Travelocity does not live up to their customer guarantee

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Dec 5, 2018
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#1
I was fortunate to be given an invitation to attend the 30th anniversary of Diner En Blanc in Paris France. I've never been to Paris, and I wanted my vacation to be memorable. I initially booed with Air BnB, but after discovering there was an issue with hosts who did not register their apartment, I decided to book with Hotel Le Relais du Marais Paris located at 76 Rue De Turbigo in Paris France. I figured I would have a better chance of accommodations not being canceled and being safer than an apartment. I decided to book a room on the Travelocity website. I read the reviews and thought that I picked a property in a great location. Upon arrival, I discovered I made a mistake. Not only was the room not depicted as it was on the website, but it smelled musty and was in disrepair. Immediately, I contacted Travelocity informing them of the state the room was in. I was asked if I "knew" of any other nearby hotels with accommodations. Being this was my first time in Paris, and I was unfamiliar with the city, I informed the representative that I did not. I reminded them of their policy. I was assured that someone would reach out to me and the hotel manager would follow up with me on the same day, but to stay there until I was able to be contacted. I agreed and went upstairs. By the second day, I developed a cough. I could not get the small out of the room despite attempts to air out the room. I went to the front desk staff and asked if they were contacted by Travelocity and they were not. I noticed the bathroom had black staining in the molding of the bathroom as well as in the grout and tile of the bathroom. I recognized this as mold. I went to the front desk and spoke to a staff member. He told me to choose a different room, but I would not be able to move into the room until it was serviced. I agreed. He called me and told me the room was serviced. My son and I changed our room and discovered two things. 1) the mold was worse in that room and 2) the air conditioner was broken. I went back downstairs to tell the front desk what I found and was told there was nothing they could do other than call the repair person. The repair person came a few hours later and just walked into the room. In this hotel, you are not allowed to leave with the room key. Because my son left the room key, they assumed that no one was in the room. He told me that he couldn't fix the air conditioner and left. After reporting this to the front desk, they assured me someone would return to fix the unit, but no one did. As a result of these conditions I came down with a sinus infection that took 2 courses of antibiotic therapy to treat and three visits to a medical provider.

I returned from vacation and asked for a refund of the price I paid but it was denied. The reason it was denied was that Travelocity initially told Discover that I never complained about the conditions. I sent Discover an email that documented when I first arrived at the hotel. The correspondence also showed that Travelocity never contacted the hotel to speak with the manager or anyone else at the hotel. Despite the proof I sent to the arbitrator, Discover found in favor of Travelocity stating that the trip was non-refundable, and my moving to a second mold-infested room was the remediation between myself and the hotel. All of these statements are blatant lies. They even removed my review from the hotel and continue to put guests at risk by selling rooms at this property. I am requesting your assistance in recouping the fees paid for this "vacation" as well as money for my pain and suffering. No one should go on vacation and be sickened by mold due to negligence. I am also interested in information on how to start a class-action lawsuit.
 
Jun 30, 2017
827
770
93
Maui Hawaii
#2
I was fortunate to be given an invitation to attend the 30th anniversary of Diner En Blanc in Paris France. I've never been to Paris, and I wanted my vacation to be memorable. I initially booed with Air BnB, but after discovering there was an issue with hosts who did not register their apartment, I decided to book with Hotel Le Relais du Marais Paris located at 76 Rue De Turbigo in Paris France. I figured I would have a better chance of accommodations not being canceled and being safer than an apartment. I decided to book a room on the Travelocity website. I read the reviews and thought that I picked a property in a great location. Upon arrival, I discovered I made a mistake. Not only was the room not depicted as it was on the website, but it smelled musty and was in disrepair. Immediately, I contacted Travelocity informing them of the state the room was in. I was asked if I "knew" of any other nearby hotels with accommodations. Being this was my first time in Paris, and I was unfamiliar with the city, I informed the representative that I did not. I reminded them of their policy. I was assured that someone would reach out to me and the hotel manager would follow up with me on the same day, but to stay there until I was able to be contacted. I agreed and went upstairs. By the second day, I developed a cough. I could not get the small out of the room despite attempts to air out the room. I went to the front desk staff and asked if they were contacted by Travelocity and they were not. I noticed the bathroom had black staining in the molding of the bathroom as well as in the grout and tile of the bathroom. I recognized this as mold. I went to the front desk and spoke to a staff member. He told me to choose a different room, but I would not be able to move into the room until it was serviced. I agreed. He called me and told me the room was serviced. My son and I changed our room and discovered two things. 1) the mold was worse in that room and 2) the air conditioner was broken. I went back downstairs to tell the front desk what I found and was told there was nothing they could do other than call the repair person. The repair person came a few hours later and just walked into the room. In this hotel, you are not allowed to leave with the room key. Because my son left the room key, they assumed that no one was in the room. He told me that he couldn't fix the air conditioner and left. After reporting this to the front desk, they assured me someone would return to fix the unit, but no one did. As a result of these conditions I came down with a sinus infection that took 2 courses of antibiotic therapy to treat and three visits to a medical provider.

