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Bel Air Wengen, no response regarding our booking

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Agstallings
Agstallings
5 posts
new member
Apr 13, 2020 - 12:31 PM

We originally booked three nights at the Haus Bel Air Wengen through hotels.com which had a 30 day cancellation policy. The owner said if we booked directly through him he would give us 10% off so we canceled the hotels.com reservation and booked through him. Due to the ban on US air travel to Europe (because of Corona virus) we unfortunately had no choice but to cancel our booking with Christian. We tried to reach him multiple times for OVER A MONTH with no response. Once he did respond he only said his reservations were "nonrefundable" and that the 30 day cancellation was hotel.com's policy, not his. Of course, he'd never told me that the policies were different and shame on me for not clarifying, but regardless EVERY other apartment we booked for this trip understood the unprecedented situation we were in and refunded our money without question. Especially since we were canceling so far in advance. I sent him multiple emails/texts begging him to reconsider his policy even to just refund a portion but he never responded again.

Is there anything we can do? Are there any protections that I'm not aware of or am I just out $900? If the latter, then I hope this serves as a warning to others.

Steph
Steph
2293 posts
top member
Apr 14, 2020 - 5:05 AM in reply to Agstallings

Hello Agstallings,

This IS indeed disappointing to hear and I am somewhat surprised, to be honest, about the missing understanding from the Hotel. However, I'm not sure if you have any other chance to receive a refund, if the owner tells you your booking is "non-refundable".

For future planning, please find out recommendations for Hotels in Wengen below, as I assume, you will NOT be staying at the Bel Air, even if you can come to Switzerland sometimes in the future.
- www.myswissalps.com/wengen/hotels

Best,
Steph

ps: Do keep us posted pls should the situation change.

Annika
Annika
6273 posts
expert &
moderator
Apr 14, 2020 - 6:27 AM in reply to Agstallings

Hi Agstallings,

That's disappointing for sure! I'm happy to hear that most of your bookings have been cancelled succesfully, but I understand that it would be a loss not to have the money for your hotel in Wengen refunded. In addition to Steph's response, I can think of two more ways to approach this issue:

  • contact Wengen Tourism (https://wengen.swiss) and see if they can help you out;
  • if there's no refund option whatsoever, check whether your own travel assurance, or maybe even your credit card company, can cover (part of) the loss.

I hope you'll find a way to solve this! Good luck and stay safe.

Agstallings
Agstallings
5 posts
new member
Apr 14, 2020 - 10:40 AM in reply to Steph

Thank you Steph for your reply. We are definitely going to rebook our trip when things are safe and I DEFINITELY won't be staying at Haus Bel Air. Thank you for the list of recommendations. I will keep you posted if anything changes.

Agstallings
Agstallings
5 posts
new member
Apr 14, 2020 - 10:42 AM in reply to Annika

Thank you Annika for your reply. I have taken your advice and reached out to the Wengen Tourism. I'll follow up on the other options as well. I really appreciate all you moderators do. I've traveled extensively and this is, by far, the best website I've ever run across! Stay safe and healthy!

pkerr
pkerr
174 posts
active member
Apr 14, 2020 - 2:36 PM in reply to Agstallings

Was the no refund policy in writing? If not you definitely can go to your credit card company. But before that you might see if you could at least get a credit for a future stay... just a thought.

mascarenhas
mascarenhas
1 post
new member
Apr 14, 2020 - 3:01 PM

Hi Agstallings,

By booking directly you did make a mistake.Cause hotels.com would have given you a refund.

If bel air is in no mood of refunding.Which they should be doing and not taking advantage of the situation.

You can request them date changes or E-coupon so you can plan ur vacation later.

Agstallings
Agstallings
5 posts
new member
Apr 15, 2020 - 11:54 AM in reply to pkerr

Nothing was in writing, I have no contract which I've learned is in violation of the Swiss Code of Obligations. I paid via Pay Pal because he required it. Wouldn't accept credit cards. In retrospect I should have seen these things as red flags but he'd gotten good reviews and who would have seen a pandemic coming (I booked in fall 2019). The biggest problem with getting a credit or date changes is he will not respond to any communication. He just completely ignores my texts and emails. It is very frustrating and unprofessional. Thank you all for your suggestions. I do appreciate you taking the time to try and help.

pkerr
pkerr
174 posts
active member
Apr 15, 2020 - 12:55 PM in reply to Agstallings

I believe PayPal has some type of guarantee of performance / delivery of product.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
7533 posts
expert
Apr 15, 2020 - 3:41 PM in reply to mascarenhas

Hi mascarenhas-

<"By booking directly you did make a mistake.Cause hotels.com would have given you a refund.">>

Your point is well made.

I prefer to book directly with the hotels, because they get more money and they tend to appreciate that. Sometimes a room upgrade or something that costs them nothing....;-)

However, when I do that, I always read the hotel's refund policy. Some of them require substantial advance timing...months...others, 24 hours.

I make my decision based on that information, because saving 5 or 10% is not worth it to me if I don't like the terms. In fact, the reason that I book well ahead is because my trips are planned very tightly, and it is worth it to me to simply not get a small discount if there is uncertainty about the booking.

If I can't find their policy on the website, I don't book.

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
14332 posts
expert &
moderator
May 4, 2020 - 5:07 AM

Hi Agstallings,

Were you able to get in touch with Wengen Tourism or the owner to work something out?

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