On Your Side helps Arizona couples recover $28,000 after canceled travel plans

Two couples booked vacations with the same cruise line and had to cancel, but didn't receive a refund. On Your Side got involved to get their money back.
Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 5:41 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2023 at 8:30 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Two Arizona couples, who don’t know each other, booked vacations with the same cruise line and then had to cancel for medical reasons. They both paid for trip insurance. When they couldn’t get it to pay out, they turned to On Your Side for help.

In a previous On Your Side report, Daniel and Carol Mueller of Gilbert explained how they booked a European river cruise through Vantage Travel and were set to sail in May of last year. But a month before the departure, Daniel Mueller suffered a back injury. They filed a claim with a company called TripMate. However, the couple says the insurance company ignored them. “This has been extremely frustrating,” Carol Mueller told us in October. “I’ve tried to be patient and I’ve tried to be nice and I’ve tried to not be frustrated, but I’m wanting to travel again.”

TripMate confirmed that payment to the Muellers for more than $16,000 was approved months earlier -- but never sent -- until On Your Side got involved. “I dealt with these people from April to October and got nowhere,” Carol Mueller said. “And you were able to somehow get them to send me a check about a week and a half after you contacted me.”

Don and Jan Roller were in a similar boat. The Gold Canyon couple had a cruise booked with Vantage and were scheduled to take off last fall. But that April, Don Roller suffered a broken neck and could not travel. “When you get to a certain age, you always buy trip insurance,” Jan Roller said. Their insurance was also through TripMate. But after filing a claim, they say they also had problems getting their money. “Maybe you guys can help,” Jan Roller said in October. “I mean, I don’t know where else to go.”

On Your Side got involved and we discovered the problem. Vantage Cruise Line had converted the refund into credits for a future cruise. With Don Roller still in a wheelchair and a neck brace, traveling is out of the question. So On Your Side asked Vantage to return the couple’s $12,000, and they did. “The last year and a half since the accident has been trying in a lot of ways, and just to have that whole thing off my plate, off my mind, is a huge relief,” Jan Roller said. “So, I just can’t say enough about you guys. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” The Rollers waited a year and a half for their refund. Vantage told On Your Side they appreciate the couple’s patience.