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TheRampantSnail

Very disappointed with Regent (UK)

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Earlier this year I booked another Regent cruise departing in March 2021, paying a not insubstantial deposit of about £2400.  A couple of weeks after that an event, which affected us personally, happened and we felt that we could no longer take that cruise.  I advised our travel agent of this fact.  The TA told me to hold back from cancelling the cruise (as final payment was not due until October 2020) and wait to see if we saw a different cruise we liked and then ask Regent to transfer the deposit.

Recently, we did find an alternative cruise and contacted our TA again, who in turn put our request to Regent UK.  This request was refused point blank. We have therefore lost our total deposit. The TA said there seemed to have been a change of policy by Regent which was behind the refusal.

 

There is no doubt that, legally, Regent are within their rights to apply the policy of losing a deposit if a cruise is cancelled.  However, I would have hoped that, given the long lead in time, the fact that we were not looking for a refund of our deposit but a transfer to another cruise and that fact that it was unlikely there would have been any loss of revenue to Regent, there could have been some flexibility (even if were not the full deposit amount) shown. I did find this intransigence very disappointing.

 

But, never mind, we did get an email from Regent wishing us the joy of exploration this festive season!!

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The policy may well have changed in the meantime but surely it was the policy that was in force at the time you entered into the contract by paying your deposit that applies to your circumstances. I would ask your TA to confirm that a change has been made and if so when it was made.

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Very sorry to hear that you have lost your deposit.

As far as I am aware this has always been the policy in the UK, unless you book whilst on board. This is why we always book whilst on board* (or under Regent’s new system up to 30 days before boarding)

Surprised that your TA advised otherwise and even more surprised that your TA advised you to wait before contacting Regent (UK) about the issue.

 

However, there have been legal cases in the UK whereby Travel Companies are unable to penalise customers unless they can prove the loss i.e. if Regent completely fill the cruise that you have booked & cancelled then there might be a case in law for you to recover your deposit less an admin fee.

If you cannot get anywhere appealing to your TA’s and Regent’s better nature it may be worth contacting ABTA.

 

* For us the on board booking discount and OBC received for booking whilst on board is very welcome but the main reason we try to book while on board is the lower deposit and the ability to move that deposit to another cruise. Otherwise we are well aware that normal booking conditions in the UK mean the loss of a 10% or 20% deposit if a cancellation is required.

Are you not covered under your Travel Insurance for the reason that led to you having to cancel?

Edited by flossie009

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Wow, that's heavy!  I knew the rules in the UK were quite different.  I wonder if there have been changes to transfer rules on this side of the Atlantic?

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The rules regarding non-refundable deposits in the UK have been in place for quite a while - nothing new.  It is unfortunate that the TS had a TA that was obviously not familiar with Regent or it's policies as they should have informed their client of the rules when they booked.

 

In any event, I would not recommend taking legal measures for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it will not be known until 2020 if the cruise is sold out and even then, Regent would likely win.  They have a team of lawyers that would be tough to go against.  The policy would not be in place if it were to legal in the U.K.

 

My suggestion would be for the TS to write to someone at Corporate in Miami (Jason O'Keefe would work ..... if he cannot help, he could direct you to someone that may be able to provide assistance).  However, with a standing rule that has been in place for a long time, it is doubtful that much can be done.

 

Have to say that I'm surprised to learn that people in the U.S. are not the only ones that are litigious.  

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At this point, why is the focus on some perceived shortcoming or poor practice on the part of Regent?  If as TC says, "the rules have been in place in the UK for quite a while...", why not point the finger (or fault) on your TA and her/his travel company, who obviously gave you several pieces of bad/incorrect advice, which is now costing you money, as a result of following that advice?

 

I realize that legalities and torts in various countries might be different .  But in the U.S., actions and statements made by legal/licensed representatives (in this case, your travel agent/company acting on clients' behalf) to their clients, which later proves to be erroneous, costly, and which unduly penalize their clients can be held responsible for any monetary damage occurring as a result of following that advice.  Why shouldn't your travel agent/agency bear the burden and reimburse you for the loss caused directly by their own incorrect information and advise which they passed along to you?  Why should they get a "free pass" and you have to "eat" the loss?  Just wondering.

 

Didn't we just recently read a thread (which Jason participated in) which reiterated that clients with TA's were pretty much obligated/forced to go through (and rely upon) their TA for all information/advice/payment issues/policies, etc., etc.?  It would seem to me that the TS did the "right thing" in the first place by relying on his/her TA for advice on this matter.  If the TA gave incorrect advice/information which subsequently turns out to be wrong, then why would they be the ones that should be "on the hook" to restore their client's loss of funds?  Just my 2-cents (or my "2 New Penney's") worth. 

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17 hours ago, TheRampantSnail said:

Earlier this year I booked another Regent cruise departing in March 2021, paying a not insubstantial deposit of about £2400.  A couple of weeks after that an event, which affected us personally, happened and we felt that we could no longer take that cruise.  I advised our travel agent of this fact.  The TA told me to hold back from cancelling the cruise (as final payment was not due until October 2020) and wait to see if we saw a different cruise we liked and then ask Regent to transfer the deposit.

 

Re-reading the original post, I am more than a little confused.

