Terrible Lake House Vacation Experience... Any Advice?

bestyearsJuly 7, 2013

I posted this on the Home Decorating forum, which I frequent, and someone there suggested I post it here as well -at least it will show up in some search engines in the future, and save other families from our horrible experience.

We have just returned from a lakehouse vacation at a place about 5 hours drive from us, close to Dallas. We have rented people's private homes many times, and this is the first time we've had a terrible experience. I'm working on getting some or all of our money back, but my other hope is to keep people from wasting their time and money as we did.

The property is advertised on mylakehouse.com, and is located on Lake Tawakoni (9602 Lakeland Loop, Quinlan, TX).

This is a horrible place. Dan Gable, the owner ripped us off for $1000. Although I had called Dan to ask about water levels, since some lakes in TX are low due to the drought, he assured me that there was no problem at this lake, and we would have a great swimming and boating experience. We had exactly five days this entire summer that both kids and DH and I were all available, and our vote was for a boating lake stay..... We were so disappointed, not only at the waste of money, but the missed opportunity. We were able to recoup a bit by throwing still more money at it, and driving about 4 hours to Austin on the last night of our vacation, where we stayed the night in a hotel and rented a boat on Lake Travis the next day, which was a lot of fun.

Here's a picture of the place we thought we were renting:

Here are our pictures, taken three days ago:

We arranged to rent an 18-foot ski boat. The owner never brought the boat, though of course he took the money. He never took a single phone call from us. He left us with a house we couldn't even lock if we wanted to go somewhere else to rent a boat (since he hadn't given us keys). Despite assurances of great water levels, we had to paddle two canoes out more than half an hour just to be able to swim. Since the seats were broken in the canoes, not much fun. Water leaked all over the kitchen from the broken freezer door (which he had stuffed a towel under) and the broken pipe under sink. Trampoline is completely trashed, swing rope broke immediately (worn to a thin frazzle). I'm posting reviews trying to save other innocent people from the disaster we experienced.

Apparently, he ripped a previous renter off as well by calling them the night before to explain he had double-booked the place. Although he said he would return their 50% deposit, he never did, and has been completely unresponsive to emails, certified letters, etc. I spent a fair amount of time prior to making arrangements trying to find bad reviews on this guy and couldn't, so took some false assurance from that. I only found this other case after the fact, and with some diligent digging. I also took some false assurance from the many testimonials on his website. But when I went back yesterday to look at those again, I realized they are all more than 4 years old. I'm hoping to save other people from our miserable experience with mylakehouse.com!

Here is a link that might be useful: Horrible lake house we rented.....

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

the guy ripped you off.....terrible......it's shocking, but common nowaday's......welcome to the new generation
.....folks are rotten to the core.......no values like the old days......if it were me....he would pay dearly.......(wink wink
......if you know what i mean)........try to get on the judge judy show.......sue the jerk

    Bookmark   July 27, 2013 at 11:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I actually WOULD take him to small claims court for misrepresenting the rental and then trying to intimidate you. It will only cost you $25.00 and you'll get such satisfaction. Go for it.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

OMG...seriously??? This guy thinks he would actually have a leg to stand in court? He's trying to take legal action against you...that is absolutely crazy.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This post is over a year old. I'm surprised the lake level in that area was so low -- they got more rain in the NE part of the state than in other parts of the state, but last year was the first year we started to get a break on the drought and at least some lakes started getting recharged. This year has been wetter and seems pretty normal, but they say we are still a bit low. I bet that lake is back near normal now, but the folks out west are still in dire straits.

I suspect the guy was having a really hard time last year and reacting out of fear for his livelihood or that place at least. His upset is understandable -- it's a beautiful setting and he had no control over the weather, but he shouldn't have acted as he did. An apology for not letting you know what everyone in Texas knew 00 that the lakes were all way down and the heat was taking a toll on everything and an invite to return when the lakes was recharged would have been the more gentlemanly thing to do.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 5:37PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
If you were to stay in a Bed and Breakfast
What would you expect to have in your room? Hubby and...
Thanksgiving for a family
Our family lives in Colorado and my mom lives back...
Please do not use HomeAway
I'm a frequent commenter here, mostly in the Home Decorating...
How do you feel about these RFID wallets and purses...
Suggestions for Winter Vacation Resort
I'd like to make a trip out west to either Montana,...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™