Emily and Daisy Wolton in Palma yesterday. | Humphrey Carter

4

Sisters Emily and Daisy Wolton had spent the past year working hard for their week-long holiday relaxing in Palma, a city they fell in love with when they first came a few years ago. But yesterday they said this may well be their last visit. The sisters landed in Palma late last Saturday night, collected the keys to an apartment they had rented off an internet site from an office in Can Pastilla and reached their holiday flat in central Palma at around midnight longing to have a good night’s sleep and get started on their holiday.

“On entering the apartment, it looked nothing like the photographs posted on the website, there was hardly any ventilation - it was so hot we could hardly breathe. There were two fans, one didn’t work properly and the other in one of the bedrooms only worked when the light was off.

“The other bedroom had just a tiny window and there was no window in the bathroom, plus the block was extremely noisy, the ceiling moved, we don’t know what they were doing upstairs,” the sisters told the Bulletin yesterday.

“It was late, we were tired and hot so decided to go out for a drink and see what happened. It was awful, we had to move one of the mattresses out in order to try and get some air.

“I have a medical condition which means a I have to have a good night’s sleep,” Emily added. “The following morning it was clear that, if the previous occupants had paid the 60 euro cleaning fee, little cleaning had been done. In fact, when we collected the keys, the chap told us to take pictures of anything broken or wrong and e-mail it too them because the owners like to take care of cleaning and they hardly saw the apartment between occupants coming and going.

“So, on the Sunday morning at 9am we phoned the company with which we booked the flat and brought them up to speed about the situation. Quite simply we were really upset and didn’t want to stay there any longer, we wanted our money, 700 euros, back. They said they would talk to the bosses, we were not allowed to talk to anyone of seniority, and get back to  us.

“After a while and more calls, they did get back to us and advised us to try and spend one more night in the flat and see what happens. So, we did and it was in fact worse, so on Monday morning, after having had no sleep for two nights and feeling very upset and increasingly frustrated, we went back to the office where we collected the keys in order to see a manager, but we were just blanked. We offered to pay for the two nights and the 60 euros cleaning bill in exchange for being reimbursed the rest of our money.

“That was refused, all they did was offer alternative accommodation but by this point, we were beginning to feel threatened and were really upset that the holiday we had worked all year for had turned out to be a total nightmare and that these people simply didn’t care. At no point did a manager sit us down for a talk, to discuss the problems and attempt to reach an acceptable solution.

“We had lost all confidence in the company. How were we to know that their alternative accommodation was going to be any better and after the way they were treating us?

“We simply wanted nothing more to do with them, we had quite clearly been ripped off and taken advantage of - we felt so powerless and we both hate being fobbed off, but we’re not ones to normally cause a scene or make a major fuss, but these people simply didn’t care. We staged a bit of a protest, but we got the impression that they were going to call the police, so we left and checked into a hotel, we didn’t know what to do.

“We had no idea who to turn to, what, or if, there is some kind of ombudsman we could lodge an official complaint with here in Majorca. We both like to see things through to the end, but I guess we’re going to have to draw a line under this and try and make the best of the rest of our holiday.

“At first we were going to get the next flight home, but having come all this way we thought we would get it sorted and get on with things, but it didn’t work out like that.

“It’s such a shame because we love Palma but now we don’t know if we will ever come back. Previously, we’ve rented an apartment here and it was excellent, no problems, but things like this are only going to damage Majorca’s image. I bet we’re not the first people this has happened to or going to be the last.”