Travelers Beware !

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May 22, 2016
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#1
Just this past Weekend, May the Fourteenth, I booked for one week a room at The Conrad Bali in Bali, Indonesia. It is for January of 2017, and is one of their more expensive rooms and it had to be totally pre - paid. It was pre - paid on my Citibank credit card, a high charge of $ 1,836.55. As soon as I booked it I as scolded by the people who I was going to meet there because The Conrad Bali never informed me that their hotel is in the middle of nowhere, and near nobody, nor anything which I, nor anybody else, would need to see on holiday. So I immediately telephoned Hilton International, their Parent company, to cancel it and was given the " run - a - round " by them, telling me that I had to telephone the hotel in Indonesia directly to cancel .
I did this, as well as 'e - mailed' them, and was given short answers at all times, telling me that they refuse to refund my money back to my card. Shortly after this, on the very early morning of May the Sixteenth I called Citibank to dispute the charge, and was told via their customer service agent that there was no such a charge on my account, and to prevent one from being added I ought to close my account right away and request a new Citibank credit card, which I did. However twenty - four hours later I still didn't feel too good about the information Citibank gave me, and telephoned Citibank again. This time the agent told me that there was indeed such a high charge, and they had approved it the day prior, on May the Fifteenth .
I am not in a position to allow The Conrad Bali steal all this money from me without putting up a fight, as I am in the right, regardless of the nonsense which The Conrad Bali would say. I made an honest attempt to cancel this reservation almost immediately after making it. Hilton International will not help me, and has pretty much thrown me, a Silver HHonors member, under the bus. I could possibly live with a small cancellation fee from The Conrad Bali, even though I feel they would be wrong to incur this fee considering the swift pace I commenced the cancellation process. I need to dispute this outrageous charge, and I also need to find out why Citibank told me that there was no such a high charge in the first place, approved by them onto my account. And also why Citibank had me cancel my account, unnecessarily .
Are The Elliott Advocates in a position to request that The Conrad Bali Hotel do the right thing, and return my money back to my credit card ? They would of course have to be informed of what my new credit card number is, I just canceled it, and do not know myself .
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
One big question- why didn't you research the hotel before you booked? Why did you choose this hotel in the first place? This is an occasional a good travel agent would have been invaluable to be able to advise you.

And second question- was there a slightly more expensive rate you could have opted for but chose not to?

When you do it yourself you are solely responsible, especially when you boom a nonrefundable rate. Nonrefundable means just that - even if you want to cancel 5 minutes later.

If I were in your shoes I would just plan on spending my time in this hotel rather than lose $1800. You chose a nonrefundable rate and should have done your homework before booking.

The hotel did nothing wrong. You opted for a nonrefundable rate. They aren't stealing your money, the only thing I can suggest you do is go to our company contacts on top of our page and see if there are contacts under the hotel section for Hilton Hotels. If there are, write to Customer Service and request a hardship cancellation. Your letter should be sincere and tell them you made mistake and ask if they can possibly make an exception. Do not blame it on them at all because they didn't err, you did. You will basically have to artfully beg for them to make an exception. Give Customer Service a week to get back to you. If they don't or the answer is no, write to the first executive shown. Give him a week to get back to you, then repeat weekly until you get to the top. Let us know how you make out.

If there are no company contacts, let us know and we can see if our research guru can find contacts.

Let us know how you make out.
 
May 22, 2016
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#3
One big question- why didn't you research the hotel before you booked? Why did you choose this hotel in the first place? This is an occasional a good travel agent would have been invaluable to be able to advise you.

And second question- was there a slightly more expensive rate you could have opted for but chose not to?

When you do it yourself you are solely responsible, especially when you boom a nonrefundable rate. Nonrefundable means just that - even if you want to cancel 5 minutes later.

If I were in your shoes I would just plan on spending my time in this hotel rather than lose $1800. You chose a nonrefundable rate and should have done your homework before booking.

The hotel did nothing wrong. You opted for a nonrefundable rate. They aren't stealing your money, the only thing I can suggest you do is go to our company contacts on top of our page and see if there are contacts under the hotel section for Conrad Hotels. If there are, write to Customer Service and request a hardship cancellation. Your letter should be sincere and tell them you made mistake and ask if they can possibly make an exception. Do not blame it on them at all because they didn't err, you did. You will basically have to artfully beg for them to make an exception. Give Customer Service a week to get back to you. If they don't or the answer is no, write to the first executive shown. Give him a week to get back to you, then repeat weekly until you get to the top. Let us know how you make out.

If there are no company contacts, let us know and we can see if our research guru can find contacts.

Let us know how you make out.
( Neil, I shall do as you suggest .)
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
When you get to the booking page there are clearly many rate choices and a little "I" next to each of these. When you click on the I, the rate rules show and it clearly states the cancellation policy;

any reason, attempt to modify this reservation, or do not arrive on your specified check-in date, your payment is non-refundable.

