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Get to your credit card company asap and start a dispute.

 

The situation is a "third party default" - being your agent, the third party, is in default because the funds are with the cruise line. You get a case # and submit some paperwork - a refund will be issued to your card in all likelihood.

 

The cruise lines are deliberately stealing your money to be frank. Do not put up with it.

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I cancelled our June Alaskan cruise and understand there will be a long wait for a refund.  My concern is I don't see anything noted on my account that the cancellation has been submitted.  I didn't get a confirmation for the cancellation form I submitted.  Is that normal?  TIA

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1 hour ago, knotfaking said:

I cancelled our June Alaskan cruise and understand there will be a long wait for a refund.  My concern is I don't see anything noted on my account that the cancellation has been submitted.  I didn't get a confirmation for the cancellation form I submitted.  Is that normal?  TIA

I cancelled a June 28 cruise on March 16. It still showed up on my account until two or three days ago, then it finally disappeared. I haven't received my deposit back yet, of course.

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We used big-online-TA for our May 3 Alaskan HAL cruise.  Also booked a pre/post hotel for 1 night each thru them.

Booked air with Alaska Air.

 

3/30 we received a notice from big-online-TA that told us HAL cancelled our cruise (which we were patiently waiting for them to do given the situation) and it provided a link.  The link went to HAL's website to choose refund or 125% FCC.  We chose refund.

 

Once per day I checked HAL and big-online-TA site to see if anything changed on our reservation.  One day I noticed one of the hotels on big-online-TA site offered cancellation with full refund so we took that option.  Few days later the other hotel also offered cancellation of our non-refundable rate.  Both have credited back to our cards.  Woo-hoo!

 

Then on 4/22, big-online-TA had a button on the HAL cruise to "Request Cancellation" but I never received an email about it.  I clicked and it let me choose 125% FCC or refund but this time it was big-online-TA's site.  Chose refund.

Two days later (4/24), it says;

A refund has been issued to the original form of payment. It may take one or two billing cycles for the refund to appear on your    credit or bank statement.

Hasn't made it to our cards yet.

 

Same day, AK Air changed our flight times.  I would say they cancelled them because flight numbers changed.  Called the next day and they said they would refund.  Same wording as above.....may take 1-2 billing cycles for the refund to appear.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

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Was just speaking to HAL associate (Apr 27/20).  Inquiring as to what strategy credits were being processed.  Basicially, my refund was approved as of Apr 7/20 for cruise departure of Apr. 22/20.  The queue they have established is 60 days from HAL refund approval.  Therefore according to HAL associate, I should see my refund applied to my credit card.

As the associate confirmed HAL has been inundated with requests either under their "FCC" plan or dollar to dollar applied to credit cards.  Hopefully, I can do my "Happy Refund Dance" around June 8/20.  Stay safe and maintain as happy disposition as this COVID19 has ground the world to a stop.  friedaliene

 

  • 1 hour ago, Alibaster McGillicutty said:

    We used big-online-TA for our May 3 Alaskan HAL cruise.  Also booked a pre/post hotel for 1 night each thru them.

    Booked air with Alaska Air.

     

    3/30 we received a notice from big-online-TA that told us HAL cancelled our cruise (which we were patiently waiting for them to do given the situation) and it provided a link. 

     

    Fingers crossed! ...

     

     

    9 hours ago, IPB4IGO said:

    I cancelled a June 28 cruise on March 16. It still showed up on my account until two or three days ago, then it finally disappeared. I haven't received my deposit back yet, of course. ...

     

Edited by friedaliene
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On 3/13/2020 at 5:04 PM, dlesh77 said:

Hi all, 

Canceled my April 25th cruise on HAL today. My TA said Holland is taking up to two weeks or longer to process refunds. Has anyone canceled since this all started happening, and how long to get your refund? TIA

I cancelled on the 13th of March for our cruise due to leave on March 18th..  Was told my refund of taxes and port fees would be two weeks.  Did not receive it so contacted them to see what was happening and was told it would take 60 days. 

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Here's my question ... can anyone find the HAL refund policy in writing? 

 

HAL representatives tell us 7-10 days, then 30 business days, then 60-90 business days.  What is to stop them from telling us that they will refund you within a year?  Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, nothing. 

 

I've combed through the cruise contract on their website, it does not mention a specific time-frame for a refund, it simply states the conditions under which a refund will and will not be issued to you and that, "Any refunds will be made directly to the method of payment You used at the time of booking or Your travel advisor and You must receive Your refund directly from these sources."  I also combed through the email I got from my TA (Costco Travel) when I booked and they defer to the "supplier", in my case HAL ... "Refund restrictions and policies for unused travel or vacation components vary by airline, by supplier, by season and according to promotional rules and are subject to applicable rules of each supplier." 

