First of all, thanks to all who replied. I've definitely learned my lesson about using third party sites to make hotel reservations. Well, I'll still use hotels.com as they've only ever given me the best of service, but stay far, far away from hotel-assist.com and ITS MAGELLAN HOTEL.
I sent the e-mail of my last entry on the 19th, the next day I received a reply from them saying that they didn't know what had happened, but that they'd look into it, and get back to me within 3-4 business days.
Fast forward to today. I've still heard nothing wrong them, but as I've been checking my account daily to see if the refund had gone through, I today noticed that there had been made a deposit from them. Excellent, I thought... only.... the amount didn't look quite right.
No, indeed. They'd issued a partial refund - shortening me $25. I went to the website to check their cancellation policy to see if there was any mentioning of this, but no:
"Cancellation Policy: WE MUST RECEIVE CANCELLATION BY 6 PM 4 DAYS BEFORE ARRIVAL. AFTER THAT DATE YOU WILL INCUR A FEE OF THE FULL STAY." (Capitals theirs).
I promptly sat down and fired off this reply:
To whom it may concern,
I can see that a partial refund was issued on November 25th. Thank you.
However, I am very puzzled as to why it is only a *partial* refund.
25-11-2008 Visa refund USD 245,78 ITS MAGELLAN HOTEL P
10-11-2008 Visa purchase USD 270,78 ITS MAGELLAN HOTEL P
What happened to the $25 not refunded? The cancellation policy on hotel-assist.com indicates that I should recieve a full refund, as I cancelled the booking well within before the required "4 days before arrival".
I expect a prompt reply and the remaining $25 refunded to my account.
(I'm e-mailing instead of calling as I live in Denmark, making it both more difficult because of the time-difference, and more expensive to call).
Okay, I figured out where the $25 disappeared off to, but that doesn't make me any less inclined to call it bad_service.
On the website the cancellation policy is as stated above. Ditto on the confirmation e-mail I received. However, on the PDF I was sent later on (remember? the one I had to print out, sign and fax back in order to complete the reservation - despite my card already having been charged?) the cancellation policy has been changed to:
"Cancellation Policy: WE MUST RECEIVE CANCELLATION BY 6 PM 4 DAYS BEFORE ARRIVAL FOR FULL REFUND LESS $25 ADMINISTRATION FEE."
Right, so after I've agreed to one cancellation policy and after I've been charged and can't do anything about it, I'm told that there's a different cancellation policy, and if I don't like it I'm out $25?
I don't regret sending the e-mail, because I based my information on the website which ought to have been sufficient, but am no longer expecting any response. Lesson learned (and a $25 lesson at that!) - don't use hotel-assist.com and AVOID Its Magellan Hotels at all costs.