Before you go through this, have you read reviews? This is a true 5 star resort with very good reviews. It's also a short cab ride to the main town. I think you are panicking as it is not that far out of the way,
 

Attachments

May 22, 2016
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#5
When you get to the booking page there are clearly many rate choices and a little "I" next to each of these. When you click on the I, the rate rules show and it clearly states the cancellation policy;

any reason, attempt to modify this reservation, or do not arrive on your specified check-in date, your payment is non-refundable.
( Thanks Neil , I will take your good advice , and proceed from there .)
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#8
I agree with the other posts....non-refundable/ non-cancellable means exactly that. More and more hotels have these rates to go directly to consumers instead of selling surplus to online travel agents such as Priceline.

You may have a better chance at success asking for a credit instead of a refund. Hilton Hotels is a "brand" within the parent corporation Hilton Worldwide who own many different brands http://www.hiltonworldwide.com/portfolio/ Can you plan future travel to stay at a HW property in the next year?

Also, please stop posting in bold except for emphasis. It makes your posts difficult to read. It's even more important when you contact Hilton....staff at major travel providers receive hundreds of emails daily. In your request, also leave out the Citibank stuff and anything about "run around", "steal", "thrown under the bus", etc. Requests that are fast and easy to read are more likely to "feel the love" and frankly, you need to accept responsibility for the problem and request their help with an exception.

Let us know how it goes. (I think just staying at that hotel, one of the world's best, is the best recommendation).
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#10
As for the Conrad Hotel not telling you it's in the middle of nowhere convenient, did they tell you it was in Bali?
It isn't in the middle of nowhere, it's on a secluded beach so you have peace, quiet and relaxation. The address is also listed, that's for you look and make sure it's where you want to be. Those booming this hotel are looking for exactly that.
 
Sep 6, 2015
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#11
I frequently use Trip Advisor before choosing a hotel for a place I've never visited. While some reviews are irritating or plain old useless, I've gotten some great advice and appreciate their insight. I usually take their information and then book directly with the hotel. I agree with Neil on a few points-- a consult with a travel agent would be well worth it for recommendations, especially for an expensive area, and even if you have to pre-pay your reservation (which I try not to do), pay the extra few bucks a night they charge (in my experience, it's about $30-40 a night extra), for the right to cancel the reservation with a full refund. While trip
Insurance wouldn't help your issue, definitely buy it for any trip where you can't afford to lose the money.
 
May 22, 2016
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#12
Travelers Beware of Misleading Information from only one person.

This is an excellent hotel with an excellent location, if you want to be beside a beach.
Otherwise, why will you go to Bali for?

View attachment 904
Travelers Beware of Misleading Information from only one person.

This is an excellent hotel with an excellent location, if you want to be beside a beach.
Otherwise, why will you go to Bali for?

View attachment 904
( Thank you ' flywisely ,' this one person who told me, lives there ! Yes I've had the pleasure of visiting many wonderful beaches, a big reason to go to beautiful Bali for me anyway is the legendary nightlife. He said that The Conrad Bali is at least two hours away each way, in nightmare traffic, from Legian and environs, where I would need to be. Of course he told me this one short moment after I booked ! And that's when it all started !)
 
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May 22, 2016
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#14
As for the Conrad Hotel not telling you it's in the middle of nowhere convenient, did they tell you it was in Bali?
( Lol ' AAGK !' I didn't think I had to ask. I've been all over this grand World, though never there, not realizing how large Bali must be. Not knowing it was so far away from where their legendary nightlife is .)
 
May 22, 2016
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#15
I frequently use Trip Advisor before choosing a hotel for a place I've never visited. While some reviews are irritating or plain old useless, I've gotten some great advice and appreciate their insight. I usually take their information and then book directly with the hotel. I agree with Neil on a few points-- a consult with a travel agent would be well worth it for recommendations, especially for an expensive area, and even if you have to pre-pay your reservation (which I try not to do), pay the extra few bucks a night they charge (in my experience, it's about $30-40 a night extra), for the right to cancel the reservation with a full refund. While trip
Insurance wouldn't help your issue, definitely buy it for any trip where you can't afford to lose the money.
( Thanks Tricia, I do not necessarily go along with the argument others have made that since you ' click ' the box, prior to proceeding, you are automatically liable. The way their web - site is set up is, if you do not click the box, their page will not allow you to continue. So it's not as if you have the option of continuing without ' clicking .' If it wasn't such an incredibly large amount of money ( to me ) which they are confiscating, it wouldn't had been such a huge issue. I can understand a customary cancellation fee, but not this. Also, I have dealt with many non - refundable sites in the past whose custom is to allow a twenty - four hour grace period after purchasing. So yes, this kind of shocked me. )
 
May 22, 2016
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#16
I agree with the other posts....non-refundable/ non-cancellable means exactly that. More and more hotels have these rates to go directly to consumers instead of selling surplus to online travel agents such as Priceline.

