I was told I won a vacation in May 29, 2008 to the Bahamas Cruise for two people and it would be on the Imperial Majesty Cruise Line. The person told me I'd have to pay $59 per person for the port taxes and I could upgrade to an outside cabin for $99. I thought It would be nice since I've never been on a cruise so I paid $217 for the port taxes and the outside cabin. The person on the phone told me I would receive my cruise package in 2 - 3 weeks.
After 3 weeks I did not receive the package, so I called the customer service number given to me at the time of the purchase. A person said the package would be re-sent to me. I received the package on June 30, 2008. I opened the package and in the letter it says 'Any balance of funds paid is non-refundable and will be held as a non-refundable deposit towards any future travel request.' I was shocked and angered that this was not told to me on the phone and felt mislead.
On June 30, 2008 I called to complain that the cancellation policy was not told to me over the phone and I wanted a refund. The person on the phone said that it is past 30 days and I can not receive a refund. I asked how can I not receive a refund when I was not told the refund policy over the phone and I received the package after 30 days. The person said that he doesn't know what was told to me.
For almost a year this has been on my mind that I'm trapped in this and only thing I can do is to go on the cruise. So I called the reservation number to book the cruise in December 2008. While booking the cruise, I find out that there are set days I can go (Monday - Wednesday), but those days do not correspond with the dates I can take off from work. I again complain that this was not told to me initially and that again I felt mislead. I ask for a refund and again was told that it's past the 30 days and can not receive a refund.
Still feeling trapped in this, I called February 20, 2009 to book the cruise again. I was explaining that the dates do not correspond to the dates I can take off work. I was then offered to extend the cruise one day and it would leave on a Friday. Also, is included a 2 day free hotel stay at the Ramada Plaza Hotel not far from the cruise's departure for $198. Leaving on a Friday was OK for me and the free 2 day hotel stay sounded good so I paid the additional $198.
March 4, 2009 I was searching about the cruise on the web. I found a site at https://www.complaintsboard.com
. I was shocked at the many complaints and people who have been ripped off such as I. I also read that in order to receive the 'Free' 2 day hotel stay I would have to attend a vacation tour offered by the Ramada Plaza Hotel. The tour is an hour and a half away from the hotel and will need to rent a car which was not told to me over the phone. OK that's it I had enough. I went to the Better Business Bureau web site and searched the company. Low and behold the BBB issued the Imperial Majesty a 'F' rating so I called on March 4, 2009 to cancel again.
On March 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM, I called the customer service number at [protected] and talked to Doug. He said the hotel is 20 minutes from the cruise, but the vacation tour was not close and I would need a car. I told him I was not told this on the phone. He asked me how was I getting to Ft. Lauderdale. Not understanding what that have to do with my complaint, I told him I'm going on an airline and did not expect to pay additional money for a rental car. I asked him how can I cancel and he transferred me to reservations department [protected].
I talked to Sharon in the reservations department. I explained my whole story from beginning to end and she told me that the hotel offers transportation to and from the vacation tour. I told her that someone else told me it's not when I called a few minutes ago. She asked me why I didn't purchase the package for $249 that included the rental car. I told her that that was never mentioned to me. She put me on hold. She returned and said that the hotel does offer transportation. I told her I keep getting conflicting stories and would really like to receive a refund. She told me her department can only issue a refund of $198 I purchased on February 20, 2009 and that another department will have to issue me the $217 and told me to fax the compliance department at [protected].
I called back a few minutes later to get the address of the compliance department and talked to Anthony who asked me what was the problem I'm having. I explained my problem all over again. He then told me a rental car is included with my 2 day stay. I told him I was just told that it was not. He put me on hold. He returned and said that a rental car is not included. He could refund me the $198, but will need to transfer me to customer service to talk about the $217 refund. He transferred me. He told me that it would take a while to be connected and gave me the number to call back.
After class, I called the customer number back at 8:35 PM and talked to Marleen. I explained everything to her and she said she will transfer me to a supervisor. Someone named Rich who said he was a supervisor asked me to explain my problems. I did again. He told me that I can not receive a refund because past the 30 days. I said 'what about the $198 I just paid in February?' He said it is not refundable. I told him that was not told to me earlier. He asked me who told me that and I told him Sharon and Anthony. He put me on hold. He then said he canceled my cruise and 2 day stay and would receive a refund of $198 in 7 - 10 business days. I asked him how can he issue me that but not for the $217? He told me that they don't work for Imperial Majesty. They only make the reservations. I asked him what company am I talking to now. He repeated they don't work for Imperial Majesty but only do the reservations.
On March 5, 2009 at 9:00 AM I called customer service [protected] to try to get the name of this company I'm talking to put in my letter. A female named Jay answered. Before I gave her my information, I asked her the name of her company I'm talking to now. She said Imperial Majesty. I told her someone told me that this is not Imperial Majesty and that her company only take reservations. She asked me who told me that and I told her Rich. She put me on hold. She transferred me to someone named Lakisha. She read over notes taken from previous times and I then explained the problem over again. I explained that the refund policy, the tour, and dates were not told to me initially and I received the package after the 30 days. She said that the calls are recorded, so I said then can't someone go back to listen to the recordings to see what was told to me. She said they take notes of the conversation. So I asked so I'm I receiving my $198 refund. She said 'I see you talked to Richard and he is a supervisor. He canceled your cruise and 2 day stay. I don't know if your getting your refund. Is that what he told you?' I asked why that is not in the notes? She read the notes to me. It stated he canceled the cruise and stay but nothing about receiving my refund. I asked why isn't what he told me about receiving the refund in 7 - 10 business days in the notes and that she didn't know if I would get the refund. She said 'If that's what he told you the you will get it.'
I feel that the Imperial Majesty Cruise Line sales tactics are misleading and fraudulent. The representatives say anything on the phone and only put in the notes what will help their cause. I compare Imperial Majesty Cruise Line to a corporate Madoff that swindles' people out of there hard earn money. In these times there needs to be better regulations over the travel/vacation companies on how they do business. People are loosing homes, retirements, and jobs and Imperial Majesty's practices are not helping. This has energized me to write my congressman and legislature about this issue.