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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Business Review: ApartmentsBA.com

One of the things I'm going to be doing is reviewing local businesses that I think expats or travelers should either patronize or stay away from. I'll let you know my experience with them and then either recommend them or not. There are a few places that I've done business with that I want to warn people about and a few other places that I'd like to recommend. This will be an occasional column, much like the restaurant reviews column that appears here every once in a while.

ApartmentsBA.com - Furnished Apartment Rentals

  • Website: www.ApartmentsBA.com
  • Phone (USA): +1 (646) 827-8796
  • Phone (Argentina): +54 (11) 5254-0100
  • Address: Callao 1564 5°B, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • El Expatriado's Rating: 5/5

This morning, I just checked out of one of their apartments at their building on Las Heras & Junin. I rented this apartment for a month and it was easily the best apartment rental experience I had in Buenos Aires. To show the reader the difference in service, I'll contrast the experience I had with ApartmentsBA with the experience I had the week earlier with an apartment from ByT Argentina.

When I checked-in to both apartments, I only received one set of keys. When I asked for a spare set, ByT threw a huge fit and one of my employees had to call and yell at them to finally get someone to help me. To be fair, the guy who finally helped me did a great job. There was a problem with one of the doors and so he had a locksmith come over and change the locks and give me my extra copies.

ApartmentsBA, on the other hand, sent someone over the next day with the keys. No arguments needed. Additionally, I was missing about $400 for the security deposit on check-in (thought my office had paid that already) and they didn't throw a big fit about it and trusted me to make good on the money.

The real nice thing about staying with ApartmentsBA was the amenities that were provided. They give you a cell phone, a USA phone to make/receive calls to the US, high speed Internet, cable, DVD, a stereo system, weekly maid service, and even little business cards with the phone numbers and address of your apartment (great for giving to friends and co-workers who want to know how to reach you here).

You'll spend a little more to stay with them than you would ByT or some of the other companies, but its money well spent.

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20 Comments:

Anonymous Art said...

Yes, it is true. ApartmentsBA and Mike are a pleasant experience waiting to happen in the wonderful world of "Buenous Aires apartment rentals". They do deliver the "goods". The other agencies may or may not deliver what they advertise.
The truth is, you are at the mercy of the owner of the apartment, not the "rental agency". Some are good and some NOT so good. They look at things from an Argentina perspective; things like:
1.One bath towel and one dish towel (of course, you can go down the street and buy a towel for $36 pesos)is enough for a weeks stay. (you won't see the maid for 7 days)
2. It takes two weeks for the airconditioner to be fixed, because the Owner is out of town.(you leave town before it is fixed)
3. The phone service you were promised never works. (you just give up and make your calls down the street)

4. Your flight leaves in the morning and you don't know how or when you are going to get your deposit back, because you can't reach the agency office.
By some miracle, the night before you leave, you happen to see the apartment manager and he gives it back to you.

So if you believe in miracles and like living on the edge, try the Argentina rental agencies. But, if you want a flawless experience, go with Mike and apartmentBA.
IT'S JUST THE FACTS!

6/25/2005 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Vivian G said...

I agree with your comment about ByT Argentina. I reserved an apartment from ByT Argentina before going, but when I got there and saw the apartment, I wasn't crazy about it. The guy told my I had to pay a 20% cancellation fee. I think he should have just showed me another apartment. I then contacted the same company I used last year, Temporary Apartments, and ended up renting an apartment from them again. In my opinion, they are also a good company. I was able to get in touch with them whenever I needed to, they were honest, on time, and very friendly. They are resonably priced as well. I would definately recommend them to anyone who's looking for an apartment in Buenos Aires!!

7/29/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Kara Johnson said...

I agree with the posters above. I also used www.apartmentsba.com and it is refreshing to actually deal with a company that answers emails quickly. I have rented from them 4 times now in the past year. I have always received great service, the best properties in Buenos Aires and the best thing is that everyone in the office speaks English and seem to love what they do.

I like the fact that they actually manage the properties so if there is a problem they can do something about it. I rented before with BYT and there were problems but they told me I needed to take it up with the owner who didn't help me solve the problem.

I agree with the posters above that this is the best rental company with the best properties. My boyfriend just booked a new amazing property they have in Recoleta with a huge terrace. I can't wait to check it out.

8/26/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ApartmentsBA is the best. My wife an I rented an apartment from them last october in palermo soho. It was a great experience and they were very pro. We took advantage of their concierge service and they hooked us up with boca juniors tix to boot. If you looking to get away from the hotel experience and still get great accomadations this is the way to go.