I returned from vacation and asked for a refund of the price I paid but it was denied. The reason it was denied was that Travelocity initially told Discover that I never complained about the conditions. I sent Discover an email that documented when I first arrived at the hotel. The correspondence also showed that Travelocity never contacted the hotel to speak with the manager or anyone else at the hotel. Despite the proof I sent to the arbitrator, Discover found in favor of Travelocity stating that the trip was non-refundable, and my moving to a second mold-infested room was the remediation between myself and the hotel. All of these statements are blatant lies. They even removed my review from the hotel and continue to put guests at risk by selling rooms at this property. I am requesting your assistance in recouping the fees paid for this "vacation" as well as money for my pain and suffering. No one should go on vacation and be sickened by mold due to negligence. I am also interested in information on how to start a class-action lawsuit.
Here are the contacts for Travelocity : https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/travelocity/

Email the first person on the list and escalate weekly if no/negative response. Do not email all at once or start at the top. Do not attach any emails or documents until a respondent asks for same.

https://www.elliott.org/answers/how-to-fix-your-own-consumer-problem/
https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
In the future remember this - when you book on Travelocity at discount prices, you get the worst rooms in the hotel. Did you ask if you could pay to upgrade your room?

Its a well know fact that booking through an OTA gives you the worst rooms and if a hotel is overbooked, the OTA reservations are the first that are canceled because they want those who paid more for their rooms. So don't think because you book with an OTA your reservation won't be canceled.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,292
7,123
113
San Francisco
#4
I'm so sorry your much-anticipated visit in Paris was so marred by a bad hotel. As Neil pointed out, booking through an online service may save you a couple of euro, but you are assigned the worse accommodations available in the hotel. A satisfaction-guaranteed policy is one of the things that these kinds of internet services promise, but as you have learned, it's totally meaningless. They don't care if you have a bad experience or not, theirs is a story of volume, and there are always six customers lined up behind you who are interested in booking a cheap room and believe that the internet can provide that. It's just plain awful.

Did you read reviews of the hotel before you booked? Even tho there's been a great deal of discussion on which reviews are legit, I use TripAdvisor for every trip and by reading 30 or 40 reviews I have no trouble knowing if the property is right for me. I hope you are able to achieve some satisfaction from Travelocity.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
How do you know the sinus infection was caused by mold and not from virus/bacteria on the flight?

It looks as if the hotel is an average modest hotel in Paris in an older building. I suspect that as Neil said you got one of the worst rooms in the hotel.
The reviews are generally positive, but with these older buildings there will be a great variation in the rooms.

I do not think the guarantee means that one can stay at the hotel for the entire time and then demand a refund upon return. Did you follow up with travelocity while there or just call once?

You will not get a refund of the entire stay or compensation for pain and suffering. How can you prove that the hotel made you sick? And a class action lawsuit? Good luck with that. Once you start threatening things like that no company will talk to you. And as you have already lost a charge back, you have little leverage.

Paris is an expensive city -- not as bad as New York or London, and it can be a challenge to find a modest and modern hotel.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
So they refused to find a comparable hotel for you?

This is what they say about their guarantee:


Hotel doesn't match our details?
We'll find a comparable hotel for you right away.
If the pool is closed--contact us immediately and we'll find a comparable hotel for you at no additional cost.
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
48
#8
In the future remember this - when you book on Travelocity at discount prices, you get the worst rooms in the hotel. Did you ask if you could pay to upgrade your room?

Its a well know fact that booking through an OTA gives you the worst rooms and if a hotel is overbooked, the OTA reservations are the first that are canceled because they want those who paid more for their rooms. So don't think because you book with an OTA your reservation won't be canceled.
There was no way that I could pay for an upgrade because the hotel was fully booked at the time. If an upgrade was available, I would have gladly paid for it.
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
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#9
So they refused to find a comparable hotel for you?

This is what they say about their guarantee:


Hotel doesn't match our details?
We'll find a comparable hotel for you right away.
If the pool is closed--contact us immediately and we'll find a comparable hotel for you at no additional cost.

Exactly. They told me that they would call me after reaching out to the Hotel manager, but they never called me back.
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
48
#10
How do you know the sinus infection was caused by mold and not from virus/bacteria on the flight?

It looks as if the hotel is an average modest hotel in Paris in an older building. I suspect that as Neil said you got one of the worst rooms in the hotel.
The reviews are generally positive, but with these older buildings there will be a great variation in the rooms.

I do not think the guarantee means that one can stay at the hotel for the entire time and then demand a refund upon return. Did you follow up with travelocity while there or just call once?

You will not get a refund of the entire stay or compensation for pain and suffering. How can you prove that the hotel made you sick? And a class action lawsuit? Good luck with that. Once you start threatening things like that no company will talk to you. And as you have already lost a charge back, you have little leverage.

Paris is an expensive city -- not as bad as New York or London, and it can be a challenge to find a modest and modern hotel.

I live in New York, so I am quite familiar with how expensive is it to live there. I called Travelocity as soon as I arrived and was told that I would get a return call during my stay. They never did. I assumed that they also reached out to the Hotel manager, but they never did either. The guarantee means that when the room is not depicted the same way, they will find accomodations to fix that issue. I would have been willing to move anywhere they sent me, but they never did.
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
48
#11
I'm so sorry your much-anticipated visit in Paris was so marred by a bad hotel. As Neil pointed out, booking through an online service may save you a couple of euro, but you are assigned the worse accommodations available in the hotel. A satisfaction-guaranteed policy is one of the things that these kinds of internet services promise, but as you have learned, it's totally meaningless. They don't care if you have a bad experience or not, theirs is a story of volume, and there are always six customers lined up behind you who are interested in booking a cheap room and believe that the internet can provide that. It's just plain awful.

Did you read reviews of the hotel before you booked? Even tho there's been a great deal of discussion on which reviews are legit, I use TripAdvisor for every trip and by reading 30 or 40 reviews I have no trouble knowing if the property is right for me. I hope you are able to achieve some satisfaction from Travelocity.

I did read the reviews and read reviews on other sites as well, but I am sure they were lies. The review I was asked to post never made it to the site.
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
48
#12
How do you know the sinus infection was caused by mold and not from virus/bacteria on the flight?

It looks as if the hotel is an average modest hotel in Paris in an older building. I suspect that as Neil said you got one of the worst rooms in the hotel.
The reviews are generally positive, but with these older buildings there will be a great variation in the rooms.

I do not think the guarantee means that one can stay at the hotel for the entire time and then demand a refund upon return. Did you follow up with travelocity while there or just call once?

You will not get a refund of the entire stay or compensation for pain and suffering. How can you prove that the hotel made you sick? And a class action lawsuit? Good luck with that. Once you start threatening things like that no company will talk to you. And as you have already lost a charge back, you have little leverage.

Paris is an expensive city -- not as bad as New York or London, and it can be a challenge to find a modest and modern hotel.

I know that because there was no mold on the flight and I have pictures of the mold in the bathroom. Additionally, an eight hour exposure to mold wouldn't cause the sinus infection I had. Spending five days in a nasty hotel room would.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#13
I know that because there was no mold on the flight and I have pictures of the mold in the bathroom. Additionally, an eight hour exposure to mold wouldn't cause the sinus infection I had. Spending five days in a nasty hotel room would.
Did you have a culture that indicated you had a fungal sinus infection caused by breathing mold spores?