 

I cannot find a specific document pertaining to HAL that actually defines their refund policy, so if someone else can I would love either a reply or a private message!  In the meantime, I just passed my 30 day mark and was told it would now take up to 60 business days.  My TA did confirm that HAL's "system" shows that I am entitled to a refund, which I guess means they intend to eventually issue one to me ... I hope. 

 

I called to my state's Attorney General's office, but it was not helpful.  They cannot give legal advice and only suggested that I file a complaint.  However, they were specific that filing a complaint did not ensure a resolution.  Next thought was to file a BBB complaint, because I saw that there were some of those recently against HAL.  My problem with that avenue was that one of the questions the BBB asked prior to allowing you to fill out a complaint is whether or not your are alleging a criminal act has occurred.  I didn't know how to answer it.  Without a specific refund policy in writing, I guess not, but it sure seems criminal for them to hold onto my funds and extend the time-line for their return multiple times without my consent.  Still, BBB might be the way to go in the end.  I suppose there is always the credit card "charge-back."  That seems messier to me than any of the other options (including waiting and crossing my fingers) and really isn't the way I want to proceed.  I will have to decide on it relatively soon though, because I figure if I'm going to do a charge-back I should execute that strategy the day after my cruise was supposed to sail ... which is before the 60 business day timeline.  

 

A little better communication from HAL would probably go a long way right now.  If I knew the exact day, hell even just the week, when they would be processing my refund I feel like it would calm my nerves.  This strategy where first it's this long, now we need longer, and it's going to be longer still ... yadda yadda yadda ... is just frustrating, period.  That and they have the nerve to continue sending me HAL@Home emails.  Their best chance of keeping me as a future customer would be to return the money they owe me first and send emails later.

 

Just my two cents.

Shaun

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At what point do people start taking legal action? On May 5 it will be 60 days for us. Waiting an additional 30 days beyond that date is unacceptable and borders on fraud. They have $6200 of our money and don't seem too concerned about getting it back to us.

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As I just stated on the other, recent thread "Frustrated and Done", I urge all to contact your credit card issuer to at least inquire about starting a dispute--assuming you paid for the cruise by credit card. Time limits to do so may apply, so best to at least check into the process.

 

To Shaunly above, while it is rare that I have used the credit card dispute avenue, when I have done so it was not at all messy. In fact, it was straight-forward. True, as the banks are very busy these days, you may be on hold a while. But, while self-isolating, hopefully you can make the call and make your inquiry. Then you can decide on an informed basis if you want to make a formal dispute through the credit card issuer, or not.

 

Good luck to all!

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In case anyone's interested, here's the boilerplate response the HAL office of the president is using in response to BBB complaints (read it in two responses so far):

 

"We understand that you are awaiting a refund for this booking due to the suspension of our cruise operations, and we are sorry for any delay in receipt of these funds. As you have been previously advised, due to the unprecedented volume of bookings which were cancelled due to COVID-19 that our team is managing, processing this refund may take up to 60?days.

 

We have escalated your case and submitted a request for these refunds to be expedited so we can ensure that you receive your money as soon as possible. We would like to reiterate that this is only a request to be reviewed by management, and we cannot guarantee a date which these will be processed. Please be assured that our Accounting Department is working to finalize this as quickly as possible, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration caused by this delay.

 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility in these extraordinary circumstances."

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5 hours ago, shaunly said:

In case anyone's interested, here's the boilerplate response the HAL office of the president is using in response to BBB complaints (read it in two responses so far):

 

"We understand that you are awaiting a refund for this booking due to the suspension of our cruise operations, and we are sorry for any delay in receipt of these funds. As you have been previously advised, due to the unprecedented volume of bookings which were cancelled due to COVID-19 that our team is managing, processing this refund may take up to 60?days.

 

We have escalated your case and submitted a request for these refunds to be expedited so we can ensure that you receive your money as soon as possible. We would like to reiterate that this is only a request to be reviewed by management, and we cannot guarantee a date which these will be processed. Please be assured that our Accounting Department is working to finalize this as quickly as possible, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration caused by this delay.

 

Thank you for your patience and flexibility in these extraordinary circumstances."

so the squeaky wheel gets their refund faster? I stopped calling after originally being told 7-10 days and then being told 7-14 days and finally 30-60 days. It has been a month since I called HAL to check on my refund.