You may have a better chance at success asking for a credit instead of a refund. Hilton Hotels is a "brand" within the parent corporation Hilton Worldwide who own many different brands http://www.hiltonworldwide.com/portfolio/ Can you plan future travel to stay at a HW property in the next year?

Also, please stop posting in bold except for emphasis. It makes your posts difficult to read. It's even more important when you contact Hilton....staff at major travel providers receive hundreds of emails daily. In your request, also leave out the Citibank stuff and anything about "run around", "steal", "thrown under the bus", etc. Requests that are fast and easy to read are more likely to "feel the love" and frankly, you need to accept responsibility for the problem and request their help with an exception.

Let us know how it goes. (I think just staying at that hotel, one of the world's best, is the best recommendation).
( Thank you ' kenish ,' I will mix your good advice with Neil's good advice, and commence the process. In retrospect I do agree that in my initial shock with everything happening, and all so rapidly, my thoughts, and language, might have been a little harsh. I have learned to revert back to my natural polite self now, and start moving with this .)
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,379
13,047
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
( Thanks Tricia, I do not necessarily go along with the argument others have made that since you ' click ' the box, prior to proceeding, you are automatically liable. The way their web - site is set up is, if you do not click the box, their page will not allow you to continue. So it's not as if you have the option of continuing without ' clicking .' If it wasn't such an incredibly large amount of money ( to me ) which they are confiscating, it wouldn't had been such a huge issue. I can understand a customary cancellation fee, but not this. Also, I have dealt with many non - refundable sites in the past whose custom is to allow a twenty - four hour grace period after purchasing. So yes, this kind of shocked me. )
Again, they are not "confiscating" your money. You made the booking yourself, you did no research on the location of the resort and you did not opt to use the tools given to you to read what you were booking. When you saw four or five different rates, you didn't think to check to find out why one rate was so low?

When you book your own travel, you are totally responsible for what you book and for reading a website that you are booking through. You opted not to click on the information. You are solely responsible for what you booked.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#18
Maybe you can politely contact Hilton and beg to move to the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport. It has a convenient free shuttle to downtown Kuta and is much nearer the Legian Beach area.
http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/...nn-bali-ngurah-rai-airport-DPSJAGI/index.html
And if you overpaid, then ask for the difference in future credits.
But whatever you do, please remember that you are asking for a favor.
Good Luck
 
May 22, 2016
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#19
Maybe you can politely contact Hilton and beg to move to the Hilton Garden Inn near the airport. It has a convenient free shuttle to downtown Kuta and is much nearer the Legian Beach area.
http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/...nn-bali-ngurah-rai-airport-DPSJAGI/index.html
And if you overpaid, then ask for the difference in future credits.
But whatever you do, please remember that you are asking for a favor.
Good Luck
( Thank you ' flywisely .' at this point, since The Conrad Bali has offered, with restrictions on what month we would like, to transfer the reservation to another date, we will first make an attempt to see if The Conrad Bali would move this reservation to January of 2018, far away into the future we know, though it is the first opportunity now that we would have to go there with our money being tied up. If not, then we shall use the link which you have kindly provided. By the way regarding any possible over-payment should we be able to transfer, we suppose that we could always kindly request a room upgrade at the airport one to cover the additional monies, should they and The Conrad Bali even allow the money transfer over to the airport one in the first place. Thank you ' flywisely .' )
 
May 22, 2016
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#20
I agree with the other posts....non-refundable/ non-cancellable means exactly that. More and more hotels have these rates to go directly to consumers instead of selling surplus to online travel agents such as Priceline.

You may have a better chance at success asking for a credit instead of a refund. Hilton Hotels is a "brand" within the parent corporation Hilton Worldwide who own many different brands http://www.hiltonworldwide.com/portfolio/ Can you plan future travel to stay at a HW property in the next year?

Also, please stop posting in bold except for emphasis. It makes your posts difficult to read. It's even more important when you contact Hilton....staff at major travel providers receive hundreds of emails daily. In your request, also leave out the Citibank stuff and anything about "run around", "steal", "thrown under the bus", etc. Requests that are fast and easy to read are more likely to "feel the love" and frankly, you need to accept responsibility for the problem and request their help with an exception.

Let us know how it goes. (I think just staying at that hotel, one of the world's best, is the best recommendation).
( O.K. ' kenish ' as per your request, I believe it is settled, perhaps to nobody's satisfaction, though that is still better than what first happened, me getting all the bad news ! With the assistance of the list of Hilton contacts which I believe Neil kindly also posted, I will now be going to The Conrad Bali in January of 2018. A perfect time of year to escape the miserable Winters here. So I suppose that is that. If you know of anybody nice who might want a roommate at that five - star property in beautiful Bali during that happy time let me know. As you may already know, I am booked in a Deluxe King Room, Lagoon View . A good room with direct pool access. Thanks .)