We are using them again this year.

6/19/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger saintba said...

. Well, here is a warning from another poster on the NYTimes travel blog about apartmentsBA.com:

January 9th, 20082:58 pm
I spent about 4 months in Buenos Aires for work in 2007; several of my colleauges have spent a lot of time there as well. We have used both apartmentsba.com and buenosaireshabitat.com and I would absolutely recommend buenosaireshabitat.com . They are professional, organized, and more reasonably priced. Under no cirmunstances would I recommend apartmentsba - while their properties are nice, the agency is extremely unprofessional and disorganized. My colleagues and I all had problems with them not confirming reservations, giving different rate totals at different times, not giving us invoices, not sending cleaning staff, etc. etc. Every single time we used them over a 10-month span we had problems. So: go with buenosaireshabitat, and definitely not apartmentsba, especially if you are traveling for business and need proper documentation!!!

2/27/2008 04:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apartmentsba,

May be in 2005 was excellent, in 2007 we rented a luxury apartment for Apartmentsba; 2 bedroom, 2 bath, capacity for 3, a/c in all rooms.
The real thing:
Check in was on time, good!!!, the Fours Seasons mattresses were normal mattresses you will find in any property, towels washed but in very bad conditions, holes, cigarette burns and stains, sheets unbelievable! not iron, Does the owner of this company compares with to the best Hotels in Buenos Aires, not in the poorest country they will put non iron sheets in your beds! The luxury apartment we rented has no a/c in one bedroom, with no bed in the same bedroom, a poor balcony without a chair to sit in or plants, walls with holes and scratched floors, at night the building cut off the heating system and was freezing, we ask for comforters or any heating system and never appear. Very bad experience with Apartmentsba, I completely do not recommend them!!!
We are renting know with Luxuryinternationalliving.Com and although is a small Company they are experienced, very nice people, they answer your email or call us quickly and find a solution if there is a problem, when we arrived to the apartment and was exactly what the page advertizes, no lies. We will return on April and we are renting again with them unfortunately where we are renting will not be available, but we definitely prefer to rent with Luxury International Living.

3/01/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be incredibly wary of ApartmentsBA, they are more or less a scam and will do whatever they can to extract any money they can from American tourists. We went to BA in August of 2007. We stayed at an ApartmentsBA apartment in Palermo Soho. The apartment was nice I guess, kind of in an out of the way street, but well decorated. The shower was cold was the biggest complaint.

When we checked in, we read over the contract and something they didn't tell us until we get there is that if you lose your keys, they charge you 300 dollars. 300 dollars for lost keys. We knew this was a terrible contract clause, but we had already given half of our money to them by the time we got there (they make you pay in cash for everything and make you give half the money up front by paypal or wire).

Our trip was good but then we got mugged. I won't get into how unsafe BA is and how it isn't at all like they say it is in the travel magazines and journals, but yeah we got mugged. Of course they took our keys. We slept in a hotel that night and called ApartmentsBA to get into our place the next day. We knew we would probably eat the key cost (300 dollars is a ripoff but a contract is a contract) so we could handle that. The thing is though they also took our safe key. Our passports were in the safe. ApartmentsBA did not have an extra safe key for whatever reason so they had to call a locksmith to open the safe. The locksmith opened the safe and the ApartmentsBA person and the locksmith started speaking in spanish. The ApartmentsBA person said to us that we would have to pay for the locksmith, which was $500 dollars american apparently and then he would give us our passports. Now, a locksmith does not cost 500 dollars in a country where an 9 course meal costs 20 dollars. Also, they didn't have a spare key, not us, why should we be responsible for their negligence? Basically what ended up happening is they demanded 800 dollars. 300 for the key fee and 500 for the locksmith. We obviously didn't have that money just being mugged and all, so we packed our shit out of there 5 days earlier than we were going to leave BA and went to a hotel. They kept our 500 dollar security deposit. We obviously never heard from them again because they just wanted anything they could get, knowing we weren't in a position to negotiate, and were satisfied with the $500 dollars on top of our 1500 for the week we stayed there (even though we checked out 5 days early). Do not deal with these people, they are a scam. The 300 dollar key fee is ridiculous. Stay at a fucking hotel, where if you lose your key or someone takes it from you by knifepoint, they just give you another one. And are actually sympathetic when bad things happen to you.

