RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA - Tropical Storm Arthur is moving toward North Carolina during one of the busiest weeks of the summer, travel season, and many consumers are wondering what that will mean for their vacation plans.
“Know your rights as a consumer in case this storm disrupts your vacation,” Cooper said. “Be sure to check with your hotel or rental agency so you know what to expect if you need to evacuate or can’t get to your destination.”
Under the North Carolina Vacation Rental Act, consumers who rent a vacation property for fewer than 90 days are protected.
Your landlord may have offered you insurance on your vacation rental, which covers the cost of any nights you miss due to mandatory evacuation. If you’re ordered to evacuate and were not given the chance to purchase insurance, the landlord is required to refund your money for each night you can’t stay at the rental property due to the mandatory evacuation. But if you were offered rental insurance and you didn’t take it, then the owner isn’t obligated to refund your money in case of mandatory evacuation.
If you are unable to reach your vacation rental property because of closed roads or other transportation problems, contact the rental agency or landlord.
Many consumers have booked hotel rooms along the North Carolina coast for the Fourth of July weekend. Cooper suggests that you contact the hotel right away, if you’re concerned that you may not be able to keep your reservation due to severe weather.
Some hotels require a deposit or other upfront payment that you may lose if you cancel or change your reservation. Whether or not you may be eligible for a refund will likely depend on the hotel’s cancellation policy and your specific circumstances.
To file a complaint about a North Carolina hotel or motel, you can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within the state or file a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.
For more tips on how to protect yourself from storm related scams, please visit www.ncdoj.gov.