Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
davyjones

Daily Telegraph (UK) Article

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, ToadOfToadHall said:

 

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

 

 

And the T&C's go on to state:-

 

"If you booked using a Low Deposit Offer, the full deposit amount stated on your confirmation invoice will need to be paid upon cancellation."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, North West Newbie said:

And the T&C's go on to state:-

 

"If you booked using a Low Deposit Offer, the full deposit amount stated on your confirmation invoice will need to be paid upon cancellation."

 

 

Indeed yes. So in this case, taking up their Low Deposit Offer makes no odds really as you still have to pay the full deposit even if you cancel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, ToadOfToadHall said:

 

Indeed yes. So in this case, taking up their Low Deposit Offer makes no odds really as you still have to pay the full deposit even if you cancel.

Agreed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

To further the discussion about US deposits, we do get quite a few different offers here in the US with a lot of variation in the deposit amounts and whether the deposits are refundable or not. Here is a list of offers we have received in the US over the past 12 months or so. Probably not an exhaustive list, but I think this is most of them.

 

Value Fares - 12.5% non-refundable deposit
Drinks on Us - $200 non-refundable deposit
Three for All - $150 per person refundable deposit
Labor Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Chinese New Year Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Valentine's Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Presidents' Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Saint Patrick's Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
5-Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Mother's Day Special - $100 non-refundable deposit
Memorial Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit
Father's Day Special - $100 non-refundable deposit
Independence Day Sale - $100 non-refundable deposit

Summer Savings Event - 25% refundable deposit

World of Adventure Sale - 25% refundable deposit
Upgrades on Us - 12.5% refundable deposit
Spring Savings Event - 25% refundable deposit
Big Balcony Event - 25% refundable deposit

Edited by bluemarble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ToadOfToadHall said:

 

Indeed yes. So in this case, taking up their Low Deposit Offer makes no odds really as you still have to pay the full deposit even if you cancel.

This is going to irk you, but on a US booking, when the deposit amount becomes nonrefundable (in the period between120 and 90 days before sailing, where final payment is D-90), if you've paid a reduced deposit the cancellation penalty is the reduced deposit. The penalty to cancel is never an amount greater than that which has been paid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting,  If the fact that cancellation fee is greater than low deposit is only in the small print BUT low deposit is in the LARGE PRINT that is in the main advert , then this may well fall foul of consumer protection rules. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

Interesting,  If the fact that cancellation fee is greater than low deposit is only in the small print BUT low deposit is in the LARGE PRINT that is in the main advert , then this may well fall foul of consumer protection rules. 

 

Why? It is the consistency of the font size in the Terms and Conditions that is important to ensure that all T&C’s are equally displayed so that no one clause is more prominent than another otherwise that could potentially mislead a passenger and fall foul of the law.

 

The fact that a low deposit is promoted in a headline advert is in no way misleading because the cancellation charges and conditions are exclusively set in the Terms and Conditions. This is irrespective of the size of deposit whether that is a percentage or a fixed sum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

NO , That's not the way it works

 

If one part of the offer, that is ,the low deposit is given undue prominance in the the advertising and another part the higher cancellation fee is only  in the terms and conditions.  If it is contrary to normal expectations. Normal expectations being a low deposit by most people would be taken as a low cancellation fee. 

 

Then 

 

Unless on booking before payment of the deposit the agent or website specifically stated very clearly if you cancelled you would be liable for more than the deposit .

Then the advert would be deemed misleading, and the contract would be deemed unfair under UK consumer protection rules. The unfair terms and conditions would not apply, and the higher cancellation could not be charged.

 

That is why the competition commission is looking at holiday contracts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

NO , That's not the way it works

 

If one part of the offer, that is ,the low deposit is given undue prominance in the the advertising and another part the higher cancellation fee is only  in the terms and conditions.  If it is contrary to normal expectations. Normal expectations being a low deposit by most people would be taken as a low cancellation fee. 

 

Then 

 

Unless on booking before payment of the deposit the agent or website specifically stated very clearly if you cancelled you would be liable for more than the deposit .

Then the advert would be deemed misleading, and the contract would be deemed unfair under UK consumer protection rules. The unfair terms and conditions would not apply, and the higher cancellation could not be charged.

 

That is why the competition commission is looking at holiday contracts.

 

You are overemphasising a consumer’s right to cancel.

