Travel convenience store: Blue Lagoon excludes the customer from a refund request

Q: I had to cancel a trip to Iceland when my fully vaccinated daughter and her boyfriend, who was supposed to be traveling with us, contracted COVID-19. I was within the cancellation window for all prepaid components of our trip. Most refunds were prompt. But I have issues with Blue Lagoon resort hotel and snorkeling trip. The Blue Lagoon will not respond to any requests, even if I have received a cancellation confirmation. I haven’t seen a refund from them.

DIVE.IS, the snorkeling company, says they never received my emails to cancel. They then responded to my inquiries via email, as well as via Facebook. They said their tech team would “review” it, but that was over a week ago, and I haven’t heard anything since. I contacted them again but received no response.

What else can I do to get results from a business in Iceland? I told them we will book sometime so I want to be able to do business with them again. I fear that these two companies are just ghosting me, and I will have no recourse.

A: The hotel and tour operator should have acknowledged your cancellation as soon as possible and refunded your money. And it bears repeating: things have gotten a little crazy during the pandemic when it comes to refunds. Companies that normally respond to a refund request quickly have taken weeks or months. There is no excuse for this.

Let’s take these cases one by one. Blue Lagoon appeared to be in operation at the time of your visit, but apparently deprioritized refund requests. So when you contacted them, the hotel just put your request on the back burner. You were, indeed, within the cancellation window. You kept a written record of your correspondence with the station, even though no one answered.

It was just a matter of being persistent and polite with Blue Lagoon. It’s really difficult when it comes to a big cancellation like yours. And frankly, you shouldn’t have to wait for a refund. They took your money in seconds – is it too much to ask to return it in a timely manner?

On the refund for the snorkeling tour, a look at your records reveals that they had not acknowledged your cancellation in a timely manner. If you do not receive an acknowledgment, you should not assume that the email has been received. So you contacted them again.

I contacted Blue Lagoon on your behalf. It offered a full refund, which you should have received under the terms of your purchase. DIVE.IS has given you a voucher for a future trip. You have accepted both and plan to reschedule your trip.

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit consumer organization. Contact him at elliott.org/help or [email protected]

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