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Despite this response, if I had monies owing from a cruise line I would be initiating a billing dispute with my credit card issuer sharpish for my original payment to the cruise line. 

 

Not just to have the original charge reversed earlier but also to protect myself financially and to ensure that I did not fall out of my credit card issuers window/timing rules for commencing a billing dispute.

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1 hour ago, iancal said:

Despite this response, if I had monies owing from a cruise line I would be initiating a billing dispute with my credit card issuer sharpish for my original payment to the cruise line. 

 

Not just to have the original charge reversed earlier but also to protect myself financially and to ensure that I did not fall out of my credit card issuers window/timing rules for commencing a billing dispute.

 

I agree entirely with Iancal.  While patience may be a virtue, at least make enquiries on getting the ball rolling to claim what you are owed. 

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I realize that there is a backlog of refunds.

 

But consider this.  Corporations do what is in their best interests to do.  We can see this by how long they are waiting to cancel cruises that will not be going.  They want folks to make final payments.  Or do cancellations inside the final payment window that result in penalties.

 

No doubt cash flow is top of mind for every cruise line.  They have every reason to drag their feet on refunds and prevaricate on upcoming cruise cancellations.   They have an excuse that is plausible....to a certain extent.  

 

I would not care if the cruise lines had a processing problem or a cash flow problem.  I would not want to make their problem my problem.  So my approach would be not another dime to them and I would go the credit card issuer billing dispute route rather than sit on pins and needles for my refund.  It is my money....not theirs.

Edited by iancal
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5 hours ago, iancal said:

Despite this response, if I had monies owing from a cruise line I would be initiating a billing dispute with my credit card issuer sharpish for my original payment to the cruise line. 

 

Not just to have the original charge reversed earlier but also to protect myself financially and to ensure that I did not fall out of my credit card issuers window/timing rules for commencing a billing dispute.

iancal,

I made a deposit in May, 2019 and final payment Dec, 2019 --- can you dispute a charge that is that old?  Seems like I saw 60 days on my Citibank WN card??  I don't think billing, back-logs, and accounting has anything to do with the long wait times for refunding peoples' money, since they haven't refunded anyone in the month of April so far.  The refund process takes about 90 seconds on their end (anyone that has used a merchant credit card machine knows this).  I think it's all about cash flow management and hoping a Ponziesque plan of adding new bookings will help with their situation.  Carnival Corp, through the credit markets, added enough new money to get them through 2020.  What are they waiting for?  

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More information, for those that are interested anyways.  I called my TA this morning and they connected me to a HAL representative through a conference call.  Initially, I simply requested information on how the refund process was working.  The HAL representative was, somewhat understandably, hostile from the moment they came on the line.  I imagine they are taking the same phone call ad nauseam these days.  The word they pivoted to almost every sentence was "unprecedented" as they explained the timeline for refunds and that they had no further information.

 

Once their initial rant was done, I was able to get some more information from the representative.  They are apparently processing the refunds in the order of the cancellations.  I asked for a written copy of the company's refund policy and was told, definitively, that there is not one ... which came with a lot of mentioning the word "unprecedented" again.  The rep did explain that the accounting department at HAL is relatively small, particularly compared to their reservations department, and that every refund requires their accounting department manually adjusting the booking to issue the refund.  They did not specify how long this takes per booking, but alluded to the fact that the department was working continuously on processing refunds.  I eventually explained that at some point I would have to protect myself as a consumer and work with my credit card company for a charge-back on the transaction.  The rep admitted that a dispute is certainly an option for me and then tried to convince me that such action would result in it taking longer for me to get my money than just waiting for HAL to get to my refund.  Apparently, they don't understand how credit card transaction disputes work.  The rep for my TA even commented later (after disconnecting from HAL) that the dispute would likely provide my funds much quicker than the HAL rep was indicating.  Despite knowing the likely answer, I decided to ask the HAL rep if there was anything that could be done to expedite my refund request.  The answer was no.

 

After getting off the phone with this HAL rep, my TA rep was able to get through to the HAL accounting department on a direct phone number.  Don't ask me how they got that, but it worked and the next thing I knew I was talking with a HAL accounting rep on a conference call.  Unfortunately, they were unable to change anything about my situation.  They did confirm that my March 9th cancellation was in the "first batch" of refunds they were processing.  Don't ask me what "first batch" means, they did not expand on it at all.  Nor could the accounting representative even provide an approximate time-frame for my refund.  The accounting rep confirmed basically all the information from the previous rep, but was much more pleasant about it.  I offered the accounting rep some unsolicited feedback about the company not doing a very good job of communicating with their customers throughout this "unprecedented" crisis.  She seemed to take it in stride, but I can only hope she relays it to anyone higher in the company.  I tried not to take up too much of the accounting rep's time, because I would obviously rather have her working on my refund than talking to me on the phone!

