Due to the extremely unhealthy air quality in the Fairbanks area, caused by the smoke from uncontrolled forest fires to the North, we had to cancel our entire Alaskan vacation (my wife suffers from asthma). All but one of the hotels that we had planned to stay at were very understanding and gladly refunded our deposits. 7 Gables Inn and Suites, on the other hand, has thus far refused.
Paul (who refused to let me speak to a manager), told me that there would be rain in the next week and the fires would be out by the time that our July 10 stay was scheduled for, our arrival in the Fairbanks area was to be July 3. Paul couldn't seem to grasp the idea that we were forced to cancel our entire vacation because my wife couln't spend even an hour in that environment, the State was issuing warnings that even healthy people should not go outside unless absolutely necessary.
Paul then informed that it was clearly stated in the reservation policy that any cancellations must be made 14 days in advance, and this is true, but I would think that any reasonable person could understand that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances that might call for a relaxation of said policies. These wildfires that are affecting the air quality in Fairbanks, I looked at a live webcam today and you can't even see across the street, started about 12 days prior to our schedule arrival date and we started trying to cancel as soon as my wifes brother was evacuated from his home 11 days prior to our scheduled arrival.
Paul then told me a story about the layers and layers of people that had to be paid for me making my reservation, even though I had to cancel. He told me about his hotel, central booking that had to have their fee, word for word from Paul "some place in New Mexico that has to be paid, and there are probably a lot of other layers people that have to be paid too".
I asked about their refund policy, clearly stated on their website that, quote, "For shorter stays, the deposit will be refunded if we receive notification of your cancellation 72 hours prior to your scheduled arrival, less a $15 handling fee."
Paul told me that this only applied if I had made the reservation through their own website, this fact was not so clearly stated, and I am attempting to cancel my reservation at least 200 hours prior to my scheduled arrival.
While writing this report I called 7 Gables Inn and Suites again, and again got Paul, who hung up on me once and put me on hold three times, and then did a "your call is breaking up" routine.
Paul did tell me that I could leave a message for a manager to maybe call me back, I still haven't received a call back after several hours.
Four other hotels gladly refunded our deposits, 3 tour operators gladly refunded our deposits, and the Alaska Railroad gladly gave us a full refund, and didn't even assess the $25 cancellation fee that was clearly stated on their website, would be charged for any cancellations or itinerary changes. They seemed to understand that these were circumstances beyond our control, and we were disappointed enough at having to cancel this once in a lifetime vacation, and clearly wanted us to keep them in mind when we rescheduled this vacation.