April 28, 2016
Customer Resolution Department
Dear Apple Vacation:
On March 16, 2016 myself along with Tammy McDaniel booked a vacation with your company. When calling your reservation department the customer service agent convinced us to book a 5 apple package. She stated We were guaranteed a 5 apple ( the same as a 5 star) resort. We were very hesitant but was assured time and time again that we would receive a 5 star accommodation or better. We are both frequent travelers and have traveled with other tour operation companies as well as thru travel agents and trips we have booked on our own.
I have to say that by far this was the worst vacation we have ever been on. We were given the name of the resort we would be staying at when we arrived at the Cincinnati Airport on April 16, 2016. The resort was the RIU Bambu – Dominican Republic, Punta Cana.
Upon arriving into the Dominican Republic and stepping off the plane, one couple was sent one direction and the other another thru separate custom agents – which is normal. After we were finished and thru customs Lynda and Kelly Richardson were charged $10.00 ($5.00 each) by the customs agent they went thru for some form the agent had. This was a scam the agent was performing upon arriving at the counter where the apple representatives were we explained to them what had just happened and they just shrugged it off and said "he should not have done that" and offered to do nothing in concern with getting the money back or making a report.
We took the transportation to the resort and upon arriving at the resort was told we could not check in until 3 pm. We waited and once it was time to check in we were given our room keys. Upon arriving at the room it was as we had requested with a King size bed. Then we discovered that the mattresses had mold covering them and evidence of bed bugs(Please see attached pictures). We immediately contacted the front desk and informed them of the situation and we also contacted Apple. The front desk sent a worker up to look at the room and then the worker used the phone and called the front desk back. We then spoke with the front desk again and they said :
Them: "You have problem with your room?"
Us: "Yes the mattress is covered in mold and bed bug evidence"
Them: " Oh ok well we move you to room tomorrow"
Us: "No we are not staying in these rooms for 20 minutes longer let alone over night"
Them: "Ok we move you to another room"
Us: " One that does not have mold or bed bugs"
Them: "Yes to a newer room"
We were then moved to another set of rooms which had 2 beds pushed together instead of a king size bed and were told we would not get a king size bed.
The rooms refrigerators were not restocked – as a matter of fact there was a ½ empty mountain dew bottle in one of the refrigerators indicating the rooms had not been properly cleaned/serviced.
The rooms which they moved us to had problems with the AC. (1) room did not cool at all and the other was barely working. We reported this to the front desk several times along with the apple representative’s (Claudia and Fransico). Maintenance came twice and said they fixed the issue and they did not – the AC still did not work and the workers left empty beer cans in the opening of the ceiling where the ac equipment is.
The Hot water took over 20 minutes to get hot in each room and in room 3212 on 3 out of the 6 days there was no water at all when the shower was turned to hot – nothing came out. The toilet continued to run as well. These items were also reported – nothing was done or repaired. The Television only worked in (1) room the other room had constant static and you could not watch it or see anything on it.
On Sunday while swimming in the ocean the room keys were in the pocket of Mr. Richardson and came out in the ocean. We immediately went to the front desk and notified them as well as the apple representative (Claudia) of this. We acknowledged that this was our mistake and said we would pay for it but we wanted the locks changed in the event the keys would wash up on the beach. We were advised that there would be a $100.00 charge which we agreed to pay. We tried to pay with our credit card and was advised it would have to be paid in cash so someone had to escort us back to the room to get cash. After paying the fee we sat in the lobby for the next 7 hours and waited for the locks to be changed we were told repeatedly that it would be 20-30 more minutes and given many different excuses from "they had to go to the hardware store and buy new locks" to "they had to call someone in to change the locks" and several more excuses. Finally we were demanding that something be done now or they move us and they finally got the locks changed – 7 hours later.
