If you’re planning a vacation rental stay, you need to do one thing before you kick off your shoes and unpack — if you don’t want to end up with surprise cleaning fees. Grab your phone and start taking pictures.
Lots of pictures.
I speak from personal experience. I just checked out of a vacation rental and got broadsided with one of the most outrageous cleaning fee claims in my career. More on that in a minute. Read more “How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in”
How long does it take to get a refund for an upgrade that never happened? Margaret Carroll has been waiting four months for hers. Can we help move things along? Read more “Where is the refund for my upgrade that never happened?”
If a stranger sends you money by accident, do you have any obligation to give it back? If so, how do you do it without exposing yourself to a scam? And if you transfer money to the wrong person, is there any possible way to fix your mistake?
These are not uncommon dilemmas faced by users of cash apps like Zelle and Venmo in 2021. Along with the increasing popularity and convenience of instant money transfer services came a dramatic rise in pricey user errors. Unfortunately, our attempts to investigate and resolve many of these cases have exposed some disturbing flaws in the programs.
Minh Tran is just one of the many desperate Zelle users who’ve recently asked our team for help. In his case, a stranger’s mistake set off a frustrating and confusing chain of events that almost cost him $360.
Here’s his story. Read more “If a stranger suddenly sends you money by surprise, should you keep it?”
You can probably guess what would happen if you refuse to wear a face mask on your next flight. But Arden Dmitrenko seems to have been surprised by United Airlines’ reaction to his mask rebellion during his recent trip. (Reprint) Read more “What happens if you refuse to wear a mask on the flight? This…”
When Royal Caribbean cancels Rich Kanuchok’s voyage to New England and Canada, it promises him a 125 percent cruise credit. But when the voucher arrives, it’s clear that the cruise line’s math is way off. Now Kanuchok just wants a full refund instead. Is that allowed? Read more “Where is the 125 percent cruise credit Royal Caribbean promised me?”
Do you ever lose a case?
That’s the most common question I get from readers. And it’s understandable since my nationally syndicated travel column has an almost perfect track record. The answer, regrettably, is yes — I’m also an expert at losing cases.
Even more regrettable: Sometimes, I deserve to lose. Read more “Losing your case: Did you get what you deserve?”
Until recently, Robin Shermon had never even heard of the PayPal Key. But a few days before Christmas, she quickly learned all about the new virtual card in the most unpleasant way. That’s when she discovered a hacker had created a PayPal Key and made a $2,000 purchase using her cash.
Now Shermon hopes that the Elliott Advocacy team can get her hard-earned money back.
Can we do it? (Reprint) Read more “What is the PayPal Key and how did a hacker make one for me?”
TAP Air Portugal reschedules — and then cancels — John Schmidt’s flights and he wants a refund. So why is the airline only offering a voucher? Read more “TAP Air Portugal rescheduled my flight — can I get a refund?”
Getting a surprise hotel smoking fee reversed isn’t easy — even if you’re a non-smoker like Kelsey Russell. Or a determined consumer advocate. But it can be done. Here’s how. (Reprint) Read more “How to get a surprise hotel smoking fee reversed? Like this”
The clock is ticking on Bernadine Fong’s sizable United Airlines flight credit, which she acquired during the pandemic. Around this time last year, she booked two business class tickets to Europe for a dream vacation. But that was before the coronavirus ruined everyone’s summer plans for 2020.
With the pandemic entering year two, Fong worries her nearly $11,000 flight credit with United Airlines is in jeopardy. Now she wants to know what to do to make sure to make the most of it before it expires. (Last updated March 31, 2020) Read more “United Airlines flight credit: How to make the most of it after the pandemic”