Man Waits Months for Refund After Canceling Family Vacation to Attend Brother's Funeral

Stephen Lee of Buffalo Grove experienced the loss of his brother last June and found himself scrambling to cancel a family vacation. But instead of receiving a trip refund soon after the request went through, Lee said he waited months with no word on whether his money would be issued back to his credit card.

Lee’s brother, Mark, had battled melanoma for months. Still, the family remained optimistic due to reports that Mark’s treatments were working.

“The last report we got prior to his death was he should last at least a couple weeks, so he did die much faster than they thought he would,” Lee said.

Weeks earlier, Lee used Groupon to book his family a stay at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The reservation was scheduled for June 6 through June 9.

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Mark passed away on June 3, shortly before Lee was set to hit the road to Wisconsin Dells. Lee said he contacted the resort to cancel his reservation in order to attend his brother’s funeral.

“They had said that I would have to contact Groupon,” Lee recalled.

The fine print of the Groupon deal requires customers to provide a four day cancellation notice. Lee said he missed that window by a matter of hours. Still, Lee said Groupon eventually agreed to a refund.

“A month came by and no credit showed up on the credit card bill, “Lee said. “Another month came by. So I basically never heard from Groupon again on it.”

Lee contacted NBC 5 Responds last December. After NBC 5 Responds contacted Groupon to inquire about the refund delay, a Groupon spokesperson wrote back to say it had issued Lee a full refund.

Lee said Groupon credited him $545 and provided an additional $50 bonus to use with Groupon.

A resort spokesperson told NBC 5 Responds that due to the extenuating circumstance for the cancellation, the company granted Groupon’s request to refund the reservation on June 4 and again on June 10.

“We cannot speak to the cause of the refund delay on Groupon’s end,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to NBC 5 Responds.

Seven months after Mark’s passing, Lee said he’s looking forward to scheduling a new family trip to Kalahari.

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