I’m still waiting for a refund from Hotels.com

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When Mike Foley cancels his resort reservation, Hotels.com promises him a refund. But more than a year later, his $1,400 is still missing.

Question: I booked five nights at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, through Hotels.com in June 2015. I had major shoulder surgery around Christmas and was told by my doctor that I couldn’t fly.

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The hotel’s cancellation policy stated that cancellations needed to be made at least one week before arrival. I logged into my Hotels.com account more than two weeks before my scheduled arrival, but it said that my itinerary does not exist. If it had “existed,” then I could have canceled.

I called Hotels.com to resolve this over the phone. I was put on hold for more than an hour. When I got through, a representative couldn’t find my itinerary in the system either. Eventually Hotels.com did find it, and I was assured there would be no problem getting my refund.

But the refund never came. I followed up with Hotels.com for months, and even though someone promised me a resolution, my $1,400 refund never came. It’s been 16 months, and I’ve given up. Hotels.com should not be allowed to run its business like this, trampling over its customers. Is this a lost cause? — Michael Foley, Winthrop, Maine

Answer: It’s not a lost cause — far from it. Hotels.com has your money, and you should get it back now.

Why has the company held on to $1,400 of your hard-earned dollars? It looks like a computer glitch of some kind, where your reservation simply disappeared, along with your money. That’s no excuse, of course. But it’s the best explanation I can think of.

A company like Hotels.com should have made your problem its own. That’s what travel agents do for their clients. When you’re dealing with millions of bookings, it’s kind of hard to add a personal touch — or to impose any kind of institutional compassion. I guess what I’m saying is: Hotels.com treated you like an object, not a person.

I think you might have fared better by starting a paper trail, which is to say, sending an email to Hotels.com and then escalating this up the chain of command. Hotels.com doesn’t seem to handle calls well, and even if it did, there’s no record of the promise it made to you.

A quick look at Majestic’s cancellation policy shows that you were entitled to a refund. You just hadn’t asked the right person yet; instead, you were dealing with call-center employees who couldn’t or wouldn’t help. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the Hotels.com executive contacts on my consumer-advocacy website. (Hotels.com is owned by Expedia.)

I contacted the company, and it promptly issued a $1,400 refund. Better late than never!

6 thoughts on “I’m still waiting for a refund from Hotels.com

  1. This guy was so patient and without Chris, he may have waited forever. I would have disputed the charge after a couple of weeks but that does not excuse Hotels and many folks are not comfortable or aware of the dispute process.

  2. training, training training…………………..someone at hotels.com should be doing a much better job. I hope he received interest on his money & maybe a future credit, if he still wants to deal with hotels.com

    1. It’s one thing to wait, say 6 to 8 weeks, even though that s excessive. But over a year and you just receive your refund? Granted, interest may have been a small amount, but it’s the principle of it. Your point of a future credit, regardless of whether he’d ever consider using it, would have been appropriate.

      It’s getting tiring of all these portals promising you a seamless experience, but when issues arise, they are so quick to a cut off communication or string you along. Retail stores wouldn’t be allowed to do this, I’m just surprised states AGs don’t get involved and push for more regulation. If they are going to act like the wild west, then treat them like the wild west.

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