British Columbia

You can't expect a full refund for a disappointing beach vacation, B.C. tribunal rules

There's no question Salina Yu and her family spent a week in Cuba in March 2018 — they have the bug bites to prove it.

Civil Resolution Tribunal orders mom to repay cost of all-inclusive trip after credit card refunded it

A B.C. family received a full refund from its credit card company after an unsatisfying vacation in Cuba. (Karen Tankard)

There's no question Salina Yu and her family spent a week in Cuba in March 2018 — they have the bug bites to prove it.

But not long after they returned, Yu received a full refund on her credit card for the $3,447 she'd spent on the all-inclusive vacation, according to a recent decision from the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT).

She argued that was only fair, since the vacation was pretty disappointing. She was unhappy with the family's hotel room, her son had been bitten by insects and she had to be treated in hospital for a flare-up of her asthma.

Those claims didn't fly with the tribunal's vice chair, Andrea Ritchie, who ordered Yu to repay the cost of the vacation plus about $230 in fees and interest to her booking company,

"TripLink made no promise about the health and welfare of Ms. Yu or her son during the holiday. I make no findings on how or whether Ms. Yu or her son became sick on holidays. Whether it was due to the condition of the room or some other cause, I find TripLink is not responsible for it," Ritchie wrote in Friday's decision.

Mistake blamed on computer virus

Yu first booked the trip for her family of three using TripLink's website on Feb. 22, 2018. The trip itself was provided by Air Canada Vacations.

She claimed the booking was a mistake and that she meant to book through another agency — she told the tribunal that a computer virus had caused the error, but the CRT said that wasn't a credible explanation.

Whatever the reason for the mistake, Yu requested a refund from TripLink. When the agency told her the booking was non-refundable, she filed a complaint with her credit card company.

And then she and her family went on the trip anyway.

The credit card company refunded the full cost of the vacation on May 7, 2018 — but "the details of how that outcome was achieved are not before me," Ritchie wrote.

When TripLink filed a small claims dispute against her, Yu shot back with a counterclaim accusing the agency of negligent misrepresentation. That was dismissed by the CRT.

The CRT is an online tribunal that hears small claims disputes for $5,000 and under, strata property disputes and vehicle injury disputes up to $50,000.