I am racking my brains as to what personal event could have occurred that required the cancellation of a cruise more than 2 years ahead, but still allowed the OP to consider an alternative.

 

If it was just a change of mind then it would not be covered by the cancellation section of a Travel Insurance policy; plus I can understand why Regent and the TA would not consider relaxing their clear contract conditions.

 

Perhaps the OP can clarify the circumstances of their necessity to change the cruise so soon after booking.

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May I pass on my experience with Regent and deposits and I should mention that I have posted before with regards to this problems.

I will also mention that we are not new to cruising being Platinum Level with Regent and having over 750 days cruised with Silversea

Although living in the UK we always cruised with Regent under US T&C's until Regent withdrew that benefit at the start of last year

We booked 2 cruises when on the Explorer last Dec.2017, Explorer Jan 2019 and Navigator Aug 2019 but had to change  the Navigator cruise shortly after we returned home due a change in our insurance details,  my wife being  unable to obtain health insurance for the US on renewal of our travel insurance. The cruise finished in New York so we tried to change to the previous cruise, 2 cruise in fact, 34 days instead of 20

We presumed all was fine as we had booked on board and the On Board Booking Conditions stated that we had a one time change of booking without penalty. Not so. I was informed by Southampton that if we changed  we now had to pay a 20% deposit and we would now be under UK T&C's, all benefits of OBB lost for the change Regent had said we could do once only

As TC suggests I did write to Corporate in Miami and also direct to Jason O'Keefe but to no avail. In fact Jason O'Keefe did not even bother to acknowledge my e-mail

After further suggestions from Flossie I wrote to Graham Sadler, UK MD.from whom I did get an automated acknowledgement and he passed on my e-mail to Customer Relations, from them I got a reply, from Claire Hayes, which told that if anyone from the UK changes their cruise under the terms of the OBB ie., the once only change of cruise, they are automatically moved over to UK T&C's.

I did write back to Customer Relations, 3 times, but did not receive any sort or explanation or further reply

I will say to the OP that ever since we have sailed with Regent (and Radisson before) that the UK T&C's have always stated that you would loose your deposit if you changed your cruise, this being the reason that we always sailed under US T&C's. these allow you to change your cruise.  I will also say that this policy is not set in stone and on 2 occasions we have 2 sets of friends who have managed to change their deposit from one cruise to another with Regent so you need to get your TA to push Regent much harder

Flossie;  May I just say that maybe the personal event was a change of insurance details as in our case and are you aware that if you move your deposit to another cruise you are then no longer under US T&C's and then have to increase your deposit paid on board from £650, to 20% of the total of the new cruise and you loose all the other benefits

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3 hours ago, beaujolais said:

................................

We presumed all was fine as we had booked on board and the On Board Booking Conditions stated that we had a one time change of booking without penalty. Not so. I was informed by Southampton that if we changed  we now had to pay a 20% deposit and we would now be under UK T&C's, all benefits of OBB lost for the change Regent had said we could do once only

................................

 

3 hours ago, beaujolais said:

...................................

Flossie;  May I just say that maybe the personal event was a change of insurance details as in our case and are you aware that if you move your deposit to another cruise you are then no longer under US T&C's and then have to increase your deposit paid on board from £650, to 20% of the total of the new cruise and you loose all the other benefits

.......................................

 

Yes, we found this out when we opted to change a cruise booking a couple of years ago.

Although there is a less than clear paragraph to this effect in the booking letter from the on-board Cruise Consultant, we have suggested to the Regent (UK) office and to a couple of the on-board cruise consultants that they make this clearer to their loyal customers.

 

More recently we found a way around this by waiting to change a cruise until the next time we were on board. In this way the new booking was on the same basis as the ‘cancelled’ booking and the low deposit was simply transferred across with no penalty.

 

Interesting about the insurance, so well worth checking before the booking is made and deposit paid.

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13 minutes ago, flossie009 said:

 

Interesting about the insurance, so well worth checking before the booking is made and deposit paid. 

 

Very true but I am afraid but not always possible to check unless you do it as you book on board with the cruise consultant as we discovered this problem the day we returned from the cruise with a 'phone call from the insurance company. The insurance was renewable within a couple of weeks

We had expected to be able to change the dates and not rushed as we looked for an alternative cruise

We paid £100 cancellation fee but were able to transfer this to our other booking, The Explorer, for which we leave on Jan 1st without difficulty

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I am very interested to hear how Regent seems to work so differently from some other cruise lines.

 

Silversea allow you to move bookings from one cruise to another whether it was originally booked on board or not, - we have done so several times and where a booking attracted additional discount by virtue of having been made on board, this additional discount was transferred to the new booking.

 

Kindest regards

 

Master Echo

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26 minutes ago, Master Echo said:

I am very interested to hear how Regent seems to work so differently from some other cruise lines.

 

Silversea allow you to move bookings from one cruise to another whether it was originally booked on board or not, - we have done so several times and where a booking attracted additional discount by virtue of having been made on board, this additional discount was transferred to the new booking.

 

Note that this thread is predominately about bookings made with Regent(UK); I understand that bookings made with Regent in the US are under very different Ts&Cs.

 

However, I agree that Silversea Ts&Cs in the UK are significantly less draconian than Regent's.

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