CruiseMiles - Scam: Cruise booked year in advance, Cruise cancelled with no notice! Just found out AFTER we purchased airfare to leave in 4 weeks. No Apologies or ownership of Wrong doing.

Jan 11
review #470352

Three and a half years ago, we purchased a "cruise voucher" for a free 7 day cruise. When we tried to book our cruise, the company had changed to Cruisemiles and our voucher no longer equaled a free cruise. We had to spend more money to buy miles to be able to bid for a cruise. We did and then still could not book a cruise (nothing available for such a small 400,000 cruisemiles). In February 2013, we finally won an auction for a cruise (a year later) to the Western Caribbean leaving out of Miami for 590,000 cruisemiles. (We had to purchase additional miles to confirm the cruise.)

I received email confirmations of winning the cruise auction and told we would need to fill out our further cruise docs within 4 - 8 weeks of cruising.

I would check in to the website to see if they had updated anything on the cruise occasionally. I would check my messages section and there was nothing. We also never received any additional emails after the confirmation email.

After the holidays of 2013, I was concerned when we still had not been emailed any cruise information. I emailed reservations requesting docs and told them we were looking forward to the cruise. I received a response back from Ron Smith who "edits CM accounts" to let me know the cruise had been cancelled and it was listed in the members forums. I had not only been cancelled but had missed their deadline for getting miles returned to account and bonus miles added. He went over and above his job to let me have the miles back as well as the bonus miles (cancellation prize?)

We had already booked non-refundable airfare for the trip because we were 1 month out. My husband and I were floored that we had not been communicated to regarding such a huge loss of funds (cruisemiles purchased) and were very disappointed. When I checked online reviews of cruisemiles I realized we must have been part of the scam that took place as we were not the only disgruntled consumer. There was never an ounce of responsibility placed on the company owner, employees. It was simply a here's what happened, here are some extra miles, now pay a $50 fee and see if you can book something again. Ron and I wrote back and forth a few emails. Never an apology from him. (He claims to have lost his cruise as well and did not work for the company when this happened.) He told me to contact reservations to find out further information (remember I had already done this and not received a response over the course of 5 days) I sent another more direct email stating that the least they could do is waive the $50 annual fee for this year for those of us whose cruises were cancelled. This alone would show some type of good faith effort to be a reputable and legitimate business.

I finally got a response from Richard, (I assume it is the owner from the content of his email) again showing no remorse, no apology or offered any ownership of the poor decision his company made. Just simply explained it away blaming his payment processors policy changes; the need for $ to hire Ron Smith to work on the support side of his company; and the fact all the work he had been doing himself was making him physically sick. (I have the email) Unbelievable.

I have noted that others have sent their complaints to the Essex County police and will send one as well. If Richard Lester was truly running a legitimate business why would he not want to protect it and his own image? He has clearly defrauded us of our money and ruined our travel plans as well as others who entrusted credit card information and travel plans to him and his "legitimate" business.

I have sent one last email requesting a refund of our miles purchased to take this cruise.

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DA

Feb 28 London, England

I would not bother requesting a refund of your miles purchased, what use would that be? only more worthless miles in your account.
My best advise to you is: Because your cruise was cancelled go to your BANK they will help you a lot more than CM or Richard will. Take all relevant copies of your cruise details, INCLUDING, and this is the important piece of information, the information where it states CRUISE CANCELLED, this will be in your HISTORY part of your account. Even take copies of some of the posts on here, everything will help. Take all this in to your bank. You purchased a cruise and it was cancelled, they will refund your money back to you. I know I have had all mine refunded to me. Do it as soon as you can, before CM take it off the site or they shut down all together.
I gave over thousands of dollars to CM without getting a cruise but lucky for me I read on this site that others were able to retrieve their money from their bank so gave it a try and I now have all my money back. So what have you got to loose, it took months for it to be finalised but it was worth the wait.
Good Luck!

