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Thread: Avoid AB Carrental

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Barbara, Bonaire
    Posts
    180

    Default Avoid AB Carrental

    Anyone booking a trip during these Covid times needs to avoid AB Carrental. On January 15th Bonaire opened their airspace to the US. On January 21st I booked a flight on American and a truck with AB for our March 3rd arrival. On February 7th American called to say the flight was cancelled. I sent a message to AB saying I wanted to cancel my reservation due to American cancelling my flight. Their reply was they could keep the money as a deposit for a future rental or they could cancel with a $75 penalty. Even thought the reservation was only 17 days old and a month away they feel they deserve a $75 "processing fee". I have filed a dispute with CitiBank.

    The reality is there are many good rental companies on Bonaire and all are struggling with a lack of business. There is absolutely no reason to use a company that takes advantage of their customers. In addition, with so many rental trucks sitting idle each week there is NO need to book with ANY of the companies in advance. Why go through the hassle if you don't need to? With American cancelling flights until at least April 3rd, and Delta until June, future travel to Bonaire is in doubt. Even if you disregard AB Carrental's larcenous policy and book with them, why would you give them an interest free loan for any length of time? By avoiding an early booking, the next time the airlines cancel their flights due to Bonaire restrictions, you won't be penalized. If every one avoids AB they might see that their customer service is costing them rentals and they revise their policy.

    In a couple of years, when tourism gets back to normal, you will need to book for the high season in advance, but not now. In the mean time, use Bonaire Rent-a-car, Caribe, PB Car Rental or any of the other ethical companies. Avoid the theives at AB Carrental!
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Pretty sure the $75 means a lot more to the struggling business owner on Bonaire than to either of us. Offering to hold the credit for a future rental does not seem unreasonable, particularly if you know you are headed back. If they told you the deposit was refundable and then didn't, that's wrong - but if circumstances created the problem, it's really up to them how they handle the deposit. Every guest who booked my house since last March asked in advance if I would refund their deposit if their fights were cancelled.

    You are not likely getting to Bonaire directly from the US until the Netherlands changes the rapid test requirements - I have been flying via Aruba and/or Curacao off season for years. Right now, it's always off season. Paradise is just a bit less convenient right now.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Barbara, Bonaire
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Have you had someone book your house then months later they had their flight cancelled? If so, did you refund their deposit?
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

  4. #4
    smits is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    591

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by michaeto View Post
    Have you had someone book your house then months later they had their flight cancelled? If so, did you refund their deposit?
    Unfortunately I had several cancellations. In the beginning of Covid (march) I offered vouchers, thinking it would all be over soon. I have one guest who has planned 3 times now to come, using the voucher. Sofar not possible due to Government regulations
    Since October I ask our guests to make a 10% downpayment to prove they are serious. The rest can be paid one week before arrival. If they cant come due to Government measures, I refund them the 10% too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Barbara, Bonaire
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smits View Post
    Unfortunately I had several cancellations. In the beginning of Covid (march) I offered vouchers, thinking it would all be over soon. I have one guest who has planned 3 times now to come, using the voucher. Sofar not possible due to Government regulations
    Since October I ask our guests to make a 10% downpayment to prove they are serious. The rest can be paid one week before arrival. If they cant come due to Government measures, I refund them the 10% too.
    We were booked about 50% through December of which more than half were from the US/Canada. Our management company asked us how to proceed once the closure occurred. I told them I wanted the money refunded, because it was what I would have expected. They weren't thrilled with that because they collect 25% up front so there was s substantial refund. They tried to get the people to re-book which one did several times and just rescheduled again for October. To me it is more important to do the right thing so that they come back when things reopen. When you depend on repeat business and good customer service it is shortsighted and foolish to do anything else. You need to treat people how you want to be treated.
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    West Milford NJ
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I feel everyone's pain. All I did through most of 2020 was refund guest money and chase VRBO to refund the guest's booking fees too which NEVER happened automatically unless the guest cancelled before the no-refund period kicked in. I know what goes around comes around. Long term, doing the right thing should pay off, but even if it doesn't, I still know I did right.

    I had 15 separate 1 to 3 week reservations booked thru March 2021 and all but one got a 100% of their money back. The one guest who didn't rebooked for 2022. Reservations have started to pick up again. I have a week booked in May, July & December 2021 and the rebooked week for April 2022. This time last year I had 15 future bookings. I have been, and am currently promising to refund 100% of the guest's money if their flight gets cancelled due to Covid travel cancellations right up to a week before scheduled arrival. I got them to give me their flight info 60 days before arrival and confirmed the flight cancellations. Crazy times.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Annapolis, Maryland and Santa Barbara, Bonaire
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisL View Post
    I feel everyone's pain. All I did through most of 2020 was refund guest money and chase VRBO to refund the guest's booking fees too which NEVER happened automatically unless the guest cancelled before the no-refund period kicked in. I know what goes around comes around. Long term, doing the right thing should pay off, but even if it doesn't, I still know I did right.

    I had 15 separate 1 to 3 week reservations booked thru March 2021 and all but one got a 100% of their money back. The one guest who didn't rebooked for 2022. Reservations have started to pick up again. I have a week booked in May, July & December 2021 and the rebooked week for April 2022. This time last year I had 15 future bookings. I have been, and am currently promising to refund 100% of the guest's money if their flight gets cancelled due to Covid travel cancellations right up to a week before scheduled arrival. I got them to give me their flight info 60 days before arrival and confirmed the flight cancellations. Crazy times.

    This is exactly why I said the AB Carrental policy is moronic. It is bad customer service and instead of charging me $75 and then having me trash them from now until eternity they could have had a customer who only had good things to say about them. With new the 12 hour PCR test requirement their business is going to fall to ZERO, which is fitting.
    owner - Casa Bunita Bista

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