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Vacationed in Curacao - went on scuba trip and items were stolen from bus while diving

6 10 February 5, 2018 at 10:47 AM
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I'm hoping someone can help provide some advice or let me know if I'm just SOL.

My family went on a vacation to Curacao and my husband and I signed up to go diving from a dive shop down the road from our hotel. The dive shop had a school bus they used for transportation. We were told when we got to the dive site "there's a small safe in the back of the bus for phones and wallets, you can leave your backpack on the seats". So we put our wallet in the safe and left our backpack in our seat. While we were out on our dive, all the backpacks on the bus were stolen - we had expensive sunglasses, clothes and an expensive car key in our backpack. I have many credit cards but I don't seem to have any coverage for theft that I can see. We did file a police report but the dive shop won't do anything about our losses. We pressured them to file a claim with their insurance which after a few days they got back to us and said their insurance doesn't cover this situation. Is there anything I can do? I met with the US consulate but they don't seem to be any help (says he's following up but I'm not hearing back).

Thank you for any help/advice.

Angie

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#2
Did you notify your credit card co? I don't understand whether your cards were in your wallets in the safe or if they were in your backpacks or if you have some sort of credit card insurance that you expect will cover the loss of your items. I've had cards hacked a few times and I have never had to pay anything but I've never had cards stolen.

The tour company should not tell you to leave items and then not be responsible. They should have at least said they were not responsible for lost or stolen items left on the bus so you would know you were leaving them at your own risk.

TripAdvisor has destination experts in the forums. Maybe you could find someone more knowledgeable in the Curaçao forum.
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#3
I was robbed in Florence while on vacation. I had about $2500 in goods stolen, filed a claim with my homeowners/ renters insurance carrier and recouped $1800. Having a police report and photos of some of the item made the process easy.
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#4
Quote from darkdealer
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I was robbed in Florence while on vacation. I had about $2500 in goods stolen, filed a claim with my homeowners/ renters insurance carrier and recouped $1800. Having a police report and photos of some of the item made the process easy.

This.

Homeowners/renters insurance usually covers personal property even if stolen outside the home- but you'll need a police report or something to prove it.

You'll also need to pay your deductible for the claim- so judge that against the cost of your lost items.


Apart from that-

Many credit cards offer purchase protection for stolen items- if you bought the item with your card and it was within the coverage period (usually 90-120 days) they will replace it- if you bought it beyond that period, or with a card lacking that benefit, you'd be out of luck.

Such claims are often limited to $500-1000... and it's SECONDARY insurance- meaning they'd expect you to file with homeowners/renters first... the good news is this could possibly cover your deductible if you actually lost enough to be worth filing a claim

Decent guide here-
https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/c...elongings/



(actual travel insurance from credit cards doesn't usually cover random theft- just stuff like the airline lost your bag)
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#5
I have checked with my home owners and they won't do anything because it happened out of the country. Unfortunately the items we had in our backpack we had purchased over a year ago so our credit cards won't reimburse us.
I will look into the trip advisor curacao forum. I think the company should be responsible but they are just saying "sorry".
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#6
Have you done a review on TripAdvisor?

How about yelp?

Bad publicity may get their attention. Explaining it was the business's bus, they said the items were safe, and now they refuse to do anything.
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#7
Leaving bad publicity may not help your cause. A few years ago, we booked a hotel chain that had really good reviews on TripAdvisor. What I didn't realize was that there were 2 hotels in town -- on opposite ends of the same street -- that were part of the same chain. The list was in order by review score and I didn't venture down to the bottom. I went to the chain website to book the hotel -- but they were in order by price -- and I grabbed the first one -- very proud of the deal I had gotten.

When we got to town, we went to the hotel in the business center of town and it was really nice. They did not have a reservation for me and were all booked up. The woman looked at my confirmation and told me that we booked at the other hotel which was a couple of miles up the road.

Needless to say, the farther we drove, the more the neighborhood deteriorated and when we arrived at the hotel, our first instinct was to run as far away as possible but we made the mistake of stopping to discuss what to do. Next thing, a man tapped on our window and said he was the manager. We said we were early and didn't know if we wanted to keep driving or keep our reservation. He said it was too early to check in but that there was plenty to do in town. My mother piped up with, "I need a handicap accessible room. Are your rooms suitable for me?"

He said he would show us a room -- but it wasn't ready yet. The room he showed us looked like a cleaning lady's worst nightmare -- it did not look like someone was there overnight -- but that someone lived there. It was obviously still occupied although there was no one there at the time. We told him that he was invading a guest's privacy and we did not want to stay there and wanted a refund of our money. He said it was early enough in the day to resell the room and agreed to a refund.

When we checked in elsewhere for the night, I fired up my computer and put a one-star review on TripAdvisor telling what a dump it was and how the manager brought us into an occupied room. I got a phone call from the hotel manager saying that they had agreed to refund my money but that review I wrote would lose business and, as I had not met the time constraint for cancellation, they were within their rights not to refund.

I do think you can ask on the TripAdvisor forum for Curacao if there is anything you can do to recover your loss. If there is, then save any review you would write until after resolution. If there is not, go for it.
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#8
That is basically my plan. I'm going to contact the general manager for scuba Lodge and ask if they will compensate us for our losses and if not, THEN post negative reviews on every site I can find.
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#9
Here's a good resource: http://www.elliott.org/
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I emailed the GM of the hotel that runs the dive shop and we finally came to an agreement where she will reimburse me 50% of my losses ($600). I am waiting to see the credit on my CC bill. If I see it, I won't post a bad review but if it never comes, facebook and tripadvisor it is!
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That sounds pretty fair considering that the items were bought over a year ago. Good luck.
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#12
Do you have DAN insurance for diving? Some of their policies may provide coverage.
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#13
Quote from rainyangel175
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I emailed the GM of the hotel that runs the dive shop and we finally came to an agreement where she will reimburse me 50% of my losses ($600). I am waiting to see the credit on my CC bill. If I see it, I won't post a bad review but if it never comes, facebook and tripadvisor it is!

Good for you!

I'm glad someone finally took some responsibility. Applause

Happy travels.
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