Disappointing Sandals Debacle–Updated–>No longer disappointed. :)

**Update 6/2- Spoke with Jessica. She was incredibly helpful, apologetic and fixed all of our problems!  She was as confused as I was about what had happened, and was happy to get us the room we originally booked on the new dates (so we could get the cheaper flights). She offered to upgrade us, but we are already booked in a high category and our room has a pool, so, you know, we stuck with the original. 🙂 We got the room at the price we were quoted last year when we booked it at the “Soon Come Back” desk in Negril. I am very thankful to Sandals and Adam Stewart for making this happen. YAY! We are back on for St. Lucia! I will write a nice, long post about its awesomeness when return. WOOHOO!!!!

**Update 5/31- The CEO of Sandals, Adam Stewart, sent me a Tweet asking for contact information to make this right. Today, Sunday 6/1, a woman contacted me from the parent or affiliate company. Unfortunately, I was vacuuming and missed the call. 😦 She sounded very kind and apologetic (not that it was her fault, of course), and she is calling back tomorrow. I will update after we speak!
The original post:  

Last year we got married at Sandals Negril and had an excellent experience both before and during the trip.  I wrote an extensive review for Trip Advisor, which you can read here.

While there, we booked a trip to Sandals La Toc and joined the Sandals Select Rewards Program.  We have been so excited to celebrate our one-year anniversary in beautiful St. Lucia, that is, until today. I have had a terrible experience trying to adjust and finalize our trip.  I was told we had up to 31 days before hand to make changes; however, I was NOT made aware of the fact that changes could cost us a ridiculous amount in addition to what we were already paying.  

Our desire was to move our trip up by two days to accommodate tickets from Delta that were significantly less than others we had found.  The room we had originally booked was the Honeymoon Hideaway Butler Suite.  Here is a summary of each phone call:

Call 1 (Thursday 9pm): asked about switching dates and was told that we could do so, but we’d have to be in a different (lower category) room for the first two nights or our stay, and then we would switch to our originally booked room.  We decided that was fine; however, this could not be accomplished because “Operations” was not there at the time so I was told to call back in the morning.  We were told that change was easy to make but were not informed that there would be a difference in price for this change.

I then called Delta and booked our flights for July 12th and July 18th, thinking that in the morning I could make the switch with Sandals and be all set.  

Call 2 (Friday 7am Central Time): I call, assuming that Operations would be available at 8am Eastern time (7 our time). I was told to call back because Operations didn’t come in until 9am.

Call 3 (Friday 8am Central Time): I call and speak to the man at extension 3037.  He tells me he can make the change and then informs me that the total would go up by $1277.60 because we are changing room categories for two nights, (which was clearly beyond our control) so our stay no longer met the requirements of the six night promotion (even though we’d still be there for six nights). I went through with the change due to the fact that we’d ordered our plane tickets based on the conversation with the first Sandals representative, who explained that there would be no issues with making the change.  During this call there was no explanation of other charges associated with the change or that we were “losing the promotion” based on these changes.  
So, when I got home maybe 3 hours later I called Delta.  Happily, they could make any changes or cancellations within a day of the reservation. I was so excited! I called Sandals and said, let’s just return to our original reservation and be done with it.  We will pay extra for our flights, but it wasn’t nearly as much as Sandals was quoting us for the lower category room.  

Call 4 (Friday 12pm Central Time): I call with the exciting news that we can return to our original reservation only to be informed by the man from call 3 that our room is gone.  It is unavailable for the last two nights of our original stay.  I am once again not informed that to make any changes would nullify the promotion under which we booked the vacation.  

Call 5 (Friday 4:15pm Central Time): I speak with a woman who looks up our room and says it is available!  However, she then informs me that the price is almost $1000 more for the trip as a whole because we’ve lost the promotion.  I ask to speak to a supervisor.  I can’t understand how someone can’t override this when we became Sandals Select members and were told that we could make any changes up to 31 days prior to the trip and we simply want to UNDO the changes we made.  Also during this call I was informed that Operations would have to make the changes and they’re gone for the day.  Turns out they start at 8am (when I called the first time) and leave at 5pm.  I’m put on hold for several minutes and then I get disconnected before a supervisor can get to me.

Call 6 (Friday 4:35pm Central Time): I call back, explain to Bri who answers that I need a supervisor.  She, rather condescendingly, agrees to get the supervisor.  The supervisor, Cory, informs me that it is impossible for ANYONE to reinstate the promotion we received.  After both I and my husband spoke with her, she continued to say nothing could be done for us.  She was not apologetic (only the young lady in call 5 was nice and helpful), she didn’t offer to help in any other way, she said there were no supervisors above her there.  We finally decided to cancel our trip.

I can’t quite express my disappointed with this whole ordeal.  We have been looking forward to this trip for a year.  I’ve told countless people of our excellent experience with Sandals, our beautiful wedding, and the overall enjoyment we had from start to finish.  We were so excited to celebrate our one year of marriage and we have talked about which other resorts we would like to visit in the future.  We had planned to use our Sandals Select membership to the max and return to Sandals again and again.  Now, however, it is unlikely we will ever return.  

I will be sure to let everyone know of the poor service, the lack of concern, and the poor communication we encountered throughout this debacle.  

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