Written on: 18/10/2013 by kassie171111 (1 review written)
I had booked to stay at Hotel Sophia (2 rooms - 5people) and was unpleasantly surprised to see that the total charge of over $900 was immediately charged to my credit card account. Apparently it is in the very fine print. I have travelled to Melbourne often and this is the first time this has happened.
As circumstances changed we had to find different accommodation, with kitchen facilities, and closer to where we needed to be for a birthday function in the inner suburbs.
Hotel Sophia offers a free cancellation up to 2 days before so I contacted them requesting a cancellation on the 26th Sept. They said that it could take up to a week for the refund transaction to go through. (Did not take that time to charge my account in the first place!)
10 days later still nothing in my account, so I phoned again and was met with no apology, just excuses and was promised that it would be marked urgent and be done the next working day.
A few days later and still no refund. I was a little worried that i would never see my money again, and as we were in Melbourne, we took the time to call in on the hotel.
The girl at the front desk was not at all helpful, telling us that the money had been refunded but that our bank had declined accepting it!! and even showed us something to that effect on the computer screen. I contacted the bank who, of course, knew nothing of the transaction. I suggested that she use the merchant terminal on the desk to give me my refund there and then, which she refused to do.
It was only when i got on the phone to the Department of Fair Trading that things began to happen. After being told that it was impossible for her to do the refund because the "absent" manager had to do it - well suddenly she found she could do it after all. Mind you, at first she only refunded one room so i refused to hang up the call to Dept of Fair Trading until she came back with a second page showing details of the funds transfer - she did so a few minutes later. All this took over an hour to accomplish!
So the hotel itself might be ok, but if there is any chance you might need to cancel, don't expect to get your money back in a hurry.