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Should I take Vouchers or a Refund


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Firstly, apologies for a long read, you can of course choose to skip this post.

 

Secondly, I wasn't sure what the appropriate forum is for this post, Mods can you please move it if it is in the wrong place.

 

The following was copied from an AOL news post, and I thought it might be of interest to anyone who had made a booking and was unsure if they should accept vouchers or a refund.      The topic specifically mentions holiday firms and air travel bookings but I think it would have relevance in general.

 

Travel firm says offering vouchers instead of refunds is ‘bad idea for everyone’

PA

Apr 23rd 2020 2:00AM

The boss of a major online travel agency has condemned rival firms and airlines for offering vouchers instead of cash refunds for cancelled holidays.

Simon Cooper, founder and chief executive of On The Beach, said the issuing of vouchers is "a travesty" as consumers face being ripped off when they re-book once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

A number of travel companies and airlines are offering vouchers which can be exchanged for an alternative booking at a later date.

In an interview with the PA news agency, Mr Cooper described this as "a bad idea for everyone concerned".

 

Tour operators issuing vouchers will be in "no better cash position" in the coming months, he explained.

"The temptation then surely has to be that as an operator, you're simply going to manipulate the price of your holidays.

"The only way that you can avoid bankruptcy is to massively increase the prices you charge to recoup the losses.

"The audience you're dealing with is a captive audience. They can't go anywhere else."

UK consumers are meant to be protected by laws stating that cancellations should lead to refunds within seven days for flights and 14 days for package holidays.

Mr Cooper said On The Beach is only offering cash refunds rather than vouchers, but it has been unable to return much of the money which went towards flights as many airlines are not handing it back promptly.

Airlines owe the company tens of millions of pounds for flights cancelled in the past few weeks, which it would then pass on to customers, he said.

He described the behaviour of carriers as "an absolute joke" and stated "the laws are not currently being applied".

Mr Cooper has been lobbying organisations such as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) – which regulates UK airlines – to enforce refund rules.

"It doesn't surprise me that they didn't do much in the first week or two, but we're five weeks in now," he said.

"On a three-times-per-week basis, I phone or I email the top regulators and say, 'I cannot understand how you can sit on your hands any longer'."

 

He added: "In an environment where it's a choice between protecting the end consumer or protecting an insolvent travel operator, I know which one I'd be choosing."

The CAA said in a statement it "understands the acute impact that coronavirus is having on the industry, as well as those with upcoming travel plans".

Its website advises passengers they "are entitled to a refund" if their flight is cancelled, adding that they "may wish to open a complaint with the airline" if it is refusing to pay out.

Travel trade association Abta has warned that many travel firms will not be able to survive unless the Government amends refund rules.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential international travel since March 17, while domestic holidays are not allowed due to the Government's lockdown orders issued six days later.

 

Edited by Sea&Sand
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The law is quite clear, if your flight or holiday is amended or cancelled you have the right to a refund with 14 days or 7 depending on if its a flight or holiday

 

However, these are unprecedented times and I can understand that an airline or travel company may well need some time to issue refunds.

 

If an airline or travel company fails to give a refund and goes bust then , if the flight / holiday was booked using a credit card, people can apply for a refund from the credit card company.

 

There was recently a case on TV where someone had paid out  £3000 for a holiday that was cancelled and they were upset that they hadn't yet had a refund because it was causing them hardship.  Now, they've already paid out £3,000 and presumably whilst on holiday they would have spent a lot more so I find a "hardship" case difficult to swallow; unless of course they've lost their jobs in the current situation in which case they need to push hard for the refund.

 

 

Edited by Cheltenham Caravanner
typo
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I believe that some of the ferry companies are offering vouchers valid for two years with a 20% uplift in value.

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30 minutes ago, moorgate said:

I believe that some of the ferry companies are offering vouchers valid for two years with a 20% uplift in value.

 

We were booked with P&O on an 11 night cruise from Southampton to Malta in March which was cancelled by P&O.

 

Had we not waited for them to cancel we would have lost the cost of the cruise, by waiting them out we were offered either a 100% cash refund, or a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) valid for 2 years, the 25% extra represents £600 extra towards the next cruise.

 

As we enjoy sailing with P&O and knew we would sail with them  again we opted for the FCC,  we have just seen a cruise come up in 2021 that fits the bill so have booked an 18 night cruise using the FCC.

 

I guess if you can see yourself using the voucher in the next 2 years the extra credit is worthwhile, if not the the cash refund is the best option and something you are entitled to.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

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The ferry companies have already cried out for financial help from HMG so there is always the risk that your ferry company may not exist come the day.

 

If you bought directly from the ferry company and paid by credit card then you are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as amended 2006 if the price was £100 or more, but note that the £100 is for a single item and does not include any additional fees etc. If you bought through a third party or paid by cash or  debit card then I would go for the refund and hang any extra costs at the time of travel.

 

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In the Trip Adviser Forums there are a lot of people wanting their money back and not getting it.

If my September trip to Spain does get cancelled, which is looking most likely, I will want my money back.

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Quote

"If they don't get their money back for a cancelled sailing from the ferry company or travel agent they should contact the credit card company."

 

 

On TV this morning the expert was saying this doesn't always prove successful, but it gets said in all the forums.

