Complaint Category: Failure to honor a contract or agreement
Complaint: We cancelled our maui trip in December 17, 2012 for june 21,2013 6months before and still have not gotten our deposit back.
I booked our maui trip with Vacation Roost on August 2012, for June 21, 2013 thru June 28, 2013. I put a deposit down for 2,918.00 On December 17, 2012 i sent a email to the agent "******* *****" whom booked the trip for me, stating that i was no longer working and that we could not afford to go on our trip in june and that we would like to get our deposit back. ******* assured me that this would not be a problem since it was 6 months before our vacation date and that he would get back to me. I was told that their cancellation policy was that if you cancel 60 days before the trip you would loose your deposit. We never signed a contract or did it ever say anything about canceling . It was verbal over the phone when i booked the vacation. The paperwork that i have for my receipt only says if you need to change the date or cancel to call them. Now i would understand if i cancelled 60 days prior to our vacation that they would keep some of our deposit because i am sure it its hard to book a place at the last minute. I do understand that and they told me that over the phone, but i cancelled 6 months in advance and they haven't even given us half our money back. I have talked to ******* several times and we have been e-mailing him and i was not getting anywhere but the run around. So i contacted his Manager ****** and he said that they need to hold our entire deposit to see if they can book the place in Maui first and if they book it we would get mot of our money back minus some fees, but if it they can not book it then we loose our entire deposit. Really, canceling 6 months in advance. I also was told before i booked this vacation home with them that it was a "prime spot" and it books up fast. Now they are telling me they are hoping to book it so we can have our money back. After many calls and emails i called on more time and talked to a "***" on Saturday 2/23/13 and i asked him about their cancellation policy without given my name or my itinerary number. And he told me, " as long as you cancel 61 plus days before your trip you will get your money back minus some fees". Then i told him who i was and gave him my itinerary number and had him check to see if my trip was canceled and he said the computer showed that it was not canceled ; then he told me i needed to talk to ** the Manager and that he will have him call me on Monday, today 2/25/13. No call, so my husband **** called and spoke with *******, ** was not available. ******* told my husband that the trip was canceled and that *** wasn't looking at the correct information. I find that hard to believe when i gave *** the itinerary # and he also there were no notes in the computer of the cancelation or anything else. So i am very frustrated and tired of getting the run around . All i want is our money back minus the fees for their services and be done with this. This has been very time consuming, exhausting and maddening. No should have to deal with this unprofessionalism . I feel like i was taken advantage of and i hope this does not happen to anyone else.
Business' Initial Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ********* Director of Sales
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: **********@vacationroost.com
March 25, 2013
Dear BBB Executive;
This letter is to address the complaint filed by Mrs. ***** ****** with the BBB. Below are the details of the reservation made with VacationRoost (VR).
In her complaint to the BBB, Mrs. ****** states that "we never signed a contract or did it ever say anything about cancelling. It was verbal over the phone when I booked the vacation." This statement is not accurate. The ******'s booked this vacation through a secure email offer. This was done on 8/23/2012 at 1:18PM. The IP address that the client booked from was ************** That IP address is located in Salinas California. The client booked online with a credit card that has a billing address of Hollister California. In order to book from our secure email offers, a client must agree to all terms and conditions. Here is the VR cancellation policy pulled directly from Mrs. ******'s confirmation:
Cancellation requests must be submitted to VacationRoost Inc. by e-mail to ******@VacationRoost.com or by official letter addressed to 2795 East Cottonwood Parkway, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84121. Cancellation requests for any reason received from time of booking up to 61 days prior to arrival forfeit 50% of the total. Cancellation requests for any reason received 60 days or less prior to arrival forfeit the full amount paid.
Mrs. ****** also states in her BBB complaint that she called on 2/23/2013 and talked to ***. She states that *** told her "as long as you cancel 61 plus days before your trip, you will get your money back minus some fees." This statement is also inaccurate. All calls to VR are recorded through our phone system. Below is an excerpt of the conversation between *** and Mrs. ******. The call came in at 11:36AM MST on 2/23/2013.
Mrs. ******: "Hi ***, this is ***** ******, I have a question, um, on your cancellation policy. How does that work, if you need to cancel?"
***: "Uh, sorry to hear that. Basically if you cancel within 61 days, it would be the full penalty unless you purchased the travel insurance (client did not purchase insurance)."
Mrs. ******: "OK, now what if it's before the 60 days?
***: "If it's 61 days or more out, uh, you would forfeit your deposit, which is usually half."
Mrs. ******: "OK."
We have tried extensively to help the ******'s get more back out of their deposit than they were entitled to base on the terms and conditions that they accepted. We have tried repeatedly to get the owner of the house to give some money back to the client and to be empathetic to their situation. The owner has stated that if they are able to rebook these dates, they will refund most of the deposit. We have checked with the owner several times and at this time, the house has not been re-rented. Mrs. ****** has been made well aware of this process by management here. We are 100% looking out for her best interest but we also have a contract and commitment to the owner of the house. They have been flexible enough to promise a partial refund if they resell the house. Both the owner as well as VR are still trying to get this resolution for Mrs. ****** and will continue to do so until all options have been exhausted.
Please let me know if you have any questions that I can further assist with. Time stamped internal client logs as well as recorded phone calls are available to the BBB to ensure the accuracy of the above statements.
VacationRoost appreciates your time and consideration with this matter.
Director of Sales
Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I do not accept their resolution. I would like to have 50% of the money that we have put down. which would be approx 1,450.00. Vacation Roost states in their response b4 that 61 days plus of canceling b4 the trip the person gets 50% of their deposit back that they put down. We booked the trip in August 2012 and canceled December 2013. ( 6months b4 our vacation date). We will start with that and the remaining balance can be paid upon re-renting the vacation spot. I once again will stress why we canceled in the first place. I lost my job, my son lost his job and my daughter got her hours cut back. Their was and is no way we can afford this vacation. And we really can use our money back. Sincerely, ***** ******
Business' Final Response
April 2, 2013
Dear BBB Executive;
This letter is to address the continued additional communication by Mrs. ***** ****** with the BBB. With the reservation made with VacationRoost (VR).
Anytime a luxury home is booked - as is the case with Mrs. ******'s booking, the owner of the home establishes the deposit and payment requirements as well as cancelation penalties. The home Mrs. ****** booked has a requirement of 50% of the total amount of the reservation be paid as a deposit upon booking and the remainder 60 days prior to the customers arrival. If at any time the reservation is canceled, whatever funds have been paid as a deposit or as a final payment are non-refundable.
Once we received the deposit from Mrs. ******, we were required to send that deposit to the home owner in order to secure the reservation.
Normally, the homeowner has no obligation to refund any of the amounts they have received. In this case, the homeowner is willing to refund a portion of the funds received based on if they are able to re-rent the home for the time period initially reserved by Mrs. ******
Our company does not have the deposit / funds that were paid by Mrs. ******. All of it is with the homeowner. What we do not have, we cannot refund.
As outlined in the previous letter from us, there were written and verbal terms and conditions provided to Mrs. ****** during the booking and payment process.
We will continue to work with the homeowner to obtain a refund for Mrs. ******. This may take up until the date she was supposed to travel since it is based on the homeowner's decision. It is very generous of Mrs. ****** to offer an amount to keep for our services. However, we will refund 100% of any money refunded in order to provide the best possible service to her.
VacationRoost will keep the BBB informed of the progress we make with the homeowner as well as Mrs. ******.
Director of Sales