If you had one of those types you would not take antibiotics but instead an anti fungal. Can you prove that the mold caused the illness and not bacteria virus combo from the plane.

If there is someone sick on a plane I tend to catch it and have had my share of sinus infections, and now travel with antibiotics just in case.

With many of the OTA the call centers people are not very proactive or even active and it seems one has to chase them down. Why didn’t you look for another hotel in the neighborhood? The problem is staying the entire time and then wanting a refund. It is like eating the meal and then complaining about it rather than sending it back after a few bites.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
Did you have a culture that indicated you had a fungal sinus infection caused by breathing mold spores?

If you had one of those types you would not take antibiotics but instead an anti fungal. Can you prove that the mold caused the illness and not bacteria virus combo from the plane.

If there is someone sick on a plane I tend to catch it and have had my share of sinus infections, and now travel with antibiotics just in case.

With many of the OTA the call centers people are not very proactive or even active and it seems one has to chase them down. Why didn’t you look for another hotel in the neighborhood? The problem is staying the entire time and then wanting a refund. It is like eating the meal and then complaining about it rather than sending it back after a few bites.
And that’s why you won’t he or she won’t get a refund- they used the facilities and stayed there.

If you are interested in a class action lawsuit, you will have to contact a lawyer. We don’t give legal advice here.

Have you completed the entire process detailed in post 2?
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
48
#15
Did you have a culture that indicated you had a fungal sinus infection caused by breathing mold spores?

If you had one of those types you would not take antibiotics but instead an anti fungal. Can you prove that the mold caused the illness and not bacteria virus combo from the plane.

If there is someone sick on a plane I tend to catch it and have had my share of sinus infections, and now travel with antibiotics just in case.

With many of the OTA the call centers people are not very proactive or even active and it seems one has to chase them down. Why didn’t you look for another hotel in the neighborhood? The problem is staying the entire time and then wanting a refund. It is like eating the meal and then complaining about it rather than sending it back after a few bites.

Nasal swabs are not used to diagnose sinus infections, so that would not be necessary. Additionally, I failed the first course of antibiotic therapy because the infection was not sensitive to the prescribed treatment. As far as travelling with antibiotics, I would not recommend that because over use of antibiotics creates super bugs.

I did call around myself to look for a hotel. there was one next door to where I was located. However, they were full. During this time, there were folks arriving for several events in Paris (the French Open, Le Diner en Blanc), so it was difficult to find hotels. While I understand it would appear as if I ate the steak, pooped it out and now want my money back, I followed up as directed, looked for a hotel on my own and tried to work with hotel management to no avail. I would have been happy to eat some of the cost, but I did not plan on getting sick nor did I plan on staying in a mold infested hotel. It was either stay there or on the street. Faced with those choices, I am sure some of you would have done the same.
 
Dec 5, 2018
10
0
1
48
#16
And that’s why you won’t he or she won’t get a refund- they used the facilities and stayed there.

If you are interested in a class action lawsuit, you will have to contact a lawyer. We don’t give legal advice here.

Have you completed the entire process detailed in post 2?
I am completing the process in two and waiting for a response.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,599
13,724
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Travelocity failed you. I do urge you to go up the chain as we recommend and save all correspondence. If you get all the way up the chain and you still get nowhere- come back and we’ll tell you what the next steps are.

In the future, a real travel agent would have certainly been more help - they would have searched another hotel for you to try to get you moved.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,292
7,123
113
San Francisco
#20
Blaming an illness on an airline or hotel is a very tenuous plan. There are so many travellers, telling so many stories, trying to force the system to compensate them for whatever ... so even legitimate complaints are now given very little attention. Your situation is basically that the online booking service gave you a guarantee of satisfaction but ignored you when you needed help.

I would just state that the room was full of black mold, it was not as described and you received no help to find a better hotel. They erred by not helping you with their guarantee. I think they should offer you some compensation for a very unpleasant experience.