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BBB Accredited Business since 31/12/2001

Skyland Travel Inc.

Phone: (604) 685-6868Fax: (604) 685-4658

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Customer Complaints Summary

1 complaint closed with BBB in last 3 years | 1 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues1
Billing / Collection Issues0
Problems with Product / Service0
Delivery Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints1

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (1)BBB Closure Definitions
04/10/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Advertisement misrepresented a service

Complaint: To whom it may concern,

On December 26th 2013, I booked an all-inclusive vacation package for December 31st with Escapes.ca for myself and my girlfriend. The booking was an Elite package through ****************. The Elite package consisted of round-trip air fare to '**************' Resort in **** *****, ********* ********, with a Garden View Hotel Room with all amenities included. I paid a total of $2750.00 for this package.
Booking confirmation number: ********

After a 4-hour flight and a humid 3-hour bus ride from the airport, we proceeded to the resort check-in desk to check into our room. We eventually got to the front of the long line-up, and finally got to speak to a clerk to get settled in. Upon going through various forms and verification, we received our room key and were sent to the front of the lobby where a bell-boy would meet & escort us to our room. The bell-boy eventually approached us and took us to the room we were going to settle in for the following 7 days.

It was about a 5-minute drive from the Lobby where we initially checked in.
When we finally got to the entrance of the hotel, the bell-boy unloaded our luggage from the van, provided our room key and left. **************************************************************************************************************************************************

*****************************************

The entire floor in the hallway in front of our room was cracked to a point where sharp pieces of tile stuck out. It was a small space, dirty, full of spider-webs & dead bugs and it was covered in something that appeared like large dried-up cement splats. Looking past the initial 'first-impression' disappointment, we proceeded to our door only to be denied access - several times. We examined our surroundings once again and noticed that we were placed next to a room with an opened door. Looking closer, we realized it was a storage room with piled up cleaning supplies, mops, tools, buckets and boxes.

Our room card didn't work. We couldn't get in. The bell-boy had already left, therefore we had no choice but to walk back to the main lobby - with all of our luggage - in order to get help from someone to gain access to our room. We were advised to step into the line-up (again) and speak to someone at the check-in desk. After a 20 minute wait and a 45 minute discussion, we were provided a new set of room keys and were told to find a bell-boy to escort us back with our luggage again. In front of the lobby, we flagged down a bell-boy who told us to give him "just a second". "Just a second" escalated to limitless waiting throwing us completely over the edge. This man was not returning to take us to our room, and no other bell-boy was available to help us. We took it upon ourselves to haul 4 large suitcases back to our room by foot.

This time the key card worked, we finally opened the door to our Garden View room on the ground floor ***************************************************************************************************************************************

We noticed a few stains & tears on the bed sheets, and automatically began examining the rest of our surroundings.

1. Stained bed sheets

2. Torn bed cover

3. Stained mattress (initially white, now brown & yellow)

4. Squeaky/broken bed frame

5. Wobbly night stand with a non-working phone

6. Missing light bulbs & stained lamp shades

7. Non-working TV with no remote control

8. A/C out of order

9. Moldy curtains

10. No mini-fridge (no water, soft drinks, alcohol) (included)

11. No coffee machine (included)

12. No hair dryer (included)

13. No iron (included)

14. No safety deposit box (included)

15. Missing bathroom door

16. Moldy bathroom walls

17. Rusty & dirty sink

18. Non-working shower

19. Missing shower door (bathroom flooded)

20. No soap, shampoo, conditioner (included)

21. No towels (included)

22. Non-working toilet - does not flush

23. Bathroom light out of order

24. Cracks & crumbling wall behind toilet & sink

25. Blood stain on floor

26. Dusty floor & ceiling corners

27. Spider webs in floor & ceiling corners

28. Cracks in walls & ceilings

29. No patio furniture (included)

30. Live electricity wires sticking out of the ground next to patio



Turns out our Garden View room had no view of the garden at all.

In addition to the unacceptable lack of amenities in the room, the "Garden View" consisted of a small road that appeared neglected for some time, a small building which (ironically) seemed to be a maintenance hut with a tall brick wall behind it. To see any part of a garden, we had to look up at the one and only palm tree stem that grew tall directly in front of our patio.

