Sandals Resorts: Stolen Money & Horrible Customer Service

A few hundred dollars was stolen from my wife while we were on our honeymoon.

  • I’ll save you the long version of the story, but basically, we know that it happened while my wife was showering at the Sandals Emerald Bay spa on the last day of our stay. We had just changed some money at the front desk, so we knew how much she had in her wallet when she went to the spa. A Red Lane spa employee (that’s the name of the spa there) walked her into the changing room, directed her to a specific locker, and gave her a key. When she came back after showering, her things were out of order: some things piled on top of each other, other items she had placed on top of her bag in the locker for easy access but couldn’t find them after opening it, etc. Like many people would, she did not think much of it because the locker was locked.

At the airport, a couple from Dallas that had also stayed on our floor asked if we had had money stolen.

  • They had just noticed they were missing $200, and their money had been locked in their room safe and then the spa locker the entire trip. Again, in the wife’s visit to the spa, a Sandals Emerald Bay employee had walked her into the changing room, shown her to a specific locker, and given her a key. In my and her husband’s experiences, we were neither escorted, nor given a specific locker or key.

We noticed the money was gone when we were in the taxi on the way home from the airport.

  • It goes without saying that my wife’s purse had not left our sight the entire trip from the spa to our place. I mean, what cautious person lets their bags leave their sight in a place where they constantly blare over the loudspeakers, “If you see any unattended bags, please report them to…”?

The next morning we called John Keating, the General Manager of Sandals Emerald Bay.

  • We had met John Keating briefly while at the resort, and in our 5 minute conversation, he seemed like a nice enough person. Plus, my wife and I met while working for a hotel, and my sister worked for several hotels over many years, so we are intimately familiar with whom to speak when your money has been stolen. He told us that another couple (likely that couple from Dallas, but we don’t know for certain) had reported the same thing and that he would look into it. Being Friday, we figured we would give Sandals Emerald Bay the weekend to look into the case of thievery. When my wife called back on Monday (having not gotten a response call or email), she found out that John Keating was on vacation.

It’s a curious feeling when someone tells you they are looking into a case of your money being stolen, but does not tell you they are going on vacation just after they get off the phone.

  • By this time, it had been four days since our money was stolen while staying at one of the Sandals Resorts. This started a series of calls and emails with Sandals Emerald Bay assistant general manager Florian Siefert, manager on duty Ms. Motherso (spelling?), and Sandals Resorts security manager Joe Cox. In all but one case where they promised to call us back, send us an email, and look into this, they did not follow through. My wife continued to have to call back.

Needless to say we felt like the Sandals Emerald Bay employees were giving us the run around.

  • During this time, nearly every call or email my wife received from the Sandals Resorts employees was unnecessarily passive aggressive. Several of the emails say things like, “I will look into what actually happened,” “We are researching the alleged incident,” etc, etc, etc. Sandals Emerald Bay employees, here’s a free tip in customer service. Next time someone says that their money was stolen while staying at one of your Sandals Resorts properties, use this type of response, “Again, let me express how sorry I am that this happened. I will look into this and get back to you personally by [set a time].” And, then follow through!

At this point, it has been over eleven days without anything, but unresponsive, passive aggressive, poor customer service from Sandals Emerald Bay.

  • Now, if you know me or read this blog, you’ll know that I’m much more satisfied to talk about positive experiences than situations where hundreds of dollars were stolen from me and the people responsible for fixing the problem are unresponsive and generally rude. But after jumping through hoops, having to submit an Incident Report, being talked down to, having to call back constantly because the Sandals Resorts staff did not follow through on their promises, and dealing with passive aggressive responses to a situation where we were the victims, I’m a bit pissed off.

Businesses cannot control the actions of their employees, but they are responsible for them.

  • Having worked for hotels, we both know that it is not difficult to get a duplicate key for a locker. There are safeguards against that, but it is not hard to get around them. In this instance, it is likely that the Red Lane spa employee that escorted both my wife and the other woman into the changing room had a spare key and stole their money. Would I love the money back? Without a doubt. Do I expect to get it back? Not really. What I would like at this point is responsive customer service from Sandals Emerald Bay, a real apology, and some sort of compensation.

Sandals Resorts, this is how you treat people, who just spent thousands of dollars to stay with you.

  • This is how our Sandals Resorts honeymoon ended. You let your employees steal our money. Then, you treat us like you have no interest nor obligation to help us when we bring it to your attention. Is that how you work? Once we leave, you’ve gotten everything from us that you wanted and you can ignore anything we say? Thanks a lot.

Needless to say, I doubt we will be going back to Sandals.

  • If this is how we can expect to be treated, how could we recommend Sandals Emerald Bay or any Sandals Resort to anyone? Go somewhere, where they treat you just as well after you leave as they do while you’re there.

Have you had a bad experience with Sandals Resorts or Sandals Emerald Bay? Tell us about it.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

View Comments to “Sandals Resorts: Stolen Money & Horrible Customer Service”

  1. Arianna O'Dell Says:

    Wow that’s so terrible! I’m sorry you guys had to go through that. I’ll think twice about ever taking one of their cruises.

    I had a similar incident with a hair salon recently, that made me feel that I was trying to scam them after I asked for a refund for a hair cut that completely wrecked my hair. I just wanted an apology or some sort of compensation, but they made me feel as if I was lying to them to rip them off, when it was the other way around.

    It sounds like Sandals is doing the same thing by saying “what actually happened” and the “alleged incident” Definitely NOT a good way to keep your customers happy. So sorry that had to happen the last day of your honeymoon! :(

    I hope you get your money back!

  2. Eric Pratum Says:

    Thank you very much. I agree that your situation was very similar. I would love to get the money back, but even more, I would appreciate a genuine apology, them changing their approach to situations like this, and some restitution. The way this has been handled has been horrendous and the way they’ve treated us has been not much better. It’s sad when a company can motivate you so much to share your negative thoughts about them.

  3. Marcus Sheridan Says:

    Sorry Pratum, quite the ‘How Not to Handle a Customer Situation’ example by Sandals. Alas, some companies just don’t get it….

    Notwithstanding, hope the rest of the time spent was more memorable and lasting :)

  4. Eric Pratum Says:

    Thanks, Marcus. Much appreciated. Yes, our stay there was enjoyable. Too bad they couldn’t treat us as well after we left as they did while we were there…well, except for that last day, but that goes without saying.

  5. Maliafla Says:

    Unless Sandals continues to get bad reviews I am still going in November, but thanks to your blog I will be bring travelers checks. I am pretty strict with money though and would had noticed immediately or at least been suspicious and checked right there if my stuff had been shuffled around! I guess I am not so trusting of people, especially in this economy I find myself watchful of everyone. Yeah you would think Sandals would be classier, but we are talking about an employee incident who are probably people on the lower end of the spectrum financially. Just because the CEO of Sandals might care about his properties, doesn’t mean the people on the low end of the totem pole do. I hate to say it, but you can’t trust strangers anymore.

Leave a Reply

blog comments powered by Disqus