Cancellation fails?

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Old Jan 10, 19, 4:10 pm
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Cancellation fails?

Back on December 18th I booked 2 prepaid rooms, 24 hour cancellation at the Sheraton Waikiki for March 7-9. After some family discussion, we decided we would rather stay at the Moana Surfrider (also a Marriott property) and booked two rooms there (also prepaid, 24 hour cancellation).

Then go to cancel the Sheraton Waikiki rooms on the morning of December 19. Website keeps timing out. Each time i have to close the site, sign back in and try again. After several attempts, I call Marriott. The agent says she does not see any reservations in my account. I give her the confirmation numbers and she eventually finds the Moana reservations and says the Sheraton reservations are cancelled. I try to check while we are on the phone and am unable to pull up any reservations at all. Agent assures me I still have the Moana reservations and says they are experiences some issues with the combined sites. After we get off the phone, I call the Moana to confirm that they have my reservations. They do. So,great-- problem solved. Off to family holiday trip.

Until today, when I log in to find a reservation for 1 Sheraton Waikiki room in addition to my 2 rooms at the Moana (all for the same dates). There are also two unrelated reservations that I had cancelled on December 18 back as active reservations. These two I cancel online with no problem a they are not 24 hour cancellation bookings.
I put in a call to Marriott to try to deal with the prepaid Sheraton reservation. Explain what occurred. Agent simply reads me the cancellation policy from the reservation. I explain to him again that i had attempted to cancel online, kept getting timed out message, called Marriott and was assured by agent that reservations were cancelled.

The only "solution" offered was that the agent email the Sheraton, explain the situation and ask them to waive cancellation fee. I told the agent that I was uncomfortable with this as the problem was clearly with the website, not the hotel. He was adamant that this was the only possible solution and said I would hear something in 3-5 business days.

I haven't had anything like this occur before. One or two reservations have disappeared -- but I have never had cancelled reservations reappear.
Anyone else experience this? If the Sheraton Waikiki decides not to waive cancellation fees, what then?
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Old Jan 10, 19, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by DeirdreTours View Post
Back on December 18th I booked 2 prepaid rooms, 24 hour cancellation at the Sheraton Waikiki for March 7-9. After some family discussion, we decided we would rather stay at the Moana Surfrider (also a Marriott property) and booked two rooms there (also prepaid, 24 hour cancellation).

Then go to cancel the Sheraton Waikiki rooms on the morning of December 19. Website keeps timing out. Each time i have to close the site, sign back in and try again. After several attempts, I call Marriott. The agent says she does not see any reservations in my account. I give her the confirmation numbers and she eventually finds the Moana reservations and says the Sheraton reservations are cancelled. I try to check while we are on the phone and am unable to pull up any reservations at all. Agent assures me I still have the Moana reservations and says they are experiences some issues with the combined sites. After we get off the phone, I call the Moana to confirm that they have my reservations. They do. So,great-- problem solved. Off to family holiday trip.

Until today, when I log in to find a reservation for 1 Sheraton Waikiki room in addition to my 2 rooms at the Moana (all for the same dates). There are also two unrelated reservations that I had cancelled on December 18 back as active reservations. These two I cancel online with no problem a they are not 24 hour cancellation bookings.
I put in a call to Marriott to try to deal with the prepaid Sheraton reservation. Explain what occurred. Agent simply reads me the cancellation policy from the reservation. I explain to him again that i had attempted to cancel online, kept getting timed out message, called Marriott and was assured by agent that reservations were cancelled.

The only "solution" offered was that the agent email the Sheraton, explain the situation and ask them to waive cancellation fee. I told the agent that I was uncomfortable with this as the problem was clearly with the website, not the hotel. He was adamant that this was the only possible solution and said I would hear something in 3-5 business days.

I haven't had anything like this occur before. One or two reservations have disappeared -- but I have never had cancelled reservations reappear.
Anyone else experience this? If the Sheraton Waikiki decides not to waive cancellation fees, what then?
If it was prepaid, didn't it hit your credit card back in December itself? Did that not give you an indication that something is still active?
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Old Jan 10, 19, 4:30 pm
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Having waited this long, an extra 3-5 days won't matter. If the reservations are cancelled without fee, all is well.

