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Daily Telegraph (UK) Article

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22 hours ago, North West Newbie said:

Whether we like it or not, the cancellation charges are transparent and abundantly clear at the time of booking. If one is not in agreement then don’t proceed with the booking.

 

 

The only fair arena to test the fairness between the parties is in Court but then of course the only winners are likely to be the lawyers. Naming and attempting to shame Cunard in the press or social media is not a balanced approach even though it may result in a satisfactory solution for the disgruntled passenger. Fairness is a two way street.

This is the first CC post I've ever read with full justification. I'm just left wondering how you did that...

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One of the reasons consumer law was created was to protect the public from unscrupulous companies trying to ride roughshod over them. Demanding a 100% cancellation fee 2 years prior to a cruise is an example of this regardless of what the T&C's state. Which is why Cunard have backed down. 

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On 8/12/2019 at 12:02 PM, Windsurfboy said:

From the above , the cancellation fee must reflect how much the business is losing from the cancellation,  otherwise it can be deemed an unfair contract.

Given the difference in cancellation policies between selling markets it might be interesting to see Cunard's rationale for economic harm incurred by a cancellation far in advance of sailing.

Is a UK cancellation a year (or two) out that much more harmful than a US cancellation five months out?

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38 minutes ago, yorkshirephil said:

One of the reasons consumer law was created was to protect the public from unscrupulous companies trying to ride roughshod over them. Demanding a 100% cancellation fee 2 years prior to a cruise is an example of this regardless of what the T&C's state. Which is why Cunard have backed down. 

Cunard weren't demanding a 100% cancellation fee, they wanted to keep the deposit. They're currently selling the cruise in the UK on the Cunard Fare or Early Saver rates, neither of which risk more than the deposit before final payment. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

What % is typically the deposit on a UK booking?

 

For a July 2020 QM2 cruise, the deposit for a US booking I just looked up is $1130 on a $4787 stateroom, just under 24%. Maybe it was calculated as 25% of the pre-tax total of $4518.

Edited by Underwatr

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3 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

What % is typically the deposit on a UK booking?

 

For a July 2020 QM2 cruise, the deposit for a US booking I just looked up is $1130 on a $4787 stateroom, just under 24%.

15%

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People need to realise that when they book a cruise they are entering into a Contract which becomes legally binding on both parties upon consideration being paid by way of a deposit or in the case of a Saver Fare the full amount. If either party wishes to cancel that Contract there are implications. Cunard’s Terms and Conditions provide for this possible eventuality and, in the case of the passenger wishing to cancel, there is a table of cancelation charges expressed as a percentage of the Contract value. How can that be unfair? A sale is a sale.

 

It is a fact of life that changing one’s mind often has cost consequences and there is insurance to protect against the risk of cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances.

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14 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

What % is typically the deposit on a UK booking?

 

For a July 2020 QM2 cruise, the deposit for a US booking I just looked up is $1130 on a $4787 stateroom, just under 24%. Maybe it was calculated as 25% of the pre-tax total of $4518.

 

The standard deposit in the US is indeed 25% and is based on the total before taxes and fees are added. Occasionally we get reduced deposit offers in the US with 12.5% deposits. You’ve probably also noticed we sometimes get limited-time offers in the US with non-refundable $100 deposits on certain voyages (such as the recent Independence Day Sale).

 

As North West Newbie has mentioned, the standard deposit in the UK is 15%.

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41 minutes ago, kentchris said:

Cunard weren't demanding a 100% cancellation fee, they wanted to keep the deposit. They're currently selling the cruise in the UK on the Cunard Fare or Early Saver rates, neither of which risk more than the deposit before final payment. 

 

 

The TA that the OP booked the cruise with on behalf of Cunard were demanding a 100% cancellation fee based on the fact that the T&C state that 100% cancellation fee is required. You have clearly not read the report, below is an excerpt from the Cunard T&C's.

 

Saver: Period before departure within which written notice of cancellation is received by Cunard Cancellation charges (percentage of fare) From the date of booking until departure, including failure to embark. 100%

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17 minutes ago, yorkshirephil said:

The TA that the OP booked the cruise with on behalf of Cunard were demanding a 100% cancellation fee based on the fact that the T&C state that 100% cancellation fee is required. You have clearly not read the report, below is an excerpt from the Cunard T&C's.

 

Saver: Period before departure within which written notice of cancellation is received by Cunard Cancellation charges (percentage of fare) From the date of booking until departure, including failure to embark. 100%

You are assuming that the booking was a Saver Fare which it could not have been because a Saver Fare requires full payment at the time of booking. As only a deposit of £4,104 was paid, the booking must have been either a Cunard Fare or an Early Saver Fare, both of which are subject to the same 15% deposit/cancellation charge at 91 days or over.

