitment with the hotel. However, I think PopArtment and hotel.com were also partly responsible for this communication mishap. I pleaded that to PopArtment. After a couple of weeks, PopArtment came back and rejected to lower the penalty of full Eur786.90. Instead, they offered me a 40% discount on the OTA rate for two future visits within a year subject to the limitations PopArtment can impose as they wish on the number of nights and the time of the year.

I have no expectation to recoup my loss. I am making this writing public and hoping that:
- hotel.com will improve the shortcomings of their system and procedures, particularly improve their training in customer service representatives and take customer services seriously. I got an email to rate their customer services a few days after I spoke with the rude representative, I again repeated my unpleasant experience with them in details with reference to my reply emails to their "how was check-in" and "how do you rate PopArtment". I have still not heard any response so far from hotel.com after having spent time to write them 3 times.

- PopArtment will provide better service to travellers, e.g. if email cancellation directly with them is not valid, they should either not ask the customer if the customer wants to keep the reservation or even more important, let the customer know that her/his answer to the hotel directly is not valid immediately after they hear back from the customer instead of staying silent. It is misleading.
***Note to PopArtment: I don’t think any mistreated customer will dare to visit your hotel even with your conciliatory discount offer. Your apology would be more genuineif you lower the 100% penalty given that there was no usage cost incurred in "No Show". For your information, I did get reimbursed by Visa the FX cost caused by your credit card validity test.

- my fellow travellers will be wiser than me not to rely on hotel.com account to monitor their booking and not to assume that direct cancellation with the hotel is valid.


Date of stay: May 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
    • Service
1  Thank hksheko
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luca R, Direttore vendite at PopArtment, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2017

This is probably the most specoius and misleading review we have received. Ever.
It's extremely unfair you are allowed to write such a review when all the inconveniences you went through are due only and exclusively to mistakes made by you:
You did not login on Hotels.com using your userame and password to make the reservations
You did not cancel the reservation through Hotels.com
You did not advise us about the cancellation but only informed us you were planning to visit Sicily too, without any other additional information, and this is by far the most misleading thing contained in your review.
Keeping it simple: you made a reservation that you didn't cancel and in addition to the fact you didn't show up you also complain about something we were totally allowed to do. Two thirds of the review talk about your disservices and delays you had with Hotels.com and I don't think anyone else here except you is interested in that.
Finally you also feel entitled to bite the hand that feeds you, refusing the discount (40%!) that we offered you (or any of your friends and/or relatives) when you were actually the responsible for the whole thing.
We emailed you every single file or document that proves that you were 100% wrong and absoultely not allowed to make any complain and then you are completely in bad faith writing such a review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2017 via mobile

The staff were very helpful and friendly. The entrance was fairly welcoming and was nice and clean. However, our apartment was not clean at all. There were clumps of hair beside the lamp as we walked in. There were hairs on the coffee machine and beside the kettle. This was very off putting considering a kitchen is where you prepare food. It was a small kitchen but it was all you needed. Due to the lack of cleanliness we didn't make any food in the kitchen. The inside of the kettle was horrific. It was a mixture of a lot of lime scale and dirt. After trying to boil water it still remained; so that was not something that can be used due to the state of it.
The bathroom was nice and modern however there were also hairs in the sink, shower and beisde the toilet on the floor.
The apartment was right out of the main city centre so we had to take trams etc in to the centre which was about tiresome and too far from the apartment. The staff, however, were helpful in explaining the transport etc.
I would not come back to this apartment as I disliked how dirty it was and the distance from the centre of Florence.

Date of stay: June 2017
Trip type: Travelled with friends
2  Thank EHS08051996
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 June 2017

We were on a short trip to Florence and Pisa for our birthdays; as we currently live in Basel the flight to Pisa is only 55 minutes so Tuscany is very easy to visit.

Popartment did not disappoint, we had a very clean, modern and well proportioned studio overlooking the pretty courtyard to the rear; the shower room was up a small flight of steps from the bedroom area. The kitchen area was fully equipped with a range of facilities including a dishwasher and is excellent for anyone who has been out all day and just wants to eat and relax in their room in the evening. We bought some breakfast things from a supermarket to put in the fridge so we could eat before going out for the day. The studio had great airconditioning and Velux rooflights with electric blinds. A small welcome pack with things like coffee, tea pods and small toiletries was supplied. We did not use the laundry facilities as we were only there for 3 nights but this is a great addition to have for anyone staying longer. The building also has a modern sitting room and communal areas with tables and chairs for guests to use.

Some reviewers have complained about the location not being near the centre of Florence, but on the first day of our trip we took a 30 min walk into the city which took us across a very pretty park with fountains in the centre and some delightful old side streets where we found a nice place to eat a cheap lunch. If you don't want to walk there is a bus stop close by in the local square with frequent services into the centre. Don't be put off by the locality, there are good and inexpensive restaurants if you explore the side streets in the evenings. We arrived at 9pm and the staff directed us to a place in the local square that was perfectly adequate, serving good basic Florentine food and wine.

I hope to visit Florence again as there is so much still to see, would highly recommend Popartment and would be more than happy to stay again as I like this type of accommodation better than hotels and the owners / management have thought of everything you need.

Date of stay: May 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Cherub61
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 29 May 2017

Popartment ticked all the boxes for us. A very spacious, clean apartment with everything you need for a short break. About 25 minute gentle walk to the train station and another further 5 minutes into the centre of Florence. We were greeted by Luca on arrival who spoke perfect English, he showed us to our room and went through everything in the room in detail. He also guided us to a local restaurant, which we ended up to twice and having a take out on our last night. It was only 5 minutes around the corner and was excellent value and probably a third of the price of a similar meal back in Florence. Would definitely visit again when back in Florence.

Room tip: All rooms looked spacious
Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank MSJ_YNWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luca R, Direttore vendite at PopArtment, responded to this reviewResponded 1 June 2017

Dear Guest,
we are always glad to read reviews like yours and we truly appreciate your kind words.
Hope to meet you again in future!

Luca Rosano - Executive Sales Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2017 via mobile

We opted for a studio which is a great size, everything we needed. A small kitchen area, table and chairs. Very modern and clean apartment. Although the location is 10 minutes by bus into the centre we enjoyed it. We found a local bar in the square where the drinks were half the price of those in the centre. We also ate at a local restaurant which was packed every night with locals. Again, very reasonable. Hardly any tourists around which we loved!! It was nice to get away from the hordes of people in Florence. The staff are lovely and very helpful. I would certainly be recommending Popartment to my friends.

Date of stay: May 2017
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank Liz S
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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