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'A lot of sleepless nights': Ontario man says dream trip to 2022 World Cup in Qatar ruined by $7,600 in extra charges

An Ontario man who went on a dream trip to see Team Canada play in the World Cup in Qatar last November said it was an expensive experience. But, it became even more pricey when he was “double billed” for his accommodations and he's been fighting the charge ever since.

"I definitely wanted to indulge in the experience of going to the World Cup and I was excited, but this double billing issue has been extremely frustrating,” said Bryan Palma of Toronto.

Palma said hotel accommodations in Qatar were extremely pricey and one of the most inexpensive places he could find to stay was on a docked cruise ship near the soccer venue.

Palma said he booked a room on the cruise ship through Qatar Accommodations, but instead of charging him once, his credit card was charged four times.

"It was then, when they said, ‘Yeah it's been charged four times and refunded twice, but you still have a double charge on it,’" said Palma.

Palma said he agreed to pay $7,598 for one week on the docked cruise ship, but he was improperly charged an additional $7,598 for a total charge of $15,196.

While he had a great time at the World Cup cheering for Canada, he became increasingly frustrated after dozens of emails and phone calls to get the extra charge removed were unsuccessful.

"We're not talking about a couple of hundred dollars here, we’re talking close to 76 hundred dollars." said Palma, who added he refuses to pay double due to the computer glitch.

Bryan Palma is seen in this image. (Supplied)

CTV News Toronto reached out to Qatar Accommodations, but it appears that Palma’s situation is caught between the cruise ship, the booking site and his credit card company.

Adding to the problem was that the booking was considered non-refundable, even though he was accidentally charged twice.

Palma used a CIBC credit card and CTV News Toronto reached out to CIBC on his behalf.

A spokesperson for CIBC said: “Recognizing this is an unfortunate situation, we worked with our client to resolve this matter given the unique and extenuating circumstances involved and after the dispute could not be settled with the merchant.”

So after almost one year of trying to his money back, Palma finally was refunded his $7,598 which was great news for him.

“This is wonderful to finally get this money back. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” he said.

When booking a hotel room online you have to be careful you don't use expensive third-party websites or accidentally pay in U.S. rather than Canadian dollars.

If there is a “computer glitch" that causes you to be double charged for your hotel stay you should dispute it right away.

If you can, speak with the hotel manager while you're there. If you can't get it resolved, contact your credit card company to seek a refund. Top Stories

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