Staycation at Aloha Loyang chalet nearly ruined by fee dispute

Aloha Loyang said it charged wrong rate, wanted some families to top up payment

Several families almost had their National Day weekend staycations at Aloha Loyang resort marred by a dispute over rental rates on Thursday.

Two families said they booked their stays online months ahead, but were told as late as two days before check-in that the original rental rate shown was wrong and they had to pay a top-up fee that would almost double the price.

At about 3.45pm on Thursday, the first of four families affected arrived at the resort and were told to pay the top-up fee. They declined, as did three other families.

The Straits Times (ST) understands that the police were called, but the dispute was resolved by around 5.30pm before the officers arrived, after the families were allowed to check in without paying extra. The families did not want to pursue the matter further.

Front-desk staff at the resort declined to comment when ST visited on Thursday evening. Calls and e-mails to the resort management seeking comment also went unanswered as of press time.

PAID IN FULL

I just felt that it is a matter of fairness. The resort should not penalise us because we had already made the payment in full.

A PUBLIC SERVANT, who declined to be named and was one of the affected parties.

But representatives of two of the affected families told ST that they felt it was not right for the resort to ask them to pay more.

In one case, a chalet unit was booked and paid for in full three months ago, but the resort sent an e-mail last month to say the online rate charged was wrong and the result of a system error.

"After that, I received a phone call from the resort asking me to top up the difference," said the public servant, who declined to be named. She showed ST a receipt of $551.05 for her three-night stay from Thursday to Sunday and said the resort requested an additional $515 before it would allow her to check in. "I said that I was not going to pay the top-up because this is not right. Besides, I have already received a receipt and a confirmation letter," she added.

Another affected family said they did not receive a phone call from the resort at all.

"For me, there wasn't even a phone call. In the last e-mail I received from them two days ago, I was so shocked to see that it started with 'as per our recent conversation' and told me to pay up the difference using Nets or Visa," said a member of the family, who is a public servant. She also declined to be named.

She said public servants get priority bookings and reduced rates at the Aloha Loyang resort.

"In the earlier e-mails I received from Aloha, they said that they considered the matter closed and would still give us the keys to check in without topping up," she said. "I just felt that it is a matter of fairness. The resort should not penalise us because we had already made the payment in full."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2015, with the headline 'Chalet stay nearly ruined by fee dispute'. Print Edition | Subscribe