How can you avoid a bad hotel room?

What can you do to avoid being assigned a bad hotel room?

For Michael Rewers, he knows that he increases his chances of avoiding a bad hotel room by staying away from “free stay” vouchers – and at least one four-star hotel.

Rewers, who frequently travels as a sales rep for a European energy company, recently tried to redeem a hotel coupon for a weekend at an upscale hotel in Warsaw. “Big mistake,” he recalls. Read more “How can you avoid a bad hotel room?”

My prepaid debit card was drained by a skimmer at the gas station!

Even if the coronavirus is currently restricting your travel plans, you’re still likely at risk of encountering an ATM or gas pump debit or credit card skimmer this summer. And if you use a prepaid debit card, you might find Sylvia Powers’ experience with a skimmer of particular interest. She swiped her American Express Bluebird card at the pumps of her local gas station, and a skimming device secretly recorded her information. Then, thieves duplicated the prepaid debit card and quickly began draining Powers’ funds.

Powers assumed American Express would protect her against this fraud. She assumed wrong. (Reprint – updated -July 2020) Read more “My prepaid debit card was drained by a skimmer at the gas station!”

My hotel was overbooked — why can’t I get a refund?

Several days before his trip to Italy, Robert Arbanas got an email informing him that his hotel was overbooked. A manager promised him a refund. But months later, Arbanas is still waiting. Can we help? Read more “My hotel was overbooked — why can’t I get a refund?”

Be careful using this money-saving car rental trick

It used to be a reliable money-saving car rental trick: Reserve a vehicle at an off-airport location and take an Uber or taxi over. You can easily knock off 10  percent or more in airport fees.

Unfortunately, that loophole is closing. Read more “Be careful using this money-saving car rental trick”

Can my guide cancel my trip to Italy and keep my money too?

When coronavirus started closing down Italy, Meryl Silver wondered if she would be forced to cancel her upcoming trip. She didn’t have to wait long for an answer. In early March, the private photographer who was hosting the workshop she was to attend, announced he was “rescheduling” the event. So why won’t he return her $1,200 deposit? Read more “Can my guide cancel my trip to Italy and keep my money too?”

He wanted to take a Thello train to Venice. How did he end up on a bus?

What if your train ride in a comfy sleeper compartment turns into an unpleasant bus ride? That’s what happened to David Papay on a recent overnight journey from Paris to Venice on Thello, a European rail company.

Now Papay is asking for help retrieving the refund that Thello employees promised him.

Read more “He wanted to take a Thello train to Venice. How did he end up on a bus?”

Why won’t Sears replace my broken refrigerator?

If your refrigerator stops working after just two years, shouldn’t the manufacturer replace it? That’s the question for today. Brent Wilkinson just wants Sears to replace his broken refrigerator. Can we help? Read more “Why won’t Sears replace my broken refrigerator?”

Can TaxRise really help itself to $900 of my money?

TaxRise took $900 of Jack Maxfield’s money without his permission after he used the service to try to fix a tax problem. Worse, he disputed the charges on his debit card — and lost. So is that the end of the story? Read more “Can TaxRise really help itself to $900 of my money?”

We’re back in the USA after our coronavirus lockdown. This is what happened to us

My family got stuck in France during the coronavirus lockdown. It happened in slow motion. First, the museums closed. Then, about two weeks later, they shuttered the cafés and restaurants. And a week after that, authorities blocked access to the beach. Read more “We’re back in the USA after our coronavirus lockdown. This is what happened to us”