A drunk driver smashed into my car rental! Why did I get a $22,158 bill?

Just days into Joe Vandetta’s recent Florida family vacation, a drunk driver crashed head-on into his rental car. Luckily, the hit-and-run accident didn’t cause serious injuries, and the Vandettas — bruised but otherwise unharmed — completed their trip as planned.

But the shock of getting smashed by an intoxicated motorist was nothing compared to the jolt Vandetta received a month later. That’s when Budget Rental Car sent a $22,158 bill — the cost of the vehicle damaged by the drunk driver. Read more “A drunk driver smashed into my car rental! Why did I get a $22,158 bill?”

How to avoid vacation rental cleaning fees? Do this before you check in

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”

If a worried host asks you to pretend not to be a guest, it’s time to go

If your vacation rental host asks you to pretend not to be a guest during your stay, would you?

That’s the odd situation that confronted Josephine Avina last July when her family planned a short trip during the pandemic. But pretending not to be guests wasn’t the only thing the host wanted the Avinas to do. She also expected them to be OK with living in the remnants of a bachelorette party held the night before.

As you’ve probably already guessed, the Avinas with their two small children in tow weren’t OK with any of it. They promptly asked for a refund and took off for a hotel. And although the owner agreed to return their rental payment, it’s eight months later and the Avinas are still waiting.

Now, after a failed credit card dispute over the missing refund, the Elliott Advocacy team is the family’s last hope. Read more “If a worried host asks you to pretend not to be a guest, it’s time to go”

Time may be running out to get your Vantage refund

Julie Mann wants an $18,266 refund from Vantage Travel. Last year, she and her husband Frank booked an anniversary cruise to Norway.  But Vantage canceled the trip during the pandemic. Then the company automatically rescheduled the couple for August of this year without their approval. Mann wants her money back instead — and she’s losing her patience.

She has the right idea. Because when it comes to Vantage Travel refunds, patience may not be a virtue. Read more “Time may be running out to get your Vantage refund”

Is this really a $951 car rental mistake?!

Andrew Dupuy made a “little” mistake when he returned his recent car rental in Seattle. He says an innocent oversight caused him to drop the vehicle off at the wrong place. Only after it was too late to fix the problem did he see the shocking price tag of his error.

Now Dupuy is asking if he’s really stuck with the $951 penalty the car rental company charged for this mistake.

Can we help?  Read more “Is this really a $951 car rental mistake?!”

Can Sandals cancel my vacation and refuse my refund request?

Did Sandals close all its resorts during the pandemic and refuse to refund its guests for vacations it couldn’t provide? The simple answer is yes.

Since the coronavirus forced Sandals’ temporary shutdown last spring, complaints from disgruntled customers have filled our inbox. All of these would-be travelers want the same thing: a refund for the vacations Sandals canceled during the pandemic.

So why has the company refused virtually every request for a refund? Read more “Can Sandals cancel my vacation and refuse my refund request?”

Here’s how to quickly lose $1,300 to a stranger on Venmo!

Cindy Baker thought she understood how to use Venmo. She didn’t. Her confusion about the money transfer app led her to send $1,300 from her bank account directly to a virtual stranger. And that person refuses to return it.

Now she is asking the Elliott Advocacy team for help.

Baker’s expensive lesson on how to use Venmo safely is one that anyone considering using a money transfer app should read. Although Venmo is a convenient way to send funds to friends and family, there are dangers involved. That is to say; the system is much like a wire transfer — once you hit send, your cash is gone. And retrieving it can be impossible. (Reprint) Read more “Here’s how to quickly lose $1,300 to a stranger on Venmo!”

I wasted $2,000 on a vacation rental that does not exist!

Paul Trosclair says he just spent nearly two grand on a vacation rental that does not exist. To make matters worse, Vrbo sided with the person he believes is a thief disguised as a host.

Now Trosclair hopes the Elliott Advocacy team can prove this vacation rental is nonexistent and get his money back.

But can we do it? Read more “I wasted $2,000 on a vacation rental that does not exist!”

Here it is: The most expensive car rental pricing mistake ever!

Marvin Payne believes he’s uncovered the most expensive car rental pricing mistake ever, and I think you might agree. Several weeks after returning his most recent vehicle, he got the shock of his life — a $6,000 upcharge.

The problem is, even three months down the road, Payless Car Rental won’t correct or even acknowledge its error.

Now Payne is hoping that the Elliott Advocacy team can fix this outrageous mistake. Read more “Here it is: The most expensive car rental pricing mistake ever!”

How long does it take to get a refund during the pandemic?

Patty Eggen is upset — and she wants to know if she’s being too patient. She booked an Alaska cruise and canceled it many months ago. Her cruise fare refund from Norwegian arrived in early July. But her airfare refund from Alaska Airlines is still missing in action. And she’s wondering: How long does it take to get a refund during the pandemic? (Reprint) Read more “How long does it take to get a refund during the pandemic?”