What would you do?

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anneed
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What would you do?

Post by anneed »

There is no right or wrong answer to my predicament but I would like to know your views. Last October I booked a cruise with Hays Travel to Spain and France on Fred Olsen's Braemar departing this September.
Then Covid19 happened.
My balance was due to be paid by May 15 so I was delighted to receive a letter from Fred saying they had put the pay date back and I wouldn't need to pay until 28 days before departure (mid-August). As they are cancelling cruises 30 days before departure I thought I could wait and not have to pay any more.
But Hays won't honour this. Even though the Fred letter said the 28-day rule applies even if booked through a travel agent. Hays are insisting I pay the balance by July 15 because they need time to clear the funds and get the money to the cruise line. I contacted Fred who said there was nothing they could do.
I have also discovered the Hays insurance I took out does not cover pandemics.
I keep changing my mind about whether to pay or not. At the moment I am inclined not to. I don't want to rebook or accept a credit note, neither do I want to join the many thousands waiting months for a refund. I am also worried that the cruise might actually happen (unlikely) and I won't be covered for Covid.
But £650 is a lot of money to lose.

One thing is for sure. If I ever book another cruise it will be directly with the cruise operator.

What do you think of all this?

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david63
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Re: What would you do?

Post by david63 »

Personally I would not be paying the balance as I doubt that any cruises will be sailing in September and if they are I am not sure that I would want to be on one.

If it means that you lose your deposit then, unfortunately, it will be a small price to pay.

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Manoverboard
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Re: What would you do?

Post by Manoverboard »

I sense that you are worried and feeling the stress ... remove the cause and say goodbye to the deposit.

Seemples :wave:
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barney
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Re: What would you do?

Post by barney »

I’d copy and paste the extract from Fred saying that the clause also includes bookings via TAs.
I’d also include in the email that Hays have a very good reputation with the public and it would be such a shame that they are blotting their copy book by taking this attitude.
Your travel journalist son is keeping a very close eye on the situation 😉.
Appeal to their better nature with their reputation at stake.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by towny44 »

I agree with the others Anne, I certainly would not pay the balance and I would also be looking at ways to try and shame Hays into accepting this fact. Their comment about needing time to clear the funds in today's credit card and instantaneous bank transfers is pure bu*****t.
One other option is to check with Fred whether you can switch your booking back to them and ditch Hays. I know P&O allow you to transfer a direct booking to a TA, and although I have never heard about the reverse, it might be worthwhile considering.
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anneed
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Re: What would you do?

Post by anneed »

Thanks all, your advice is very helpful and confirms my own thoughts.
By the way, I have tried to change Hays's mind and quoted the part of Fred's letter that refers to travel agent bookings. But they won't budge. And Moby is right about me feeling worried and stressed!

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Re: What would you do?

Post by towny44 »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 09:28
Thanks all, your advice is very helpful and confirms my own thoughts.
By the way, I have tried to change Hays's mind and quoted the part of Fred's letter that refers to travel agent bookings. But they won't budge. And Moby is right about me feeling worried and stressed!
I truly am surprised at Hays attitude, especially following all the good publicity they received after buying up the Thomas Cook shops.
One further option to consider is to write to one of the national daily's help pages giving them the full story and see if they are prepared to take it up on your behalf.
John

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Meg 50
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Re: What would you do?

Post by Meg 50 »

if you pay by credit card - will they get the refund any quicker?
Meg
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Re: What would you do?

Post by david63 »

One thing that would be of concern is their insistence on having the money so far in advance is that they may (more likely probably) be having cash flow problems, especially with the take over of Thomas Cook.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

Hello anneed…£ 650 is an awful lot of money just to kiss goodbye…in the first instance I would follow Barney’s advice and appeal to their sence of fair play…..I do however wonder if this could be another of those situations where a company is about to go under but keep hold of your money in order that the owners can have a nice holiday at your expense?.

Good luck with whatever you decide :wave:

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Gill W
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Re: What would you do?

