Some overpay, others pay too little
Students unaware of payment policy at The Village
According to students residing at The Village, the facility’s management has implemented an unclear payment and registration model.
Students pay 50 euros for a week, no matter what day of that week they arrive. The payment week starts over every Monday.
This means that if you arrive on Monday, you pay 50 euros for all seven nights. If you arrive on a Friday, you still pay the 50 euros for the entire payment week, and then another 50 on the following Monday for the next payment week.
Some students think this means they have to pay for nights they haven’t actually stayed at the Village, or that they pay a higher rate for the few nights they do stay. ‘I paid 12 euros a night’, says Mario, a second year law student from Macedonia who arrived at The Village on a Thursday. ‘This is almost twice the amount I thought I would need to pay’, he says.
But that isn’t actually correct. The rate established by the covenant between the university, the muncipality, and housing organisations was set before the summer at 7 euros a night. Students who pay for more days than they actually use are eligible for a refund. However, some students seem to be unaware of the fact that if they overpay their stay, they can get that money back.
It’s understandable that details of the refund policy got lost in the shuffle for many international students who were just happy to have found a cheap place to stay while they kept searching for permanent options. ‘I didn’t think of it much’, says Won-Gyeom Kim, a first year mechanical engineering student from South Korea.
Ronald Helmig, a manager of The Village, says in his experience students often leave the facility unannounced, which can result in losses for the facility. For example, students some students might pay for their first week, stay a few days longer without paying for the second week, and then just leave without paying the balance.
To prevent that situation, the facility established the policy of asking for 50 euro a week no matter which day of that week a student arrives. But any extra days you pay for that you did not actually use are fully refundable at the end of your stay – as long as you officially check out.
Some students who don’t realise this have ended up overpaying for their stays. Several students reported that they were not informed about the refund policy. Many have already left the facility without securing a refund.
‘This obviously isn’t the best model, and we are always open to suggestions for improvement’, says Helmig.