On May 25, 2012, I thought I was booking a hotel reservation
directly with the Grand Oasis Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. The Vacation Store, as it turns out, has
purchased a domain name that leads you to believe you are making a reservation
with the actual hotel. The website is
http://grandoasiscancunresort.com/ They have purchased many domain names that
resemble actual hotels, it turns out upon further investigation.
I proceeded to make the reservation thinking I was entitled
to all the rights and guarantees of a real hotel which have cancellation
policies of full refund up to 72 hours before arrival.
When I submitted my reservation request and Visa number,
there was never a disclosure or contractual terms displayed for me to agree to
or disagree to. I immediately received
an email from the Vacation Store confirming they received my request with still
no mention of any terms or conditions. I assumed the Vacation Store must be an
official representative of the Grand Oasis Hotel. The first email I received simply
confirms receipt of the reservation request, with no conditions of sale
disclosed. I received a second email from Eli an hour and twenty minutes later
stating that she has already charged my Visa credit card for the amount of
$1836 and that it is non-refundable! At no point did they disclose
non-refundable terms of contract until AFTER they took my money.
On May 27th, I emailed Eli formally requesting a
refund. She did not respond to my
On May 29th, I called the Vacation Store directly and spoke
to four female workers. The third was
Eli, who told me I agreed to non-refundable terms, and there is no refund. I told her I did not agree to anything, but
was instead informed of non-refundable terms after they charged my credit
Eli argued with me and said the best she can do is issue the
refund less $100 penalty. I asked to
speak to her supervisor. She said, the
supervisor is on a long distance call and not available. I said I would wait.
The supervisor came on and I explained that fraud was being
committed, that my credit card was charged before non-refundable terms were
disclosed. She tried to confuse me by
stating that the disclosure appeared in the first email before the card was
charged, but that is a lie, the condition of sale came after my money was
taken, in Eli's second email. She still refused to issue a full refund, and
said she would call me back.
I filed a complaint immediately with the BBB of Southeast
Florida/Caribbean. When Eli's supervisor
found out, she called me at 11:34 a.m. on 5/29 and stated "I was going to
give you the full refund, but now that you have made me mad and filed a complaint with the
BBB, I am going to charge you the $100 penalty fee."
I am still waiting for any kind of refund to post to my bank
I have filed this same complaint with the FTC.