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NEED A FAIR REFUND POLICY DUE TO VIRUS


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11 hours ago, ozzicruiser said:

Jland sorry to read you still haven't received your refund. 

Have you tried Fair Trading and NCAT they will help you get your refund from Ponant Australia because they are in Sydney and your booking would be through the Sydney office. 

Ozzicruiser, thanks for your concern. My solicitors appointment is free, through an association I am a member of. I will take their advice and yours before I take the next step. I will never give up. Ponant quoting French law in Australia is illegal, they should and do know that.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/13/2020 at 9:42 PM, Ness71 said:

I am so disappointed by the response from Ponant re COVID-19. I have been planning and paying off my trip to the Seychelles, Madagascar and Mauritius for 18 months. 

On 7/11/2020 at 7:15 PM, No Ponant Fan said:

We have been making efforts to get a full refund from Ponant for a cruise that was cancelled May 3rd. We attempted to go through our credit card company who originally refunded our money while they contacted Ponant. Ponant sent the credit card company illegible information about their cancellation policy and our credit card company said they would need more information to further dispute the charge.

We also sent a letter to Catherine Brin Customer Service Manager US reservations. At least we did get a response since all the messages we sent through their web site went unanswered. An excerpt of her response-“As a French-flagged company, our Terms & Conditions are governed by French law, which was just changed to allow travel companies to offer a 100% future cruise credit for 12 months instead of a refund.  However, in an effort of good faith, we are offering a 120% future cruise credit which can be used over a longer period, up to 24 months.”

Not what we wanted to hear. We replied by telling them they are not helping their reputation with this policy and our credit card statement said Ponant USA LLC so French law does not apply. An LLC is governed by the laws of the state in which the LLC is formed which is NY. We will be filing a complaint with NY’s attorney general.

If anyone has any other suggestions please let us know. We have no desire to go on a cruise we are forced to go on or lose a lot of money.


 

I am connected with other USA based passengers on cruises that Ponant cancelled. (They cancelled the cruise not the government) We all successfully disputed with the credit card company (this means we got. A temporary credit and when fully resolved got a permanent credit).  
 

now many months after getting the perm at credit one person had this reversed again in ponants favor.  

visa dispute procedure and appeals is opaque from a consumer point of view.  

 

anyone else have this happen and any suggestions on how to proceed?

Edited by djasinsk
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Someone on here got in touch with the attorney general from New York State. Then the AG from NY called Catherine Brin, and was granted the refund. Ponant made my reservation through the AMERICAN office, so you  might try this.

My airline already canceled my flights and graciously is sending a full refund, so I cannot get there. NO US citizens allowed in australia or new zealand.

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  • 3 weeks later...

After putting up one hell of a fight we finally, Friday, received our refund. We contacted our Federal MP who then wrote to the chairman of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) on our behalf. I will not bore you with the details, unless anybody is interested, but suffice to say Ponant moved very quickly once the ACCC became involved.

It is such a pity Ponant allowed this matter to go on for so long. They were adamant they would not give us a refund, we were equally adamant we would not give up. We will not be forced into giving any company an interest free loan.

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Hello jland,

I have just received notification that our Antarctic Ponant cruise has been cancelled , no surprises there as it is only 2 months away.! Now of course they want to offer us a future cruise credit. I am expecting a battle with them & honestly I feel a bit tired as Ive already battled several other companies... Could you please share with me how you managed to get a refund? Id love to think we will be travelling again soon but  realistically it may not be for 2-3 years minimum so Id like our money back . WE live in South Australia & booked this trip whilst on board a Kimberley Cruise with them  in 2019 - which was fantastic ! Any information you can share would be much appreciated. Cheers

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On 11/12/2020 at 10:26 PM, crazydoc42 said:

Hello jland,

I have just received notification that our Antarctic Ponant cruise has been cancelled , no surprises there as it is only 2 months away.! Now of course they want to offer us a future cruise credit. I am expecting a battle with them & honestly I feel a bit tired as Ive already battled several other companies... Could you please share with me how you managed to get a refund? Id love to think we will be travelling again soon but  realistically it may not be for 2-3 years minimum so Id like our money back . WE live in South Australia & booked this trip whilst on board a Kimberley Cruise with them  in 2019 - which was fantastic ! Any information you can share would be much appreciated. Cheers

Hello,

 I am going to be in the same boat,, no pun intended as you, fairly soon. I am booked on back to back January 30, 2021 on the Le Bellot, which I know is not sailing in New Zealand now and will not be, followed by the sub Antartica voyage. I am just waiting to see what happens, I know it will no be good....Good luck to you , keep posting

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On 11/13/2020 at 3:26 PM, crazydoc42 said:

Hello jland,

I have just received notification that our Antarctic Ponant cruise has been cancelled , no surprises there as it is only 2 months away.! Now of course they want to offer us a future cruise credit. I am expecting a battle with them & honestly I feel a bit tired as Ive already battled several other companies... Could you please share with me how you managed to get a refund? Id love to think we will be travelling again soon but  realistically it may not be for 2-3 years minimum so Id like our money back . WE live in South Australia & booked this trip whilst on board a Kimberley Cruise with them  in 2019 - which was fantastic ! Any information you can share would be much appreciated. Cheers

crazydoc, sorry to take so long to reply. We were in the same boat as you, we battled so many companies to get our money refunded that we nearly gave up with Ponant. It was only their arrogance towards us which kept us going. Firstly let me tell you a little about our situation. My husband has, in the past, suffered heart failure, stroke and has type 1 diabetes. He really is in the high risk group as far as the virus goes. We are also over seventy. There is no way we can cruise within the next 18 months. We asked Ponant to show some compassion. When that fell on deaf ears, we started emailing Sarina Bratton 

she is the head of Ponant Asia Pacific, sbratton@ponant.com she did reply but still would not refund. I then emailed ACCC but got a standard reply telling me to read the website, as if I hadn’t already. I then emailed Rod Sims, rod.sims@accc.gov.au but got no reply. Then through an organisation I am a member of I was granted a free consultation with a solicitor who read the contract for me. But in the mean time I wrote to my Federal MP asking him to write to Rod Sims, chairman ACCC, on my behalf which he did. Things moved very quickly from there and within a little more than a week we had our refund.