Post by Gill W »

I wouldn’t pay it.

We can be fairly certain that the cruise won’t sail. Therefore I’d be thinking what is less stressful, losing £650 or paying thousands for a cruise that I know won’t sail and then waiting weeks from the cancellation date to get the money back. On balance I would find the former less stressful.

I have been through the refund process with Fred Olsen. Fred Olsen cancelled my cruise in mid March, and I got most of my refund by 7th May. They were quite good and I did have phone contact with them, so I thought SOMETHING was going on, but it was still stressful waiting to get £6500 back. However, I am not completely happy with them, as they were going to refund my £100 deposit (paid onboard) by BACS to my bank account. The timescales got this have been continually extended. The last date of payment was 18th June. The money wasn’t received so I emailed (you can’t phone customer services at the moment), but they have become non responsive to emails.

If Fred are keeping to the same schedule, your refund time would be about Oct - Nov. I’d be wondering about their financial state by that time if cruising had not restarted, and their ability to pay. That’s if the money gets to them, as Hays probably want to use your money to shore themselves up for a month or two, and we can’t be certain that Hays won’t go under while they are holding your money.

In short, I’d be cutting my potential loses, and not paying out more good money.

I’ve currently got £2500 tied up with Carnival, and about and £700 tied up with various other booked in advanced trips. I’ve mentally said goodbye to all that money, and if I get any back, it’ll be a bonus.

I’ve also learnt not to book too far in advance in future!
Gill

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Stephen »

I would be thinking how all this stacks up legally. It certainly doesn't do their reputation any good.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by david63 »

Stephen wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 09:52
I would be thinking how all this stacks up legally. It certainly doesn't do their reputation any good.
Legally I doubt it is a problem as it will be in their T&Cs as to when the balance is due.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

Stephen wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 09:52
I would be thinking how all this stacks up legally. It certainly doesn't do their reputation any good.
!'d be thinking how i could nick a couple of their computers if they won't pay my money back :thumbup:

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Re: What would you do?

Post by david63 »

Another option - write to John Hays


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Re: What would you do?

Post by Whynd1 »

I'm having a struggle with P and O to have my refunds for shore excursions and a wine package approx £200.
Also waiting for a refund on a deposit for an October cruise which has been cancelled.
Personally I agree with the other posts, i wouldn't pay as theres seems little likelihood that your cruise will go ahead.

A friend paid the full balance for a riveria river cruise which was cancelled and is having a lot of problems getting their money refunded, the goalposts and payment methods keep changing.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Manoverboard »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 09:28
Thanks all, your advice is very helpful and confirms my own thoughts.
By the way, I have tried to change Hays's mind and quoted the part of Fred's letter that refers to travel agent bookings. But they won't budge. And Moby is right about me feeling worried and stressed!
Another thought from me, if I may, is to suggest to you that your mental health is far more important than your Bank Balance as the latter would normally recover quicker than the former.
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Re: What would you do?

Post by anneed »

Quite right, Moby. Cancellation email sent to Hays.
Loss of deposit - painful.
Relief - priceless!

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Stephen
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Re: What would you do?

Post by Stephen »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 11:42
Quite right, Moby. Cancellation email sent to Hays.
Loss of deposit - painful.
Relief - priceless!

:thumbup:

Now go and pour yourself a nice glass of something and think of something nice.


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Re: What would you do?

Post by anniec »

This is very disappointing - Hays had been getting so many good reviews for their handling of pandemic cancellations and refunds and I planned to book future travel with them for that reason. What a shame you've had to cancel and lose the deposit, Anne, but the relief is worth it.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Manoverboard »

Stephen wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 11:48
anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 11:42
Quite right, Moby. Cancellation email sent to Hays.
Loss of deposit - painful.
Relief - priceless!

