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February 2000 Vol. 15, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Thumbs Down for Riding Rock Inn

from the February, 2000 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Thumbs Down for Riding Rock InnAs if the destruction both above and below water caused by Hurricane Floyd wasn’t enough, the storm provoked another backlash, the kind that hits divers where it hurts — in the pocketbook. Trips canceled in the wake of the storm were understandable: weather happens. But guests registered at San Salvador’s Riding Rock Inn are less forgiving about the resort’s response to the problem. Subscriber Ted Halkyard (Isle of Palms S.C.) had been a Riding Rock regular for years and was going back last October 2 for old time’s sake. He’d prepaid his two dive packages and island shuttle to the tune of $3,250, but, once the storm hit, Riding Rock canceled his trip. Riding Rock’s U.S. booking agent told Halkyard his refund check was in the mail, but the check never arrived. When Halkyard called again, he heard a different story: no, the check had not been mailed. Instead, his money would be held for a “future trip.” Subscriber David Moson (New York, N.Y.) had the same problem, and says he was “very disappointed in the Riding Rock when they informed me that the refund check did not go out after I was told it was in the mail.”

The old adage “they should have gotten it in writing” sounds great here, but in the chaos that storms leave in their wake, paper and pencils are scarce commodities and decisions must be made on the fly. If resorts aren’t contractually bound to offer cash refunds in lieu of future trips, divers must rely on resorts’ verbal commitments to refund their money. At best, a business’ failure to honor its verbal commitments is misleading and very bad customer service. While Riding Rock has not responded to Undercurrent’s requests for an explanation, and while it’s impossible for anyone to prove what verbal commitments the resort made, another adage may apply here: Caveat emptor.

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