We chose not to unpack any of our belongings because we didn't deserve to stay in this wreck for the next 7 days. We returned to the check-in desk in the lobby to try and explain the situation and how we obviously didn't get what we paid for. Managers advised us that no other rooms were available, that we should speak with "Guest Services" who said that we would have to wait until the next day in order to try upgrading to something more suitable. We had contacted Escapes.ca customer service advising the representative of our situation. This representative noted and recorded our complaint and said that an e-mail would be sent to a ******* representative immediately. Guest services told us to speak with the ******* representative (***) who would be available the following morning as scheduled. While waiting at the guest services desk, we noticed several other travelers from our group also complaining about similar faults that we had encountered in our room.

We met with ***, who was in charge of providing information about the resort & its surroundings, as well dealt with all excursions the resort offered. We explained our situation to him in hopes of some understanding. *** advised us that he would do all that he could, however, we were forced to wait it out until about 5 pm that afternoon. At 5 pm we were back at the lobby to inquire about a room upgrade as *** told us to, and due to a high volume of complaints we were forced to wait in the line-up all over again to finally settle this matter. When we reached the front of the line, we were sent to 'guest services' again, just to be sent back to the check-in desk. ****************************************************************************************************************

We spoke to a manager at the check-in desk expressing our frustration, and also explained that the run-around we have been given is unacceptable. With all excuses used up, we were finally told that the only way for us to get into a better room is to pay $180.00 extra for an upgrade.

This was the 2nd day into our vacation, the 1st day, in its entirety, was spent trying to resolve issue by issue without getting to experience any of the beauty of the resort (beach, bars, restaurants, etc). The 2nd day was spent doing a run-around all over again from one desk to another instead of enjoying the beach. We had finally paid the extra $180.00 for the upgrade of the room, and were told to wait in the lobby for the room to be ready.

After about 2 hours of waiting, a guest service manager approached us and advised us that our room was ready. We were told to flag down a bell-boy, as he would 'take care' of our luggage. In front of the lobby, several bell-boys were posted chit-chatting, we approached one, and asked him to pick up and drop off our luggage, as we had just upgraded our room. He said he would meet us at our room (#2002).

30 minutes into the wait, nobody was coming. We called the service desk, after several attempts we had no luck getting in touch with anybody due to a language barrier. We had no choice but to walk over to the lobby to get somebody to help us carry these bags into our new room. We noticed the same bell-boy that we had initially talked to, still standing there chit-chatting, when we confronted him of not showing up, he immediately began apologizing over and over again, guided us to the mini-van and raced over to our room. He tossed our luggage into the van and took us to where we were supposed to go.

With our new set of key-cards, we walked into our room. At first glance it appeared as much cleaner and in a much better condition, opening our curtains, we noticed we were given an ocean view room. Setting down our luggage and dropping onto the bed, we finally exhaled and thought that everything was going to be better now, and that we could enjoy the final 5 days of our vacation. ***************************

Again, we began noticing faults in this room. It seemed as though we had paid $180.00 just to get a room with a bathroom door. We noticed torn, dirty and smelly bed sheets. Somebody else's sweaty body odor had a long lasting effect on our pillows. The bed frame was torn. The mattress was torn & stained. The few drawers we had, were out of lining and would not close or open properly. This time, we had a mini fridge, however it was out of order and the 1 and only ********* bottle that was in there, was warm. There was no iron or hair dryer in the room. The coffee machine was out of order. The closet ceiling was crumbling and on the verge of collapsing. There was mold above the sink, under the sink and above the mirror. The curtains were moldy in this room as well. There was a couch in the room that had several stains on it. The bathroom ceiling was rusted with large holes in the corners and moldy areas. The front door had to be forced in order to open or close. Electricity was disappearing at least 10-15 times a day for several minutes. A disaster all over again, only this time we chose not to bother with the staff. They were inconsiderate with their services from the get go.

We spent the rest of our vacation time trying to make the best of the circumstances. We had asked for our pillows and bed sheets to be changed, it only took the staff a few days to fulfill our requests. Throughout all of this, we were still generous enough to leave a tip and a small gift for the maid every morning for her "efforts". To lighten our mood, we signed up for a few of the excursions that were offered at the resort, including a tour of ***** ******* city and a ********* trip to ***** ******.

