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.
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.
Monetary Loss: $930.