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Throwing Stones at Waterstone
Written by Jason Koertge
Waterstone Resorts and Vacation Homes offer vacation rentals all over the state of Florida. On Panama City Beach they claim to manage properties from ten different resorts. The company’s website is full of glowing reviews and recommendations but if someone just scratches the Google search service a little, they will find numerous negative claims about Waterstone. If that is not enough a check of their status with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) finds a C- rating due to a series of unresolved complaints. On a Waterstone blog website there is evidence that the BBB has given them an unsatisfactory rating, but this has not been discovered in any BBB materials as of yet.
“Waterstone Sucks,” seems to be the ringing sentiment of many current and past clients of the company found on blog websites all over the internet.
Jim Pitts, an owner at Calypso Resorts and Towers that used Waterstone, stated that he inspected his unit three times last year and each time the unit was filthy.
“The carpet was so dirty it had to be replaced,” Pitts said. “There was filth everywhere. The walls were marked up, dust and dirt caked on baseboards, light bulbs and even the toaster was dirty.”
Pitts wrote a handwritten note and email to Waterstone stating that he no longer wanted them to manage his properties. His communications went ignored until he sent a certified letter sometime later demanding that tenants be removed from his property and that Waterstone cease any further management of his property.
Pitts also feels that the company is unethical and unfair in their fee structure and maintenance.
“They charge the owner for travel agent fees on top of their own (fees) and they charge the owner for ‘credit card’ use. They will charge the owner a minimum of $22.50 every time they so much as set foot in the unit to do anything,” Pitts said.
“They rip the owners off with the keyless entry crap and owners of Calypso units need to understand that these people are absolutely ruining our investments. They need to be removed from the premises.”
Bill Harris, another individual who has had dealings with Waterstone, has set up numerous blog websites for angered property owners to vent their passions about Waterstone. These can be found at: http://www.waterstonerealty.blogspot.com/,
http://www.calypsoresorttowers.blogspot.com/, http://www.nautiluscovesuit2008.blogspot.com/ and http://www.nautiluscondosrules.blogspot.com/ .
Harris claims that Waterstone owns four units at Nautilus Cove Condominiums and that the company is currently past due on their condo’s quarterly assessments. There is also evidence that the State of Florida has already four outstanding liens against the company for over $118,000. If the Nautilus Cove past due amounts were not paid by the end of ’08 then Waterstone will be facing new liens.
Waterstone seems to find them self in a public relation nightmare. When a company ignores claims from concerned clients, there are avenues that these clients can take to attack the company’s reputation. As of right now, a Google search of “Waterstone Panama City” brings up typical listings for the company. The company should be aware that as these blog websites attract new participants there could be a day, not far off, that one of these blog websites could be ranked by a search engine right underneath the Waterstone website or even above it.