Trafalgar customers claim company ‘is taking money hostage’ after vacation canceled due to pandemic – CBS Denver

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AURORA, Colorado (CBS4) – Laurie Daniels, of Aurora, is taking extreme measures to recover thousands of dollars of her own money, after her dream trip to Italy was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says Trafalgar, an international travel agency that generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue each year, according to public records, is not “just holding money hostage” to her, but to dozens of others. Across the country.

(credit: CBS)

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Daniels and her friend had planned a “last trip” to Italy to celebrate their upcoming retirement. Together they paid about $ 12,000 for the trip. Daniels said she chose Trafalgar because she has already taken great tours across Europe with the company.

“I thought it was a great company,” Daniels said. “But if I’m able to travel again, it won’t be with Trafalgar.”

When the pandemic struck, her trip was canceled, but unlike many other travel companies, Trafalgar refused to reimburse her for the nearly $ 6,000 she had paid. Instead, Trafalgar offered him a voucher for travel credit for future vacations, but in these uncertain times Daniels was unwilling to book.

“There is no guarantee of when this will end and when it will be safe to travel,” Daniels said.

CBS4 investigator Kati Weis questions Laurie Daniels. (credit: CBS)

Even though Daniels had also purchased travel insurance, the company still refused a refund. So Daniels filed a credit card dispute claiming that she didn’t get the goods and services she paid for.

“(The dispute) is currently in arbitration, Visa Corporation and Chase are both supporting me,” Daniels said.

Daniels also said that when Trafalgar refused their refund, the company sent them a different set of terms and conditions than they agreed to when booking the trip. The terms she accepted when booking have a different, less comprehensive cancellation policy than the terms the company sent her when they refused her refund.

The conditions, dated before the pandemic, do not mention a “no refund” policy.

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“They’ve been very sneaky about it because when you ask for a refund they come back and say: This is what your contract says, here are the terms and conditions of your contract and the reason why we cannot refund you, but the terms and conditions that they quote and give you are not the ones that are in your terms and conditions when you sign up, they are rewritten, ”explained Daniels.

Daniels is not alone. There is a public Facebook page where dozens of people are unhappy about not receiving a refund, and there are several unresolved complaints on the Better Business Bureau website also expressing their frustration with the lack of refunds for thousands of dollars. trips.

“Mine is a little drop in the bucket compared to what they hold and refuse to come back I’m sure,” Daniels said.

Daniels’ friend was finally offered a refund two weeks ago after she dropped her credit card dispute, but had to give out personal information before the company agreed.

“Trafalgar is now slowly making money back to those who write a letter, and they’re basically forced to give out HIPAA medical information, and say why they can’t travel in the next couple of years, and give some sort of reason. acute, ”Daniels said.

(credit: CBS)

Daniels says her friend won’t get that money for 90 to 120 days.

“It’s just about them keeping the money hostage from people for as long as they can,” Daniels said.

Daniels’ local travel agent, who helped book her trip, confirms to CBS4 that out of about 10 travel agencies her clients had booked trips with, Trafalgar was the only company not immediately offering a full refund in due to cancellations related to a pandemic.

The president of Trafalgar’s US division declined an interview on why the company refuses to offer refunds to certain customers.

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Instead, a spokesperson for Trafalgar sent CBS4 the following written statement:

“Trafalgar is working closely with its customers and global travel partners to get through this unprecedented time, including the creation of the Future Travel Credit program, which offers seamless rebooking for all travel by 2022. We are a company based on the principles of hospitality and understanding there may be situations that require a more personalized approach, exceptions made for extenuating circumstances. We look forward to welcoming guests again in 2021 and encourage those who have already booked to contact our Guest Relations department to discuss alternative options.

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