 

Anyway, take this information for what it's worth.  I simply felt that this community could use as much information as they can get their hands on since HAL doesn't seem to want to communicate with their customers more broadly about the subject.

 

TL:DR ... HAL has a small accounting department that has to address each cancellation individually, which is what is causing the extensive delays for refunds.  HAL is supposedly processing refunds in the order they were cancelled.  Talking directly to the HAL accounting department did not expedite, or even provide an approximate timeline for my refund.

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Disputed charges under the "old normal" fell under the 60 day's.  In the "COVID19 oxymoron Normal" I'm left with impression this is a movable target.  

 

I spoke to a resolution specialist today, Holland has shifted staff from "Excursions / Speciality dining" over to processing either FCC or direct refund credit. The Holland associate did ask if I was experiencing financial hardship, employment termination or family member death, I guess they might expedite the refund, I have no explicate reason for pushing this other than I want my money.

 

As the HAL associate was explaining this pandemic started in Dec/19 with all the ships in Asian ports. Having to re-schedule or refund any passengers booked in Asia. I know they had a World Tour that was due to disembark in Fort Lauderdale but passengers had to be re-routed from Australia. We tend to forget how many thousands of passengers were booked on a fleet of 15 ships over this extended period. I think we need to remember that these poor HAL staffers are hearing the same story over and over by the thousands.  We think our problem or situation is unique and we get caught up in the "big royal "I", I think of it like a two year old the world as they know it is what revolves around them. Everyone's world has been taken out of a normal orbit. Does berating a HAL staffer change the backlog they must be experiencing.  I'm trying to be a softer, kinder, more understanding person during this, stressing and going ape poop isn't gonna make it happen any faster.  friedaliene

 

image.jpeg.657aa6fd97f90a0807284a034067a8d6.jpeg  Seeking Friendly Faces

Edited by friedaliene
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20 hours ago, TriumphGuy said:

At what point do people start taking legal action? On May 5 it will be 60 days for us. Waiting an additional 30 days beyond that date is unacceptable and borders on fraud. They have $6200 of our money and don't seem too concerned about getting it back to us.

 I understand HAL is overwhelmed with cancelations and refunds, but holding our money for 90 days and beyond is not acceptable.  CCL is not in the best shape in terms of financial book. We have given HAL more than enough time and we have been patient.  Yes, there will be some bashing coming from HAL devotees

Edited by Janet76
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Sorry, but you Americans are way to litigious. So you see a lawyer for consultation at $225 - $300 US an hour.  How many lawyers you think HAL has. So potentially you could exhaust whatever refund your eligible for in legal fees. 

Some one here keeps mentioning BBB - they too are an organization with no clout or muscle.  The BBB is just a joke. They aren't going to fight HAL again they are independent city/town organization trying to help the small business owner in the community. Have some patience is stressing over this going to get you your money any sooner.  friedaliene

 

  • Holland America - 15 ships
  • 15 ships = 25,000 passengers
  • 10 day cruises = 4.5 weeks (Mar 14 - Apr 25)
  • HAL has cancelled global operations until June 30/20 another 9 weeks of 7 days cruises cancelled for another 25,000 deposited / paid passengers
  • doesn't include WIFI, pre-booked excursions, Flight Ease arrangements, speciality dining, pre/post hotels thru Holland, beverage packages, pre-paid gratuities.

Is your stressing over this gonna get you your refund any sooner? Any HAL associate I've spoken to has been cordial and pleasant. At least HAL answers their phones, some of the Internet Travel - hotels, flights, cruises don't even pick up their phones.  The world has gone to Hell in a hand basket. Resolve to be nice to these poor folks, they are just trying to pay their rent, feed their families and get thru this COVID19 - HELL. 

Edited by friedaliene
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With all due respect to my fellow Canadian Friedaliene in the charming city of Kitchener, if you claim that Americans are "way too litigious", then we Canadians can often be too patient for our own good. I have, moreover, not read of any poster here stating that he or she was going to berate HAL front-line staff. Indeed, I would believe and hope that most people here are sympathetic to those on the front lines, even those who Shaunly described, in one case, as being not the best customer service rep.  

