‘Twas a lovely Monday morning on the 22nd of December 2014.
We had woken up early and all [meaning mostly me since my children are too young to pack more than toys and unsuitable vacation clothing 🙂 ] packed our bags with excitement and anticipation. I mentally – and literally – went through my checklist to be sure I hadn’t left anything “swim suits…..check, lotion……check, children’s tablets and chargers…..double check, oh forgot beach buckets for building sandcastles….yikes…..hurry and grab those before I get voluminous crying for the entire trip; phew!”
And so it went on till we were finally done and got in the car to drive for 20 minutes to the jetty where we were meeting up with a friend of mine and her son and all taking a 15 minute boat ride to INAGBE GRAND RESORTS AND LEISURE in Lagos, Nigeria – http://inagbegrandresorts.com/new/……….at least that was the plan.
Sounds exotic doesn’t it? The website pictures show lovely pools, endless beach sand, shining sun…..paradise. The descriptions list all the wonderful facilities and make you salivate just dreaming about it. How did I hear about them? A friend of mine took pictures and put one up as her display picture. She told me how much fun she had and I just had to go, so I convinced my husband and called up the Resort to make the arrangements; I wish I hadn’t.
The first clue should have been when I called up the contact my friend had given me, 10 days before (Friday the 12th). the lady didn’t answer my first few tries nor did she call back. I was surprised especially since being a new resort, they should be eager to have customers visit and spread the word; they should have shown this eagerness by being glued to the phone, 24/7. Never mind! Maybe there was a problem with the phone. I called again the next day and she answered, yay! I explained I wanted to spend a few days and nights there with my family and wanted to know their rates and how to go about making arrangements. She promised to send me a brochure via email which would cover any questions I might have; 2 days later, nothing. I called again and she apologized and said she had sent it a few minutes before I called but would send it again. I finally got the email, reviewed it and we decided to go. I called her back to ask a few questions (not covered in the brochure) and when she answered her phone the background noise was so horrendous I couldn’t hear a thing. We got disconnected, I called back and she didn’t answer or call me back.
Persistent me, I tried the second (and only other) contact person advertised by the resort and spoke with a more pleasant lady who answered all my questions and followed through with my booking. I booked for a 2-bed bungalow for my family and a Standard Room on behalf of my friend and her son, with the inclusion of a chartered boat ride there and back, meals and taxes; a steep bill but we really wanted to see the place and have some where dreamy to spend the holiday as a family, not just the kids and me. Their policy was full payment before arrival so we complied and our booking was confirmed 3 days in advance.
So back to Monday the 22nd of December 2014: we left for the jetty and on our way there, got a call from this lovely lady saying she was soooo sorry and distraught but her MD had just informed her they were overbooked because a company had taken up all the rooms, bungalows and villas available. STUN, STUN, STUN ME AGAIN! I could not believe what I was hearing….but then again, I should have. She then offered me the option of coming in at a future date and I couldn’t help asking “are you kidding me right now”? I ranted and raved over the phone but nothing more than resounding sorries kept coming through the phone. I eventually sighed and just told her to refund the payment we had made, called up my friend (who was already waiting at the jetty) so she could break the news to her excited son and turned to my husband to brainstorm on alternatives for our already hyped-up children who were determined to build sand castles that day. Our journey for an alternative vacation spot took us on a loooonnngg 2 hour drive to a number of places, including La Campaigne Tropicana where they displayed such a lack of seriousness and interest in receiving paying guests (despite my calling ahead) that we turned back within 30 minutes of getting there but that’s a story for another day.
Now this is day three since we were disappointed by Inagbe Grand Resorts and no refund in sight. I have called at least two dozen times since Monday morning and keep getting told it’ll be credited within 1 hour. 48 hours later and no sign of a dime (or kobo in Nigerias case). Now the ‘lovely’ lady isn’t picking my calls. This is shaping up to be a drawn out battle after ruining my well-laid plans. I now recall the ruckus I overheard when calling the first lady up…..it was a guy shouting in the background. Must have been some poor sap they duped just like me. 😦
My advice to everyone…….STAY AWAY FROM INAGBE GRAND RESORTS AND LEISURE….unless you’re some big corporation booking the entire resort then I’m fairly certain you’ll get attended to.