More Unpleasantness from Pleasant Holidays

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Aug 13th, 2018, 01:01 PM
  #1
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More Unpleasantness from Pleasant Holidays

Wow. Where to begin. We booked a trip to Kauai through Pleasant Holidays and were able to get an "Ocean Front Room" at a Marriott hotel. Dream come true! Sadly, it was just a dream. Our hotel room at the Courtyard Kauai at Coconut Beach was infested with ants and cockroaches. After the hotel sprayed our room and the bugs persisted, we called Pleasant Holidays and asked them to find us another hotel. After some hours, they succeeded in getting us another room at a property a few miles away, but alas, no ocean front view.
For our troubles, the dirty hotel refunded us one of the two nights we stayed and both nights resort fees, but this money went toward the replacement hotel and we never saw it.

Pleasant holidays booked us at this bug hotel, and as a peace offer issued us a credit voucher in the amount of $200 towards our next holiday booked through them. Needless to say, it won't be used. We feel that for the over $4000 we paid them for this trip, they should have tried a little harder to make it up to us when two of our seven nights and one day of our holiday were completely ruined due to their hotel choice. Ugh. Never using a travel agent again. Certainly not Pleasant Holidays.
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Aug 14th, 2018, 06:25 AM
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I worked at a travel agency about 20 years ago; back then, the difficulty of booking, getting information and piecing it together for a big trip made using an agent a smart thing to do. Agents could be relied upon for knowledge you didn't have and couldn't easily find.

Fast forward into the information age, and I'm glad to hear you won't be using an agent again. You have the same pricing power as all but the biggest agency might have, and sometimes can get better rates, on just about any element of the trip.

Is it a little more work than making one call and booking a trip? Yes. But, as you have experienced, the big companies and their vendors really don't care about your experience. Certainly not as you would in choosing things on your own. Plus, when you are the customer to the vendor - not the tour packager - they may be more responsive to your needs should a problem arise.

Sorry to hear about your problems!
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Aug 14th, 2018, 06:31 AM
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Agreed. We only went through a travel agency this time because we'd never tried one before, and as it turned out, the ocean front room was only available through the travel agent. That being said, the non-transparency is troubling; we weren't able to get a cost break-down of our trip, Pleasant Holidays only finally revealed to us the cost of the hotel after we made multiple requests. To this day (and probably forever) we don't know how much the rest of the trip cost, and how much profit the travel agency made.
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Aug 14th, 2018, 08:33 AM
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Nothing wrong with them making a profit, of course...and there are still roles for travel agencies...just not for Hawaii or someplace else that's so insanely popular and written about. They won't be making any sort of profit for long, though, if they have unhappy clients!
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Aug 14th, 2018, 09:08 AM
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Never using a travel agent again

I agree. Wise advice. Especially for Hawaii. It's so easy to research and book on your own. My theory has always been... no one cares more about my trip than I do!
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Aug 14th, 2018, 11:04 PM
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Indeed, if you picked and booked this room yourself without a travel agent, it would not have had bugs.
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Aug 15th, 2018, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Odin View Post
Indeed, if you picked and booked this room yourself without a travel agent, it would not have had bugs.
Is that sarcasm? My point was that a TRAVEL AGENCY booked us this room and should bear the responsibility of fixing it because we paid them a $hitload of money. How do you not get that?
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Aug 15th, 2018, 05:55 AM
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First off, in Hawaii bugs happen. It's a perfect environment for them and a room that did not have bugs last week can have them tomorrow. So it's the response to a problem like this that matters most. Sarcasm is difficult to carry off in this format...we'll give Odin the benefit of the doubt and submit that he / she felt that comment was somehow a positive contribution to this discussion

But, to the point when you book through the agency, the tour packager is the hotel's customer.

When a problem arises, they are more beholden to the agency than to you as the room occupant. IF you can get someone at the agency to advocate on your behalf, they might be able to help you...but you have to get someone who cares and can act effectively long distance.

