The travel troubleshooter

Hey, where’s my refund?

 

christopher@elliott.org

Q. I’ve read your columns frequently over the past several years and always wondered if I’d ever need your help. Well that day has come. I need assistance in obtaining a refund from Palace Resorts. I paid $2,785 for a seven-day, all-inclusive vacation at their Aventura Spa Palace resort in Cancun a few months ago. I had no problems whatsoever with that reservation.

But last fall, the Palace had a sale, and I was able to cancel that initial reservation and book a new reservation for a cheaper rate, saving me $278. I was told by the agent that my refund would be processed in six to eight weeks.

It didn’t happen. The credit card with which I made the original reservation was lost, so I had to send additional information to the company. Since then, I have not received any communication from anyone at Palace Resorts regarding my refund. I have sent multiple emails, and have been told each time that someone else who can help with refunds would contact me. I’ve tried everything, including contacting their public relations manager on Twitter and using “live” chat.

I’ve been promised that “someone” will get back to me very soon, but instead there has been zero communication in any form back from the personnel at Palace Resorts. Can you help?

Matthew Del Bontago

Berkeley, Calif.

Your refund should have been processed promptly. Not in six to eight week or six to eight months. The process should have taken about as long as it took Palace to remove the money from your credit card — that would be roughly six to eight seconds.

I’m willing to allow a little time for the credit card switch. Most travel companies have a policy that any refund must go back the same way it came. So in your case, they were trying to send it back to the credit card through which you made your purchase. But even the strictest policy must allow for credit card theft or loss. This can’t be the first time Palace had to refund to another card.

You went to great lengths to get your refund, and you did all the right things, keeping a paper trail, always appealing to someone higher up — and still nothing happened. By the time I got involved, almost three months had passed.

As an additional measure, you might have contacted your credit card company and disputed the first charge. The emails from Palace promising a refund might have been sufficient to push through a refund.

I contacted Palace Resorts on your behalf. It credited your card immediately.

Read more Travel stories from the Miami Herald

  • Airlines

    Are American, US Airways delivering on merger promises?

    The new American Airlines — the product of last year’s controversial merger between American and US Airways — may only be a few months old, but that hasn’t stopped travelers from forming opinions about the world’s largest airline.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">A life in ruins:</span> Posters at the Hacienda Napoles ranch tell the story of slain Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, once the head of the Medellin drug cartel.

    Colombia

    In Colombia, a playground with a past

    Wandering through a decaying doorless archway, I encounter a young boy crouching on a floor of broken tiles and rubble, beneath a framed newspaper front page from May 1984. “Lara B Assassinated,” the headline blares. “State of Siege.”

  •  
Passengers on the Harmony V go on a birding adventure in a pirogue on the Gambia River, home to more than 500 species of birds.

    Gambia

    Up the river in West Africa

    The radiant sun was starting its late-afternoon descent, and I was gliding on glassy water through a Gambian archipelago of tropical rain-forest islands in a brightly painted boat, a converted ferry with an upper deck and even a soft-drink bar. Propped against pillows with my feet up, I was as comfortable as Cleopatra on her royal barge.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK



  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category