‘Do the right thing’: BBB encourages rental property owners to offer refunds, reschedule canceled trips

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Many across the country are canceling vacations due to COVID-19 and are seeking other options.

Lisa Cox of Hudson, Ohio booked a Grand Strand family vacation through a third party website in February.

Cox became concerned once travel became unsafe.

“My son has a low immune system because of down syndrome. I’m very concerned bringing him down there,” said Hudson.

Shortly after, Ohio’s governor issued a stay-at-home order with no way for Cox and her family to see their vacation through.

The booking site offered Cox a 50% refund or gave her the option to reschedule the vacation.

When Cox provided the booking agent alternate dates, the price nearly doubled as the new dates chosen were in “peak [tourist] season.”

Cox loses money if she accepts the partial refund and if she chooses to reschedule.

The Better Business Bureau says this is legal.

“They may accommodate you and while it might not seem fair to the consumer, from a business standpoint it’s all in their contract and it’s legal to do so,” said Renee Wikstrom, BBB Coastal Carolina.

Legal, but will it hurt future business?

Cox is asking for fairness and understanding during uncertain times.

“I won’t come back unless you correct it and you make it right. I’m not asking you to go above and beyond, okay? I’m just asking you to be a human being with feelings and make it right,” said Cox.

The BBB encourages all rental property owners to do the right thing and give refunds back to renters who are not able to reschedule.

“Work with them. It’s only going to do good for you in the future. It will do good for our community. Work with them as much as you can to refund or reschedule. We’ve got to get through this together,” said Wikstrom.

In cases like this the BBB says renters can dispute charges through their credit card company.

If a rental property owner is in breach of contract, the BBB asks you to file a complaint.

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