During the trip to ***** ******, I had proposed to my girlfriend (who is now my fiancé). I let her know that that was the sole purpose of this whole trip, and after all of this, she still said 'yes'. Initially the proposal was to take place on the beach of the resort on New Years' eve, however, due to the circumstances (the problems with the room, the staff and all the stress of settling in), I decided against it until a better time. Aside from all the unfortunate things that have happened, we still decided to complete the trip with SOME good memories. We experienced the A La Carte restaurants, the amenities included in the resort, we took photos and simply tried to have some fun.

The night before our departure we wanted some final sun set photos. We were at the beach, a short walk from our room. My fiancé was wearing prescription glasses, but decided to take them off for the photos. She placed them on the dock, which was the borderline of our resort & the local area. This area was constantly under surveillance by armed security officers hired by **************.

After the photo session, we decided that we would walk to the buffet for a final dinner. As we began walking, my fiancé noticed that she had forgotten her glasses. We walked back to the dock area and began searching. At this point, the security officer that was on duty approached us, and began speaking in Spanish. We tried to explain to him that we lost a pair of prescription glasses and that we are trying to find them. The security guard continued speaking in Spanish and then held up my fiancés glasses. We were relieved to know that he had found them and began thanking him. The security guard demanded $10.00 for these glasses, and was hesitant of returning them without being paid. Again we were left with no choice but to pay him in order to get the glasses back. A complete report, dated and signed by security managers and supervisors, as well as guest service representatives is available for your review.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Initial Business Response
Good Afternoon,


We are in receipt of the Mr. ********* complaint, however, we have found that the booking was not made with ******************** but rather Skyland Travel in Vancouver BC..

In view of this, we are unable to respond to the complaints accordingly.

Please forward to them for review.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

kind regards,

********************
Customer Service Manager
********************


Final Business Response
Dear Mr. **** *******,

I am very sorry to hear that you and your fiancée had a less than satisfactory vacation experience at the ************** Resort. As soon as I received your complaint in February I reviewed the reservation and contacted ***************** to filed a formal complaint with the ************** Resort. ******* informed me that they had already received your complaint and that it will be investigated but may take anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks as all customer service issues are review in order that they are received. I have contacted our rep at ***************** this past week and asked her for an update to your complaint file. At this time they are still waiting for a formal response from the resort.

In my review of your complaint I noted that your reservation was made online without consultation from one of my vacation specialists. This is unfortunate as I do feel our vacation specialists would have for warned you about the below average services provided by this resort. Since we do have a large number of customers that prefer to research and book their vacations online we try and provide as much information on our website so that clients can make an informed decision.

In your case, we do have information on the ************** Resort which is accessible from the search results page and the booking page when using our website to book. On the ************** Resort page we do provide our opinion of the resort which is as follows...

"The ******* does have some redeeming qualities as a resort that could potentially do well amongst the resorts in ***** *******. However, with ongoing issues regarding resort grounds (needing for a long overdue upgrade), the state of the rooms, and customer service, there are better options elsewhere. There are also long transfers from the airport to this resort, making it a less than desirable resort option. The price maybe attractive but a bad resort can certainly ruin what is suppose to be a nice vacation. Not a hotel that we recommend."

We also provide past customers average rating and reviews for each resort. For the ************** the rating is a 2.5 out of 5 and the link to the reviews shows that the majority of past customers rate the resort below average.
***********************

Since we feel this resort is accurately represented on our website and all the issues you experienced are associated with the services provided directly by the resort and beyond the control of Escapes.ca we feel that any compensation should come from the ************** directly. As a gesture of goodwill Escapes.ca will provide you with 2 x $100 future travel vouchers in addition to any compensation (if any) provided by ***************** and the ************** Resort. I will follow up with your ***************** / ************** complaint again next week and will contact you as soon as I receive a formal response from them.

Thank you for all your time and understanding in this matter. Please feel free to contact me by phone or email to discuss further.

Sincerely,

***************
Office Manager

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

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