Problem with a hotel
Posted 19 October 2004 - 02:45 AM
We are so sorry that our first ever posting on here is a sad one. We spent two blissful weeks on Crete back in May 2004. On the last day we were there the daughters of the Hotel owner were on duty. We paid for the two weeks as we were leaving, and one of the girls put my girlfriends credit card through the machine, but said that the machine was not working. She then used a different machine, and this time it worked. We were surprised that a month later, when my girlfriend recieved her credit card statement we found that the payment had been put through twice. We contacted the owner of the hotel and informed him of the error, emailing him a copy of the credit card statement that clearly showed it. He said he would rectify the mistake at once. And ever since then, he has been promising the same thing. Now he doesnt even bother replying to our increasingly desperate emails.
Can anyone tell us what the best procedure is to follow now? We dont know who to contact over this matter. I was hoping that he would see reason after we threatned to contact the Cretan Authorities over this matter, but he keeps ignoring our emails.
The Hotel in question is still there and is still being run by the same man.
Can some one please advise us?
Dave Mcloughlin and Jennie Irving
Posted 19 October 2004 - 08:08 AM
What a shame you've had such a bad experience. The tourist police help regulate hotels etc and they can investigate complaints. A quick visit from them should make any hotel owner sit up and rectify his 'mistake' !
The phone numbers are on this site, look up 'contents' then "about Crete" - 'useful phone numbers'.
Posted 19 October 2004 - 09:25 AM
If you will not obtain justice as soon as possible, please, let us know the name of that hotel, so as to defend ourselves from such people.
Posted 19 October 2004 - 10:36 AM
Posted 19 October 2004 - 12:22 PM
I called the Tourist Police here in Heraklion but they claim that it is not their responsibility because this is a financial issue, not a tourist laws violation. They suggested that a lawyer could help in this case. I could suggest one if you want.
I also tried to contact the Manager of the Tousim Department of Crete to ask for her advice but she was not in her office. I can do that again later if you want, but I doubt if she can give a solution too.
It is a pity that such things happen and I sincerely wish that you find a solution. Perhaps what Tim suggested is a good idea.
Posted 19 October 2004 - 09:36 PM
Yes, she did only sign one credit card slip. And we have been in touch with the credit card company. But they are limited in what they can do, save to stop accepting the hotel as a customer with them.
I wont give out the name of the hotel just yet, as I do not know if there is a perfectly reasonable explanation..........however, if it does turn out to be recalicitrance on the part of the owner, then I will do so.
We did think about calling the Tourist Police, but as someone pointed out, they may not be in much of a position to assist. However, a visit from them, could only help.
We hope it will not go as far as a soliciter, as the expense would be greater than the debt!!!!
Thank you to all who replied
Posted 19 October 2004 - 11:01 PM
Posted 20 October 2004 - 01:50 PM
"Helping tourists, however, is also one of watchdog EKPIZO's (Greek Consumers' Association: The Quality of Life) priorities. A special team of legal aides work overtime during the summer months assisting tourists resolve disputes with hoteliers and other service providers. For more information about EKPIZO call 210-330-4444 "
Posted 29 October 2004 - 03:37 PM
it will be obvious that the card was charged twice for the same amount, be it an error or an act of fraud
the keyword is CHARGEBACK, the company simply refund your card and charge the hotel
you are also covered by the cards insurance, but charging back the extra debit is just standard procedure
( I work in travel and use credit cards on behalf of clients all the time, I probably use the chargeback depts every month or so)
Posted 08 November 2004 - 10:08 PM
We have got in touch with the Credit Card company and asked them to sort this out. And we have asked them why a charge was put through for the same amount without the accompanying slip.
As it happens there has just been a House of Commons Select Committee asking questions about such matters of the major credit card companies, so it looks like they will be refunding Jennies card very soon
We want to say that this has not put us off coming back to Crete. Far from it. There is still so much to see, explore, do and enjoy. We will be back!
Dave & Jennie
Posted 18 November 2004 - 04:08 AM
I am emailing him one last time, hoping that the calm, friendly approach may do the trick. If that does not work, then I shall have no choice but to name the owner and his jotel on every Cretan Site I can find. And contact a soliciter on Crete to begin legal proceedings against him to recover the money.
Not a good state of affairs
Guest_Dave & Jennie_*
Posted 29 November 2004 - 02:35 AM
I have sent a last email to the hotel which double charged us, and asked, as politely as possible for him to carry out what he said he would do in his last communication to us on the 14th of July
Dear David & Jenifer.
I apologize for the trouble.
I will arrange as soon as possible.
We have still heard nothing from him. I have checked to see if his email is working, and it is. He is still in charge of the hotel. When I have tried to call him the phone is put down rather rapidly.
His name is GEORGE TZANAKAKIS. The hotel is the Doge Hotel, Kondilaki Street in Hania. If someone sees this message and works/lives in or near Hania, could they please ask him why??? We really would love to know why a simple mistake of charging us by accident twice on my girlfriends credit card, cannot be solved by him just simply sending us the money back as he promised? The amount of 630 euros maybe a small amount to him, but it is a hell of a lot to us. We saved for over a year to go to Crete and this has left us with financial problems
Everyone from the Cretan police to the credit card companies has told us they cannot or will not help. Maybe someone out there can.
