Vacation Rental in hurricane mandatory evacuation zone

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kate1221
 
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Vacation Rental in hurricane mandatory evacuation zone

Postby kate1221 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:03 am

I booked a vacation on Homeaway.com for next week however the rental is in a mandatory evacuation zone. for hurricane Irma. The owner of the property has a no refund policy. He is not willing to budge on this. I paid with my AMEX. Do I have any rights or did I just waste $1600.00? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


swipe_masta
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Re: Vacation Rental in hurricane mandatory evacuation zone

Postby swipe_masta » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:52 pm

kate1221 wrote:I booked a vacation on Homeaway.com for next week however the rental is in a mandatory evacuation zone. for hurricane Irma. The owner of the property has a no refund policy. He is not willing to budge on this. I paid with my AMEX. Do I have any rights or did I just waste $1600.00? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


You absolutely do! In a state of emergency where the rental property is in a mandatory evacuation zone, there is nothing you can do; it is not your fault and out of your hands. You are not canceling and the owner should know better. He probably thinks he can make a quick buck, but I highly suggest you call Amex and let them know what is going on. I'm sure in this situation, you have every reason to get a full refund. I also advise you to leave some feedback about the seller on the website if you can. Not cool.

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: Vacation Rental in hurricane mandatory evacuation zone

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:52 pm

swipe_masta wrote:
kate1221 wrote:I booked a vacation on Homeaway.com for next week however the rental is in a mandatory evacuation zone. for hurricane Irma. The owner of the property has a no refund policy. He is not willing to budge on this. I paid with my AMEX. Do I have any rights or did I just waste $1600.00? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


You absolutely do! In a state of emergency where the rental property is in a mandatory evacuation zone, there is nothing you can do; it is not your fault and out of your hands. It's not technically the fault of the Advertiser or HomeAway, either. You are not canceling and the owner should know better. He probably thinks he can make a quick buck, but I highly suggest you call Amex and let them know what is going on. I'm sure in this situation, you have every reason to get a full refund. Amex does generally side with the cardmember, but according to the HomeAway rules, Kate is stuck. I also advise you to leave some feedback about the seller on the website if you can. Not cool.


I'm not quite so optimistic. Amex travel insurance has some big holes in it, and I'm not aware of any actual travel cancellation insurance policy. That said, I do think it's worth contacting Amex to see what they can offer. Just keep your expectations in check.

I would not expect much help from HomeAway. In their terms and conditions:

4. Illustrative Examples of Losses Not Protected.

The following are illustrative examples of Losses of funds that the Program DOES NOT protect against, as determined in Our reasonable and sole judgment:

ANY DAMAGES OTHER THAN AMOUNTS ACTUALLY PAID TO OR DEPOSITED WITH THE ADVERTISER, INCLUDING ANY INDIRECT LOSSES, LOSS OF OPPORTUNITY, LOSS OF CUSTOM FEES, OTHER CONTRACTUAL PENALTIES, AIRFARE, TRANSPORTATION COSTS AND/OR ANY OTHER COST OR EXPENSE.
ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF, OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH, YOUR ACCESS TO, DISPLAY OF OR USE OF THE HOMEAWAY SITES, OR WITH THE DELAY OR INABILITY TO ACCESS, DISPLAY, OR USE THE HOMEAWAY SITES.
Payments made to an Advertiser for a Reservation that is not booked through the HomeAway checkout.
Any deposits or payments for a vacation rental that are not refunded or returned because the Protected Traveler does not comply with the Advertiser’s policies, is in breach of the rental agreement, or as otherwise allowed or permitted in the rental agreement.
Payments or deposits made to any Advertiser via cash or check made out to cash.
Any loss of any kind We believe, in Our reasonable judgment that the Protected Traveler and the Advertiser are acting in concert to abuse the Program.
Any loss of funds that is caused by or results from events of force majeure that are considered outside the control of the Advertiser, such as weather events, natural disasters or construction.
Any loss of funds not involving a Protected Incident.

Protected Incidents involve fraud, intentional denial of entry, misrepresentation of the property, or wrongful loss of a deposit...nothing weather-related.

So contact Amex. See what they can do. Just don't be shocked if it doesn't turn out well.

For future planning, if Amex doesn't reimburse you, it may be worth getting a card with more comprehensive travel insurance where you're not relying on the goodwill of customer service but can make a claim against an explicitly provided insurance benefit. Citi Prestige, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Chase Sapphire Preferred are popular choices for this (but come with annual fees).
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

Might add: First Tech, proper business card



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