Six months before getting married in her hometown of Santa Rosa, Calif., Pamela Baker-Miller made hotel arrangements for some of the guests visiting from out of town. She called Hilton Sonoma Wine Country and reserved a block of rooms — but not before getting assurances that she wouldn’t be on the hook for the accommodations.
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.
Question: My fiancée and I are planning our destination wedding in Jamaica this summer and are using a travel agent. We’re also using the travel agent for our honeymoon at a different resort on the island. We will be in Jamaica for two weeks. There are about 40 people booked at this time, with only a couple more to book. She has been going through Apple Vacations to help book the flights and hotels.
Our problems began back at the beginning of this year. Our agent had a couple of relatives pass away. We have tried to call and email the agent several times with little or no response. We even went to her house (she works from home) and talked with her in person, voicing our concern of the lack of communication.
We also have asked her, on a couple of occasions, to charge part of our stay to our credit card, she has not done this yet. We would like to space out the charges so we don’t get hit with it all at once.
When I lived in the Florida Keys, an area heavily dependent on tourism, I remember seeing a bumper sticker a time or two: “If it’s tourist season,” it asked, “why can’t we shoot them?”
The men officiating a sham wedding at Vilu Reef resort in the Maldives (video above) may have been asking themselves the same question. In the ceremony, conducted in the Dhivehi language for a Swiss couple, an officiator curses at the visitors and calls them infidels. (Warning: The clip contains explicit language.)
The Maldivian prime minister, Mohammed Nasheed, condemned the video and ordered the men responsible for the ceremony arrested.
Still, it makes you wonder if people hate us when we’re on vacation.