So you’re looking for a holiday home in New Zealand?
If you’re not from New Zealand you may or may not know that a ‘bach’ (pronounced much like ‘batch’) is the word for a cottage, getaway home, beach house or even holiday home.
There are several resources we’ve used to find a holiday home in New Zealand and one of them is Bachcare.
This is my review on Bachcare and how they handled my response to their unfair policy.
If you want to skimp on the details and the badass aerial video of the house, then make sure you read the “Conclusion and How I REALLY Feel About Bachcare” before you leave.
It’s been a quite interesting series of events so read down to the bottom so you can see how it all went down.
Have you been following us for awhile?
If you have you may know that Mike and I rent out houses all over the world (sometimes with people we work with) for events that are usually a few days to a week long.
We’ve rented 4 bedroom condos to 15,000 square foot mansions.
I’m just trying to give you an idea that our expectations can be high for services from property rental companies. Not to be high maintenance, we do our fair share of taking good care of a place.
What is Bachcare
Bachcare is one of the booking sites that you can use to find a holiday home.
It’s family owned, founded by a holiday home owner Leslie Preston and her mother-in-law Julie Ferne.
Navigating Their Website to Book
As of January 2016, their website looks very archaic (read through to see how my conversation went about their website below).
I remember being frustrated trying to use their search function. Of course, now that I go back and try it I can’t seem to remember what the issue was.
I may have been trying to search on my phone and since their website is quite old at this point, it obviously isn’t mobile optimized.
Their Holiday Home Listings
They have a lot of great listings.
I thought that the photos that represented the particular house we rented was accurate enough.
The descriptions were fairly decent and nothing really left me questioning much.
How They Handled a Booking Change
I’m pretty manic about opening a ton of tabs in my browser.
So, naturally, I had about 6 tabs open with different properties so that I can compare each of them.
When I finally made a decision to pick the right property for what we needed I clicked on “Book Now”.
After going through the booking process I realized I booked the wrong property.
I immediately emailed Bachcare.
I hadn’t heard a response after a couple hours so I called them.
I talked to a lady named Gayle and she was very helpful. When she received my booking she canceled it and re-booked under the property I actually wanted to rent for our business mastermind.
She ended up applying the deposit on the first house to the second one.
This was pretty easy.
Bachcare’s Terms and Conditions and My Response
I love New Zealand dearly, but there are moments where you can really tell that the country has been separated from the rest of the world.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, however when it comes to booking holiday homes, some holiday home rental companies here have weird terms and conditions.
Bachcare’s terms and conditions are understandably quite extensive.
The two items that are really freaking weird to me are their clauses on “Cleaning and Rubbish” and “Linen”.
“The property must be left clean and tidy and in the same condition in which it was found.”
Sweet.. fair enough. We’re pretty tidy and we’re happy to go that extra mile to clean.
“Otherwise, you will be charged for the extra time required for cleaning.”
You’re charged for extra cleaning AND you have to remove your own rubbish?!?!
Um, ok.. I get that this isn’t a hotel with maids everyday, but you have to clean and remove your own trash otherwise you get charged.
Mind you, Bachcare aren’t the only ones to include this in their T&Cs.
But, the whole point of having a holiday home is to get away from your daily life for a bit of R&R..
As for linen…
“Unless otherwise agreed, you are responsible for providing sufficient necessities for your stay (i.e. towels, top sheets and bottom sheets, tea towels, bath towels, hand towels, face cloths etc.) Do not sleep on the beds without sheets.”
Let me get this right..
… you rent a holiday home
.. ideally in a beautiful area in a lovely home,
and you STILL have to provide your own linen?
If you’re traveling from other parts of the country or other countries, do you normally bring linen with you?
I know I don’t.. but that’s just me. I can’t imagine anyone else doing the same.
Maybe it’s a ‘kiwi’ thing and I’m the ignorant. If it is please tell me in the comments below.
If you’re already spending a pretty penny to stay in a house, is it best to include that in the rate?
I think so.
Connecting with the Agent Prior to Booking Date
Susan was our agent for the beautiful home we rented.
We corresponded through text and that went pretty smooth.
No complaints there.
Connecting with Agent on the Day of Booking
This was pretty easy too.
I’m a huge fan of text and email because I don’t really like using the phone very much so this was handy for me.
