OMG! What a day! My pulse is still racing…nothing quite like finding out the cruise you booked and bought flights for had a declined payment for the deposit and I had no idea!! You may recall from a previous post that Mike and I got a free cruise by suffering through a timeshare seminar in a chilly room in Vegas, so the experience of booking this cruise is a little out of the ordinary.
After lots of researching, we finally decided on the perfect cruise that aligns with my responsibilities with my brother’s kids, and an off-peak time of year to save some money.
I called and booked it. They literally make you call; you cannot do it from the website. They have to try and sell you unnecessary stuff, you know! I don’t know if any of you have ever gotten anything awesome for free, but it’s never the conventional definition of free, cruises in particular.
Anyway…I was supposed to get a confirmation email after I booked, but never did. It took a couple of days for me to be like, hey, I didn’t get that email, I’ll have to call that guy back! Good thing I wrote down all important information! This should be an easy conversation: “Hey there, Scott, I didn’t get my confirmation email.” And he’d say, “No problem, Marybeth, let’s figure out why!”
That is not what happened. At all. At. All!! I call the number, hit all the right prompts, enter his extension…It doesn’t even ring, it just says it’s not available and press 0 to talk to the operator. All that does it gets you a recording that tells you to call back within normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 AM to whatever. Well, at this time, it’s just after noon on a Tuesday. Not sure how much more within normal business hours I can be!
Hmmm, ok, let me call back and try to get through to a different department and just get anyone on the line. Literally any avenue I attempt gets me the same recording. I think I called back 3 times, trying a different path through the adult version of choose-your-own-adventure.
Ok, well. I’ll try this other number that was on the website…it directs me to the same exact recorded message!
Now I’m in full panic mode. As far as I knew, we had paid these people over $1,100 and have no proof of anything and went ahead and booked our flights to Texas for a cruise I’m currently not even sure we have a room on! I know the cruise itself exists because we compared prices between the cruise line’s own website and the website we were told to book through.
Time to think outside the box…I decided to call the hotel in Vegas to talk to the people who work for the timeshare nonsense to see if they can be of any help. The person I spoke with took my number and said someone associated with distributing the timeshare compensations will call me back shortly. While I’m waiting, I did some more rummaging around the website and found my booking with the word rejected in the status column. Click on it and see the reason being that the card was declined! We think it may have been flagged as fraud since it was such a large amount. But still, these people can’t help me with this, they can only aid in giving me more information of who to contact.
They provide me with two additional numbers to call, one of which is a local area code, which I found to be an interesting coincidence. I called the first (third) toll free number. Guess what?? It’s the same exact recording!!! Now, I’m seriously wondering what the hell is going on here.
I called the local number, which had a slightly different main menu, so I hit the one that was about activating your voucher and was put into a queue with ‘unusually high call volume’, already wondering what an acceptable amount of time to wait is. While on hold for what seemed like an eternity, I’m still looking at the website, pouring over every tiny little detail when I notice that there’s an address listed in Scottsdale! At this point I’m envisioning going down to that office and demanding to be seen, Erin Brockovich style! Finally, a person comes on the line, and we talk and go over stuff for quite some time. She came back after looking into something to tell me that she can’t resolve this for me, and someone will call me back in 24-48 hours. Can’t wait!
I got an email! Literally telling me I have 2 days to call(!?) and fix the deposit or we forfeit our voucher. Dumb that they’d email me when this must be resolved by speaking with someone on the phone. I’m still convinced this is how they get you, tell me to call but I can’t get through in time. I called a couple of hours later and was on hold for 45 minutes before I decided this might be better taken care of first thing in the morning. I’m currently second guessing my decision to hang up. Maybe I was next!
I called bright and early and didn’t even have to be on hold! You’ll all be happy to know that my ducks are currently in a row, regarding this trip anyway! Phew!