Trafalgar Prospects Declare Firm Is ‘Holding Cash Hostage’ After Holidays Canceled Due To Pandemic – CBS Denver
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Aurora’s Laurie Daniels is taking extreme measures to get thousands of dollars of her own money back after her dream trip to Italy was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says Trafalgar, an international travel company that has tens of millions of dollars in revenue every year, according to public records, is holding not only money hostage from her, but dozens of others around the country.
Daniels and her friend had planned a “final Hoorah” trip to Italy to celebrate their upcoming retirement. Together they paid about $ 12,000 for the trip. Daniels said she selected Trafalgar because she had great tours of Europe with the company in the past.
“I thought it was a great company,” said Daniels. “But if I am ever able to travel again, it will not be with Trafalgar.”
When the pandemic broke out, her trip was canceled, but unlike many other travel companies, Trafalgar refused to give her a refund for the nearly $ 6,000 she paid. Instead, Trafalgar offered her a voucher for the travel credit for a future vacation, but during these uncertain times Daniels did not want to book again.
“There is no guarantee of when this will end and when it will be safe to travel,” Daniels said.
Although Daniels had travel insurance as well, the company declined a refund. So Daniels filed a credit card dispute, saying she hadn’t received the goods and services she paid for.
“(The dispute) is now in arbitration with Visa Corporation and Chase both backing me,” Daniels said.
Daniels also said when Trafalgar refused to give her refund, the company sent her terms and conditions different from the ones she agreed to when booking the trip. The terms she agreed to when booking has a different, less thorough cancellation policy than the terms the company sent her when they refused to give her a refund.
There is no no-refund policy mentioned in terms dated prior to the pandemic.
“They were very sneaky because if you ask for a refund, they’ll come back and tell you, ‘Here is what your contract says, here are the terms of your contract and the reason we can’t give you a refund, but the terms they quote and give you aren’t what your terms and conditions say when you sign up, they’re rewritten, ”Daniels explained.
Daniels is not alone. There is a public Facebook page where dozens of people get upset about not getting refunds, and the Better Business Bureau website has several unresolved complaints, including the frustration of missing travel refunds for thousands Express dollar.
“Mine is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what they hold and refuse to return,” Daniels said.
Daniel’s girlfriend was finally offered a refund two weeks ago after she closed her credit card dispute, but was forced to reveal personal information before the company agreed.
“Trafalgar is now slowly giving money back to those writing a letter and they are basically being forced to give up HIPAA medical information and say why they cannot travel for the next few years and give an acute reason,” Daniels said .
Daniels says her friend won’t get the money for another 90 to 120 days.
“The point is that they only hold money hostage from people for as long as possible,” Daniels said.
Daniels’ local travel agent, who helped book their trip, confirms to CBS4 that Trafalgar was the only company out of about 10 travel companies that their clients had booked trips with that did not immediately offer full refunds due to pandemic cancellations.
The president of the U.S. division of Trafalgar declined to be interviewed about why the company is refusing to offer refunds to some customers.
Instead, a Trafalgar spokesman sent CBS4 the following written statement:
“Trafalgar is working closely with its guests and global travel partners to navigate this unprecedented time, including the creation of the Future Travel Credit program which enables seamless rebooking of any trip from now through 2022. We are a company built on the principles of hospitality and understanding.There may be situations that require a more personal approach and have exemptions made for extenuating circumstances. We look forward to welcoming guests in 2021 and encourage those with existing bookings to contact our Guest Relations department to discuss alternative options. “