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Tampa family 'detained' at Cancun hotel over billing error

Family detained at Cancun hotel
Posted at 5:16 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 18:21:35-04

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa family was detained at a hotel in Mexico after a billing mixup and were forced to pay to leave, they said.

Dan and Diana Zweifel say that had a great spring break vacation at the Hard Rock Cancun with their kids and another family.

“It was a lot of fun. We had a good time. We did stay on the resort which is what we wanted,” said Diana.

Both families ordered an excursion package for about $1,200 but decided to cancel it before they ever got to Mexico.

They were told it was taken care of, but when they tried to check out, those charges were back. And the Zweifels say the person who identified himself as the manager said they could not leave until they paid the bill.

“It was right about then that it started to get pretty nasty," said Dan.

Diana speaks Spanish and says it was made clear they weren’t allowed to leave.

“I want to say ‘secure the exits’ was the literal translation. Sure enough, as soon as I saw that I turn around and I see every single exit covered by an unarmed security guard. But nonetheless someone was there,” said Diana.

Their bags were removed from the airport shuttle and they say the manager threatened to call the police.

“I was like 'Wow, we are being detained. We are being held in this hotel.' It sounded like they were forcibly going to stop us,” said Dan.

The rattled families decided to give in, pay up and deal with it later. They were eventually refunded when they returned home. But they still want answers as to why this happened in the first place.

“You don’t ever want to ever feel you're going to be held somewhere. I would like to know that was wrong by someone and they acknowledge that was wrong,” said Dan.

But after we reached out to the Hard Rock this week, they did finally respond. A spokesperson said they are concerned with what happened and are reviewing the incident at the corporate level to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

Dan got a call too and said a rep from the Hard Rock Cancun apologized and said the people involved are being held accountable.

Hard Rock Cancun is a Hard Rock franchise owned by RCD Hotels.