 

Furthermore, Saver Fares (marketed as Late Savers) are generally only sold after final payment and within three months of sailing.

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6 minutes ago, North West Newbie said:

You are assuming that the booking was a Saver Fare which it could not have been because a Saver Fare requires full payment at the time of booking. As only a deposit of £4,104 was paid, the booking must have been either a Cunard Fare or an Early Saver Fare, both of which are subject to the same 15% deposit/cancellation charge at 91 days or over.

 

Furthermore, Saver Fares (marketed as Late Savers) are generally only sold after final payment and within three months of sailing.

I am making that assumption which maybe I shouldn't,  however it doesn't alter the fact that the TA had demanded 100% cancellation fee of the full fare when the OP tried to cancel almost two years before the cruise which I feel is just wrong. I can accept that 100% of the deposit is fair and that the OP has to take their share of responsibility.

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39 minutes ago, bluemarble said:

You’ve probably also noticed we sometimes get limited-time offers in the US with non-refundable $100 deposits on certain voyages (such as the recent Independence Day Sale).

I booked (US) last September direct with Cunard with a refundable $150/person deposit which I later canceled for refund. I agree that it's unusual, though, and it's one reason I tend to book while onboard, both for the reduced deposit and the onboard credit.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, yorkshirephil said:

I am making that assumption which maybe I shouldn't,  however it doesn't alter the fact that the TA had demanded 100% cancellation fee of the full fare when the OP tried to cancel almost two years before the cruise which I feel is just wrong. I can accept that 100% of the deposit is fair and that the OP has to take their share of responsibility.

 

Apologies for being direct but you are not correct. Here is an extract from the Telegraph article:-

 

"We contacted the agency through which we booked the trip, to see if we could cancel and get our £4,104 deposit [my emphasis] back. It said Cunard’s policy was that the deposit was non-refundable [my emphasis] and that we were contractually [my emphasis] required to pay the full advertised price of £27,350 for the cruise. It said our only other option was to transfer the deposit [my emphasis] to another trip of the same value or higher. I suggested we could opt for a shorter cruise, but my request was declined due to the lower value."

 

The only money at stake was the deposit of £4,104. Contractually, the full £27,350 was payable but, due to Clause 38 of Cunard’s Terms and Conditions, the passenger was contractually permitted to cancel the Contract by forfeiting the 15% deposit, i.e. £4,104 which you agree is fair.

Edited by North West Newbie

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16 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

I booked (US) last September direct with Cunard with a refundable $150/person deposit which I later canceled for refund. I agree that it's unusual, though, and it's one reason I tend to book while onboard, both for the reduced deposit and the onboard credit.

But that is only because that is US law if we book onboard and from the UK we would get the same obc but our deposit paid is non refundable.

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6 hours ago, yorkshirephil said:

The TA that the OP booked the cruise with on behalf of Cunard were demanding a 100% cancellation fee based on the fact that the T&C state that 100% cancellation fee is required. You have clearly not read the report, below is an excerpt from the Cunard T&C's.

 

Saver: Period before departure within which written notice of cancellation is received by Cunard Cancellation charges (percentage of fare) From the date of booking until departure, including failure to embark. 100%

The Early Saver deposit is 15% on that cruise. Cunard's cancellation fee for Cunard Fare and Early Saver is the deposit if the cancellation is before final payment date, which this clearly was.

 

You need to re read the report and take note of the headline, it was changed to say Cunard wouldn't refund the 4K deposit. Originally it said Cunard wouldn't refund the 27k booking which was nonsense as nobody would have paid in full for a 2021 cruise so early. There are an awful lot of inconsistencies and holes in such a short piece of very sloppy journalism.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, majortom10 said:

But that is only because that is US law

I don't think it's US law. You can find fares with a nonrefundable deposit, for example with Holland America, alongside fares with refundable deposit. It's just what the markets support.

 

But the side conversation was regarding the typical (refundable) deposit in the US vs the typical (nonrefundable) deposit in the UK. Bluemarble had suggested that the low-deposit promotions in the US were always nonrefundable which wasn't my experience.

Edited by Underwatr

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1 hour ago, Underwatr said:

... Bluemarble had suggested that the low-deposit promotions in the US were always nonrefundable which wasn't my experience.

 

Thanks for that clarification. Yes indeed, last year's "Three for All" promotion in the US did offer a low $150 per person refundable deposit. And there may have been some other similar promotions which have slipped my mind.

