DEAR TRAVEL PROBLEM SOLUTION: I paid for a vacation rental on Paradise Island in the Bahamas through Vrbo. I also purchased trip cancellation through CSA Travel Protection on the Vrbo site and have confirmation of said purchase.
Unfortunately, one of my party members cannot travel due to medical reasons.
I called the CSA to file a claim but they have no record of my policy. A representative also told me that they had been having problems with Vrbo confirming the travel insurance and not sending the information to the CSA. ACA said that I am not covered as far as they are concerned.
I turned to Vrbo again. An agent told me to contact CSA. I even copied and pasted my insurance confirmation into the correspondence, but he didn’t care. I also asked him for his badge number, but he said he was not allowed to give it.
To resolve the issue, I would appreciate confirmation of a travel insurance policy so that I can take the necessary steps to obtain a refund. Can you help me please?
— Sam Maniar, Hudson, Ohio
ANSWER: If you paid for a travel insurance policy through Vrbo, you should have it. What Vrbo does – or doesn’t do – with your money after confirming that politics isn’t your problem.
Your correspondence with Vrbo clearly indicates that you have purchased an insurance policy. This turned out to be a smart move because the policy covers sudden illness. As a member of your party cannot travel, you should receive a full refund for your stay.
The paper trail is confusing, but supports your position. The Vrbo system said, “The original purchase was not completed and was canceled.” However, you have received a confirmation. But Vrbo also says it has initiated a retroactive purchase of trip cancellation insurance for you. So you should have been covered.
I list the names, numbers and email addresses of Vrbo executives on my customer protection page at www.elliott.org/company-contacts/vrbo-customer-service-contacts. It looks like you tried to contact them but never got a response. This is problematic.
There’s only one way to know you don’t have insurance, and that’s to carefully monitor your credit card purchases. If you’re waiting for a transaction and it doesn’t go through, you’ll need to ask questions. This is especially important with insurance. And yes, even if you get a confirmation.
I contacted Vrbo on your behalf.
“This is a complex case,” a Vrbo representative told me. “Our customer relations team has looked into what happened to Mr. Maniar and (has been) talking to CSA to get more information. We are also providing Mr Maniar with a full refund for the cost of his booking as a gesture of goodwill and he will be contacted by our billing team for next steps.”
Vrbo reimbursed the cost of your stay.
Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers solve their problems. Elliott’s latest book is How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler (National Geographic). Contact him at elliott.org/help or firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2022 Christopher Elliott
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
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