We decided after talking with Fransico to book some excursions. We thought this might give us a break away from this disaster of a resort we were staying at. This only led to more dysfunction. Out of the 3 excursions and $1000.00 spent only 1 excursion turned out to be worthy. The first excursion was a Polaris/lagoon excursion. The tour guide was assigned to 3 couples (All apple vacation customers) and he was not knowledgeable of the Polaris vehicles at all. He even advised us to put our vehicles in 4 wheel drive but was instructing us to do it wrong. His vehicle could not make it up the hill and we waited 10 minutes for him to get up the hill before he finally told is to go around him and to wait for him on top of the hill. We waited for him for another 10 minutes on the top of the hill until 2 of the apple vacationers had do go down the hill and help the guide get his vehicle up the hill and advise him that he did not have it in 4 wheel drive (He is supposed to be the guide???) We then arrived at the spot where we were going to park the vehicles while we walked to the lagoon and was advised at that point there was nowhere to change into our swimsuits – therefore 2 of us did not even get the opportunity to swim in the lagoon we had to watch the others. The time that was supposed to be spent at the lagoon was not given to us – it was a lot shorter. We requested to use the restroom and was told there was no restroom and would have to wait 45 minutes till we were back at the starting point. We saw a restroom and was advised we could not use it due to the fact that it belonged to the Segway Tour – excursion. We told the tour guide we were using the restroom and we did.
All of the tours were late arriving back to the resort and caused us to miss dinner reservations as well as other events that were scheduled. We thought that by booking these excursions thru Apple that things would have been handled more efficiently and more information would have been provided. It was not.
There was a constant foul smell on the property of sewage, the towels supplied in the rooms also smelled.
We had no room service and not one time was there ever a waitress or server at the pool or beach bringing around drinks. Anytime you wanted a drink you had to make the hike from the pool or the beach back to the bar and by the time you arrived back at your spot the drink was gone.
On the third night there we were looking for someplace to get something to eat as the buffets had not opened yet. We asked the front desk and they advised is to go to the sports bar that they had food in there available for us. We arrived at the sports bar to find 2 male workers behind the bar doing shots of liquor. Upon asking them about the food they laughed and said "There’s no food here" We then told them the front desk told us to come there for food and they said "Oh no, no food here!! And then one male worker began to hump the other male worker and laughed about it!! We immediately left the bar and did not go back in there for the duration of the stay.
This resort may have been a 5 star resort when it was first built 20 some years ago but it is far from a 5 star resort today. At most it is a 3 star resort and just short of a glorified holiday inn.
We have stayed in many resorts in many different regions from the Caribbean to Alaska and have been on many vacations from all-inclusive to cruises and we have never experienced such a terrible vacation.
Upon arriving back in the states we contacted Apple Customer service to let them know of the terrible experience we had. We first spoke to Kelly who told us we would have to put everything in writing and there was nothing she could do for us. We asked if she could note the account with the events that happened and that we would be following up with a letter. She said yes and as we got a 1/4th of a way down the list of items that occurred she stated she could no longer list anything else as she ran out of room to write. I informed her that I wished we didn’t have any more items to tell her about but unfortunately that was not the case. She then transferred us to a supervisor "Patricia" who stated that the vacation was an "economical priced vacation" I’m not sure how Apple Employees are trained but at my company the managers and all employees are trained to provide excellent customer service at all times to all clients whether they invest $1,000.00 or $10,000.00 with our company a customer is a customer and a happy customer will return and be a client who will return again and again if they are treated correctly. We have over the course of time spent far less as well as far more than what we spent on this vacation and none the less have never been as dissatisfied with a vacation as we are with this one. And for your employee to imply that this was an "economical vacation" was insulting within itself. Yes the vacation was $2,000.00 a piece however it was also a week away from work for a much needed relaxing vacation which was not delivered.
I asked Patricia what the process was once this letter was submitted. She stated they would contact the resort and get their feedback on these items and speak with them about compensation. I asked her what about Apple vacation? Does apple take any accountability or responsibility for their actions? After all Apple was the one who guaranteed that we would be placed at a 5 star resort and was the one who placed us at this place – and told that the 5 star resorts were luxurious! Patricia asked if we had requested from the apple representative’s to change our resort. When we were down in the lobby to speak to Claudia about one of the many issues we were having she was first speaking to another apple customer who was requesting to be moved to another resort and Claudia stated that in the many years she had worked for apple that they did not move customers to other resorts.
We looked this resort up once We arrived back in the states and was even more angry as most sites do not list this resort as a 5 star. Most rate it as a 3.5 star or below. This makes me question if Apple even takes the time to check these resorts out – not as apple employees but as a regular customer would be treated?? If you did you would clearly see this is not a 5 star resort and lacks customer service along with many other items.
We are sending this letter along with the pictures and request that Apple Vacations contact us regarding the above issues. We look forward to speaking with your company. We have forwarded a copy of this letter along with the photos to the Better Business Bureau.
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