BBB advice on managing your hotel reservation in the event of a red tide


Natural algae known as the “red tide” have been documented along the Gulf Coast of Florida almost every year since the 1840s, but this year it is bad enough that the Governor of Florida has declared the state of emergency in several counties. The red tide continues to worry people planning a vacation in Florida who are unsure whether to cancel their reservations.

BBB has received an increase in complaints filed against companies offering vacation rentals and services related to the presence of the red tide. Complaints filed by consumers allege refund issues after cancellation and companies not disclosing potential red tide issues.

As a consumer, it is important to know your rights. It starts with understanding the terms and conditions of your contract for a vacation rental or the refund policy for a hotel reservation. Establishments are not required under florida law to issue refunds for prepaid reservations.

Communication with the company is essential if you have a cancellation issue. Talk to the management of the company to try to solve your problems. Most companies want to keep you as a customer and will work with you to find a reasonable solution.

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