BAHAMA HOUSEBOAT OPERATOR LEAVES TOURISTS "HOMELESS"
SHAME ON YOU DON AMESBURY OF BAHAMA HOUSEBOATS, GEORGETOWN, EXUMA, BAHAMAS FOR RUINING MY FAMILY'S VACATION PLANS AND LEAVING ME "HOLDING THE BAG" FOR $2,500.00 WORTH OF
NONREFUNDABLE AIRLINE TICKETS!
READ THE STORY AND YOU DECIDE....
For twenty years, our family has been vacationing in the Bahamas, usually staying at the property now known as Atlantis on Paradise Island and occasionally we have visited other islands as well such as Abaco and Freeport.
We tried this year to book a ten day package at Atlantis, but we waited too long and they were only able to offer us 4 nights (from 7/16 thru 7/19) which we accepted and made travel arrangements.
We then decided that 4 days was not enough time and that we would search the web to try and find a place to stay the week prior to checking in at the Atlantis.
It was while searching Bahamasnet, that we saw the link to "Bahama Houseboat." I called the phone number on Thursday 6/22 and left a message that I was interested in renting a houseboat. My call was returned promptly the following day (Friday 6/23) by Don Amesbury, the owner of Bahama Houseboats. In response to my query, he told me that one boat was still
available for the week I requested. I told him I was interested but that I would have to discuss it with my family and get back to him (I did not at that time reserve the boat).
We discussed the pros & cons of renting the boat and decided that if it was still available, it was a go. I called on Sunday 6/23 and left another message which Mr. Amesbury returned on Monday morning (6/26).
He informed me that the boat was indeed still available. I explained to him that we still needed to make travel arrangements, but pending that, we would take the boat. He agreed that he would hold the reservation until 7pm that evening, at which time he would call us to find out if we were
successful. He took my name, address and credit card number and wished me luck. We then spent most of the day on the Internet to arrange travel.
At 4pm, my wife called me at work to tell me that she was able to make the arrangements, however, the tickets were non-refundable. At this late date, she was told by the reservationist (who was still holding) that we had to book it or take the chance of losing one or more legs of the itinerary.
Our itinerary was: NY-Miami, Miami-Exuma, Exuma-Nassau, Nassau-Miami, Miami-NY. Taking Mr. Amesbury at his word to hold the boat, I told her to book it!
We also canceled our original NY-Nassau round trip which was no longer needed.
We awaited Mr. Amesbury's call (which never came). I called and left a message on his answering machine telling him of our success, and I sent him an E-mail detailing our arrival time and questions about what we should bring, what we could rent, etc and went to bed.
On Tuesday morning 6/27 I awoke and went to the computer, there was a response to my e-mail advising me what to bring and answering the questions I had e-mailed the previous night.
Unbelievably, three hours later, I received a phone call form Mr. Amesbury saying "we have a bit of a problem." It seemed his staff had booked the same boat yesterday afternoon that I had booked yesterday morning.
I asked him how a reservation booked Monday morning by the owner was superseded by a reservation taken by his staff on Monday afternoon, and the answer I got was "What can I tell you mate, I guess I screwed up!" He said he would call the other party to see if they would change their plans and call me back (which he did not). Later that afternoon I received an e-mail offering me his "most humble apologies" and a 15% discount on a future
Just how stupid does he think his "would-be customers" are?
Meanwhile, the airlines will not refund our money for nun-refundable tickets and efforts to re-book our round trip to Nassau have been fruitless.
So, due to Mr. Amesbury's ineptitude, he has ruined my family's vacation, and left me with a bill for $2,500.00 of airline tickets! To add insult to injury, we were forced to cancel our 4 days at Atlantis as we had no way to get there.
All efforts to reach Mr. Amesbury have been futile as he refuses to respond to my numerous e-mails and my request for reimbursement of the expenses with which I am left due to the inefficient manner in which he runs his business.
SO what do you think...? Is this what you want to do on your next vacation?
It could happen to you with someone like Mr. Amesbury at the helm of Bahama Houseboats.
Richard Dumas, Tarrytown, NY [email protected]