When you are the hotel's customer because you booked directly with them, they are more likely to respond to your needs with better resolution because YOU are the customer. It is naive to think that the front desk doesn't know which rooms are booked on packages and which are not; they typically assign their tour package customers to rooms that may not be quite as good as a customer not on a tour package. It's just how it is.
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Aug 15th, 2018, 10:21 AM
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Indeed, if you picked and booked this room yourself without a travel agent, it would not have had bugs.

A few different scenarios:

(1) If you had booked it yourself, you would have (hopefully) read online reviews first, so might have found out that this particular hotel often had issues with insects.

(2) If you booked directly with the hotel you would be working with their front desk staff yourself, not counting on a travel agency (who is nowhere in sight) to fix your problem.

(3) If you booked yourself you would likely have been in a better room in the first place, than what people on the packaged deals are given.

~~aloha~~
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Aug 15th, 2018, 10:46 AM
  #10
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I get that Hawaii has insects, again, that's not my point. We had cockroaches sitting on the chair next to our bed. We had ants all over the TV cabinet, inside our coffee maker and indeed, in our bed. A few bugs we could have tolerated, but sleeping with them isn't acceptable.

TJM_70 I appreciate your input and explanation which indeed is helpful.

We had stayed at this hotel on a trip four years ago and not had bug issues.

Let me be clear, once and for all: This was a room unavailable to the general public NOT using a travel agent. We would not have found a better room had we booked it ourselves; we looked, ocean front rooms were not available, so clearly, there still are advantages to using a travel agency. Just not Pleasant Holidays.

Despite the fact that our travel agency was the client, not us, the hotel was quite understanding and attempted to fix the issue through the spraying and refunds offered. We had a fantastic room that people would have sold their firstborn for, in terms of location and view. We had read anecdotally that others staying at this hotel had experienced insect issues. But the bottom line: It was the travel agency's responsibility to MAKE THIS BETTER for us when things went south, because we booked the trip through them. Had we booked directly through the hotel, we would have expected nothing better than a different room, hopefully less buggy, at the same facility. But we used Pleasant Holidays Travel Agency and trusted them to book us a great trip, and they didn't. So the burden was on them to make it right, and they failed again.

This isn't a post about insects in a Hawaii hotel room. It's about a travel agency failing to do what's right by its client (us).
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Aug 15th, 2018, 11:41 AM
  #11
 
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OK. Don't use Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays again. We won't either! Problem solved!
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Aug 15th, 2018, 01:56 PM
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I get what you are saying...it's just a bummer that you had a bad experience all around in any event. Hawaii should always be magical!
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Aug 15th, 2018, 03:45 PM
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One thing came to me in reading your responses..... even though you are mad at the travel agency (rightfully) for not helping you out more, you even now are still echoing their marketing literature that "you couldn't have gotten this room any other way."

The idea that something is a one-off, irreplaceable, you must buy it now or it will be gone, is what effective marketing does. I fall into the trap myself sometimes. Even booking.com, which I like, can get me stirred up -- "3 properties at your destination have rented in the last 5 minutes."

Just for the record: Hawaii has multiple islands and many properties with outstanding views. I see my friends post photos of them on Facebook regularly.

One other thing: If you had booked directly with a hotel chain like Marriott, don't forget that they have multiple hotels in a big vacation destination like Hawaii. They might have moved you hotels if absolutely needed. Or if you had gotten a credit it would have been toward other Marriotts.
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Aug 20th, 2018, 03:52 AM
  #14
 
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Sorry for your bad experience. But please do not think that you should never use a travel agent!

I book just about all my trips myself after tons of obsessive research. Having said that, there are destinations in which a travel agent can be useful. For example, a Virtuoso agent can get you perks like free breakfast and upgrades at many top hotels. But you do NOT pay the agent in advance; you pay the hotel at checkout.

And some destinations, such as southern Africa, almost require an agent for certain types of accommodations and itineraries. There you do pay in advance but if you get a great agent as I have, no worries.

Just a small note..again, sorry for that experience.
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