 

If in the USA there are lawyers who take cases on contingency (much less common in most Canadian provinces), and some folk want to explore their legal rights, more power to them. But, again, and sorry for being a broken record, the easiest, least expensive and likely least risky step is for anyone who paid for a cruise by credit card is to call your credit card issuer and at least inquire or explore the option of making a formal dispute through your credit card issuer. Iancal and I have said this repeatedly--the credit card issuer should pursue the matter with your vendor, making you whole, at limited or no risk to you.

 

Make the distinction between the HAL front-line (or any) employee, who is trying to manage in a sea of uncertainty (at least they have paid work, unlike some), and the corporate entity. Purchasing a vacation product is a purchase like any other. If the product is not delivered, no consumer is expected to fund the vendor interest-free, unless the consumer chooses to do so. While being nice to the staff with whom one interacts, one should also be nice to oneself, and look after ones own financial best interests. If that means pursuing a claim for a refund via your credit card issuer or exploring other options, so be it. There is nothing at all wrong in doing so.    

Edited by ON cruiser
typo
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A tale of two refunds, my sister and I canceled our cruise on March 10 for a March 14 cruise.  My sister got her refund on March 13, I’m still waiting for mine. Called TA last week and they confirmed my refund amount due but said it could take 6-8 weeks.  I’m not concerned because if the cruise wasn’t cancelled I’d be out the money anyway.  Waiting for money that I wasn’t expecting is not a hardship but I can understand it could be for some. 

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Hello ON cruiser - in Tdot, Too often, I speak without considering the audience. I should have refrained from putting all our American neighbours in one big "Bin".  I also sat on a "VISA - hold" to talk with a Dispute Associate only to have my call dropped - annoying but this is life these days. I am frustrated and want instant gratification of them saying "YES" we will expedite for you. I have to have the patience of respecting the queue - as our cousins across the pond are most respectful of the queue. We lived in the UK - ions ago, I was young and naive, I had a verbal take down for jumping the queue. It's a lesson, I was only required to experience once.

Oh, I do miss having a lovely Greek dinner on the Danforth, having a lazy spring day on Toronto Island, a stroll along the Beachs, or wondering aimlessly thru Ikea without a care in the COVID19 butt. Oh to return to the simple, uncomplicated life.  This too will Pass. 

 

  • Just now, ON cruiser said:

    With all due respect to my fellow Canadian Friedaliene in the charming city of Kitchener, ...   

Let me introduce you all to Pluto Living - there is collection of Pluto's take on how we get thru COVID19.

I hope you enjoy

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/redirect?q=https%3A%2F%2Fzazzle.ca%2Fstore%2Fpluto_living&redir_token=JUbSPg3sls4r1_JMqSfjiLrskQd8MTU4ODIyMTM1NUAxNTg4MTM0OTU1&v=yoAa_3r5qTI&event=video_description

 

 

Edited by friedaliene
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@friedaliene

I know some on here are probably more confrontational than others, but I have treated every representative I have spoken with, both from my TA and HAL, with an appropriate level of civility and respect.  I wholeheartedly agree that the contact with HAL representatives should be courtesy, civil, and respectful. 

 

You are most definitely correct that Americans are litigious.  Admittedly, I briefly explored small claims court, however the court only issues a judgement and I would still be left to collect on that judgement ... which is basically the same thing as waiting on HAL to pay me themselves. 

 

Ok, now I get to stand on my soapbox, so if you prefer to tune out ... feel free.  

 

Obviously these are "unprecedented" times, as the rep that I spoke to so often highlighted.  However, what if I had booked a cruise on HAL and then lost my job?  That would be "unprecedented" times for me.  Would HAL then allow me to pay for my cruise 30, 60, or 90 days later after I was able to find employment again?  What if that happened a week before the sailing, would HAL allow me to cancel that cruise and receive a full refund because of the "unprecedented" circumstances in which I found myself?  Would you be advocating for HAL to be more patient with me as a customer? 

 

I don't owe HAL anything.  At this point, quite the opposite is true.  They have bungled this from the beginning, which unfortunately seems to have been the case with many things throughout this pandemic.  If they had started with clear communication, or even been moving in that direction, they wouldn't have people like myself and others here scrounging for information.  Think about this too though ... if the US Government can setup a website to track whether a stimulus check has been, or will be issued, to each of it's citizens ... then HAL should be able to construct something to allow its customers to track their refund.  I mean seriously ... the US government got something up and running from nothing between my cancelling my cruise and receiving the refund to which I am entitled.

 

Janet76's advice regarding disputing the charge is, by far, the best option available for any HAL customer that does not want to wait for HAL to process a refund.

 

Cheers,

Shaun

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