• Report: #731767

Complaint Review: Royal Caribbean International

  • Submitted: Sat, May 21, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, September 03, 2011

  • Reported By: Jonnadalene — Oklahoma United States of America
Royal Caribbean International
1050 Caribbean Way Miami,FL Internet United States of America

Royal Caribbean International John Chambers (Resolutions Agent) $1900 UNAUTHORIZED CHARGE LEAVES FAMILY WITH NO MONEY FOR 3-5 BUSINESS DAYS Internet

*Consumer Comment: Use an agent

*Consumer Comment: Another Shoot Me In The Head Post

*Consumer Comment: Try this as an alternative

*Consumer Comment: Painful lesson.

*Consumer Comment: LIARS

*General Comment: 5 days, no food?

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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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/21/2011 01:39 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Royal-Caribbean-International/internet/Royal-Caribbean-International-John-Chambers-Resolutions-Agent-1900-UNAUTHORIZED-CHARGE-731767. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Use an agent

AUTHOR: ggh - (USA)

In the future, do yourself a big favor and book any cruises through a trusted travel agent.  This way you are dealing with one person specifically and there is less chance of miscommunication.  You can make payments at will and they do not have the authorization to charge any account without your permission.  Another option is to put your payments aside in another account and then pay the final payment in full 70 days before sailing (when everyone's final payments are due.)

It costs no extra to use a travel agent and you have some other benefits as well.....they will watch for price reductions and you will get them (because the cruise line will not come to you with this information.)  By the way, I am not a travel agent....I just am a frequent cruiser who has found over the years what works best.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Another Shoot Me In The Head Post

AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

"My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck". Then why in the hell are you going on a $2,000+ cruise? Then you go on about your main complaint being how the cruise line withdrew a total of $1,898 out of your account instead of the $300 they were suppose to. Now YOU CLAIM since they withdrew the $1,898, you don't have ANY money for food or gas. That tells me you couldn't afford the cruise to begin with. You were going to spend the day shopping and getting your nails done. Another thing you can't afford IF you're really living paycheck to paycheck. It's not that your "living" from paycheck to paycheck. YOU'RE SPENDING paycheck to paycheck. You spend every frickin' cent you make on frivolous BS and DON"T SAVE ANYTHING. That's because you're weak. Like the old saying goes. How do you go broke making a millon dollars a year? Spending two millon dollars. This incident ought to be an eyeopening experience for you to change your lifestyle and spending habits, probably not. You remind me of politicians and our government.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Try this as an alternative

AUTHOR: Steven - (U.S.A.)

Instead of starting to pay one year in advance put the money that you would send to the cruise line in a savings account (maybe try a credit union or someplace that won't charge you fees).
That way you can set aside the money over the course of a year. If you set aside 200 dollars a month for 12 months you will have saved 2400 dollars. That leaves you with 300 dollars of fun money on the cruise. Unfortunately that much won't last long on a cruise so maybe up it to 250 to 300 a month.

Then you call the cruise line and see what specials they are running. Depending on the season you may get a lower rate. If there aren't any good deals then go ahead an make reservations for a cruise next year and pay with what you saved up then set aside more money to pay for other expenses that will come up during the cruise.

Nothing sucks more than going on a cruise and not being able to afford to do anything other than hanging out on the ship all day while it is in port because you don't have any money to do anything.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Painful lesson.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

  It's stories like this that illustrate why it is a very bad idea to give any company direct access to your checking account.   It is a commonly posted complaint on this site that some company took more than they should have.   When they do, it's up to you to straighten it all out.   The bank isn't going to be much help because you gave them free access to the account.   I equate it to going to the store and just handing over your wallet at the checkout, hoping that the clerk will take out the correct amount. 

  For online payments, you're much better off using a credit card.  The company only has access to the card's credit line, instead of the cash in your bank account.  It is also much easier to fix an incorrect credit card transaction than an ACH transaction from a debit card.

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#5 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Chef - (U.S.A.)

"let me start off by saying my family is not rich my husband and I live paycheck to paycheck"

That is how you started off, then the truth comes out, most people who live paycheck to paycheck do not go out on saturdays to have all day shopping sprees and get their nails done.

Now lets get to the point, they charged you the full amount owed, and you stated you only wanted to pay $300,  I agree that sucks that this happened to you, they did not over charge you, you paid them only what you owed them(again I know you did not want to pay the full amount at the time) but they offered you a $150 on board credit for the mistake.

That would be some compensation for their error!!!!!!!! what are you looking for them to give you a free cruise, They screwed up YES  but the did not over charge you.They admitted that their website had this problem and did not try to hide it.

Also if you had no food in your house instead of getting your nails done maybe you should of gone food shopping that day instead of a shopping spree.  I think you are exagerating just a little. I personally think $150 for their mistake is plenty, and in most cases it always takes 3-5 business days to get a refund.

You will get your money back plus 150 on board credit, I think your just a person that will never be satisfied 

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#6 General Comment

5 days, no food?

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

This is going to sound extremely insensitive, but I'm only going to say what anyone reading this would think.  You said that because of this, your family is without food and gas for 5 days.  Really?  Please tell me that is an embellishment.  If not, this cruise is way beyond your means. 

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