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Anonymous

Feb 28

Well another lie put on the site today.People may not notice this but he puts an important update about the jade change in itinerary.No prob.but noticed he starts the message with it being sent by the cruiseline with cruise direct ltd(USA)division,you know those who watch the site will remember when he(Richard)told us the notice to strike was not important as he wasn't using his usa division anyways? :x Well 6 months after and I guess he gets official memo's under that same usa division.What a liar! :upset

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Anonymous

Feb 28 Sarasota, Florida

Yes sir,noticed that too,also notice ron or support,same avatar,so it's him,saying for those not processed for yearly fee of 49$ that he's doing some daily but he has still some daily of members still paying.
so what,still members paying on a daily basis but Richard told us that most had been booked for the replacements,remember that?how can they have all had replacements when they can't be booked because they just are paying the fee now?WOW :roll Richard had supposedly processed over 60 in one day and it's almost 3 months and he hasn't been able to process all of them yet.What are we back at 10000 members but the forum is checked by maybe 50 members at the most,just look at the tread counts...oops,that info.will probably disappear now?lies,alllll lies... :x

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Stan

Feb 28 Houston, Texas

Look at all the new names on the forum. Lately there have been a lot of them. Must be new people signing up I would think.

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Anonymous

Feb 28 Sarasota, Florida

Oh Stan,do you mean the new members not verified that have all been members since june 2011 but we just notice them now.Made up names and to look good they have back dated them.Don't be fooled by the charade going on the site.Look at the members bidding on the miles and most that look new are all old members that seem to have all been members since the summer of 2011,but now Stan or Richard,you will see the members now getting new dates,because if your not an austrich you will not buy miles with the lack of offers and incredible inflated prices of cruises on auctions and the 1% chance of cruising.In other word,you don't wait 3 years to start buying miles,you have enough miles as you have been cancelled last year and refunded many millions of bonus miles with those cancellations!Ask yourself who can make a new account without any problem,and what else is there to do,no booking#s to give away for sure. :roll

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hallo sailor

Jan 13 London, England

You may well get a refund of the miles, but my guess is that they will prove to be worthless. I believe that the company is sinking(!) fast and Ebay members may have at last realised this, as the last 'Auction' by shipshape 1960 for top up Cruise Miles failed to attract any bids. Another one finishes at 20.12 today and it will be interesting to see if any member (mug) bids on it.

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mehere

Jan 13

Had a look at that ebay listing of shipshape1960 and it is gone before auction ended..he must have take it down due to not getting any (bidders) suckers to bid on the last one.

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Anonymous

Jan 13

Business is certainly NOT booming for him tonight...no bids on 6 auctions.... :grin Perhaps the tide has finally turned!

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Anonymous

Jan 13

It's not legit.Don't get fooled by the jargon RL uses as all is done legally and he didn't file bankruptcy because he's generous and caring.He didn't because this action will just speed up the judicial and lawsuit process.
Do you wonder why most member payments haven't been processed after 2 months? blackmail fee for a 1 cheap 2 day cruise now left for the last month on offers.everybody take 15 minutes and file,at least we will see him in jail for awhile! :roll

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annonomys

Jan 13

YES RL is indeed an ugly piece of work…and I am almost sure there is a phrase in the contrac that we all signedt that says every thing he is doing on paper is legit..not morally but just on paper :( :( :( :( :( :( :( otherwise why wouldn't they have pinned him before now??

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Anonymous

Jan 13

No contract can be legally binding if both parties don't gain something tangible in the process.What have you got.Service-nope,goods-nope,cruise-nope and we had imaginary cruises that were cancelled.nothing at all and what has Richard had,thousands and even hundreds of thousands of our cash. :x
So whatever he tried to defend himself with was just something to delay the cancellations.We bought miles and booked cruises.he is 100% responsible for our cruises and he needs to either have us cruise on them or give us the money back,or it's a legal matter! ,)

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Anonymous

Jan 12

,And there you have it in plain English , was this person wrong / outregous to put a thread on this site about there experience ?
Should they have taken into account all the BS spouted by this company . The people representing Richard / CM would answer this post by saying we have cancelled cruises as well .
What difference does that make to these people ? Not an ounce of responsibility taken by the CEO / Owner , they can't even put a perfectly straight question on the forum because it won't be posted so as not to rile present member's or stop new clients/ victim's which ever way you see it .
Richard and anyone representing CM need to take a step back and look at the way this is all being handled before criticising there customers .
I know lots of people moaning about miles still being sold on eBay but take a couple of minutes to read the completely over the top feedback to know its all being bought in house to give the impression that everything is fine and moving along and if you hang in there and grovel and add miles to your account you will sail .
Good luck to the OP who wrote there complaint above , unfortunately everybody here going to need a lot more than that x

