The customer criticizes Hays Travel after the New York nightmare left him with £ 20 to spend money
An angry Hays Travel customer was left with only $ 28 (about £ 20) spending money in New York, after arriving at the Big Apple to find that his booked hotel “had not been paid for”.
Michael Hulme booked the £ 1,168 package through the company’s Newcastle branch for a four-day break at The Gallivant Times Square Hotel with partner Kerry Barlow, StokeonTrentLive reports.
The 59-year-old grandfather was stunned, however, after staff at the Big Apple Hotel told him his room had not been paid for.
He later withdrew a $ 800 bill from Michael’s bank account after he used his card to pay a $ 100 security deposit. He left her with only $ 28 on her card to spend on sightseeing for the duration of her trip.
After contacting Hays Travel, he was told that he would receive a refund within 28 days, but this meant that he could not afford to pay for attractions such as Top of The Rock, and was forced to ask. to the family to lend him cash.
The security guard said: “The trip was a surprise for my partner and a unique break in life, as it was a place I had always wanted to go.
“I paid for the holiday package in monthly installments and it was paid for the whole of March 2021. But when we arrived at the hotel we were told that our room had not been paid for.
“I told them I would call the travel agency the next day and pay a $ 100 security deposit for the room.
“When we woke up the next day and went shopping, my card kept being rejected and I didn’t understand why.
“When we got back to the hotel and checked the bank application he said the hotel had taken us $ 800.
“I went to the front desk and they told me they had taken the money to pay for the room. They told me not to worry and would return it when the travel agency had paid.
“I contacted Hays Travel and was told that the holiday had apparently been canceled and re-booked. But as far as I was concerned, it had been paid for. canceled, why did they tell us we could still go on holiday?
“I think it may have been canceled and re-booked because of Covid. But the travel agency said they would investigate and see what was going on.
“At 4pm the reception called us. We were told that the travel agency had sent the payment and refunded it, but it could take up to 28 days.
“We were only there for four days and couldn’t wait 28 days, that was our money for the attractions. I only had $ 28 left on my card. Luckily, I had $ 400 in cash that we could use to eat.” .
Michael says he suffered panic attacks after realizing they were left with only $ 28. He was forced to ask his partner’s brother for money so that the couple could continue to enjoy the trip.
He received the refund after arriving home, but says the break was marred by money worries and he is disappointed with the travel company.
Michael, who suffers from depression, said: “I was having panic attacks, I was suffering from a bit of depression and my anxiety started.
“You go this far without expecting any problems, but we were stuck in this situation and my partner was crying.
“I was in a good mood, I didn’t know what to do. I called the travel agency and they apologized and asked if there were any friends or family who could help us.
“I can’t keep asking my kids for money. You’re talking about 300 pounds or more and I know they don’t have that kind of money.
“We contacted my partner ‘s brother and he sent us $ 400 so we could keep doing the different things we wanted to do in New York.
“We still lost half of the attractions we wanted to do because we couldn’t afford it.
“I spoke to travel agencies when we returned because I was still smoking.
“Someone should be responsible for what happened to us. I will not use Hays Travel again.
“It was very stressful and I don’t want anyone else to go through the same thing. It just ruined the holidays.”
Since then, Hays Travel has apologized and given the couple £ 100 as a “gesture of goodwill”. He says he was unaware of the problem until Michael called them from New York.
A spokesman said: “We are very sorry to hear of the confusion over Mr Hulme’s hotel arrangements. We arranged for him to receive a full refund, plus compensation, as soon as possible.”
Hays Travel blamed the hotel for the “mistake”.
But the hotel says the reservation was canceled on March 22 last year.
The Gallivant Times Square Hotel said: “This booking was canceled by a third party website on March 22, 2021.”
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