• Report: #1042155

Complaint Review: Serenity Helicopters

  • Submitted: Wed, April 10, 2013
  • Updated: Fri, April 19, 2013

  • Reported By: Michaelflkeys — Ocean City Maryland
Serenity Helicopters
1411 Airport Road suite 110 Boulder City, Nevada United States of America

Serenity Helicopters Serenity Tours Withdrew $772.00 for a Helicopter ride we never took- Unethical and Rude Employees Boulder City , Nevada

*UPDATE Employee: Card holder fraud

*Author of original report: The card holder never spoke to you?

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Ethical Consumers

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My finance and I were in Las Vegas for a business conference, so we thought it would be nice to take a helicopter ride which we asked our limo driver who gave us a magazine to choose from. We selected a company called Serenity Helicopters, so we called to make the reservation on a Friday for a Saturday ride. The only slot they had was for first thing in the morning, so we booked it. That evening we both got very ill due to food poisoning which kept us in bed literally for the entire trip and even had us feeling ill once we got back to the east coast, so when Sat 6:00am came around we were actually out cold from being up most the night.

When we booked the ride the day before, my fiancee got an email on her phone with the details about the trip. We did not think anything of it, other then how we could not wait to get home and feel better but a few weeks later we got our credit card statement from Bank Of America which showed a $772.00 charge for a Helicopter Ride with Serenity Helicopters in Las Vegas.

We then called the Bank which did a three way call with Serenity whom could not find any record of us whatsoever in their system, so the bank employee did a charge back after hearing our side of the story then hearing that Serenity Helicopters had no record of us, yet they charged us almost $800.00 for something we never used! We had to fill out some papers that BOA required in order to complete the charge back process, but we did not realize we forgot to sign the signature area which ironically the time expired  so BOA issued a credit back to Serenity Helicopters even though they had no record and knowingly charged us for something we never used.

At this point we were very frustrated because we I personally called in the reservation using my finances credit card which I found out through this process is not even legal for Serenity Helicopters to do but they did anyway. So after months of going back and forth with Bank Of America we decided to call Serenity Helicopters only to be talked to like a piece of trash by not just one but multiple employees.  I first spoke to the girl who originally booked the trip, but after hearing her for twenty minutes tell me about their 24 hr cancellation policy and how they have the right to do what they did I asked for a manager.

I explained to the manager that we were inside of 24 hrs therefor the 24 hr policy was not even legal and the credit card they used was never authorized by the owner of the card! They never spoke to my fiancee, yet they charged $772.00? More importantly I did my best to explain our situation with getting violently ill which was unexpected, so I could hopefully have them sympathize with us based on the facts rather then some policy they tried to hold over our heads, but the manager was like a robot reading over her 24 hr policy and why they were right.... So the manger assured me that the operations manger (her boss) would be calling me on the following Monday to see what she could do to help me.

I waited until that Wednesday for a call from the Serenity Helicopters operations manager,but again no call. I then called there to request to speak to this operations manager, which I was placed on a 15 min hold only to speak to one of the most unethical, unprofessional people I have ever had to deal with in my life. Her name was Trina and she was downright rude, overtaking me telling me that her manager said I was cursing when I spoke to her and blah blah blah which never happened. 

There are a ton of Helicopter companies in Las Vegas, so I strongly recommend that you consider all other companies and avoid Serenity Helicopters at all cost unless you want to get treated like I did!!!  I know I will be letting my limo driver know how this company treated me and my host at the Venetian so they hopefully never refer anyone to Serenity Helicopters, because they do not deserve to get your business!! 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/10/2013 10:08 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Serenity-Helicopters/Boulder-City-Nevada-89005/Serenity-Helicopters-Serenity-Tours-Withdrew-77200-for-a-Helicopter-ride-we-never-took--1042155. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Card holder fraud

AUTHOR: Trina - ()

I'd like to remind you again that you never spoke to or made your reservation with my company. The company that you did reserve with is, to whom,  you gave your credit card number.  I can only assume that they asked you for a credit card number to hold your reservation, this is a guaranty that you will go on the tour. They relayed this number to us as part of the reservation process. If you made a reservation and fraudulently gave a card number that doesn't belong to you and the third party company relayed this to us, as yours, I agree, you should be investigated. 

As far as any foul language, while your end of the conversations were never recorded, our offices are equipped with security cameras, including audio. I have pulled video and our side of each call with you. At no point did any of my staff curse at you, as you have claimed, but you already know this. There is one portion, where I repeated what you said to me, as a question, before I hung up the phone. I referenced the name you had just called me. It is clear that I wasn't addressing you in kind. 