If you need more information or have any questions, contact me at na2204@columbia.edu

3/16/2008 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, I too had problems with ByT Argentina. Our apartment was nice, but our landlord was completely insane and accused us of a whole host of things we did not do. She even went as far as to rip up towels and accuse of it. And when the door broke (not anything we did), she tried to charge us for her time when she came to fix it! And to make matters worse, ByT Argentina refused to help us. They are completely unethical, don't ever rent from them!!!

3/25/2008 02:24:00 PM  
Anonymous gelatogirl said...

...thanks so much for al of your comments/info. I would like to spend two months in BA as I dance tango and well...I lived in Manhattan for 4 years and in LA for 2...I've been in Europe for the last 20 years...how is the city? Is it safe? Can I walk the streets as one would in Madrid at 3am and not worry? I am thinking about Palermo viejo or Recoleta..any comments? thanks! denise in greece

4/21/2008 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We made arrangements through ApartmentsBa for a few night's stay. We should have known something was not right when they refused credit cards and only accepted a bank wire transfer or cash and wanted a $800 cash deposit for even a stay of one night. We checked in before 6pm and the student they used for check in tried to charge us an extra $35 as it ended after 6pm. We found stains on the bedding, damage to the upholstery, floor damage, and were told that we would be liable for all these under the contract we signed unless we phoned them all in within 10 hours or 4am the next morning. And they had our $800. The extensive cable TV they advertised had almost no English language TV. We had problems on check out - had to wait in our room for over 3 hours until someone came - this is not the way to spend a vacation. We tried to contact Mike, the owner, and were told he refused to speak with us. Our apartment was not in good condition, certainly not as nice as their fancy online photos indicated. I would not recommend ApartmentsBa to anyone.

3/10/2009 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avoid BYT at all costs. These guys are the worst. They cancelled our apartment on us 4 days before we were to arrive (after we had booked a month in advance) The replacement apartment was crap and they tried to charge us 20% cancellation (which we got out of) and a $50 dollar booking fee (which we ended up paying)

The original apartment was canceled because of a "gas leak". But when we called there someone answered and told us that they had just started a 2 month stay. Apparently someone wanted it for longer than us and they flipped on us!!

Anyway, totally negative experience would never use them again.

6/10/2009 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had a terrible experience with ByT Argentina and would not recommend them to anyone. We rented an apartment in San Telmo (253 Humberto Primo) and on the fourth day my wife, who was inspecting the chandelier in the apartment (we were thinking of buying one ourselves), received an electric shock that nearly killed her. When she pulled away from the chandelier it fell to the floor and broke. She was also four months pregnant, and so we had to navigate the health care system (including getting an ultrasound) on the same day to make sure everything was OK.

When we called ByT to tell them what happened, the manager (Adrianna) was immediately defensive, told us it was not the wiring in the apartment, and that since it was our fault she would need to withhold our $375 security deposit. Once the electrician examined the chandelier and found that, in fact, the wiring was faulty, Adrianna told us she still may have to withhold the deposit. She made us fax her the hospital bills (which totaled $500), leaving us in limbo until she reached the owner (in Paris). On the last day she begrudgingly returned us the full deposit, however without an apology for what happened.

I would not use this company again - hopefully the others are better.

1/21/2011 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We recently returned from Bs.As. after spending over 6 weeks in a ByT apartment. The initial dealing with ByT was difficult as to our request for an extended stay price for various apts. we were interested in. While they (dealt with a different individual for each e-mail) stated each request was passed on to the respective owner, the rejection response was quick in coming. I would have assumed that at least one owner would have preferred a couple for one and one-half months rather than 6 - one weekers. Worse yet, ByT NEVER mentioned the construction on-going just across the street Mon - Sat., 7:30 to 5:00 with Sunday being the only day to sleep past 7:30 in the AM. Aside from the noise, the apt. was OK but I can't say that for ByT. I personally could not recommend them.

4/07/2011 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger CarolFQ said...

READ THIS BEFORE GET AN APARTMENT FROM THEM!
GO ANY OTHER WAY THAN By T ARGENTINA!
At my last day, the owner arrived late, and i ended up forgetting to get my deposit back, called them from the airport, and they said that it was ok for me to go on with my travel (although i told them that i wanted to exchange flights to resolve this) that they would take care! Well they just told me that he not only doesn't have the receipt signed because i was in a hurry, and he paid me!
VERY VERY DISHONEST HE DOESN'T HAVE THE RECEIPT AND THEY BELIEVE HIM!
STAY AWAY!
HAVE ALL THE EMAILS TO PROVE!

