**I originally posted this as a response to someone's thread, but wasn't sure if anyone would see it..so I'm re-posting as a new thread.**
I work at a travel agency and our company had 3 clients on the February Noordam sailing. All 3 were affected by this pricing error. They had found lower prices for a higher category on Holland's website so our travel agents had the lower fares added, which we were happy to do. We got the confirmations from Holland showing the lower fares. When it came to do the final payments, we requested new confirmations to confirm the amounts due and noticed that they were now considerably higher.
I had contacted our Holland America district sales manager with copies of the original cruise line confirmations and the newly "re-fared" confirmations asking for an explanation and for them to honor their original prices. First she said she was forwarding the issue onto someone higher up and would get back to me with a decision. About 2 weeks later, I hadn't heard from her so I sent her an email for a follow up and received an auto-response saying she was out of the office for the next week. I then contacted someone else and was told that they would forward the issue to their VP of Sales. After another week, I emailed the VP of Sales who advised that they forwarded the issue to their Director of Reservations and that person would be in contact with me.
Finally, after another week, I heard back from someone...not the Director of Reservations, but a Reservation Supervisor, who advised that sorry, they weren't going to honor the original fare. They would only give 100.00 per person shipboard credit and the clients could either a) pay the current higher rate they were at with the onboard credits, b) go back to the original category they were booked in and pay the current best rate (which ended up being slightly lower than originally booked) with the onboard credits, or c) cancel without any penalties.
The clients all decided to go in the end, but were very upset. One, reluctantly, decided to stay with the higher category and pay 1200.00 more and the other two decided to go back to the category they originally booked at.
In the long run, no one was completely satisfied, but they all really wanted to go on this trip and had to make that final decision.
The funny thing is, we just found out today that Holland has done it again. We have several clients on the Noordam for March 31, 2007 and Holland America has so graciously increased the fares again claiming they were "double discounted" and the clients were given 100.00 per person onboard credit. Holland did not call, email, or fax anyone at our agency to advise that they had repriced all the bookings again. We are trying to get the cruise line to honor the original prices...again...and we will probably not have any luck...again.
If you ask me, this is extremely bad PR. There is obviously something wrong with their reservation system (or maybe the people loading the prices into that system) and they need to do something about it. They should be honoring the prices quoted originally. If there is proof, by means of cruise line confirmations, of that lower original fare, it should be like a contract of sorts and be honored.
I have been recommending to any client who is looking for a Holland America cruise to reconsider. And in most cases, they are so disgusted by Holland America's actions...or lack thereof...that they say they will never book with them.
I hope this sends a message to Holland that it will cost them in the long run, once word gets out more and that they need to consider changing their policies. Any other cruise line would have honored the original prices.
To anyone booked on the Noordam for March 31, 2007, please call your travel agents to find out if this has happened to you too!
Sorry for the rant...Thanks for your time!!