Oh, Deerhurst Resort, this isn’t the post I felt like making, especially in middle of this whole Coronavirus pandemic. I’ve been blogging for almost 20 years (holy shit!), and this is the first time I have taken to social media to discuss a personal issue like this. I wanted to make this conversation public, because I’ve been tweeting about the issue, and I wanted to be transparent about how it went down. This is regarding Deerhurst Resort, and their customer service actions following the Covid-19 outbreak.
I booked a 4 day vacation for myself, my two kids, and my parents for March Break. Backstory: my parents live in Newfoundland, my mom was unable to travel here as they always do over Christmas (we thought we were losing her, actually) due to some pretty scary health issues, and we were all super pumped that she was well enough to come visit Ontario. My parents are 80 this year, so we’re aware we may not have much opportunity to travel together again. It felt like a One Last Time kinda deal.
Anyhow, right up until Prime Minister Trudeau announced that all non-essential travel should be seriously reconsidered, and we should practice social distancing, we’d intended to take our vacation at the resort, because we felt the risk was fairly minimal. It’s in Muskoka, we had rented a cabin, we were cooking for ourselves… and then the proverbial shit hit the fan.
There are still no travel bans within Canada, but with cases of Covid-19 on the rise, and strong recommendations to practice safe social distancing, I felt it was important to not go to a resort, do group activities, and risk exposure (or spread…). It wasn’t a cancellation I took lightly — I do realize that Deerhurst’s policy is that there are NO refunds within 7 days. I just figured that because you know, the world is literally shutting down, they’d be understanding.
My mother is prone to pneumonia (as in, until she was vaxxed against it, she got it every year, and again, we nearly lost her), and my son is immunocompromised and asthmatic. Call me overprotective, but at this stage, with one person in the highest risk group, and the other vulnerable, I requested a refund. I was offered a credit, which is indeed better than nothing. I have to give them that much. In our case, however, because my parents won’t be able to join us again, I felt a refund was due given the absolutely crazy circumstances. Nothing about this is normal, right?
(And as a side note, I had a trip booked for April to Washington, D.C., and my amazing travel agent had asked me NUMEROUS TIMES if I wanted the option with cancellation insurance, and I declined. I also declined additional insurance. Willingly. And when she contacted the Kimpton Hotel I had booked at, they IMMEDIATELY refunded me in the full amount. And that was before everything got crazy. So let it be known that some places did the right thing, and I will absolutely re-book there when we’re able to travel again! ALWAYS BOOK WITH AN AGENT. My agent, preferably.)
These photos are the conversation, in full, that has thus far taken place between myself and the customer service team at Deerhurst Resort, and then their General Manager, Jesse Hamilton. As of the time of publishing, I did have interaction with their social media team on Twitter, wherein they suggested I have misunderstood this conversation.
I do not think this is the case. I am a smart person, one with a degree in English, and I don’t feel I misunderstood any part of the conversation.
I am not asking for opinions, or feedback on this. Please know that I respect differences of opinion, and I am not taking this public to drag a good company through the mud. I strongly feel that given the circumstances of OUR particular situation, a refund should be given.
UPDATE MARCH 16 2020
A friend alerted me to the fact that Deerhurst Resort sent an email out to all guests to inform them of some kind of refund/credit policy. Strangely, I didn’t get it. Wonder why.
So I have sent this email to Jesse Hamilton, General Manager of Deerhurst: