Heather Lockridge and her husband thought they would be checking into the honeymoon suite at the Ocean Maya Royal in Cancun, an all-inclusive beachfront resort described as the embodiment of “exotic serenity.” After all, it was their honeymoon.
Instead, they were greeted with some bad news when they arrived: The suites were all occupied and they’d be downgraded into a smaller ocean view room. And serenity? Forget it. Trying to recover the cost difference between the suite and their room was anything but easy.
“It feels like we are being ripped off,” she told me. (Please see an update from Apple Vacations at the end of this post.)
But is she? That’s the question I have to answer before I get involved. Maybe you can help.
Let’s hear from Lockridge first. The honeymoon in question had been booked through Apple Vacations. After she and her husband checked into the hotel and discovered their downgrade, a hotel representative told the couple not to worry. Once they returned, they could contact their travel agent for a refund.
When we got back home we called our travel agent and she told us there was a $200 difference per person for the Honeymoon Suite vs the Ocean View room.
Six weeks later we were notified that we would receive $200 back in travel vouchers only valid outside of the United States and $175 back into our account.
Related: In today’s edition of What’s your problem?, I solve a double-billing problem by a gas station. But was it a fair resolution?
But the vouchers didn’t do the Lockridges any good, because they had no plans to travel outside the United States.
They got back to us and said they would only give us $322 in cash if we refused the vouchers.
I contacted Apple’s customer service myself and waited another six weeks and got a response that they felt they had been fair and would not change their previous decision.
By Lockridge’s estimate, Apple owes her $78 — a small amount, she admits, “but I feel that they should have gone above and beyond considering we had paid for something we didn’t get and that it wasn’t our fault in the whole matter.”
She asks, “Am I being ridiculous in my thinking?”
Well, not really. This was your honeymoon, after all, which is one of the most important vacations of your life. You deserve to have everything perfect and to get exactly what you paid for.
I checked the room types at the hotel as listed on the Apple Vacations site. Unfortunately, the honeymoon suite isn’t included, so I can’t really tell what Lockridge was deprived of. I asked her, and she said the only thing she really missed was the in-room hot tub. Not that it really matters.
I think this should have been addressed in real time. The hotel representative’s advice to wait until the couple retured to the States was about as wrong as it could be. If Lockridge wanted a room with a hot tub, I think the hotel might have been able to figure something out instead of punting to Apple Vacations.