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As far as package holidays are concerned, Airlines are legally obliged to give a refund if the flights are cancelled.  If you have paid by Credit card, they will not refund, as your claim is against the airline.  Likewise your holiday insurance will not pay out as they expect that you should have your money refunded by the airline..   So if you want a refund you need to take it up with the airline and demand a refund as a voucher is totally unacceptable.

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1 hour ago, David 38 said:

In the Trip Adviser Forums there are a lot of people wanting their money back and not getting it.

If my September trip to Spain does get cancelled, which is looking most likely, I will want my money back.

 

The signs are that your September trip will not be cancelled - the latest statement on the Brittany Ferries website points to that - but whether or not you choose to go in September is another matter.  You may prefer to change your ticket and go at a later date and you may get a credit note for that , but I will be very surprised if you get hard cash back 

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I have not personally looked at all of the post but if it was my choice then I would go for the refund simply because in the current climate they just might go bust and then - where are you then ?

 

The prospects of being in a long line of creditors would not thrill me one iota.

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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3 hours ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

We were booked with P&O on an 11 night cruise from Southampton to Malta in March which was cancelled by P&O.

 

Had we not waited for them to cancel we would have lost the cost of the cruise, by waiting them out we were offered either a 100% cash refund, or a 125% Future Cruise Credit (FCC) valid for 2 years, the 25% extra represents £600 extra towards the next cruise.

 

As we enjoy sailing with P&O and knew we would sail with them  again we opted for the FCC,  we have just seen a cruise come up in 2021 that fits the bill so have booked an 18 night cruise using the FCC.

 

I guess if you can see yourself using the voucher in the next 2 years the extra credit is worthwhile, if not the the cash refund is the best option and something you are entitled to.


we were booked with Marella for a cruise leaving 15 March. This was cancelled on 13  March and we were offered a full refund or to re-book to another date with an extra £200 off the price.    Unfortunately in the panic of the cancellations, it wasn’t explained that this could be booked at a later date so rather than risk losing the money, we took the refund.   In hindsight, we would have taken time to choose another cruise taking advantage of the incentive.    Our refund was received in 3 days.  

 

23 minutes ago, AWanderingLancastrian said:

I have not personally looked at all of the post but if it was my choice then I would go for the refund simply because in the current climate they just might go bust and then - where are you then ?

 

The prospects of being in a long line of creditors would not thrill me one iota.


this did also cross our minds at the time, would have had to claim from the credit card.    We also received a partial refund on our travel insurance premium and our car parking at the airport.   

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5 hours ago, Woodentop said:

The ferry companies have already cried out for financial help from HMG so there is always the risk that your ferry company may not exist come the day.

 

If you bought directly from the ferry company and paid by credit card then you are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as amended 2006 if the price was £100 or more, but note that the £100 is for a single item and does not include any additional fees etc. If you bought through a third party or paid by cash or  debit card then I would go for the refund and hang any extra costs at the time of travel.

 

How many ferry companies are actually UK based UK ferry companies?  I know there may be some in Scotland.  BTW are the Isle  of Wight ferries running as per normal?

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3 hours ago, bessacarr425 said:

As far as package holidays are concerned, Airlines are legally obliged to give a refund if the flights are cancelled.  If you have paid by Credit card, they will not refund, as your claim is against the airline. 

Obviously you try to get the refund from the airline first but if they refuse you have the right to a section 75 refund if the ticket is bought from the airline with a credit card.

We've had a few refunds from airlines. All have been paid back to the credit card but in all cases I've had to call them , online they only do vouchers.

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I'd always be tempted to take a refund because it is clear, not all companies will survive this crisis and hence, a voucher may be worthless.

 

Russ

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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We have a P&O cruise booked for August.  Today, they have asked for the full outstanding payment of £3862, making the cost £3962 with the deposit already paid.

 

They also say:

"Should your voyage be cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation then you will automatically receive a Future Cruise Credit for more than the total value of your booking, or a full refund if this option is preferred."

 

They don't say that it is 125% FCC any longer.  But if it is, that is £4952.50.  However we had an on board spend of £550, one of the highest we've ever had and that we are unlikely to get that again, so it's not as good as it seems

 

I don't think that the August cruise will go ahead and the FCC will go to the next one booked for December and the one for next March, which has the best chance of happening, as long as the world safe to travel by then.

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Are you going to pay the balance or just lose the £100?

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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25 minutes ago, WispMan said:

Are you going to pay the balance or just lose the £100?

Yes, I'll  pay them the money.  I'd already committed to it, so it won't be missed.

 

It's the first of 4 cruises that we'd booked.  The last one is for 24 nights to Canada in 2021, so lots of £££s allocated for those.  They are my way of dealing with prostate cancer - do it while you can!  We caravan when not at sea!

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Worth checking Martin Lewis money site re refunds v Vouchers.  He was on the media the other day saying that some vouchers are OK but some are not.  Some vouchers are not giving you the same legal protection(like not ABTA ) as your original holiday.  As stated situations like a 2 nd cancellation or the company going bust could result in your vouchers being worthless.  Worth a check.  Personally I will always go for the cash back, 'bird in the hand' and all that.  We will be facing a similar decision in October for our 2021 West Indies Cruise.  Fingers crossed that we have some hope of a cure/jab by then.

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