Anyone who is planning of trip to Western Australia and intend to make accommodations, vehicles or tour package through Discover West Holidays (DWH), please think twice.
DWH is an Australian company who hyperlink is provided in almost all tourism related website. Because of this, I thought they are a reliable agent and made my vehicles booking (3 in total and paid in full) through them.
When my group arrived at the airport, I was surprised to learnt from the vehicle rental company that they only have 2 vehicle bookings from DWH for me. When I contacted DWH there and then, they just replied that they have booked 3 and it is the rental company fault, that is, full stop. They not even offer help to find another vehicle for me.
The fact that only 2 vehcles were provided to me instead of 3, I will expect DWH to refund me the balance, and pay the rental for 2 vehicles to the rental company. Instead, when I return to Singapore 2 weeks later, realised that no refund was made to me. Immediately I wrote a email to them on 21 Dec 07, follow by another email on 26 Dec 07 since I didn't receive any reply from them. The acknowledgement came on 2 Jan 08 which mentioned to get back to me within 14 days. On 17 Jan 08, I sent them a reminder again (which is after the 14 days promised), and they finally reply me on 18 Jan 08.
In their reply, they state that the non-delivery of vehicle is the fault of rental company and they will not give me any refund, and the case is consider close and no further further correspondence will be entered.
My contractual agreement is with DWH and shouldn't DWH refund me for vehicle not delivered? Even it is the vehicle rental company fault, DWH should get the refund from the rental company if they have paid, which I don't think so because they will most probably pay after the vehicles are delivered which by then they will know that only 2 were delivered instead of 2.
Can any one advise me as to what I should do now?
I agree with you that that's how it should work. If they're an Australian company, you can file an official complaint against them which might get you somewhere. Alternatively, contact the rental company and ask them to refund the difference ?
Their is probably nothing you can do. They are a recognised tourism agent in Western Australia, and you have little to no chance of getting anywhere with them.
Something of a simlar nature happened to me with accommodation that I had booked. I had the pieces of paper to prove I had booked and paid a deposit to stay at this hotel and yet when I turned up they had no record of me. I got no refund of my deposit with the booking agent and was told to take it up with the accommodation provider.
Despite the fact you booked through DWH, indirectly your contract would be through the car hire company. Having said that if you needed to make changes to your reservation they would probably say call DWH and they can do it for you, but when all is said and done the car hire company is the service provider so they are the determining bit of the contract.
Think of it in another way, if you go to a travel agent and buy a flight to Singapore and then when you turn up to the airport you find the flight is cancelled, you wouldn't go after the travel agency that you paid your money to, but would instead get annoyed with the airline and go after the airline for compensation. In your situation the same sort of thing is most likely the case (despite what the car hire people would say to cover their tracks). DWH would have requested 3 cars but because most service providers overbook due to regular cancellations or no shows, you probably struck it at a bad time when they were not able to provide that 3rd vehicle due to over booking. Of course the car hire place who isn't able to live up to what you ordered is going to say "the agent only booked 2 cars". Car hire companies are about as big a bunch of liers and con artists as the majority of politicians.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 18, 2008, at 1:54 AM by aharrold45 ]
Allan, I hope you didn't book that accommodation through Travellerspoint! We make a point out of refunding even the bookings where the hotel screws up and 'misplaces' the booking. It blows sometimes because you know you couldn't do anything about it, but on the other hand that shouldn't really be the customer's worry either. And the bottom line is that if the property does it more than once they're going to get axed from the system which really is more their problem than anyone else's
To the OP, if your booking was indeed directly with the car rental agency (this is common), then you'll have to address them. I'm surprised you weren't told this by DWH though if it's the case...
Quoting Sam I Am
Allan, I hope you didn't book that accommodation through Travellerspoint!
No this was before I had even heard of Travellerspoint, but it was through a very well known booking site that almost everybody who has done backpacking before knows.
Hmm, might actually be one of the ones we are partnered with. But we do enough bookings through them that they issue full refunds when we ask on behalf of clients. Might also have been a shift in their strategy though in the mean time. It's an old fashioned way of thinking to just shove it off on the other party, even if TECHNICALLY that's who the customer booked with.