Hi Forum Folks. Just wondering if any of the B&B owners are monitoring the forum and could answer a question. Is there a legal timeframe after which a B&B operator must refund a clients money after the client has cancelled their trip because of Covid? I ask because a B&B operator was very quick to take my money when I booked a room, and then I had to cancel my trip (hasn't everyone). I cancelled well within the allowed limit according to the website, and I got a confirmation email indicating that I had cancelled my room, but as of yet, no refund. I cancelled in August for a mid September stay. I do realize that it may be difficult to free-up the funds for all the refunds that have to be given, but some kind of communication would be nice. I have tried phoning, left messages and emails, but...I suppose if I don't get the funds back, I can ask the credit card to cover them, but have never been successful with the credit card companies before either. Cheers! Heather
Without knowing what country (or province or state) this B&B is in, no one could possibly help you with this. There's no worldwide law on B&B refunds (or anything else).
If there is a B&B association, or some equivalent of a chamber of commerce, for the city where this place is located, an inquiry to them might help generate at least a response from the business. Presumably you have looked closely at the cancellation policy on the website and your cancellation was timely. Just because most travel-related businesses have tried to accommodate COVID-related cancellations doesn't mean they all do.
EDIT: I see you posted in the Scotland forum so I guess my first question is answered.
I was specifically asking in the Scotland forum, as the B&B is located on Skye. Yes, I complied with all of their cancellation policies and expect that they would honour them and issue the refund. Too bad if they don't I guess, but was wondering if there was a specific agency that could be contacted as recourse (without spending forever on the net trying to track it down, or a fortune on long distance calls).
I am no help because for my cancelled trip for June 2020, I had prompt replies and good communication from everywhere Scotland - B&Bs, car rental, Logan Air, and more. There are going to be people more knowledgeable than me, but if I were starting in your place I might next message the administrator for the Facebook group Skye Rooms to see if perhaps your particular stay has gone out of business or contact info has changed.
If you cancelled within the time frame to do so and received confirmation that you had, I would contact the credit card folks to see if a refund is in process and if not how to contest the charge and get it reversed.
I would not delay in doing this.
If you have an email with the B&B stating they will refund you on a certain date and they have not refunded you, then contact your credit card company and file a dispute.
I was successfull with 2 different credit cards as soon as I could provide proof that I was offered a refund within a time frame (10 business days). Since the refund never appear on my credit card after waiting more than the 10 business days, I filed a dispute and got my money back.
I would not delay in doing this
Could not agree more. I went back and forth with Eating Europe regarding a cancelled food tour. They took forever to respond but basically, despite me cancelling according to their policy which guaranteed a refund, they issued a voucher. Nearly 6 months elapsed and I gave it over to my credit card company, Capital One. They, despite my submitting all the correspondence, turned it over to an operation which deals with old claims. Disappointingly, they would not take it on and fight for my money. So, time is of the essence.
Normally, your credit card provider allows you up to 90 days from the original charge posting to your account in order to help you with your claim. So if you have proof from the merchant that they were willing to refund the original charge, then by all means contact your credit card provider right away. A telephone call will suffice to initiate your claim. They may ask to have you send a copy of any correspondence which you have received from the merchant.
You need to take action soon. Some credit card companies will be willing to go to bat for you after 90 days, but best not to let it go beyond that.
Best wishes, and stay safe!
Thanks so much everyone for your advice. Sadly I have had issues with Capital One not resolving an earlier claim for a company which failed to provide the paid for services, so I don't hold out much hope here either. Like I said, the B&B was quick to charge me when I made the booking in late January, so the 90 days from initial booking has definitely elapsed, and I cancelled on July 27, so again, 90 days have elapsed. Looks like I'm out of luck. It's unfortunate because this B&B was recommended in Rick Steves' book. Putting it down to unusual, awful times. Thanks again, take care and stay safe!
Heather I had the same issue with capitol one the first time I called. Once I had an emai stating they would refund me, then i called back and argued that there was no pandemic 90 days after I made the bookings, so they did file a dispute since I was within 90 days of the last email stating they would refund me, dont give up and try again, ask to speak with a manager.
Thanks Martine, sounds good, I'll give it a try.
If you are certain your cancellation complies with all conditions for a refund, follow the above advice regarding your credit card company. Covid as a reason for cancellation will probably not come in to it if the B&B was legally entitled to be open during your booking period, regardless if you were unable to visit at the time - then it depends on the goodwill of the B&B owner.
I've been helped three times by my credit card company, one time a few months later. No huge amounts, but still.
Hi again, Heather,
If you are unable to gain any satisfaction through your credit card provider, you may want to try contacting the TI (tourist information) office in Portree. For some reason, this website won't let me provide you with the office's telephone number or e-mail address, but all of the information is online. Their hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. They may not be able to help you, but it doesn't cost anything to send an e-mail.
This has been a really bad year for accommodation providers on the islands, so it's possible that your B&B owner just doesn't have the funds to be able to reimburse you at this point. As you said, however, they should certainly have contacted you to advise you of their situation.
Good luck! Keep us posted.
Best wishes from Wilmington, Delaware, current center of the known universe.
Thanks for your alternate suggestion Mike (Auchterless). I was wondering if there was somewhere local I could contact for advice/information. I'll give the Tourist Info a shout. I suspect you are correct, that the B&B operator simply doesn't have the funds for refunds currently. I can sympathize (but I also wouldn't mind receiving my refund).