Monday, May 2, 2011
Help Me Howard: Kicked Off Cruise
You plan a vacation. You pay for your vacation. You are ready to go and then the company calls you days before you take off and say hey, we are canceling you because you complained about us. Can they do that to you? Its why one woman called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Karen Teichman: "This is a souvenir that we bought in Shanghai."
If you stroll thru Karen Teichman's home you can almost pretend you are touring the world.
karen teichman: "From Morocco and we got that from Ecuador. A wood bowl we got in Fiji."
Karen and her husband have been to a lot of places.
Karen Teichman: "My favorite place was the Galapagos."
A few months ago they decided to book two cruises with the same company. One to see the far east and before that a cruise out of South Florida. Unfortunately, Karen says there were some problems so she let the company know.
Karen Teichman: "I wrote them a letter and I stated about the dining and I also stated about that this had very little entertainment at night."
Karen never heard from the cruise line, but since she and her daughter in law had already paid for the cruise visiting China and Japan she decided to go ahead with the trip. That's when a cruise line employee called her.
Karen Teichman: "The minute he got on the phone he was like, well you're not going to get anything from us. You and your daughter in law don't belong on this cruise."
Karen told the agent that she wanted to go on the cruise that she had already bought airline tickets to fly to Beijing.
Karen Teichman: "He finally calmed down and he said to me Ok you'll be on the cruise."
But Karen was upset at how the employee had talked to her so she sent the cruise line another letter to complain they responded with this email from the president of the company.
Karen Teichman: "Dear Mrs. Teichmabn."
It arrived nine days before the trip.
Karen Teichman: "We felt it was in everyone's best interest that your above booking be canceled."
They had tossed Karen off the trip, they did refund her money for the cruise but she had paid $2,200 for the nonrefundable airline tickets to China and she couldnt afford to lost that much money.
Patrick Fraser: "Karen had relied on her cruise line for all her sighting seeing so their cancellation left her in a lurch. She had to scramble to see all the great sights of China such as the Great Wall of China."
To see Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, the Terracota Army and all the other great places tourists like me, like to see.
Karen Teichman: "I got on the phone and the computer for two days and I just revamped the entire trip. I changed airline things for fees I booked hotels."
With the help of a Chinese Travel agent, Karen was able to make it to China to see the Great Wall, to ride the Rickshaws thru Beijing, to have a great time at the summer palace but the way the cruise line treated her still grates on her.
Karen Teichman: "Every time I think of it practically takes me to the day when I heard really upset I mean I was really upset."
Well Howard, if you complain can a company kick you off their cruise without paying to help you rebook the trip or pay for your non-refundable air fare.
Howard Finkelstein: "When Karen paid for the trip and the cruise accepted that's a contract and they cannot cancel her trip because she complained, and not only do they have to refund her money, they also refund the money she spent to get to the departure city in the far east."
When we spoke to the cruise line they told us we were not suited to meet Karens expectations and it was in the best interest for her and ship guests that she choose another vacation option. As a gesture of our goodwill we refunded the full fare without penalties actually legally they had to refund it, but howard says turns all they had to do.
Howard Finkelstein: "If karen had been unable to rebook the trip and lost the $2,200 for the airfare, she could go to court and get that money back from the cruise line, but because she was able to rebook and use the airplane tickets, she cant get re-imbursed for them."
Karen loved to enjoyed the trip to China with her daughter in law she doesnt regret complaining to the cruise line, but wishes they had not been able to toss her off the trip.
Karen Teichman: "I would like some type of rule some type of regulation set up where the cruise ship can't just say hey, you're off and expect to get away with it. I was absolutely earth shattering."
Patrick Fraser: "The cruise line got back at Karen for complaining by tossing her off the trip and how can she get back at them, dont do business with them and tell her friends what happened as, well that's part of the American way."
A problem created a great wall for you? Ready to climb it? Cruise over to us, we will try to toss your troubles overboard and then sail into the sunset.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com