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NotSailingKev

Jan 12

We could all apply for his next scam Restaurant Apprentice at The Rare Cow funded by ripped off Cruisers. Will be emailing SkyB to let them know that their on a good thing, suggest everyone do the same.
http://www.rarecow.co.uk/your-own-restaurant/
bskybpress@bskyb.com

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Another Cheated Cruisemiler

Jan 12

We have tried to obtain our funds back from the credit card companies but they are not really helpful - they keep asking for more information. Which banks are forthcoming - Chase, Citibank, etc.??? any help/advice is appreciated. This is a horrible situation that we are all in trying to recoup thousands of dollars of losses.

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ghostmonster

Jan 13

I'm sorry you're having a tough time getting results through your CC company. I guess if they're still gathering info from you, they're still considering returning your funds? I know some people have had their claims rejected outright, so I imagine that if your company is still trying to build a case that's not all bad.
I received money back from Bank of America. My family members got refunded through Chase and I am forgetting the other company...but a well-known company, anyway. There are others who post here who've also received money back. I hope you are able to make progress with your claim/dispute.

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ghostmonster

Jan 12 Denver, Colorado

If you have not already done so, please file a dispute with your bank or credit card company over these charges, letting them know that services you paid for were not provided. They will tell you how to proceed. Keep all emails, screenshots from your CM acct., statements, etc. Since the cancelled cruise is still in the future, it shouldn't matter that the charges were made a long time ago. I, along with some of my family members and some others who post here, have had success getting funds spent on cruisemiles credited back to us. Since Richard has no intention of returning money himself, this is really the only route you have for getting money back.

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Anonymous

Jan 12 London, England

Hey NCLEPIC welcome to the club ! It's disgusting and I feel sorry for you . We have all been scammed . Just thought I'd let you know as it's not always clear
It's not Essex county police USA - but Essex police uk
If you go through the posts on this site . You will find the details .

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Takenforaride

Jan 12 Southport, England

Yet another one! NCLEpic, I'm afraid your story is exactly the same as hundreds of others - we've all been taken for a ride.
The details are so familiar: purchase cruise voucher, find it's changed to cruisemiles, voucher not enough, buy more miles, book cruise, look forward to cruise (maybe even buy air fares), send emails, get no response, find it's cancelled, no communication, no apology, no refund.
So sorry it's happened to you too. You are one of many, and you won't be the last, unfortunately. Richard Lester (*** of the earth) is still trying to convince people to buy miles, and pretending that we'll all go cruising. And some *** people still believe him. Contact Essex police as soon as you can. I think only they will be able to stop his thieving scam.

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Anonymous

Jan 12

I wonder how many more out there will only find out they have been scammed when they are say 4 - 6 weeks out from their cruise?
I can imagine how NCL is feeling at the moment because we have all been there at that initial shock.
Don't bother trying to get a refund of your miles, they will be as useless as the one's you already have. You will not get your money back from them either. It's all been spent!!!!!!!
Best shot go to your bank, others on this site have had their money refunded NOT by CM but from their bank. Send an email to Essex Police in UK they are currently in the process of gathering as much information as they can, the more who report this company the better.

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the cow is cooked

Jan 14

FUNNY story about that cruise,Do you remember how RL came back to say it was a mistake with the epic 20th of april and it was not cancelled but a good cruise with a big :grin ,Then,
-it was all oceanviews and balconies were cancelled but insides are good,
-then it was all insides bought on auctions,balconies and oceanviews were cancelled,
-then it was SOME of the insides on offers were good all the rest were cancelled,
-then we see a tread and the one's with insides bought on offers except the generous giveaway by Trevor is all the one's that are sailing.
So why did he say it wasn't cancelled.It is except 1 stateroom out of about 20 I would say,and that one was given away by trevor.Now look at this and you will find that it's not only the one that is played with like that.He has done it to almost all cruises since early sept.He will cancel most and then will come and tell a name and say we forgot this member but in reality he's the only member actually sailing but it's all a joke.Smoke and mirrors,ohhhh yes. We have asked,at least a few members a few times for the list of members sailing,not the list of good sailing as we all know what that means,i just explained it with this cruise and it is never answered.Number of cancellations,never answered,why? :roll continue to report your disaster stories to the Essex police in the
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