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Hotel Europe St Severin, won't refund 4 cancellation due to volcano, ideas?

Hotel Europe St Severin, won't refund 4 cancellation due to volcano, ideas?

Aug 14th, 2010, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
I work with Booking and I can assure you that the website only acts as a booking portal. The rules are clearly stated in the reservation policy. Every hotel is free to have their own cancellation policy. I think that the operator is not telling the truth. If there is a no show the hotel gives specifics about the amount you will be charged.
When you book you always tick the box to say you agree with the terms if you do not then don’t book.
All hotels, whether on booking dot com, or not, have some sort of cancellation policy. I understand it is the same throughout the vacation industry. Including car hire, airlines, trains etc.
It is always wise to purchase travel insurance, but again read the conditions, as sometimes they do not cover you for certain events.
In this world small print is important.
When a customer does not get it their way (which they think is right) it is always the consumer simply states it is bad for customer relations, why is that?
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 05:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Who knew this thread was about PR, what with name of the hotel unflatteringly in lights and all?
colduphere is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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Please do not try to teach me about customer service, I have worked in customer in one way or other for 36 years! I know how people are, I know when people are unreasonable, I know when people are making up stories, etc... And don't forget, I am also involved on the hotel end, my sister has many vacation rentals & assist her with any sticky situation.

As far as booking.com, since you work for them you might advise them to tell their phone rep not to promise something the can't deliver, or perhaps the young girl on the phone also couldn't believe that given the situation there would be Bo refund .

Janis, this time I am ticked off
lyb is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,713
So, she booked two rooms through Booking.com for how many days? Was the cost of the rooms $250 each per night?

The cancellation policy was 48 hours else be charged for first night or 48 hours else be charged for entire length of stay? This is the hotel's policy; Booking.com does not impose a cancellation fee. If one tries to book this hotel now, the cancellation policy says charge for one night if <48 hours and the rates are around $150-$200 per room per night.

"She immediately calling Booking.com and she was told, No problem at all, Apparently Booking.com agreed to something without checking with their hotels"-- the Booking.com representative gave her bad information. Disappointing and understandable about how she would feel frustrated to find out later that the booking.com agent made an assumption and was wrong. The proper good customer relations response would have been--"I'm sorry about your inconvenience because of the volcano. Many of our customers have been affected. Because the cancellation policy is the hotel's and not ours, we will contact the hotel with your details and inquire as to whether they will enforce the cancellation policy as agreed or whether they will consider negotiating some penalty less than agreed in the booking." Polite, but promising nothing because booking.com had no control. Maybe booking.com didn't even forward the cancellation promptly.

"American Express and they also said that there was no way the hotel would charge given the circumstances." Again a representative from one company speaking for another, just their opinion. Probably should have stuck to noncommittal "we will investigate with the hotel" with no promises.

So, sounds like some employees gave some bad information in some unusual circumstances, working off their personal assumptions without the facts. That created customer expectations that were unrealistic. Despite it not being the hotel's fault the customer was given bad information and having a written contract with the customer, in order to promote good customer relations, the hotel offered basically an exchange rather than a cash refund. Unfortunately, an exchange will not provide the customer with the product that he/she wants. The December 31 deadline could be because of accounting, closing the books, etc. They basically gave them 9 months from the original date to exchange, though only 4 months from when the negotiations finished.

It is always good to contact the merchant directly, which your husband is doing. There are two third parties involved who are providing inaccurate information.
Kay2 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
AMEX Card has insurance for this usually.
Hotels back down with CC investigation.
Dispute the charge do a merchant reversal with them.

Always get a credit immediately...


Always worth it for me though.
qwovadis is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,065
it sounds like the OP's friends did challenge it w/ amex and were told the offer was to use the nights by the end of the year.

I have found with amex, that if you challenge a charge in its entirety, and it;'s not upheld oyu can contact Amex again and say the offer is not acceptable and ask them to renegotiate for oyu. If your friends are willing to pay one night, I'd ask Amex to ask for that, giving amex the info from booking.com.

Count me in the group who thinks that paying for one night would be the fair solution.
mztery is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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she's going back to Amex and has gone back to booking.com, booking.com said that they will have their liaison contact the hotel again, we'll see what happens. With Amex she asked to speak to a manager and as of last night had not heard back yet.

If worse comes to worse, they will give it to his sister who lives in Brussels, if the hotel allows them to transfer it, which at the very least that should be done.


"Maybe booking.com didn't even forward the cancellation promptly." I thought about that too. I personally prefer not to book through a third for these types of reason. I prefer to deal directly with the hotel to book, often get better rates that one way, though one time it was the opposite, and also if something happens, you deal directly with the hotel. A third party also stands to lose their commission if it is totally cancelled so they might not be exactly on the consumer's side.

Either way, this has been an interesting experience from my point of view.
lyb is offline  
Aug 14th, 2010, 11:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 4,760
If you read my posting I said I work with them. I never said I work for them. I do not represent them, but I do know how they operate in the hotel industry. Do you?
In your last posting you reveal you have had so many years “involved on the hotel end”. But after reading how you have approached this problem I do wonder in exactly what capacity that was.

I will sign off with a thought. Why should any part of the tourism industry suffer from this natural disaster because no vacationer took out insurance? No response needed just let it roll around your head.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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It's rolling & rolling, I couldn't sleep last night that's all I thought about...I don't know how I'll function at work tomorrow, since it'll still be rolling in my head!
lyb is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,713
Did you clarify--They were charged $500.
Is that more than 1 night tariff for their 2 rooms?
Is the amount they would have paid for their entire stay?
For how many nights?

BTW, it looks like a great location. I can see why you recommended it.
Kay2 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,147
Thought that I would look up the hotel.

From the website:
"Early Booking rate
Starting from EUR108
Enjoy our best rate, 10% discount on the best available rate !!!
Please note that this special rate does carry more restrictions: 100% prepayment with no cancellations and no modifications & no refundable.
Buffet Breakfast in extra at 12 euros per day per person
(my emphasis)

ira is offline  
Aug 15th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,142

yes, it is a great location, and the hotel is good no doubt about it. It's too bad this sort of thing happened. The amount is for two nights for tw rooms. So they are charging her for the whole thing, which going by the 48 hour rule, they definitely shouldn't be charging for the second night, since it was cancelled sooner than 48 hours, since the first night was cancelled 36 hours before arrival.


That's not the rate they got, they reserved through booking.com, and I know it wasn't a totally non refundable rate, she never does that. BTW, I haven't been on the board as much and actually thought about you, one of the oldies,(not age wise ) wandered if you were still on the board. Nice to see you, you always give great advice.
lyb is offline  

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