 

As far as I am aware, there is no UK law that stipulates that an advert must display the cancellation conditions. In general, Contracts of Sale are final unless the goods or services supplied are faulty. Holidaymakers should consider themselves fortunate that tour operators provide for cancellation in their Terms and Conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

There is a law that says an advert must not be misleading 

 

Yes I agree but the absence of cancellation conditions does not render an advert misleading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does make it misleading if it emphases a low deposit,  with no mention of a higher cancellation fee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Windsurfboy said:

It does make it misleading if it emphases a low deposit,  with no mention of a higher cancellation fee

 

There is nothing misleading in offering a low deposit. The cancellation charge is not automatically and always the initial payment.

 

The fact that a consumer is permitted to cancel is a contractual right which is governed by the Terms and Conditions of the Contract. Not all holiday contracts are the same and one has to look at the T&C’s to see what level of cancellation charge is applicable at the time cancellation is contemplated which could be the entire cost of the holiday.

 

On your analysis, the advert would be misleading in the event that the cancellation charge exceeded the “normal” deposit and that is plainly wrong.

Edited by North West Newbie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I used TUI as an example, I've just tried a "dummy" booking and there was nowhere that I could see where the cancellation terms were stated as I was selecting the various options.

 

Now as it happens, I booked a hotel last Saturday and that site was very clear; it stated what would be taken from my card now and also it stated the date by which I could cancel and receive a full refund.

 

As a general observation, if you book just a hotel they are very clear about cancellations (e.g. book this rate and you can cancel up until some date or book this rate and no cancellations are accepted, or whatever) but package holidays hide all that in the T&Cs that you have to go and look for yourself.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, ToadOfToadHall said:

As I used TUI as an example, I've just tried a "dummy" booking and there was nowhere that I could see where the cancellation terms were stated as I was selecting the various options.

 

Now as it happens, I booked a hotel last Saturday and that site was very clear; it stated what would be taken from my card now and also it stated the date by which I could cancel and receive a full refund.

 

As a general observation, if you book just a hotel they are very clear about cancellations (e.g. book this rate and you can cancel up until some date or book this rate and no cancellations are accepted, or whatever) but package holidays hide all that in the T&Cs that you have to go and look for yourself.

 

 

And to be fair to those who don’t, that in itself doesn’t mean they are misleading anyone. As you say Toad, you just have to go and look in the T&C’s .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly I double checked the terms and conditions for a p and o , cruise with a 5% deposit . The cancellation charges are deposit,  not 15%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

Interestingly I double checked the terms and conditions for a p and o , cruise with a 5% deposit . The cancellation charges are deposit,  not 15%

Precisely. Q.E.D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we agreeing,  that they have now changed terms and conditions so that the cancellation fee is never more than deposit. This brings them in line with consumer protection rules that cancellation fee must not be bigger than deposit unless made very clear upfront 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Windsurfboy said:

Are we agreeing,  that they have now changed terms and conditions so that the cancellation fee is never more than deposit. This brings them in line with consumer protection rules that cancellation fee must not be bigger than deposit unless made very clear upfront 

 

Has the UK cancellation fee ever been more than the deposit for Cunard (when cancelling more than 90 days before departure date)? Maybe I've missed something along the way, but the reference I recall seeing here about a cancellation fee being more than the initial deposit was ToadOfToadHall mentioning that was the case for a package holiday booked through a travel agency. I did not gather the cancellation terms for that holiday had anything to do with Cunard necessarily. But then maybe I've misunderstood this discussion.

Edited by bluemarble

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we have misunderstood, I've just been arguing  consumer protection rules say

 

firstly that cancellation fees must now reflect costs to company, taking the whole deposit 2 years may contradict this

 

Secondly that cancellation fees cannot be higher than deposits unless that is well advertised upfront. Cunard may not advertise low deposits but many other cruise lines do.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to make a common sense comment until I realized that I often see hotel prices for which the cancellation penalty is higher than the initial deposit. I just canceled such a reservation last weekend; there was no deposit but my card was charged about $30 to cancel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't say about US but in UK that's fine as long as it's made absolutely clear upfront and not hidden in small print T&Cs.  The point I've been making is these things must be clear up front.

 

30$ is not an unreasonable administration cost , which is allowed even well in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My head hurts!!  Could we have an up to date 'in a nutshell' please. 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Windsurfboy said:

30$ is not an unreasonable administration cost , which is allowed even well in advance.

If I had waited a day the cancellation would have been one night's lodging, on the order of $120-150, about 30 days ahead of check-in.

Not unusual (and as a rule I try to avoid a hotel rate with any cancellation penalty - plans change), but it tempers my opinion about the potential for a cruise line's cancellation penalty to exceed the deposit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...