To all that have paid via credit card and not been given a refund due to COVID and Sandals being closed, contact your credit card company, and dispute the charge also known as a CHARGEBACK. This will be the only way to get your money back. I feel bad for everyone during this pandemic, including Sandals however the way they are handling bookings during this unfortunate time is extremely short-sided and reeks of desperation and greed. We have been traveling to Sandals & Beaches since 2000 and have spent tens of thousands of dollars + with this resort; even stayed in the highest category rooms.…we are not one timers! When you think of Sandals, you think of sunshine, romance, gorgeous beaches, pina coladas etc., well my latest experience with Sandals was anything but…
My husband and I had a trip planned for this month, August 2020. We received a text in late July and then a voicemail regarding our upcoming stay. I phoned them back and spoke to a representative who was defensive and combative right off the bat and explained that the borders have been closed and that we could not stay at their resort because of this. I was disappointed but understood with everything going on in the world and was nice to her. Her tone was cold and abrupt, I felt like I was on a call with an IRS agent to be honest…like I had some outstanding unpaid tax bill due or something along those lines. It was quite odd, considering in the past, everyone was pleasant and wonderful.
I asked her what our options were, and she said that we could reschedule when they re-open or go to another resort but our room category was not guaranteed and there would be an extra fee. However, their other resorts are closed as well!!! I asked about certain dates in December and of course those are blacked out. She recommended next year sometime. I told the agent that I have no idea what our schedule will be next year (or if we will even be alive due to COVID) and that a refund would be preferred and then I will re-book when I can sort out our schedule and coordinate the air tickets which is always cumbersome coming from California. I was told that a refund will NOT be given because I am within the “14-0 days prior to arrival”, according to their policy. Hello, you are cancelling, not me and you notified me within the “14-0 days” time-frame!!!
She just kept reading from a script and acted like I called and cancelled at the last minute and that I am in the wrong. Bizarre…is this some sort of reverse psychology BS? Then I was told that if I wanted to reschedule, I had to do it within 3 days, otherwise I would forfeit my entire trip charge. Again, the agent was extremely rude, not apologetic, or empathetic and I felt extremely pressured.
I understand that they are trying to keep their business afloat and I can’t imagine how stressful it is with all of their employees etc., however it is stressful for the customers as well. Sandals is behaving like they are the only ones being affected by COVID and they are trying to keep as much $ as they can. They need these funds to pay for their overhead, employees and to spend millions on their NON-STOP Commercials to lure more poor souls in, newbies. They are shortsighted and it is really disgusting.
I don’t blame the poor girl on the phone, I blame upper management and those calling the shots…Butch or perhaps it is Adam now? They are putting undue pressure on their employees and their loyal customers leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Not a great business plan in my opinion! As a result, I have reached out to American Express to dispute the charge and I will no longer visit any Sandals in the future. Maybe a new business venture for them should be the Sandals Revenue Service (SRS). I will try to remember them fondly for the memories in the past. Kind of like an ex-boyfriend who you had a great relationship with but ruined it towards the end by making a stupid decision like cheating or hitting you. We had a great 20 year run but I am out! RIP Sandals!