Travel

NBC10 Boston Responds Helps Couple Get $30,000 Refund for Canceled Safari

NBC Universal, Inc.

A full year after the COVID-19 shut-downs began, a lot of people are still trying to get refunds for vacations they couldn't take.

Jim and Joyce Silberberger were afraid they would never see the tens of thousands of dollars they had paid for a trip of a lifetime.

The couple planned a special trip to Africa for May 2020 in advance of their 50th wedding anniversary this month.

"We were looking for a trip that would, to celebrate that, to celebrate the 50 years. So we were looking forward to it a lot," said Joyce Silberberger.

They were excited to see Victoria Falls and the animals, and to go on a safari.

And they paid a lot of money for the adventure — more than $30,000.

At the start of the pandemic, the trip was postponed to May of 2021, but the Silberbergers became apprehensive about future travel and they canceled a year in advance, so they could get a full refund.

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"We were told within six to eight weeks there would be a management review of our cancelation and we would get our cash refund," said Jim Silberberger.

But the months wore on, and almost a year later, they still didn't have their money.

"When I emailed and called, either I'd be put on hold and told that they would have to check with someone, and then they would come back on and say, 'That person's not available, they'll call you.' No one ever called," said Joyce Silberberger.

The Silberbergers say they feared they might have to kiss the money goodbye.

"Yeah, well, just write it off, but then we contacted you," said Jim Silberberger.

NBC10 Boston Responds reached out to the Boston-based Vantage Deluxe World Travel and heard back immediately. The company said the Silberbergers were due a refund, and within a week, they had it.

"I got this email from Vantage saying, 'The money has been electronically transferred to your account, please check it and make sure it's there,'" said Jim Silberberger. "Sure enough, $30,800 and some dollars was deposited in our checking account. They did apologize."

Vantage Deluxe Travel refunded the Silberbergers $30,872. The company did not respond to our requests for comment on the delay.

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