(ABC News) — A Washington State mother is warning consumers after she says she booked a family getaway at a resort through the travel website Expedia more than four months in advance, only to have her reservation cancelled without a refund.
“I was pretty horrified and disappointed,” Holly Parsons told ABC News of when she first learned that her $874 three-night reservation at a mountain resort had been cancelled, and she was not immediately offered any compensation.
Parsons said she had been planning a trip to Bend, Oregon, with her cousin and both of their children to spend time together and watch her youngest son compete in a lacrosse tournament.
Just weeks before the trip she received an email saying her reservation at the WorldMark Seventh Mountain Resort had been cancelled due to overbooking.
Expedia said it was not liable for the overbooking, saying in a statement to local ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV that it was “caused by external factors beyond the direct control of Expedia.” The WorldMark Seventh Mountain Resort did not immediately respond to ABC News request for comment Tuesday.
Parsons said she spent a grueling three days and over six hours on the phone with Expedia agents, until they eventually re-accommodated her in a Holiday Inn Express and offered her and her cousin each $500 worth of Expedia vouchers.
“I booked a beautiful vacation for my cousin and I at a mountain resort,” she said, “and this feels like a total bait and switch.”
She added that the way it was handled when she initially called Expedia left her “fuming.”
“The process of being on hold for so, so long, and dealing with multiple, multiple people and repeating myself, it was awful,” the mother of two added.
She also says she did not feel satisfied with the compensation Expedia offered either.
“I wasn’t receiving cash in return, I’m receiving vouchers to do business with an entity that I’m not sure that I ever would want to do, or ever would recommend to do, business with ever again,” Parsons said.
Expedia did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Tuesday, but told local ABC News affiliate KOMO-TV, “We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration Holly Parsons experienced and can confirm our team contacted her to successfully resolve this case. At Expedia, we strive to provide the highest level of customer service, and anytime there is an issue with an Expedia booking we recommend that our customers contact our excellent Customer Service team.”
Holly is now advocating for increased protections for hotel customers, saying, “this isn’t right.”
“That’s actually shocking that anybody can do business with you and take your money and basically absolve themselves of any liability through a few buried words on a website,” she added.