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Review by Mark Forman4 months ago
I really don't get all the negative reviews here. This wasn't perfect but it was FAR from atrocious. A lot of the negativity seems to be coming from their refund policy during COVID- agree with it or not (and I don't), their policy was (and is) clearly posted that all stays are refundable but only as Sonder credit and they've since updated it to say that 30+-day stays have a slightly different policy.
I booked a 45-day stay at Callowhill Apartments in Philadelphia, as my lease was up but my new place wasn't ready yet. Riots erupted in Philadelphia the night before I was to check in and they kept sending safety emails. I reached out to them as I was driving towards it to ask if I could delay check-in for a couple of days due to this and the street closures and curfews and there was no response, so I just booked a hotel for two days. They are slow to respond but I eventually did get a two-day straight-up refund and checked in two days later.
The place I got was exactly as I booked. It was clean (save for a random tissue at the top of a ledge in the apartment), free of bugs, and everything worked. No problems at all. The location was great- literally four blocks away from the museums and blocks away from many restaurants, a Whole Foods, a Target, etc. I ran on the trail along the river most mornings and it was easy to access. To top it off, I even found a section of a street about 10 blocks away that has no time limitations or residency restrictions so I had no hassle parking my car while staying.
The most sour part of the experience was that a little over halfway into my stay, I got stuck with rowdy neighbors. Most you just heard in the hall coming off the elevator but the next door neighbor made things a bit rougher, especially since I get up around 5am every day. Although the rules clearly state no noise after 10pm and no smoking, this neighbor played loud music with bass at random intervals throughout the day (and night) and routinely had social gatherings and phone calls with loud talking. Additionally, there was a weed smell that started coming through into the apartment and, for the last week I was there, was literally everywhere on the floor I was on. I reached out to Sonder on multiple occasions to report it- they almost always took a long while to respond (often many hours later), were sympathetic, and said they'd notify the individual, but, given the number of times it continued, it didn't seem very effective. I even took and sent videos of specific examples of the noise to them, to no avail.
Another challenge was with mail. I changed my address so my mail went there, not knowing that I wasn't supposed to do that (it says it in the fine print of the site). So, mail delivery was intermittent and sometimes non-existent. I eventually got everything (I think), but, for a place advertising itself as a "long-term residence," it ought to be better equipped to handle mail delivery. Why would I potentially take up long term residence somewhere and never get mail? They suggested getting a box somewhere, but that's an extra expense and an extra hassle.
Overall, it was a good experience *given the rate I paid* (lower due to the pandemic and my extended stay). I'd be much more down on it for face value though (in most cases over $200/night) for the neighbor issues and slow responses.
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