Canadian at Par

With the Canadian dollar so low, it’s becoming more and more restrictive for Canadians to travel to the US for their holidays. Our neighbors to the south know this all too well, and some vacation destinations rely heavily on revenue on patronage from their northern neighbours. So when vacationers from Canada get scarce, many devise financially attractive schemes, like offering US prices payable in Canadian dollars.

For our last road trip, it was a stay-and-play offer and we booked it nearly as soon as we saw it. Our first night would be pre-paid.

Many seniors do a very good job of knowing where they stand financially. Many of us even know on a daily basis exactly where we are. That’s not just handy, it alleviates any surprises and, believe me, the last thing that seniors want are nasty money surprises.

The thing is, the offer didn’t correspond to the amount that we were billed when we checked the credit card statement the next morning. We got on the phone to try and get it sorted out, but we weren’t able to make the reservations supervisor understand that the price they’d charged needed to be discounted.

That’s when my daughter, Colleen, got involved. After a series of back-and-forth emails, the revenue manager determined that we were right and adjustments would need to be made. For the two nights, we should be paying $700 Canadian. That day, our dollar took 1.31 to buy one USD.

Unfortunately, that information wasn’t relayed to the front desk and when a further inquiry was made via email following our check in, we were informed it was an employee not familiar with the special offer:

Upon check in, we had a front desk associate who usually works at a different property that doesn’t have the golf package so she was unfamiliar with our current special.

Of course, in the end, it was a mix-up and the offer of $175 Canadian per person per night was honoured. It looks like we were the first ones to take them up the offer, which hadn’t been properly communicated to their staff.

However, if you take an offer like this, my advice is be tenacious about it, check your bills, and know what to do if the offer isn’t being honoured. Here are my tips:

  • Once you make the booking, check your credit card balance online so you can take immediate action. I know many seniors are distrustful of having their banking and credit cards online, but imagine what might have happened if we hadn’t caught this error right from the start? Obviously, there was a miscommunication between the marketing department and reservations, but it took tenacity, and time, to find the right person and get the problem resolved.
  • Know what the exchange rate is. You’ll see what the credit card company charged you, but you can know what it is ahead of time by looking on
  • Take copies of the offer, and all correspondence, with you and have it with you when you check in. You’ll be able to prove your case to the front desk clerk and, if a resolution isn’t immediate, at least he or she will know who they need to talk to within the organization to get it resolved.
  • Don’t forget what’s in the package and what you’re entitled to. In our case, there was an additional $25 food voucher with our package, and, as it wasn’t given to us when we checked in, we nearly forgot about it. Know what’s in the offer, and don’t lose out.

Travel safely!

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