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2 hours ago, kentchris said:

The Early Saver deposit is 15% on that cruise. Cunard's cancellation fee for Cunard Fare and Early Saver is the deposit if the cancellation is before final payment date, which this clearly was.

 

You need to re read the report and take note of the headline, it was changed to say Cunard wouldn't refund the 4K deposit. Originally it said Cunard wouldn't refund the 27k booking which was nonsense as nobody would have paid in full for a 2021 cruise so early. There are an awful lot of inconsistencies and holes in such a short piece of very sloppy journalism.

I take your point and agree, the wording led me to make assumptions that were not  correct. My point was based around the part of the report that we were contractually required to pay the full advertised price of £27,350 for the cruise.  which is not accurate as clause 38 states that the full amount is due; Less than 6 days before departure or failure to embark. For fly-cruises, departure day is the date of the flight departure.

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Posted (edited)

So in a nutshell;

 

They paid £4,104 as the deposit.

 

Contractually they owe the full £27,350.

 

However, if they break/terminate the contract (i.e. cancel their cruise), they have no more to pay but they do not receive their deposit back.

 

 

 

Edited by ToadOfToadHall

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4 hours ago, yorkshirephil said:

I take your point and agree, the wording led me to make assumptions that were not  correct. My point was based around the part of the report that we were contractually required to pay the full advertised price of £27,350 for the cruise.  which is not accurate as clause 38 states that the full amount is due; Less than 6 days before departure or failure to embark. For fly-cruises, departure day is the date of the flight departure.

You are still missing the point. Contractually the £27,350 was still payable until the passenger chose to cancel the Contract under Clause 38 which then had the effect of engaging the cancellation charge as set out in the table i.e. the £4,104 deposit.

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Just now, ToadOfToadHall said:

So in a nutshell;

 

They paid £4,104 as the deposit.

 

Contractually they owe the full £27,350.

 

However, if they break/terminate the contract (i.e. cancel their cruise), they have no more to pay but they do not receive their deposit back.

 

 

 

Precisely.

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9 hours ago, Underwatr said:

I don't think it's US law. You can find fares with a nonrefundable deposit, for example with Holland America, alongside fares with refundable deposit. It's just what the markets support.

 

But the side conversation was regarding the typical (refundable) deposit in the US vs the typical (nonrefundable) deposit in the UK. Bluemarble had suggested that the low-deposit promotions in the US were always nonrefundable which wasn't my experience.

No holiday contracts in the UK whether it be cruise or land based have non refundable deposits that is part of the contract you agree when you agree booking with holiday company.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

No holiday contracts in the UK whether it be cruise or land based have non refundable deposits that is part of the contract you agree when you agree booking with holiday company.

I'm not sure what you're saying here.

My point was that there's no US law requiring refundable deposit. If you're saying there's no UK law requiring a nonrefundable deposit, OK. It's just market conditions, they can do it in the UK but choose not to in the US.

 

In light of other posts regarding the necessity in the UK for the the travel company to demonstrate financial harm as justification for a cancellation penalty I'm curious about why this harm is claimed to be incurred in the UK but is tolerated in the US. They're talking out both sides of their mouth on the topic.

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1 hour ago, Underwatr said:

I'm not sure what you're saying here.

My point was that there's no US law requiring refundable deposit. If you're saying there's no UK law requiring a nonrefundable deposit, OK. It's just market conditions, they can do it in the UK but choose not to in the US.

 

In light of other posts regarding the necessity in the UK for the the travel company to demonstrate financial harm as justification for a cancellation penalty I'm curious about why this harm is claimed to be incurred in the UK but is tolerated in the US. They're talking out both sides of their mouth on the topic.

What I am saying is simple, in the UK if you book a holiday whether it be cruise or land based holiday you pay a deposit which varies depending on the company and if at a later date at anytime if you cancel the holiday you lose the deposit.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, majortom10 said:

No holiday contracts in the UK whether it be cruise or land based have non refundable deposits that is part of the contract you agree when you agree booking with holiday company.

 

I think you mean "No holiday contracts in the UK whether it be cruise or land based have refundable deposits".

 

or

 

"All holiday contracts in the UK whether it be cruise or land based have non refundable deposits".

 

For example, I've a holiday booked with TUI , and these are their T&Cs:

 

12. IF YOU CANCEL YOUR BOOKING

 

Period Before Departure When Notice Of Cancellation Is Received/ Percentage Of Total Booking Price

70 days or more (Loss of deposit)

 

Your deposit is non-refundable, even if the cancellation charge calculated is lower than the deposit amount paid.

 

 

Edited by ToadOfToadHall

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