On the 6th day, if you don't hear, initiate a chargeback. Your chargeback will need to be a lot, lot, lot shorter and more precise than your OP. Stick to what is relevant and omit all of the discussion of the other property as it only confuses. Quote the specific cancellation language from the t&c and provide the exact time of your cancellation call and the agent # with whom you spoke.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by DFWsakp View Post
If it was prepaid, didn't it hit your credit card back in December itself? Did that not give you an indication that something is still active?
With advance purchase rates some hotels don't end up charging until check-in even though it's supposed to be paid in advance.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 5:14 pm
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I always look for the cancellation email and keep calling until I get one. In addition, when possible I try to cancel (and also make reservations, etc.) from my desktop so that I can print the page with the cancellation number and other documents just in case there's a problem. I always like to have some timestamped written proof of cancellation showing a cancellation number.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 5:19 pm
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Did you get a cancellation number from the rep?
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Old Jan 10, 19, 6:31 pm
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Originally Posted by DeirdreTours View Post
The only "solution" offered was that the agent email the Sheraton, explain the situation and ask them to waive cancellation fee. I told the agent that I was uncomfortable with this as the problem was clearly with the website, not the hotel. He was adamant that this was the only possible solution and said I would hear something in 3-5 business days.
I know this doesn't make much sense, but it is basically correct. Although most people assume that the hotel chain is in charge, the truth is that each reservation is "owned" be an individual hotel. That hotel would be the entity that could waive the fee. That true even if the reason behind the error isn't the result of anything that the hotel did (or failed to do).

The reason for this odd situation is the franchise business model. Most hotels are franchises. As a result, the chain doesn't have direct access to the financial systems at individual hotels. (Even corporate-owned hotels would have "firewalls" set up so that no one at the Central Reservations Office or Rewards Program could see the actual transactions.) Basically, the chain can't reverse a charge because they don't have access. That part is up to the hotel.

The only thing that was really wrong here was the insistence that there was only one solution. Technically, there are people at Corporate and Central Reservations that can gain access to financial transactions at hotel. That said, those people would be many levels higher than the agent with which you were speaking. (To be fair, that agent might not even know that those people have that access.) Regardless, those people would not become involved in any problem until the normal procedures are exhausted.

That's my explanation. (For what it's worth, I've worked at both "regular" and corporate-owned hotels as well as at a Central Reservations office.) It's not a very guest-friendly set-up. But, it is what it is. The only way to fix it would be if hotel chains actually owned and operated all their hotels. If that scenario were true, hotel chains would probably be much smaller. Whether that set-up is good or bad for guests depends upon your point of view.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 7:55 pm
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As a consumer, it's not OP's problem. There is a central booking system, a published set of terms & conditions and then specific rate rules, e.g. "cancel within 24 hours" and that is it.

If the entity with whom you book fails to properly execute a cancellation, both online and by phone, and you then still cannot get your funds, that is what chargebacks are for.

Don't give it a second thought.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 9:17 pm
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However, I think the problem is that the OP cannot prove that he/she cancelled within 24 hours.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 9:25 pm
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As of now, there has been no charge on my credit card. I have not actually cancelled the reservation (again) as I was waiting to hear back from Marriott.
I did not screen shot the cancellation as I was not able to get to a screen with a cancellation number, I just got repeated "timed out" messages. Hence my original call to Marriott to cancel the reservation.

In retrospect, yes, I should have gotten cancellation numbers- but I was more concerned at the time that my Moana reservations seemed to have disappeared.

Often1, I don't have the agent number of who I spoke to-- When I asked for a way to identify the agent I spoke to today, all he would tell me was his first name (Prem)-- I asked him specifically how I could document that he was who I spoke to and he said he was only supposed to give a first name. I believe the name of the agent I spoke to on December 19 was Shen.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 9:28 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
However, I think the problem is that the OP cannot prove that he/she cancelled within 24 hours.
Perhaps. I can get my cell phone record of the call, although I can't prove what was said. It seems obvious to me that if I made reservations at the hotel next door for the same dates, that I was trying to cancel.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 1:03 am
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Are calls recorded with Marriott Reps?
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Old Jan 11, 19, 4:27 am
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Originally Posted by Marriott15 View Post
Are calls recorded with Marriott Reps?
they probably are....i would request them to listen to the recording of that call....

i had an issue with hilton once where i cancelled a reservation but did not get the cancellation email....the reservation disappeared from my account so i assumed all was well....i was eventually charged for the stay & could not prove to hilton that the reservation had been cancelled so they did not issue me a refund....from that day on wards i always made sure i have written confirmation of some kind to prove i have cancelled a reservation....i faced similar issues with marriott over the last few months where the cancellation emails were not reaching me immediately after i cancelled reservations....if i didn't get the emails within a few hours then i would email marriott to let them know the reservation was cancelled & i had not received the cancellation email....
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Old Jan 11, 19, 7:06 am
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As of a couple days ago, there seemed to be a lag with Starriott sending out the cancellation email, IME several hours (versus almost instant before the merger). It's annoying to feel obligated to keep the webpage open until one sees that cancellation email.
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