Case Dismissed!

Expedia offers ‘free’ cancellation, except for you

Susan Veazey took Expedia at its word when she booked her hotel room in New Orleans recently.

The online agency promoted a “free” cancellation, so Veazey figured she could make multiple reservations and then cancel the one she didn’t want.

She figured wrong — and now she’s stuck with several rooms she can’t use.

Continue reading…

A refund in process, but should we get involved?

Robert Lynch reserved a vacation rental that never materialized, and now he wants his money back. He deserves a full and immediate refund, and if he doesn’t get it, our fearless advocacy team will jump in to help him, of course.

But refunds take a while. The ability to make time move faster, or slower, is slightly above my paygrade. But eventually, he should get his money.

Continue reading…

Why our loss is your gain

The “Case Dismissed” feature that appears here every Tuesday morning focuses on my shortcomings as a consumer advocate because, as I’ve said so often, you can often learn more from your failures than from your successes.

But what if it’s a more, ahem, personal failure?

Continue reading…

Is Vacasa’s cancellation policy fair?

All Shira Newman wanted to do was cancel her vacation rental in Seaside, Ore. She figured that she’d booked the rental at the last minute and then canceled shortly thereafter — easy come, easy go. So why not refund her $459?

Continue reading…

United Airlines gets it dead wrong (but it’s still right)

Margaret Sheppard and her husband, Don, were loyal United Airlines customers. They flew United whenever they could. They also spent using their co-branded MileagePlus credit card, an account they shared.

So when Don passed away, Margaret Sheppard assumed that transferring the remaining 48,000 miles into her name would be little more than a formality.

It wasn’t.
Continue reading…

The American way of following European consumer protection laws

If I’ve seen Lee Wendkos’s case once, I’ve seen it a hundred times. Delayed on his way to Europe, he tried to invoke EU 261, the legendary and often misinterpreted European consumer protection law. And he failed.

Yes, this feature is called Case Dismissed, but there’s a lot to be learned from our consumer missteps. With the busy summer travel season just around the corner, here’s one lesson you need to take with you: Airlines hate EU 261. Get every promise in writing or you’ll end up with nothing.
Continue reading…

Oops, wrong hitch!

Jim Langford’s appointment with U-Haul went off without a hitch. That’s the problem.

Langford, who lives in Penngrove, Calif., recently asked U-Haul to install a gooseneck hitch on his 2015 Ford F-350.

(For those of you who don’t live in flyover country, a gooseneck is a heavy-duty hitch anchored through the bed of a pickup truck. And an F-350 is a big truck.
Continue reading…