:thumbup:

Now go and pour yourself a nice glass of something and think of something nice.
I'll share a glass of that :clap:
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 11:42
Quite right, Moby. Cancellation email sent to Hays.
Loss of deposit - painful.
Relief - priceless!
if you need a hand with computer removals...I'm your man :thumbup: :lol:

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Re: What would you do?

Post by david63 »

And this all goes to re-enforce my view that travel/cruise agents are to be avoided at all costs. I know that some will disagree with that but based on the bad experiences I have had I would not touch them with a 10 foot barge pole

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Re: What would you do?

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david63 wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 12:40
And this all goes to re-enforce my view that travel/cruise agents are to be avoided at all costs. I know that some will disagree with that but based on the bad experiences I have had I would not touch them with a 10 foot barge pole
Bath Travel and subsequently Hays both had excellent reputations so I would suggest some rather than all should be avoided. We had excellent service from them over many years and although we did have a couple of problems one was down to P&O and t’other was down to Celebrity. In the present climate however we would only consider a direct booking.
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Meg 50
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Re: What would you do?

Post by Meg 50 »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 11:42
Quite right, Moby. Cancellation email sent to Hays.
Loss of deposit - painful.
Relief - priceless!
I hope the cancellation email set out in detail your dissatisfaction, and was copied to those on high
Meg
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Re: What would you do?

Post by towny44 »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 11:42
Quite right, Moby. Cancellation email sent to Hays.
Loss of deposit - painful.
Relief - priceless!
If Fred follow the same terms that P&O offer, then you should find that if Fred do eventually cancel the cruise, your "lost' deposit will become a FCC.
Last edited by towny44 on 27 Jun 2020, 13:08, edited 1 time in total.
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anneed
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Re: What would you do?

Post by anneed »

Well, Hays have persuaded me to hold fire! Apparently Fred Olsen have now 'paused' all their cruises up to August 27 so there is a chance they may extend this to cover the period of my trip before my balance is due. I queried whether the deposit would be repaid in cash or as a credit note and Hays say I can have cash. I made it clear I would not be paying the balance come what may and have been assured they will cancel if Fred don't extend in time.
Guess I might as well put up with it for a bit longer.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Gill W »

anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 15:47
Well, Hays have persuaded me to hold fire! Apparently Fred Olsen have now 'paused' all their cruises up to August 27 so there is a chance they may extend this to cover the period of my trip before my balance is due. I queried whether the deposit would be repaid in cash or as a credit note and Hays say I can have cash. I made it clear I would not be paying the balance come what may and have been assured they will cancel if Fred don't extend in time.
Guess I might as well put up with it for a bit longer.
That's good news. You haven't lost anything yet, and if you hang on and they eventually cancel your cruise you can get a refund of your deposit.

Fred Olsen did offer enhanced FCC for the cruises they cancelled, similar to P&O, but I opted for a cash refund, as I was fully booked for cruises up until Jan 22, have no real desire to book anymore cruises in the current environment.
Gill


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Re: What would you do?

Post by Whynd1 »

Mr and Mrs Hays being interviewed on the beeb this morning about the surge in package holiday bookings.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

Call me Mr Cynic but I think all this "surge in package holidays " is fake news!.....its just promotional talk to make prospective customers feel that everything is now back to normal.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Manoverboard »

Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 08:52
Call me Mr Cynic but I think all this "surge in package holidays " is fake news!.....its just promotional talk to make prospective customers feel that everything is now back to normal.
Misery Guts more like :roll:
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Re: What would you do?

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anneed wrote:
27 Jun 2020, 15:47
Well, Hays have persuaded me to hold fire! Apparently Fred Olsen have now 'paused' all their cruises up to August 27 so there is a chance they may extend this to cover the period of my trip before my balance is due. I queried whether the deposit would be repaid in cash or as a credit note and Hays say I can have cash. I made it clear I would not be paying the balance come what may and have been assured they will cancel if Fred don't extend in time.
Guess I might as well put up with it for a bit longer.
Good decision, anneed. The important thing was not to part with any more cash for a cruise you wouldn't want to go on anyway and which Olsen will very likely cancel in due course. Disappointing that Hays tried to bully you into paying the balance earlier than you needed to, though - the excuse of needing time to transfer money to the operator is just nonsense. At worst now there may still be an outside chance that you will lose your deposit but even that is unlikely and, as you have said, stress levels are much lower now that you have made your decision.

