This is how to get a refund from a bankrupt cruise line

If a cruise line goes bankrupt while holding a customer’s cash, does the money just go down with the ship? That’s what many Crystal Cruises customers are asking this week after the company suddenly stopped operating.

But the fear of bankruptcy and sudden shutdowns is not limited to this particular cruise line. Throughout the pandemic, our team has received a steady stream of concerned messages from cruise ship passengers. These travelers all have large sums of money “invested” in various cruise lines via deposits and future credits.

My Expedia booking went all wrong! How did I end up owing $6,987 extra?

Something went terribly awry with Catherine Duffin’s last Expedia booking. She used the online travel agency to plan her family’s New Year’s getaway to the all-inclusive Xcaret Resort in Mexico. Assuming the cost displayed on her Expedia confirmation would indeed include everything, she received a shock at check-in. That’s when hotel management asked for not only the over $16,000 she expected to pay — but also an additional $8,000.

After a bit of negotiating, Duffin says the hotel agreed to accept just $6,987 extra. Faced with no other choice at the remote resort during a holiday week, she paid the bill. But none of this fee was mentioned on the Expedia booking, and now she’s asking our team for assistance. Duffin wants us to help Expedia get the money back that she believes the hotel charged her by mistake.

Zelle scammers want to steal your cash. Here are 5 ways they’re doing it

Zelle users beware: Scammers have their sights aimed straight at you. That’s right – the money transfer service has quickly become the preferred method of thieves everywhere looking for instant gratification. In fact, our team receives daily pleas for help from shell-shocked victims of new Zelle scams.

Here are five of the latest ways Zelle scammers are doing business and how you can avoid falling victim.

If a vacation rental owner lists the wrong location, shouldn’t Vrbo refund your money?

Karen Barney used Vrbo to book a vacation rental to celebrate Christmas in Puerto Vallarta with extended family. But after she pressed the confirm button, this first-time Vrbo user got a surprise from the vacation rental owner. It turns out the property wasn’t actually in Puerto Vallarta. Even more surprising? The rejection Barney received when she asked Vrbo to fix the problem by canceling and giving her a refund.

Now Barney is hoping our team can convince Vrbo to refund the money she spent on this mislabeled vacation rental.

If you’re booking a vacation rental and the exact location is critical, Barney’s case should serve as a warning. Sites like Vrbo and Airbnb provide only a general idea of the property’s location until after you’ve already committed to the reservation. So what should a Vrbo user do if the location of their booked property varies significantly from the listing?

Let’s find out.

My vacation rental has mice! Shouldn’t Airbnb refund me?

If you book a vacation rental and it has mice, are you responsible for catching and disposing of the rodents? And if so, does the Airbnb host owe you a refund or other compensation for your troubles?

That’s what Gabriella Costanza wants to know after her recent unpleasant experience. She and her significant other had planned to celebrate the holidays in a clean, cozy Airbnb property. Unfortunately, soon after the couple arrived, it became clear they weren’t alone in the vacation rental. And although Airbnb allows shared-space rentals, these additional “residents” were of the most unwelcome and unapproved kind – mice.

But maybe even worse than the reality that mice were living at this Airbnb was the host’s response. This vacation rental owner expected Costanza to put down glue traps and spend her holiday dealing with the inevitable outcome. Which the young traveler did.

Now Costanza is asking Airbnb for a refund for this vacation rental experience. But will the fact that the couple completed their entire stay make that an impossible outcome?

Maybe not.

Cruise ship news: 7 awful things that could happen to passengers now!

If you’re planning to board a cruise ship soon, the recent news reports on the industry are probably causing concern. From vessels being refused docking privileges to passengers being confined to their cabins, cruising during this pandemic is iffy.

But many die-hard cruisers are undeterred and intend to sail no matter the outcome. So if you’re one of those cruise fans, here’s what could be in your cruising future.

How to get a $400 cleaning fee on your car rental removed? Like this

Hertz gave Vincent Iannacci a most unpleasant surprise at the end of his recent car rental: a $400 cleaning fee.

Knowing that he’d returned the vehicle in pristine condition, Iannacci assumed Hertz had billed him in error. But when he tried to get the cleaning fee removed, the car rental giant told him there was no mistake. In fact, a company representative explained, employees had snapped photos of cigarette butts smashed into the vehicle’s carpet. As a result, the $400 cleaning fee would stand.

Now outraged, Iannacci, a life-long nonsmoker, intends to fully defend himself against this false accusation. He says no one smoked in his rental car, and he refuses to let the cleaning fee stand.

Iannacci is hoping the Elliott Advocacy team can help him fight this battle. But will photos of the offending cigarette make his case impossible to successfully mediate?

Why did Norwegian Cruise Line treat these two couples so differently?

Patrick Doyle and his wife recently boarded a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, vaccinated and COVID negative. They intended to celebrate Christmas with a tropical cruise sailing on NCL’s Dawn. Unfortunately, within three days of embarkation, Lee Doyle became very ill. In the medical center onboard the vessel, she received a diagnosis of influenza. Her husband, who was feeling fine, tested positive for COVID, and their holiday adventure suddenly took an awful turn.

Within hours, Norwegian crew members dressed in hazmat suits relocated the Doyles from their regular cabin to the medical floor. There, NCL personnel informed the stunned couple of how they would be spending the rest of the cruise. They would be required to quarantine not only from the rest of the passengers – but from each other, as well.

The couple says their days in quarantine were filled with boredom, loneliness, and poor communication from Norwegian Cruise Line. It was a decidedly very unmerry Christmas.

Norwegian Cruise Line made us stay inside our cabin for four days! Is this legal?

Norwegian Cruise Line just forced a triple-vaccinated husband and wife to stay inside their cabin without reprieve for four days. And when the ship finally returned to New York, two burly NCL crew members inexplicably continued to prevent the couple’s escape. How is this possible? That’s what the bewildered COVID-negative duo wants to know.

Kelly Cotto and her husband had never taken a cruise before last week’s bizarre experience. But after what they endured aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Gem, they likely never will again.

Now, finally released from their involuntary confinement, the Cottos want answers from Norwegian Cruise Line – and a refund. The couple is asking us to find out why NCL forced them inside their cabin for nearly the entire cruise.

But with the cruise line staying tight-lipped about NCL’s written COVID protocol, that might be a tall order. (Jump to: Jan 7 update)

Will Home Depot save Christmas? This pre-lit tree is a dud!

Home Depot sold Marcea Cazel a beautiful 7-foot pre-lit Christmas tree with an extended warranty in November 2019. The family loved the tree’s realistic look and soft twinkling lights and hoped to enjoy it for years to come. Unfortunately, the tree turned out to be a dud.

Last Christmas, the family spent hours placing sentimental ornaments on their tree and reminiscing about each one. After the decorating was complete, the family gathered around for the big reveal. To their great disappointment, when Cazel flipped the switch, the bottom of the pre-lit tree remained completely dark. Since that time, Cazel has repeatedly asked Home Depot to honor the warranty and replace the tree. But she still has a pre-lit tree that only lights up on top.

Now Cazel is asking for our team’s assistance. She’s hoping that we can help Home Depot see the light about this tree and save this year’s Christmas!

With just days before Santa’s scheduled arrival, can we do it?

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