Our Stay at the House
The house was gorgeous and I thought was somewhat accurately represented.
The decor was reflective of the taste of cute older couple that owned the house. It was somewhat endearing.
There were a couple of things that I noticed that was slightly different to other places I’ve stayed in, like used soap bars, no shampoo and conditioner and no dish soap in the kitchen.
For us it wasn’t too big of a deal because we travel with most things we need.
Preparing to Leave the House
As usual, we cleaned the house up.
We normally take the sheets off the bed to make it easier for the person cleaning the sheets, but for some reason the cleaning check list mentioned to keep the sheets on the bed.
Yes.. there’s a cleaning checklist.
It’s there to make sure renters adhere to the T&Cs, but because I often have issues being told what to do I hate being micro-managed and that’s what it felt like with this list.
Anyways, we vacuumed the house, cleaned the counter tops and bathrooms without being too pedantic.
Our Cleaning Report
After carrying out the final inspection of the property after your departure, we identified some minor issues that needed to be resolved before new guests could check in. The issues are detailed at the end of this email.
Hmm.. I thought.. what are these minor issues?
– wiped a couple of toilets, bathroom floors & mirror.
My Response to The Cleaning Report
This shouldn’t be a big deal and the price we had to pay for them to wipe toilets, floors and the mirror really wasn’t that much.
But, I go back to what I said earlier… if you’re renting a holiday home, chances are you want to get away from the daily grind of housework and life.
And even though I appreciate their detailed report…. is this really something we should have to worry about while on holiday?
I say no.
So, of course I wrote a long letter asking for pictures and all that.
And I I didn’t want to mention a few things because I just pushed it aside, but since these small issues were brought up… I had my list for them…
- the house itself wasn’t as clean as expected when we got in… the toilets then weren’t very clean as well
- there was barely any dish liquid available
- one roll of toilet paper per bathroom only… we had to buy some
- no soap in the bathroom sink
- the BBQ area furniture was covered with cobwebs
- ceiling lights closest to the back sliding door had bugs all over it (still there)
- even along the tracking for the sliding doors were infested with little bugs..which was vacuumed
- the dish scrubbing brush was moldy and gross (for lack of better word). we had to sanitize it in the dishwasher
Don’t let this scare you.. seriously.. keep on reading.
My Surprise Reaction After Sending in My Feedback
I received a cordial response to my list above and after that I heard silence, not expecting any further correspondence.
Well, needless to say, I submitted my feedback on their feedback form that was emailed to me.
And to my surprise they eventually responded to it.
I received an email directly from the owner, Leslie, herself.
I was shocked.
I was pleased.
She wanted to see if I was happy to spend time to answer some questions about our experience.
She got me in touch with Jane from String Theory who asked me a list of questions to better understand what went on and how I thought things could be improved.
Jane works with companies to create, re-create and improve branding. It’s a bespoke service for businesses to really dig deep and find out what the vision of the company is and incorporate that with the types of products and services they provide to create a strong brand.
And.. if you’ve been following us since we started working online.. you know we’re fans of creating a strong brand to create legacy.
We actually had a great conversation and I was really impressed by Bachcare’s step towards improving…well.. everything.
Conclusion and How I REALLY Feel About Bachcare
I’m really not one to make a big fuss out of anything, but there are a few moments where I do. And in this case, I did make a fuss. I’m just glad that it all was a part of the journey to improving what Bachcare has to offer.
I hate leaving bad reviews, but sometimes it’s necessary.
In this case I was really pleased with how Bachcare handled everything. It made me feel good that I didn’t have to write a bad review.. just an honest one with a definite recommendation.
I put all the details in here because I wanted to show you how they were able to assess where they were as a company and re-invent themselves to suit the marketplace.
I am happy to recommend them for your next holiday home even though things are a work in progress.
Mind you, the people who work there were great to correspond with.. (Gayle, Susan, Keri, Leslie).. it was the archaic T&C and practices that weren’t really working for them.
Especially if you’re dealing with international companies like AirBnB who are really great to work with (well.. in comparison to similar companies).
Now.. the real test is.. is Bachcare going to progress as well as they say and I hope they do?
Well.. we’ll check it out when we come back to New Zealand.
Hope this helps you… comment below on what you think. If you have had experience with Bachcare…. let us know what you went through.