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I'm a 37-year old Seattle girl who was bitten by the travel bug on my first tour of Europe in 2004. This personal blog follows my attempts to visit as many countries as I can, as often as my budget will allow. Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also worked as a freelance copywriter for an online travel publication. This only served to add even more must-see locations to my already extended list.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.



7.9.08

6 months = nothing

Interested in an update on my London estate agent fiasco? Well, here ya go: NOTHING.

Yep, that's right. Robin Larkins of Real World Rental Co. based in Fulham still owes me £750. Not only has he not wired it back to me 6 months after it was due and promised to me, he has stopped answering his mobile, while the girl at the other end of the office line continues to play completely unaware.

To add insult to injury (and something I never thought would be negative for me), the dollar is gaining a teeny weeny bit of strength back against the pound. So if he were to miraculously and ethically wire my money today, the deposit into my account would be $1,326. That's opposed to the $1,582 I originally paid and would have received back if he had wired it when he promised, the time frame stated in my contract.

Though losing $250 is better than losing $1500.

Originally, I thought perhaps the company was struggling with the estate market declining as it is. I actually would have understood and been satisfied with some sort of trade or credit arrangement with them if that was the case. But I just received a note from an anonymous person that was about to book with Real World before she read my warning. So they're obviously still in business, and I still haven't received so much as a phone call.

I feel helpless. I can't threaten him or even question him if he won't answer the phone. I'm 4800 miles away, so I can't just pop into the office and throw a grand American fit. I've tried looking into Her Majesty's Court services to file a complaint, but I can't use them if I don't have a UK address. I certainly can't afford a solicitor, especially with the exchange rate. I've been scammed, and I'm really, really, really cheesed off about it.

Robin Larkins, I hope you find this post and feel totally horrible about what you've done, or not done in this case. $1500 is quite a bit of money for us; we don't just want it back, we need it back.

4 comments:

Jamie Thingelstad said...

I ran across your blog post doing a search and you've now got me very worried. We also rented an apartment in the UK via Real World Rental and worked with Robin on it. We have returned home and sent information to get our deposit back two weeks ago.

I called this morning and the person that answered the main line didn't have any info but promised a call back this afternoon. :-\

Anonymous said...

This seems like a common theme I'm afraid. So far I've spend over two months chasing a deposit from Robin Larkins of over £1,000 for which I'm legally entitled. He dodges calls and refuses to answer emails.

Jamie Thingelstad said...

To anyone finding this thread please contact me about your situation. You can reach me at

http://www.thingelstad.com/contact/

I have gotten a referral to a lawyer in the UK. While I don't know how far I can pursuit the matter given the size of the deposit, but if a few of us go together we could definitely make it worthwhile and painful for Robin Larkins.

I have also bought http://www.robinlarkins.com/ and plan to make it clear of the fraudulent activities and that nobody should be doing business with this person and company.

Please contact me so I have your information and we can hopefully rectify this matter.

columnist said...

I will be happy to participate in trying get back my money from Larkins. I have sent you a message on your website. Ewan.

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