Should my tour operator keep $8,471 to “cover” costs of a canceled tour?

Moizhusein/Shutterstock
Moizhusein/Shutterstock
Tia Millman and John Madsen were looking forward to a private tour of Tunisia and Kenya organized by Experience It! Tours last summer.

But the trip wasn’t meant to be. Just three weeks before their departure, the State Department warned U.S. citizens to avoid Kenya, and Millman made a frantic call to their tour operator.

Now, Millman and Experience It! are bickering over a refund — a sizeable refund — and she wants me to get involved. I’m not sure if I should.
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They renamed the hotel and canceled my reservation

Vladitto/Shutterstock
Vladitto/Shutterstock

Liz Egland thinks she has a reservation at a Holiday Inn. But she’s wrong. The hotel has canceled her reservation and wants her to pay more than double to get it back. Is it allowed to do that?

Question: I made a reservation at the Comfort Inn in Troutdale, Ore., this fall, and received a confirmation number. At that time I was told that the hotel was in the process of being sold and would become a Holiday Inn Express and the reservation would be honored.

Last month, I got a call from the Comfort Inn that the sale had gone through and to contact the Holiday Inn Express Troutdale directly to verify my existing reservation. When I made this call, they indicated they no longer had a reservation for me, so they will not be honoring the contract I had with the Comfort Inn.
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A canceled wedding causes an existential crisis

Pavels/Shutterstock
Pavels/Shutterstock
Not every case that crosses my desk makes me question the very foundations of my consumer advocacy practice. But Sandy Neff’s did.

Neff reads my column in her local newspaper in Texas, and she turned to me for help with a recent hotel reservation.

“The first of the year my niece announced that her wedding was going to be on September 7th in Mill Valley, California, and suggested that anyone who would be attending should make his or her hotel reservations early,” she says.
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