Let me just start off by saying, my family is not rich. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, which is why we booked this cruise almost 2 years in advance, so that we could slowly pay it off. On Friday May 20th,2011, I logged onto www.royalcaribbean.com to make a payment on our upcoming cruise in December. The balance owed was $1898. I selected the "other payment amount" option and entered in $300. Once I made the payment I went to see how much we still owed. The balance said ZERO. I checked my account- sure enough there was a pending transaction for $1898. I called Royal Caribbean and spoke to John Chambers. He informed me that the website charging the full balance instead of what was entered in is a "known issue". He stated that I would need to contact my bank to let them know this was an unauthorized transaction. When I called them, the agent informed me they would need a fax on RCL letterhead with the full CC# and amount of the charge to be released. John faxed that over to the bank and state the money would be back in my account as soon as the bank released the hold. The money was released within the hour. John advised me to let him know when the money was back in my account. I spoke to him to let him know. He offered $50 onboard credit for compensation. I did not feel that was fair, so I asked to speak a manager. I was told she was not available that I would have to leave a voicemail. While I was speaking to John in the middle of my sentence John just dumped the call to her voicemail. Luckily, Virginia McGriff answered the phone, however she didn't seem to care much regarding the way I was transferred or regarding compensation. After going back and forth she decided that $75 on board credit would be fair because there was "no out of pocket expense" and that was that. I had no other say in the matter. I didn't appreciate the way the whole conversation/experience went down with the "Resolution Department". However, since the money was back in my account I gave in. I called later that evening to make the $300 payment that I originally tried to make. Everything went thru just fine. Today, May 21st my husband and I had a huge shopping day planned because we have not had a free weekend in a long time. I checked the account to make sure everything was fine and it was. I started by getting my nails done. When I gave her my card to charge. It declined. She tried again, declined. HOW EMBARRESING. There I was in the middle of the nail salon, with services already complete and I couldn't pay the poor girl who did the work. I contacted my bank and guest what? Royal Caribbean had posted a HARD CHARGE to my account on 5/21 @ 9:13am. So now my account is in the negative almost $700. Not only can we not shop at this point, but we can't eat and we can't put gas in our cars. When I contacted the resolution department again, I spoke to Virginia who was again, VERY condescending the whole time. She was adamant that another charge had not been posted. I conferenced in my bank and the manager there and Virginia argued back and forth. After a total of about an hour on the phone the resolution was I can do nothing for you on both sides. Virginia stated that it was the original charge going thru and that I should have been advised of that yesterday. Yet when I spoke to her she mentioned NOTHING about that and John Chambers told me it would NOT post to my account. So now I have to wait 3-5 days for the refund. Virginia offered $150 on board credit and that was it. $150 for THEIR mistake that's left a family without food, or gas for 5 days. Not to mention having to cancel birthday shopping plans. I just keep being told we will reimburse you for any out of pocket expense. WHAT OUT OF POCKET EXPENSE? My account is in the NEGITAVE! The card DECLINES. I have NO options. When I ask to speak to Virginias manager I'm told she's the top of the department and there is no one else to speak to. She also goes thru all emails sent in to the CEO. When I called cooperate, they advised I could only talk to her. NO ONE WILL HELP. Surely this is not how you treat all of your customers. I AM DISCUSTED.
I am obviously looking for some sort of compensation other than whats been offered. Our cruise is not until December so there is still time to maybe make this a little less of a nightmare. Whether it be a significant amount of onboard credit, a chunk taken off the balance owed or an upgraded room, I CERTIANLY think that is not too much to ask given that Royal Caribbean has left a family stranded with no money for 3-5 business days. Not to mention I've spent 2 whole days trying to sort thru this mess.
We are going on this cruise for my parents 30th Anniversary. Its my husbands and grandmothers first time to cruise. Collectively we have spent approximately $11,000 on this cruise. It is ABSURD the way this error, that was YOUR fault has been resolved. The WORST customer service experience ever.