 I will be as honest on this website as I was with you on the phone. I cannot change my company's policies because you are angry that your bank did not refund the charge. I'm surprised that since the last conversation we had, where you called me some very ugly names, that you'd expect me to then respond on this website with an apology. I know that I've done nothing wrong. I work for a business. I follow our polices and guidelines. 

It is not my intention to be rude, but factual. I will make no personal attacks on you and your behavior, as that would be less than professional. 
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#2 Author of original report

The card holder never spoke to you?

AUTHOR: Michaelflkeys - ()

The irony is the manager of Serenity Helicopters not once apologizes in her response which is unusual of someone that is a true servant heart business owner or operator? I think that says alot about the integrity and ethics of this place, if you ask me. There is nothing in her response that acknowledges the fact that nobody at their company even spoke to Brenda the actual card holder making the transaction illegal. The manager Trina puts all of her effort into justifying why they stole nearly $800 from us rather then apologizing or offering anything solution based, but rather instead doing everything she can to attempt to build value in their choice to charge us for something we never used or in this case even authorized which is why Bank Of America is doing a fraud investigation that will allow us to redeem our hard earned money. We also notified several other regulatory agencies that govern their business in an attempt to seek redemption for haven this money taken from us then the months worth of emails, phone calls and letters fighting for what is right which is so unfortunate. Also, another reason you may want to steer clear of Serenity Helicopters is the manager Trina clearly has some sort of anger issues because she was not only the one that was cursing at me, but also is a manipulator and liar!!!

It is sad because, it would have been alot easier to just work with the customer in this matter then to "pound on her chest" showing how powerful she is and right when in reality she is far from the truth of what took place. It is an open and shut case in the credit card processing world, being that if there is no written authorization by the card holder the transaction is deemed null and void yet Serenity Helicopters went above and beyond to take money that was not theirs. We even offered to work something out under the circumstances to compensate for a drivers time to meet them where they felt that they won the dispute since Trina and her crew only care about a policy that was never even applicable due to the fact it is a 24 hr cancellation policy I called within the 24 hrs? But even if she were right there, she could have simply said we normally have this policy but under the circumstances we would be happy to waive it for you.  The reality would have been we would have flew with them the next time we visited to Las Vegas and not been forced to share our negative experience with the entire world online, but unfortunately the manager names "Trina" is not someone that is very understanding or reasonable whatsoever so again I would strongly encourage those considering spending this kind of money on an excursion to fly with a company that will treat you the way they would want to be treated. We will be posting the details of the fraud investigation that BOA is completing as we speak as soon as we get the details. 
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Ethical Consumers

AUTHOR: Trina - ()

While there are many discrepancies in the original complaint, they are petty and not worth mentioning. 

The bottom line is, we are running a business. When a consumer reserves space at a business and gives a credit card number as a guarantee that they will, indeed, make good on their reservation, we, as a business, follow the guidelines of our cancelation policy in order to protect our business, as well as the other guests that take our tours. 

Case en pointe; Our aircraft holds six guests and our pilot. We had a group of four guests on a flight that did not show for their flight. If we didn't have a cancelation policy in effect, holding those guests accountable for their seats, the other two guests, who made their reservation in good faith and arrived at their pickup time and location on time as requested, would not have been able to take their flight, as we don't fly with only two paying seats. 

I recently made a reservation for a facial at a spa for which I had to give my credit card to hold my spot. On the day of this appointment, I awoke with a headache. I took meds and fell asleep. I slept through my appointment. When I did wake up, I immediately called the spa, mortified. They informed me that they had charged my card for the service, as well as a 20% gratuity. This way the esthetician did not lose the income. I did not argue this point, because as an ethical consumer, it made sense to me. I reserved the space and kept her from booking it with someone else. 

This is Las Vegas. It's not the first time that a guest has fallen ill. In the event that it happens within 24 hours of our scheduled flight, we try to work with the guest to rebook the seats with someone else to avoid guests paying for seats that they are too ill to use. We weren't given that opportunity in this case. We weren't even contacted until five days after the flight was missed because the charge showed on a credit card statement. 

We are in the service industry and we are very good at what we do. Neither my staff nor I get paid to be verbally attacked or cursed at. If my hanging up the phone seemed unprofessional, I felt there was really no way of salvaging the conversation once it was clear that we would stand behind our policies and the cursing began.

If you revisit your confirmation, forwarded to us by the company that you reserved with. You've acknowledged that you received it. As you can see, you never dealt with my company. We don't advertise. You did book with a third party company that books with multiple carriers. The cancelation policy is clear.
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