Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

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-   Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/travellers-advisories-safety-security-road/)
-   -   Name and Shame in Spain - HOTEL ARTE VIDA (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/travellers-advisories-safety-security-road/name-shame-spain-hotel-arte-34895)

MostlyHarmless 29 Apr 2008 12:41

Name and Shame in Spain - HOTEL ARTE VIDA
 
I've just been on a short trip down to Morocco, and rode down through Spain from Santander to Algeciras. I stayed a night at HOTEL ARTE VIDA and not having 'plenty' of Euros on me the following morning I decided to settle the bill by credit card. I started to get an uncomfortable feeling about the chap at the desk when he asked for my PIN rather than offering me the opportunity to type it in. I insisted on going behind the desk and made sure that he couldn't see what I entered. Then after quite some time he claimed that the transaction didn't go through, he crumpled up the slip from the credit card machine and then asked if I could pay by cash. I tried to get the slip of paper from him, but he wouldn't give it to me. To be fair there was a complete language barrier so I eventually gave him the benefit of the doubt and paid in cash. Now that I am home my credit card bill has arrived and, yes you guessed it, the transaction had gone through. So I burned my fingers a wee bit and have learned to try and avoid getting into this kind of situation again. I write this to hopefully save someone else from the same thing happening to them, and specifically to warn people to be cautious if staying over at:

HOTEL ARTE VIDA
CN 340 Km. 79,3
11380 - Tarifa (Cádiz) - España

Tel. +34 956 68 52 46
Fax +34 956 68 91 33

It's a shame as otherwise I would have recommended this place.

Stephano 29 Apr 2008 14:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by MostlyHarmless (Post 187299)
So I burned my fingers a wee bit and have learned to try and avoid getting into this kind of situation again.

Harmless,
You can dispute the transaction with your credit card company on the grounds that you have given.

You should get a refund. Don't let it pass whether intentional on the hotel's part or not.

I recently disputed a tip that had been added to my credit card by a restaurant after I'd signed the visa chit (and left a tip on the table). The money was refunded to me.

If your credit card company is unsympathetic, advise them that you will be changing to another card. That usually works.
Stephan

MostlyHarmless 29 Apr 2008 15:06

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stephano (Post 187315)
Harmless,
You can dispute the transaction with your credit card company on the grounds that you have given.
Stephan

Yes I did try challenging this item on my credit card statement, gave the honest story, but as I expected the card company is not interested.

I am also waiting for a response from the Hotel, but doubt they will be bothering much with a reply. The big problem is that I am unable to challenge them suitably in Spanish. English even in their restaurant was virtually useless.

Mr. Ron 29 Apr 2008 18:12

Like Stefano said, you should threaten to change your credit card company pronto. It is for this service that we pay stupid to the point of illegal amounts of interest on credit cards. Do not settle for anything less! If you can go to the bank, all the better. Bring some scissors and cut it in half in front of them, they will probably change their mind. If they don't, there's hundreds of CC companies just dying for your business!

palace15 29 Apr 2008 20:26

Just tell the credit card company that you are not paying for that transaction, c/c companies used to be no problem with disputes like this but problems are arising due to most of the 'call centres' are now in India. If the c/c co does not help then 'name and shame' them too. BTW, Direct line are also shite bags along with Vagina media.

Stretcher Monkey 29 Apr 2008 20:59

Got the e-mail address, name of the employee/description? Got a receipt for the transaction?
I'll write in spanish to the management for you, if you like.

RogerM 29 Apr 2008 21:03

Be persistant with your claim, I disputed a $220 cash advance charge on a Mastercard from last December and its finally been credited back in late April. It only took 5 phone calls from me, 4 phone calls from the Bank, 1 visit to the Bank, 2 emails and 1 letter from me.

I'm sure its their policy to delay, lose and avoid actually replying to disputes until you just say "bugger it".

I am now going back through my CC statements for the last 2 years to recover the "$650 of cash advance fees" I've been incorrectly charged.

I've got to get a life!!

Stretcher Monkey 30 Apr 2008 00:16

It's a long time since I practised law, but I think you guys are mostly barking up the wrong tree. This isn't about the card transaction which from what the poster is saying was genuine and legal. It seems the fraudulent employee, in order to complete the fraud, simply disposed of the transaction receipt, and in the absence of evidence, that is hearsay.

