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HAL not honoring tour price


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First let me say that I am not trying to cheat HAL or "get something for nothing." But isn't a confirmed purchase a CONFIRMED purchase?

 

One of the tours for the Celtic Explorer this year had a mistake in the price. It was listed at $9.95 for a bus into Bristol from the port and a tour at a restored historic ship (SS Great Britian). We were there just 2 years ago, but figured for that price it was a transfer into the city, even if we didn't bother with the ship or the museum again.

 

When I first saw it, I knew it was a mistake, and I didn't book it, figuring they'd update the price. A few days later it was still there, so I booked it. It was a PUBLISHED price, so why not? I half expected it not to go through, but I got a confirmation and it was in "my itinerary." This was two months ago. That price was on the website as recently as a week ago, when I was looking at other tours. And it was in the PDF tour booklet (which I didn't save, unfortunately) So it was a PUBLISHED PRICE for 2 months.

 

Yesterday I received an email from HAL saying that the price was wrong and that they would be charging the additional $90 to my onboard account. I called the Exc number and all I got was "it's obviously an error and the price is $99.95." If it was so obvious, why did it take 2 months for HAL to notice???? Her answer was "It's an error and the price is $99.95." I pointed out that when a merchant puts a wrong price in an ad, they have to honor that price. Her answer was "It was an error and the price is $99.95." I might as well have been talking to a robot or a zombie.

 

So if they can do this, can they change the price of tours RETROACTIVELY any time they want?????? Yes, I was taking advantage of certainly appeared to be a mistake. But it was HAL's mistake, not mine. I shouldn't have to pay for their error.

 

Don't flame me for being a cheapskate. It's the principle of the thing.

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I think that might be c alled a scribner's error. I do not for one minute think you are being cheap. We all want a confirmattion to be honored but there are times a human error is made and they probably should just honor the price but someone made a bad decision to not honor it.

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I think that might be c alled a scribner's error. I do not for one minute think you are being cheap. We all want a confirmattion to be honored but there are times a human error is made and they probably should just honor the price but someone made a bad decision to not honor it.

 

I asked her if anyone proofreads the tour stuff and she had no answer for that. If the email about the price had come a few days after I booked the tour, I wouldn't complain. But this was a published price for 2 months.

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A merchant isn't required to honor pricing errors published in an ad.

 

Actually, they are if they don't publish the error.

 

I'm on 3rdGenCunarder's side this time. And not because she is on my roll call but the fact that she was adds enlightenment to the scenario.

 

I can vouch that she reported the price, did everything she could to confirm it and booked it 2 months ago.

 

If HAL had corrected it a few days later, heck even a week, well and good.

 

But, 2 months? That's ludicrous IMO and I, like the OP am a principled person. I would be VERY unhappy if a tour I had booked ages ago was suddenly upped.

 

It's not right IMO.

 

Bad form, HAL. :(

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You'r not being cheap, and nobody will say that. You did recognize that it was an error from the onset and no problem booking it. When it was subsequently was called an error by HAL, they were confirming your original observation/suspicion.

 

It would have been cool get it at the price, but a certain test of reasonableness has to be applied here.

 

Yes HAL made a printing error, that is all it is.

 

I'd have done the same thing as you but I wouldn't have inquired any further.

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I can vouch that she reported the price, did everything she could to confirm it and booked it 2 months ago.

 

I can't say that I agree with that. Not long ago, this same thing happened to me on another cruise line. Like the OP, I recognized right away that it probably wasn't right. The difference in my scenario, though, is I didn't sit on it. I called the cruise line and asked about it. They confirmed that it did not look right and said they would get back with me. Within a day or two, after the proper department reviewed it, I was contacted and told it was a typo.

 

In this particular scenario, I think the OP set themselves up for failure by letting it ride, even though they knew it was probably a mistake.

 

Like JRG said, I think some reasonableness needs to be applied here, and the references in this thread to them just changing prices at will are also unreasonable because that's not what happened. It was a corrected typo, not them just changing at will.

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A few years ago I booked a Junior Suite at a five star hotel in Rome for 90 Euros a night. It was obviously the wrong price. It had just come into the Marriott system as part of the Autograph Collection.

That price stayed on line for 18 hours, after which it was pulled and the same room went for 800 Euros per night. However Marriott and the hotel honored the price for which I booked it. I was charged the 90 Euros per night for the five nights we were there in a duplex room overlooking the piazza. Not a word was said at check-in that it was an error and we were treated like any other guest.

HAL should not have kept the incorrect price for that long a period of time and, when they did, not be so greedy as to then ask for the difference in price.

Take a lesson from other travel providers.

Terri

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Cruizin Terri makes a very good point and I agree.

 

To add to this and why I think it should be honoured.

 

A few years ago, the Neptune Suite price on a Maasdam cruise dropped substantially.

 

I immediately called a friend and contacted my TA and took a screen shot and sent it to my TA.

 

When the TA called HAL, they said it was a mistake and they would have the site corrected within 24 hours.

 

TA challenged as it was on the website and, long story short, our price was honoured.

 

To me, if they can't get their website right, that is not our problem nor the OP's, it's HAL's. JMO though.

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Please tell me you were allowed to cancel the excursion without penalty once they told you about the price correction. In my mind there would definitely be an issue if they didnt.

 

 

 

I agree and I would be reporting to my credit card company asking them to not put through that charge.

 

 

Whomever at HAL that refused to honor thefconfirmation, is very, very wrong, iMO> The bad feelings and poor pR cost much more.

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Whomever at HAL that refused to honor thefconfirmation, is very, very wrong, iMO> The bad feelings and poor pR cost much more.

