Edward Fedako’s case looked like a sure thing. It involved a canceled cruise and a missing airfare refund. It had everything going for it — except for one minor detail.
Fedako’s case underscores the importance of persistence. And paperwork.
But before we get to the unfortunate resolution, or lack thereof, let’s have a look at what happened to him.
Last August, he booked a Mediterranean cruise on Holland America through Costco Travel, which included airfare through American Airlines.
“On Dec. 2, I received an email from Costco Travel stating that Holland America canceled the cruise and was offering another one or a full refund,” he says. “I opted for the full refund.”
When the refund came, guess what? No airfare.
“I contacted Costco Travel and was told I would get the refund by Jan. 15th. Then it was Jan. 31, then Feb. 15, and now Feb. 17. I feel I am getting the runaround from Costco,” he says.
Fedako wants all of his $2,700 back, pronto. And he deserves it back.
“After all, they canceled the cruise,” he says.
I asked Fedako for his paper trail, which is a standard question and absolutely essential to the resolution process. We need to see Holland America’s notification, its refund promise, and the back-and-forth with the customer and Costco Travel.
“Unfortunately, I have no paper trail but the original reservation I made with Costco. Everything was done by phone calls, except the original email telling me that the cruise has been canceled,” he told me.
I persisted. Could he send at least something that shows the cancellation and the promise of a full refund?
“If you could at least call them on my behalf and reference the reservation number I sent you they would be able to tell you the calls I’ve made to them and the replies I’ve received,” he told me, adding, “I’m sorry, this is the best I can do.”
I’m sorry, too.
This one goes into the “Case Dismissed!” file, even though it’s a live, legitimate case. Why? Because our advocates can’t just pick up the phone and call a company without a paper trail. There’s no written evidence that what Fedako says is true, although I certainly believe him.
This customer failed to blaze a paper trail and then gave up, saying it was “the best I can do.” Unfortunately, it’s not enough. Persistence is important, but so is being persistent in the right way. Or maybe I should say, the write way.
I believe Fedako will get all of his money, eventually. We’re probably dealing with the ol’ “up to two credit card billing cycles” excuse here, and it’s only a matter of days before the money lands in his account.
And if it doesn’t? Fedako is always welcome to start a paper trail with Holland America and Costco Travel — and of course, we’d be happy to help him.