BBB advice on handling your hotel reservation amid red tide concerns

Author: Better Business Bureau
Published: Updated:
Naples Beaches

Naturally occurring algae known as “red tide” has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast nearly every year since the 1840s, but this year it is bad enough that the governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency in several counties. Red tide continues to cause concerns for people who have plans to vacation in Florida and are undecided if they should cancel their reservations.

BBB has received an increase in complaints filed against businesses offering vacation rentals and services in relation to the presence of red tide.  Complaints filed by consumers allege issues with receiving refunds following cancellation and businesses not disclosing potential red tide issues.

As a consumer, it’s important to know your rights.  This begins 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 business is key should you experience an issue with cancelling.  Talk with the management for the business in efforts to resolve your issues.  Most businesses want to keep you as a customer and will work with you to find a reasonable solution.

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