Dave & Jennie
Posted 03 December 2004 - 01:37 AM
Its just one of those situations.
Dave & Jennie
Posted 03 December 2004 - 12:29 PM
Posted 04 December 2004 - 04:28 AM
Dave & jennie
Posted 28 December 2004 - 02:32 AM
Thank you very much Yannis. I really had hoped it would never get this far, its all very distressing. Maybe his conscience will enable him to send the overpayment back now? Heres hoping.
Dave & jennie
maybe a few posts about him on every Crete mb you can find, along with scans of the credit card statements etc so you are seen to be telling the truth (and not open to any legal comebacks)
Posted 30 December 2004 - 04:14 AM
i'd like to give you a few suggestions that may help.
1. write and email the owner once more. tell him that if you do not receive a full refund of your money within two weeks of the date of your letter then he leaves you with no option but to contact the chief of police on crete to report what amounts to either fraud or misappropriation of your money, even if it means you travelling personally to crete to speak with the police. tell him too that you are also in the process of initiating legal proceedings for return of your money together with all costs involved in the process. tell him too that you are contacting the tax offices on crete to ask if they can be of help to you.
it would be no harm asking the webmaster of this site if he can give you the name of the chief of police as it is better to address your letter to a named person.
2. write again to your credit card company but this time address your letter to the manager, foreign transactions, (don't bother saying you have written to them before). tell him/her clearly what the problem is and enclose photocopy of your statements together with a photocopy of your hotel bill. no harm to mention to that you have been seeking help on a travel forum (print your original posting) - more than likely they will want to be caring infront of readers to a site and therefore may be more willing to help.
in relation to your being told about a six month limit i would also just check privately your terms and conditions of your own credit card to see if this is in fact the case.
3. if the worst comes to the worst, and you do have to go to a solicitor, it may be possible that you can issue proceedings in the country in which you live (providing it is an eec country). the solicitor will then get a judgement against the hotel and this man and then enforce the judgement (including all costs) in greece. you can ask a solicitor where you live if this is possible.
i wish you good luck and i hope something here helps.
Posted 30 December 2004 - 12:32 PM
I am not legally qualified but I have worked in the police and with the Citizens Advice Bureau.
The 'debt' of the duplicate payment is in my opinion a civil debt. I am quite sure that the situation in Crete is the same as elsewhere, i.e. that the police (normal as opposed to tourist) are not interested in civil debts.
I don't know if Crete has the equivalent of the British small claims courts procedure, one of the best ways to recover a smallish debt (small as opposed to many thousands) However, even our Small claims courts procedure is less than satisfactory. First you have to get a judgement in your favour and then you have to enforce it. The first part is relatively easy, the second can be a real problem.
We don't know how much money is involved in this matter but I would suggest that one has to be practical and think about what effort- and importantly expenditure - is worth possibly wasting on trying to recover the duplicate payment. Much as we might like to hire a solicitor and fly him over etc, it is most likely not to be economic especially given that you cannot predict the outcome.
The best way, in my view, is to persist with your credit card company. Do not take "No" for an answer. Hassle them and make it clear that you have a bona fide case, that if you do not receive a refund you are prepared to keep plodding away arguing your case in whatever format you can, that you will soon make them expend, in their executives time, more than is owed to you. Look at the terms and conditions, explore all the avenues of appeal (financial ombudsman?) Make a bloody nuisance of yourself until they are so fed up that they pay up to shut you up. Find out who the CEO and other senior execs are and tell the company you will be writing to them at their home addresses (Nothing but nothing gets prompter action than a CEO having your letter of complaint to read at his home with his breakfast cereal!!!) Consult your CAB about taking on the credit card company.
It may be that you should take the Credit card company in UK to the small claims court as they have charged you for a debit that you have not authorised. I can assure you that such companies take decisions not on what is right or wrong, but on the financial aspect and cheapest way out for them. I doubt very much that they would fight any such action- though don't hold me to it.
By all means try and shame the guy in Crete by writing to the tourist people, but don't place too much hope in that course and certainly don't spend money on a system that you don't know.
Checking back I see that the amount was about £450. Just remember that is only about four hours worth of a solicitors time. You may be able to get a free short interview with a solicitor through the CAB - though I doubt they will have the specialist knowledge for this one in regard to action in Crete-they may be able to help with small claims advice and financial ombudsman etc.
Distasteful though it may be, don't let this matter ruin your life - or opinion of Crete and Cretans.
Posted 30 December 2004 - 03:46 PM
i agree with tim that hassle the credit card company will prove helpful. the squeaky wheel gets the oil and all that. i also would imagine that the credit card company are actually at fault for paying out without jennie's signature and this should also be pursued.
in relation to having to go to law, if it is possible to obtain judgement in the uk (and again, you must check this with a uk solicitor), then enforcement is by affidavit and does not involve you personally travelling to crete although enforcement would have to be carried out through a solicitor in crete. the costs involved are quite substantial and this man will be aware of that and given that he is clearly in the wrong i can't see you ending up paying anyone - he will shoulder the burden. and that is why you should mention it to the hotelier too.
but again, first and foremost write a strong letter to the hotelier - you have nothing to lose! and it will cost you nothing. he may just reconsider the error of his ways. :wink: