Help! My vacation package is missing a hotel

Stuart Miles/Shutterstock
Stuart Miles/Shutterstock

After her hotel closes for renovations, Amber Sharma’s vacation package seems to fall apart. Now the online agency she bought it with won’t help her fix it.

Question: I recently booked a vacation package in Cozumel, Mexico, through Priceline. I called the hotel’s customer service line yesterday to ask a question, at which point I was informed that the hotel was closed for construction and would remain closed until next year.
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What to do if your hotel doesn’t exist

Darren Bradley/Shutterstock
Darren Bradley/Shutterstock
For just $89 a night, the all-suite hotel in Killeen, Tex., promised Steven Hoybook and his family “European-style luxury” – an offer that seemed too good to pass up.

But Hoybook wishes that he had. When he and his family arrived, they found the hotel’s windows and doors shuttered. “They were out of business,” says Hoybook, who lives in Minneapolis. He couldn’t reach Orbitz, the site through which he’d booked the room, so the family found accommodations at a nearby Marriott, paying $111 a night for a smaller room.

When Hoybook finally reached the online travel agency by phone the next day, a representative “seemed sympathetic, leading us to believe that they would reverse the charge for the closed hotel,” he recalls. But after months of back-and-forth, during which the Hoybooks formally disputed the credit card charge for their first hotel, Orbitz referred their bill to a collection agency.
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“The issue has been resolved”

Callahan/Shutterstock
Callahan/Shutterstock

I’m done.

I’ve combed through more than 10,000 emails trapped in a queue and responded to every one.

For those of you following along at home: I haven’t been getting all of your messages. Since January, some emails were landing in an unchecked “in” box instead of getting forwarded.

Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing.

I started by retrieving the September messages and the August emails. Then I covered the summer missives.

Yesterday, I reviewed the emails from last spring. And now I’m getting to the rest, from February to March.
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Help! Alamo won’t remember my miles

roadA thousand frequent flier miles may seem like nothing, which is probably what the folks at Alamo were thinking when David Goeman repeatedly asked the car rental company for his missing award points.

But little things matter. Alamo shouldn’t have forgotten about Goeman’s miles, whether it was 100 or 1,000 or 10,000 of them. And he shouldn’t have had to keep asking.

Alas, he did. And when nothing seemed to work, he turned to me.
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