For what it is worth, we are in a similar position, waiting for a promised refund of deposit from P&O as well as a refund of a "cancellation fee" after cancelling an earlier cruise just a couple of days before they did. Mentally, we had more or less written off both of these payments so anything we eventually get back, we shall view as a bonus. The overridingly important thing is, we will not be stuck on a cruise ship in the middle of a pandemic.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

Manoverboard wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:03
Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 08:52
Call me Mr Cynic but I think all this "surge in package holidays " is fake news!.....its just promotional talk to make prospective customers feel that everything is now back to normal.
Misery Guts more like :roll:
I would have hoped you'd have your own personal opinion of me and not be taken along with what everybody else thinks of me ;) :)

:wave:
Last edited by Onelife on 28 Jun 2020, 09:33, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Stephen »

Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:32
Manoverboard wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:03
Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 08:52
Call me Mr Cynic but I think all this "surge in package holidays " is fake news!.....its just promotional talk to make prospective customers feel that everything is now back to normal.
Misery Guts more like :roll:
I would have hoped you'd have your own personal opinion of me and not be taken along with what everybody else thinks of me ;) :)

:wave:

You mean a dip stick :D

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Re: What would you do?

Post by towny44 »

Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:32
Manoverboard wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:03
Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 08:52
Call me Mr Cynic but I think all this "surge in package holidays " is fake news!.....its just promotional talk to make prospective customers feel that everything is now back to normal.
Misery Guts more like :roll:
I would have hoped you'd have your own personal opinion of me and not be taken along with what everybody else thinks of me ;) :)

:wave:
I think you're just a contrarian Keefy, you'll be waltzing round with another opinion in a minute or two. :?
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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

My soul goal on this forum is to keep it boyant. ... making personal sacrifices is something to be admired :thumbup: :)

:wave:

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Onelife »

Stephen wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:34
Onelife wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:32
Manoverboard wrote:
28 Jun 2020, 09:03

Misery Guts more like :roll:
I would have hoped you'd have your own personal opinion of me and not be taken along with what everybody else thinks of me ;) :)

:wave:

You mean a dip stick :D
You've spent too much time under your bonnet......now go and wash your mouth out :D

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Re:Good news!

Post by anneed »

Hurrah, my cruise has been cancelled by Fred Olsen. I've submitted a claim form to get my deposit back and they say it should take no more than eight weeks. What a relief and I must credit Hays for advising me to hold on and not cancel. I hope to sail again some day but for now it's staycations for me!

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Re: What would you do?

Post by Stephen »

:clap: :thumbup:

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Re: Re:Good news!

Post by Manoverboard »

anneed wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 12:19
Hurrah, my cruise has been cancelled by Fred Olsen. I've submitted a claim form to get my deposit back and they say it should take no more than eight weeks. What a relief and I must credit Hays for advising me to hold on and not cancel. I hope to sail again some day but for now it's staycations for me!
Half each for you and me I reckon :lol:
Moby or Mob is far easier to type ...

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Re: Re:Good news!

Post by Gill W »

anneed wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 12:19
Hurrah, my cruise has been cancelled by Fred Olsen. I've submitted a claim form to get my deposit back and they say it should take no more than eight weeks. What a relief and I must credit Hays for advising me to hold on and not cancel. I hope to sail again some day but for now it's staycations for me!
It's a sign of the times when a cancelled cruise results in joy ! :lol:

Fred Olsen were pretty good with my refund, it took about 7 weeks. Although I'm still waiting for my last £100 which was the deposit paid onboard. They are supposed to be paying it straight into my back account. On Tuesday, they told me it would be paid by 'the end of the week'. We shall see !
Gill

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