 

I agree. They had an opportunity to preserve (and possibly enhance) a relationship with their customer, that in the scheme of things would have cost them very little.

 

Instead, many current (and potential) customers are seeing how they handle their mistakes through this thread. I would pissed (yeah, that IS the word I want to use here) that they thought they were doing me a service by conveniently charging the new amount to my bill. At the very least, they could have offered me something for an apology -- say, dinner at PG?

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...

 

But it was HAL's mistake, not mine. I shouldn't have to pay for their error.

 

Don't flame me for being a cheapskate. It's the principle of the thing.

 

Interesting point of view. If you were able to cancel rather than pay the correct price, you surely have not had “... to pay for their error.”

 

If you take the tour, at the correct price, you are getting something at the right price.

 

If you got the tour at the wrong price - they would have been paying “...for their error.”

 

It is hard to see how you would

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Unfortunately, HAL has a "wiggle clause" in the fine print on their website that protects them from errors by the webmaster. They say, in effect, that Holland America is not responsible for any errors on the website content. We have run into this before on cruise pricing. A mistake was made in a price and it was not honoured.

Most companies have that "wiggle clause", but some will still honour the erroneous price for good customer relations. I have never seen any shore excursions on HAL's website for less than $20, which was a HoHo bus in Key West. If I saw a tour for $9.95, I would have called HAL and confirmed it before booking.

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I would still side with a customer on this one (not just the OP), as not everyone even knows what the correct price for transportation to a place they've never been to should actually be. Did I know Laem Chabang port was so darn far from Bangkok? I didn't until I wondered why it was so expensive to get there!

 

So if I were new to HAL (and not expecting their frequently inflated prices for tours), and not also familiar with what it takes to get to that location (time-cost wise), I would have just believed I purchased the right thing for the right price. Business who have shopping carts on their websites (like HAL) need to be extra-diligent about what they make available at what price. Now, I'm not saying there is a legal leg to stand on that would force HAL to honor the price -- but if we are talking about them covering this price difference for a few customers, certainly the goodwill generated by saying "my mistake but I'll certainly honor the price" would far outweigh the potential damage to their brand-reputation, wouldn't it? One well-connected person can have a few negative conversations about your brand (in real-life, not on the forums specifically), and lose any company significant sales. But I have no data to back that up, sorry. I know the customer is not always right, but it sure feels good when you are treated like you are. ;) Now give me my free dinner at PG please...

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Unfortunately, HAL has a "wiggle clause" in the fine print on their website that protects them from errors by the webmaster. They say, in effect, that Holland America is not responsible for any errors on the website content. We have run into this before on cruise pricing. A mistake was made in a price and it was not honoured.

Most companies have that "wiggle clause", but some will still honour the erroneous price for good customer relations. I have never seen any shore excursions on HAL's website for less than $20, which was a HoHo bus in Key West. If I saw a tour for $9.95, I would have called HAL and confirmed it before booking.

 

Just a quick note to TAD2005 - I was busy writing my last post when you posted this -- my comment wasn't directed specifically at you.

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They should honor the confirmed price but I would not spend any more time talking to Holland America. On principle I would write to a travel ombudsman.

Condé Naste magazine has one.

The popular online one is Elliott.org

 

Great suggestion sammie :)

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They should honor the confirmed price but I would not spend any more time talking to Holland America. On principle I would write to a travel ombudsman.

Condé Naste magazine has one.

The popular online one is Elliott.org

A complaint on HAL's Facebook page might also get some attention.

 

 

I would not dispute the credit card charge, HAL might deny you boarding if your cruise is not paid in full.

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For a few dollars HAL has caused a lot of ill will. This is a social media site and people will see this and remember it.

 

HAL obviously is more concerned about the almighty dollar than keeping their loyal customers.

 

I again remember another situation when my DH became ill in Italy and we had to cancel our cruise and all our private tours. Every private tour operator returned our deposits without question despite being outside the 15 day cancellation period.

 

We remembered this when we booked the following year.

 

I would like to see HAL have a little more heart, especially when they made the mistake.

Terri

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They should honor the confirmed price but I would not spend any more time talking to Holland America. On principle I would write to a travel ombudsman.

Condé Naste magazine has one.

The popular online one is Elliott.org

They usually only deal with people who are being cheated or are due a refund that they have not received. As long as HAL refunds the OP's $9 I doubt an ombudsman is going to bother with this. After all, the OP knew the price was a mistake so they shouldn't be that surprised that HAL is balking at giving the OP the tour for $9.

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I think HAL should honor it.

 

In the US merchants do not have to honor “gross errors”, at least prior to purchase. If a used car is advertised for $10.00 and it was supposed to say $10,000 it’s a gross clerical error that should be obvious as a mistake.

 

However, as far as the excursion, you purchased it, HAL’s a big company making money by you being on the cruise. It’s good customer service to honor that price and no, I don’t think you are being a cheapskate. I would send an email to customer service. It’s a one off issue, not like you paid $10.00 for the cruise.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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You have a printed confirmation. If they charge you dispute w your credit card company

 

OK - that's my favorite answer!

 

And just let me add, HAL should have honored the confirmed price, precisely because of the public black eye they are getting in forums such as this.

 

 

Wwt

Edited by What was that?
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Interesting point of view. If you were able to cancel rather than pay the correct price, you surely have not had “... to pay for their error.”

 

If you take the tour, at the correct price, you are getting something at the right price.

 

If you got the tour at the wrong price - they would have been paying “...for their error.”

 

It is hard to see how you would

 

Sir, we mispriced your cruise. It was not $999 per person for a 7 day Caribbean cruise, our mistake, it was $9,999 per person. We'll just charge your credit card for your convenience.

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