The credit card debit, in the absence of a receipt for the cash cannot be disputed. From what has been said, it's either a moral/ethical matter for the owner of the hotel and/or a matter for the Spanish police, who even at this late stage should be informed

I think you should start with a stern letter/threat to the hotel-owners. This won't be the first or last time this happens.

Stephano 30 Apr 2008 04:52

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stretcher Monkey (Post 187407)
I think you should start with a stern letter/threat to the hotel-owners. This won't be the first or last time this happens.

In the absence of a cash receipt, I think you are right that he should contact the hotel. He should insist on a written reply to his correspondence; that usually stirs things up.

All the same, the original transaction was attempted using the credit card. The customer was specifically told that the transaction had not gone through. For that reason he settled in cash. So if he does not get any satisfaction from the hotel he should still pursue the credit card company. Any lack of response from the hotel will strengthen his claim.

In cases such as this, it is unfortunately the squeaky wheel that gets oiled. If you keep making a noise, you get some attention.

Keep pushing. :)
Stephan

EMBEE 30 Apr 2008 12:22

Am I being naive, but are you not the victim of theft? If that is the case, the Spanish police should be involved. The threat of doing so may be sufficient to elicit a refund from the hotel or convince the credit card company that you are determined to have the situation resolved.

Mr. Ron 30 Apr 2008 15:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayastani (Post 187463)
Am I being naive, but are you not the victim of theft? If that is the case, the Spanish police should be involved. The threat of doing so may be sufficient to elicit a refund from the hotel or convince the credit card company that you are determined to have the situation resolved.

Agreed! Also, i've been a victim of CC fraud three times for a total of near $6000 dollars. I've never had a receipt and all charges were erased from the file. This is why CC companies charge 19% interest! And thats in N.America. Did you know my friends Banamex CC in Mexico changes 39% ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? WTF?? I thought that was loan-sharking??

My CC companies LOVE me :)

Stretcher Monkey 30 Apr 2008 17:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hayastani (Post 187463)
Am I being naive, but are you not the victim of theft? If that is the case, the Spanish police should be involved. The threat of doing so may be sufficient to elicit a refund from the hotel or convince the credit card company that you are determined to have the situation resolved.

NO you are not being naive, (but you are being rhetorical). As I said above, this needs to be reported to police. Rather than credit card fraud as such, this is a straightforward case of theft by deception, fraud, whatever you wanna call it.

Sjoerd Bakker 30 Apr 2008 17:31

credit card fraud/theft
 
Do dispute this with your credit card company and get the guardia civil involved too.This tale is a good example why one should keep credit card use to the bare minimum necessary such as payments where only a cc is permitted or emergencies. Then only with utmost caution.
I prefer paying everything in cash in the local money which can easily be obtained from automatic banking machines directly from your own bank account - with care- using your bank card not a cc. It may be a bit more bother but I find it a lot less worrisome, especially the potential for such goings on as Mostly Harmless and knowing the high interest rates charged if I should be late in paying back the cc company.And most of the small businesses I deal with are not set up to do cc transactions anyway.
I think you will get a reaction from your cc company if you follow the advice of the other posts. Good luck.

yuma simon 1 May 2008 16:32

I know, I know, no one needs to say anything--but you can go back to the hotel and beat the guy up with a few friends. Ok, I feel relieved to get that off my chest, now back to reality, LOL

kentfallen 1 May 2008 16:55

Perhaps he needs a hand from us?
 
Thanks for telling us about this story...

If you post their (the hotels) email address on here I'm sure a few of us would email the hotel to complain and support you...

If this sounds a good idea then post a letter on here giving dates etc.... (be careful not to provide anything which is security sensitive though). All we have to do is cut and paste the letter and send it onwards to those gits at the hotel.

I will send em 2 every day if it helps?

Together we stand divided we fall.

YES this is clearly THEFT and the authorities can act. The language barrier isn't going to help though. I'm surprised your credit card company have declined to cover the costs bearing in mind the circumstances. Maybe a stern letter to them is in order.


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