Ponant sent me an email stating they had decided to release a small amount of refunds to people like us suffering hardship. No mention of ACCC involvement, made it sound as if they were doing it out of kindness.

I really do urge you to email Sarina Bratton first, if no joy, then get in touch with your Federal MP. It has to be your Federal MP as ACCC are a federal outfit.

I have read on this board that people in the US have had success when they have contacted their Attorney General, I hope I have that correct.

crazydoc, I have tried to keep this brief so I do not bore other people who are not from Australia, but if you need more help I am more than happy to help.

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36 minutes ago, crazydoc42 said:

Thank you Jland so much for replying , I’ll try some of your suggestions 👍

Happy to help, keep us informed with your progress. Never ever give up, that is what Ponant wants you to do, then they have won.

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3 hours ago, resistk said:

Received a reply from the NY Division of Consumer Protection, they wrote that since Ponant refuses to acknowledge their letters, they have referred the matter to the NY Attorney General's Office, Consumer Fraud Bureau.

 

Please keep us posted.  I may be following your route soon.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Greetings Host JazzBeau:

 

Great news to hear you will get a refund without a fight!  That is never a pleasant experience.  Was your TA able to forward any documentation to confirm this for you?  I am absolutely floored how  Ponant has handled these reimbursements to its customers.

 

I have been following this thread as I feel I may be in your this situation a few months from now.  Have  a cruise booked early July from Manila to Darwin.  I think it's highly unlikely the Phillipines and Australia will not be welcoming US citizens by then!

 

All the best in getting your $$$ back!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Get to your credit card company asap and make a dispute case and get a file number. The credit card companies count the days after a consumer has been given notice of cancellation. Do not wait.

 

Indicate that the FCC is being pushed on you and that you want a refund. PDF any correspondence from your TA or Ponant that showes the FCC push, attach it to your complaint.

 

Do not rely on Ponant period.  

 

Credit card disputes are powerful tools of the consumer. I even got a refund for a Air Canada flight when that despicable airline refused refunds to anyone. 

 

I have 2 friends in the US who work for 2 credit card companies - the credit card companies are discussing what to do about the cruise lines - as the cruise line behavior has caused them major cash flow problems. Suffice it to say my friends state that the cruise lines are public enemy #1 to the credit card companies.

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  • 1 month later...

Got my refund check today!  The full amount I had paid Ponant for the cancelled 2020 cruise, which had been rolled over to the replacement (and also cancelled) January 2021 cruise. 

Here's the relevant timeline:

•  cruise scheduled Dunedin to Auckland Jan 30 – Feb 8, 2021

•  final payment would have been due Nov 1, 2020

•  final payment extended by Ponant to Dec 31, 2020

•  cruise cancelled by Ponant Nov. 24, 2020

•  refund [not FCC] requested through my TA Nov. 24, 2020

•  Ponant agreed to refund Dec. 8, 2020 "within 90 days"

•  Ponant asked whether direct deposit or check Jan. 21, 2021

•  requested check Jan. 22, 2021

•  received check Jan. 29, 2021

 

I suspect that my being a NYS resident may have forced Ponant to acquiesce so easily.  Would like to hear if people from other states are getting cash refunds and how quickly.

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If Ponant can do a refund so quickly for some why do they have to be so dam nasty to others. Their arrogant attitude in Australia is unbelievable, only with government agency intervention will they begrudgingly refund.

I am so happy Host Jazz you had a good outcome.

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My check is from PonantUSA, a NY corporation.  I really think they are trembling in fear of the aggressive NYS Attorney General.  New Zealand seems to be equally aggressive in standing up to Ponant, so there's no reason why Australia couldn't be [they want to resume cruising in both your countries and need to stay on the good side of the governments] – lobby them to enforce your rights!

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Congrats Host Jazzbeau on getting your check!!!

 

Just informed today by my TA that Ponant has cancelled my July cruise from Manila to Darwin.  Surprisingly, I was offered a choice of either FCC or a refund, but was told the refund will not arrive for several months!

 

Despite the timing of the payment, I selected the refund.  Now I get to wait and see how annoying this reimbursement process will actually be.  I was completely shocked Ponant even offered a refund!

 

Can't help but wonder if your efforts have shaken up the organization and they are now offering refunds, which wasn't occurring before.  If that is the case....TY!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Amazing....our refund arrived today!   Only 17 days after being notified!  I am in shock, but realize this due to all the the past efforts of those who fought so hard to make their refunds a reality.   Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  • 1 month later...

Ponant USA refunded in full after a little over one year:

"I am pleased to advise you that the company has agreed to our request to resolve your complaint.

Of course, if the company fails to keep their commitment, kindly write to notify me.

On behalf of Attorney General Letitia James, I am glad to have assisted you"

 

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