Another couple, my husband and I were going to Hawaii and used Cheap Trips to book our Trip. We were given a list of resorts to chose from and the required nights to stay. Since we had only nine days and many of the resorts required a longer stay, we chose a 7 night stay at a resort for $205/nt. without tax. We were told to chose a resort, two dates, 30 days notice, and to send in a cashier check and we can pay the taxes upon confirmation. We sent in two cashier checks together, one for each couple along with the other required information. We waited over a month, calling several times for our confirmation which we never received.
After several phone calls, we were told our dates are totally booked. We then asked why we did not get a phone call or email stating this since our vacations were booked through our employers? They simply said it was not there responsibility to notify us. They said to call back at a different date. When asked for a refund, we were told they cannot do that, our refund period had expired.
We called back the next day and spoke to Rafael. We asked for the next available dates for the resort we had already paid for. He informed us we have to give him specific dates, that he cannot just look and see when it is available. We started giving dates and he just starting sounding annoyed saying unavailable very quickly. Then he offered a resort that was not on the original list. I asked where that property was and why it was not on the original list? He then stated that it is very busy in Hawaii and if we let this hotel go then we will not get to go and the money will not be refunded.
We asked what star the Ocean Resort Waikiki was and if it was on the beach like the one we paid for. He said he was not sure but the name says Ocean Resort so it must be on the Ocean and it has to be as nice as the one we originally booked. He also said it was a $205.00/nt rm so it must be nice, but rooms are going fast and if we don't book right now, we will lose it.
I asked Rafael why he doesn't have any information on this property and he said it was just given to him by his vendor since they are so busy. We felt it must be ok since it was comparable to the other resort that we researched so we did agree to book it 5-1-08 through 5-8-08 (the only date available after checking many) and at that time paid all the taxes for both rooms by credit card.
After hanging up with Rafael, I looked up Ocean Resort Waikiki and could not find it listed, then found it under Castle Ocean Resort Waikiki. I then discovered it was not on the beach and the rooms listed for $67.00. The place is barely a 2 star. I called the hotel and asked if there was a mistake and they said no, there standard rooms (which is what we were booked for) are actually going for $62.00 during the week we were going to be there because that is a slow time. I then called the resort we were supposed to stay in and asked if they were booked and they said no.
I then called Cheap Trips again (the same day), I was told we cannot cancel and get a refund (we each paid $1435 for our rooms plus taxes). I asked if we can get our hotel changed since I called and researched the one they gave us and that is NOT what we paid for and they kept reading from a script that we agreed to it. I argued we did not agree to something below what we paid for and they just kept going back to script.
We each (four of us) called trying to get the hotel changed and was given the same script. When we got to the Ocean Resort Hotel it was a nightmare. There was mold, around the a/c, carpet and bathroom. Rust in the shower, dust everywhere and electrical outlets that were sticking out of the walls that I cut my leg on. My husband's Asthma was terrible due to the horrible room which we tried to stay out of. We called Cheap Trips several times and was told again "we agreed to it". We also we told to pay for another hotel if we don't like that one.
I took pictures of everything. The pool was a joke. It had carpet that was half torn up which is a definate hazard and mold everywhere. The pool itself looks like it has not been cleaned in quite awhile. Our view was of dumpsters and the ghetto. I would like to know what recorse I have. It was a dream trip that was a disaster!