4/28/2011 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi...
This was my experience with ByT Argentina back in August 2009...
I rented an apartment in Palermo and the place was a complete disaster... The fridge was dirty and falling apart, the kitchen range was not working, the faucet was badly leaking and the back door could not be closed (it was the exit to an internal patio)... Nevertheless, I rented the apartment because I was with my wife and two kids and we had nowhere to go if we didn't sign the agreement... after that we began calling ByT on a daily basis to have them fix the problems... Needless to say, they never show up or try to help me with the problem, and of course, the owner was out of town!!!!!!!!!!!! ByT, you are thieves...

5/07/2011 02:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that I did not look at this blog before booking with byT Argentina...
I agree with Carol: GO ANY OTHER WAY THAN By T ARGENTINA!
I'll never use or recommend byT Argentina again.
At my recent stay, I booked Charcas & Guise II. A nice apartment well located, unfortunately the luxury stops there, has very basic comfort and in a noisy location. On the day of our departure, the owner arrived one hour late to give us the deposit. We had booked the remis and had all the luggage in the car while waiting for the owners to arrive. When the owners finally arrived, they were rude, aggressive and did not even care to apologise for being late. They looked over the apartment as if from the KGB, but finally gave me the deposit back. We had to pay US$13 extra to the remis for the wait. When I contacted byT Argentina with a receipt specifying the charge of the delay,to get reimbursed, the manager (Adriana) apologised for the confusion, but would not pay back the bill. Be careful when dealing with byT Argentina, any costs incurred will be paid by the client, no matter who is at fault. A small amount of money, but the reimbursement would have offset the aggravation caused by the owners.

12/02/2011 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that I did not look up this blog before booking with byT Argentina...
I agree with Carol: GO ANY OTHER WAY THAN By T ARGENTINA!
I'll never use or recommend byT Argentina again.
At my last stay, I booked Charcas & Guise II. A nice apartment well located, unfortunately the luxury stops there, has very basic comfort and in a noisy location. On the day of our departure, the owner arrived one hour late to give us the deposit. We had booked the remis and had all the luggage in the car while waiting for the owners to arrive. When the owners finally arrived, they were rude, aggressive and did not even care to apologise for being late. They looked over the apartment as if from the KGB, but finally gave us the deposit back. I guess that the owners were hoping to keep our deposit if we had would no wait. When I contacted byT Argentina to get reimbursed for the remis charge due to the delay, the manager (Adriana) apologised for the confusion, but would not pay back the bill. Be careful when dealing with byT Argentina, any costs incurred will be paid by the client, no matter who is at fault.

1/01/2012 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that I did not look up this blog before booking with byT Argentina...
I agree with Carol: GO ANY OTHER WAY THAN By T ARGENTINA!
I'll never use or recommend byT Argentina again.
My husband and I stayed at Charcas & Guise II very recently. A nice apartment well located, unfortunately the luxury stops there, has very basic comfort and in a noisy location. On the day of our departure, the owner arrived one hour late to give us the deposit. We had booked the remis and had all the luggage in the car while waiting for the owners to arrive. When the owners finally arrived, they were rude, aggressive and did not even care to apologise for being late. They looked over the apartment as if from the KGB, but finally gave us the deposit back. I guess that the owners were hoping to keep our deposit if we left before their arrival. When I contacted byT Argentina to get reimbursed for the remis charge caused by the delay, the manager (Adriana) apologised for the confusion, but would not pay back the bill. Be careful when dealing with byT Argentina, any costs incurred will be paid by the client, no matter who is at fault.

1/01/2012 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Miriam said...

I'm so sorry that I did not look up this blog before booking with byT Argentina...
I agree with Carol: GO ANY OTHER WAY THAN By T ARGENTINA!
I'll never use or recommend byT Argentina again.
My husband and I stayed at an apartment in Alto Palermo very recently. A very nice one bedroom apartment well located, unfortunately the luxury stops there, has very basic comfort and is in a noisy location. On the day of our departure, the owners arrived one hour late to give us the deposit. We had booked the remis and had all the luggage in the car while waiting for the owners to arrive. When the owners finally arrived, they were rude, aggressive and did not even care to apologise for being late. They looked over the apartment as if from the KGB, but finally gave us the deposit back. I guess that the owners were hoping to keep our deposit if we left before their arrival. When I contacted byT Argentina to get reimbursed for the remis charge caused by the delay, the manager apologised for the confusion, but would not pay back the bill. Be careful when dealing with byT Argentina, any costs incurred will be paid by the client, no matter who is at fault.

1/04/2012 04:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miriam, you are doing a comment about the transportation! no the company, I know they are a good company, I know them for long time!
BYT is great

8/23/2012 06:06:00 PM  

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