Was this Grand Canyon vacation rental a grand scam?

Hey, where did my deposit go?
The rental cabin in Williams, Ariz., she found through VRBO.com had three bedrooms — the perfect size for her family. So last year, Trudi Wood sent the owner a $839 check for a deposit.
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Did my rental company just disappear with my deposit?

Tom Frankel rented an apartment last fall through an agency called UsaParis. When he left the rental, he says it was in immaculate condition, and like any responsible renter, he expected to get his $500 security deposit back promptly.
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Is this enough compensation? You missed your deadline — here’s a voucher

It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime for Johanna Robles and her extended family of 19, which included her husband, children and grandchildren. But when she tried to book the “Great Rivers of Europe” tour through Grand Circle Travel, the experience was less than great.

Since Robles and her husband were paying for the entire cruise — we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars — they wanted to make sure they understood the terms of their deposit. By the way, they’re clearly disclosed on GCT’s site.
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Cancellation denial called “arbitrary and unfair” — but is it wrong?

Selma Sobelman wants to know. She booked a Panama Canal cruise through Overseas Adventure Travel, with the understanding that she’d have 30 days to cancel her trip, if necessary. But when she called the whole thing off, she learned the truth.

“We were told we would lose our deposits,” she says.

Did OAT misinform Sobelman when she made the original booking, and if so, should it refund her $500 deposit?

We received “Cancellation Claim” Forms from Trip Mate, which said we could only be reimbursed for reasons of death or illness. None of
this was disclosed to us at the time of booking. My friend is 85 years old and I am 78.

We feel this is an arbitrary and unfair way to do business. Could you help us with this?

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“It has now cost me $1,200 to go nowhere”

Award tickets are not free. Victoria Casey knew that when she made plans to fly to Europe on US Airways this summer. Each reservation cost her $50, in addition to the 320,000 miles she spent for four first-class tickets.

But Casey never imagined she’s be paying the airline for nothing — and paying it a lot more than $200.

Hers is a cautionary tale about the value of frequent flier mileage programs.
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