One of the things I was really looking forward to on our vacation was a trip in a hot air balloon. For Father’s Day, Helaine had bought trips for both my dad and me. It sounded very cool.
Unfortunately, our first trip on Wednesday morning was canceled because of high winds. Being a weatherman, I went and checked the official numbers. They looked pretty light to me, but we had a few more days.
On Friday we were scheduled to go again… and again, nothing. I checked the winds and found them to be a bit stronger than Wednesday, but still balloonable (a new word I should copyright).
Our vacation ended before we could fly, but of course, this is not the end of it.
The company Helaine bought the flights from, Balloon Adventures, has decided not to refund our money. Even airlines, by far the worst of the worst as far as customer care is concerned, refund ‘non-refundable’ tickets when they can’t get you to your destination.
I have had an email conversation with Buffy from Balloon Adventures and it’s obvious we don’t see eye-to-eye on this. So, I have disputed the credit card charge, and reported my troubles to the Nevada Attorney General, the consumer reporter on Channel 13 in Las Vegas and the BBB (even I admit the BBB is next to worthless but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do).
Tomorrow I start writing to the Las Vegas discussion forums and probably epinions.com.
My guess is I’ll get my money back in the end. The question is, why for $300 would Balloon Adventures risk the bad publicity they’ll surely get from this and the time and money it will take to respond?
There is often a good reason small businesses stay small.