Saturday 5 March 2022

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Where's my refund?

I booked accommodation at a hotel in Maun this past December. This was for 3 nights. I was told that my reservation will only be approved after I pay for 1 night as it was a busy season. I then paid P600 and it got approved. On my day of being the 31st, I got a call early morning from a gentleman at their reception to confirm my arrival time. I told them I will leave Gabs as soon as I was done, so I will check in late. On my way there I called to let them know that I was on the way and this time I spoke to a lady who told me my booking has been cancelled. I asked her how since I paid a deposit and confirmed that I was coming. I had to come up with Plan B regarding accommodation.

They have been promising to refund me but to this day I keep getting the excuse that the Directors are in Namibia for a Holiday and later South Africa. I spoke to the Manager and she's been promising to push the directors to refund me. I no longer believe that she's taking my issue seriously as she's always coming up with excuses. When I call their reception they tell me she's around and in a meeting but when I call in her cell she tells me she's not at work and will get back to me. The reception staff is very sympathetic and are surprised that its almost 2 months later and I still haven't been refunded.

All I want is my refund.

Do you think this hotel has ever heard of "customer service"? Clearly not.

This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and the authorities regulating tourism need to hear about this. I'm not suggesting that they need to be closed down or punished but they need to understand that, in a country increasingly reliant on tourism income, a hotel that treats a customer like this is undermining our national future.

I messaged the hotel management and asked them when they plan on refunding you. I hope it's soon if they want to avoid any unpleasant consequences.

Update. A refund was paid and the hotel have offered a free stay to say sorry.

Must I pay them?

I have a problem with a gym. They have not been deducting money from my account since June 2021. They only deducted in August but the payment was rejected and returned to my account and since then they were not deducting anything till November.

I was communicating with the Sales Manager and telling him that money wasn't deducted from my account and now in January they called telling me that I owe then. I went to the bank to ask for my bank statement to show that they are the ones that they have not been deducting and I called telling them that they are not deducting. The bank statements shows that all those months they have not been deducting money from my account now they want me to be accountable for their fault. I wasn't using the gym at all but my contract was still running.

Kindly advise me on this issue please.

This is probably a difficult issue. That's because when you set up a payment mechanism like this with your bank it doesn't mean you're no longer responsible for making the payments. The contract with the gym and your agreement with your bank will both say that it's still your job to make sure the payments are made if the bank or the gym screws things up. They can argue that if you knew the payments weren't being taken you should have found another way to pay them what you owed.

However, clearly this gym must take some responsibility. They obviously have a problem doing the simplest of things. An occasional mistake can be overlooked but to fail to take their payment for so long strikes me as incompetent. Surely their admin staff noticed they were short of money every month?

My suspicion is that you're probably responsible for the money you owe them but I also think that a reasonable company, run by reasonable people would be reasonable and would accept that they are partly to blame. Given that you didn't use their services during the period you weren't paying I think they should allow everyone to walk away without any money changing hands.

That would be the reasonable thing to do. It's just a shame that not all companies are reasonable. Let's see whether they are or not.

No comments: