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Crystal still hasn't processed my 5 figure refund from a cancellation in February


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The Crystal Cruise Family FB page has numerous posts on refunds,  If there is a thread in the posts, it is that there appears to be no "first in, first out" rule.  Some have waited more than 90 days, others less than a month.  Unless something is put on paper by Crystal's senior management, no one will know the exact details on the refund process.  Our journey has just started.  We have about 105 days from canceling our cruise till we must pay the remainder on a January Serenity cruise.  If we get a refund, they get paid.  Otherwise we will cancel the January cruise.

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Its interesting that the three companies I received refunds from are each part of a much larger company such as CCL, RCL and NCL (Seabourn, Celebrity and Oceania).  I do not know the market capitalization of Genting as it as not as well known in the US as the big three.  
 

I think when I decide to cruise again it will be with a cruise line that is part of one of the above.   If I had received my refund from Crystal when I received all the others I would probably still consider Crystal.  
 

I get different answers from different res agents that don’t match answers other get and don’t make sense based on what has been posted here re refunds.  There are still a lot of choices out there (for now) and Crystal doesn’t seem to be aware of this, otherwise I think they would be trying harder.   This is survival mode and if they do not act swiftly there will be people who may have been wanting to give them a break but when other Cruiselines tell me up to 90days, and I get the refunds before that, that is the standard I look for.


That FB page has some very sad comments on it.

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11 hours ago, almostretired said:

The Crystal Cruise Family FB page has numerous posts on refunds,  If there is a thread in the posts, it is that there appears to be no "first in, first out" rule.  Some have waited more than 90 days, others less than a month.  Unless something is put on paper by Crystal's senior management, no one will know the exact details on the refund process.  Our journey has just started.  We have about 105 days from canceling our cruise till we must pay the remainder on a January Serenity cruise.  If we get a refund, they get paid.  Otherwise we will cancel the January cruise.

I am in the same position and I had decided the same thing.

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Still crickets after 90 days and several follow ups- Crystal has really disappointed! They really don't measure up compared to  others w/ their customer service.No proof of this but I get a sense there is a "pecking order" based on who you know.

 

I have been fairly treated by Oceania ,Viking,and Regent.

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We’ve had a great river cruise and a great ocean cruise on Crystal and we’re thinking of going again. We got an open booking on our last ocean cruise. But, seeing some people wait well over 90 days for a refund has given me pause on booking again with them. Either their financial condition or customer service are questionable, or both. Unless there’s another reason I can’t think of. 

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So, for some it seems it has been 90 days.  Some posters here said not to ask where our money is until its 90 days.  So, what now?  Basically One can call and call and call and you will be told three different things.  Unless someone has a direct line to someone in charge at Crystal to get them to refund the money, they seem to be holding all the cards and giving different answers depending on the time of day, weather or mood.

 

There are still choices (as of now) for luxury cruises and I would think Crystal would want to retain loyal cruisers (as opposed to finding new ones) and with their refund situation to their loyal guests, they are not.

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20 hours ago, cruisr said:

So, for some it seems it has been 90 days.  Some posters here said not to ask where our money is until its 90 days.  So, what now?  Basically One can call and call and call and you will be told three different things.  Unless someone has a direct line to someone in charge at Crystal to get them to refund the money, they seem to be holding all the cards and giving different answers depending on the time of day, weather or mood.

 

There are still choices (as of now) for luxury cruises and I would think Crystal would want to retain loyal cruisers (as opposed to finding new ones) and with their refund situation to their loyal guests, they are not.

 

Why did you wait for 90 days?  It is not up to Crystal to change the term after the fact.  They don't get to say 90 days or whatever arbitrary number of days.  Call your credit card.  

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I guess I was listening to the advise of some of the cheerleaders on here to give Crystal a chance.  Unprecedented times, they are overwhelmed, be patient, etc, etc and had faith in their statements.  

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Good advise,you are right! It's over 90 days and they are now NOT answering emails! I have turned this over to the credit card company to file a claim. I personally think they are under funded and probably may not going to make it.

 

I am surprised when I see Crystal's 2022/23 cruise schedules,like people are going to send them more funds for future cruises-really!

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8 minutes ago, blackfoot said:

Good advise,you are right! It's over 90 days and they are now NOT answering emails! I have turned this over to the credit card company to file a claim. I personally think they are under funded and probably may not going to make it.

 

I am surprised when I see Crystal's 2022/23 cruise schedules,like people are going to send them more funds for future cruises-really!

I've had no response to emails either, so disappointing 😞

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41 minutes ago, blackfoot said:

It's over 90 days and they are now NOT answering emails! I have turned this over to the credit card company to file a claim. I personally think they are under funded and probably may not going to make it.

 

31 minutes ago, G2G said:

I've had no response to emails either, so disappointing 😞

 

I've received the following auto response to several emails to Guest Relations. 

 

Thank you for your recent email to Crystal Cruises’ Guest Relations Department.

One of our Guest Relations Coordinators will review your post-cruise concerns as quickly as possible.

Your patience is greatly appreciated as we research your case for response. 

This is an automated email to acknowledge your message has been received. Please do not reply to this email as it is for your records. 

 

Not only were my emails not related to post-cruise concerns, but I didn't receive any further response.  In phone conversations with GR staff over the past month, I've been variously told our that our claims (day 105 & day 83) have been "expedited" or are "pending" or are "with accounting".  Crystal said our air fees would be paid by check, so it's all on them and not because of some credit card delay.  IMO, these excuses and false promises are nothing but delay tactics.  

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It is so disappointing to hear that Crystal is not even responding emails from passengers whit claims over 90 days. 90 days is already long enough. How are we supposed to trust Crystal and make payment for further itineraries if this is the way they are handling the refunds or the communication with guests.?
I have read that some airlines know that they are going to file for bankruptcy but still they are selling tickets or are actively marketing them. I hope this is not the case from Crystal.

Please Crystal give us confidence. This are difficult times for everyone not just for the cruiseline. If Crystal wants more bookings from us, it is not us who need “patience”, but it is Crystal who needs to build our trust again.
Ivi

Edited by travelberlin
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"How are we supposed to trust Crystal and make payment for further itineraries if this is the way they are handling the refunds or the communication with guests.?"

 

Exactly !! ,  Crystal needs to put MORE efforts in providing timely refund and better communication, and LESS effort in advertising for cruises end of this year, specially if "staff' shortage is a factor 

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Is anyone actually using their travel agent for this, like they should be?  We know Crystal has furloughed most of their customer service agents (as most of the travel industry has — we are NINE MILLION industry jobs down right now in the US right now), so bombarding an email box and complaining about response time, while of course justifiably frustrating, doesn’t seem like a smart or practical game plan if you’re trying to get action.

 

And absolutely, before 90 days you can get a credit from your credit card company to cover the gap, and after 90 days the credit card company can do a chargeback for the refund based on your documentation.

 

Vince

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1 hour ago, docmark said:

"How are we supposed to trust Crystal and make payment for further itineraries if this is the way they are handling the refunds or the communication with guests.?"

 

Exactly !! ,  Crystal needs to put MORE efforts in providing timely refund and better communication, and LESS effort in advertising for cruises end of this year, specially if "staff' shortage is a factor 


Crystal doesn’t “make” a dime until they sail, so they need to do both things in order to survive --  sail ASAP,  AND market future sailings.  If they don’t sail until 2021, much bigger cuts will need to be made to the organization.

 

Vince

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47 minutes ago, BWIVince said:

Is anyone actually using their travel agent for this, like they should be?  We know Crystal has furloughed most of their customer service agents (as most of the travel industry has — we are NINE MILLION industry jobs down right now in the US right now), so bombarding an email box and complaining about response time, while of course justifiably frustrating, doesn’t seem like a smart or practical game plan if you’re trying to get action.

 

Yes.  Our travel agent has advocated for us with Crystal and we're no further ahead in knowing the status of our refunds.  Yesterday I asked her to escalate our situation again so we'll see. 

 

Numerous concerns about the timeliness of refunds have been raised here on CC with no response from Crystal.  Instead you and other industry insiders have kindly provided some basic info about the process, which I have appreciated.  Why couldn't Crystal make the process more transparent to their valued guests by posting updates on their website or sending a quick email when they fail to meet their own deadlines?  Something to the effect of .... despite our best efforts, some refunds are now taking longer than 90 days.  We know we've let you down, but these are exceptions and we're working to get those refunds to you within xxx days.  I'm sure that would reduce the amount of emails and phone calls they need to answer now, whether by valued guests directly or via their TAs.  It's the absence of info that generates inquiries.

 

Crystal has asked for our patience and understanding as they navigate these tough times.  I fully appreciate the difficulties they face with huge volumes of refunds being processed by a reduced staff working from home.  But tough times call for good and frequent communication.  It's key to resolving concerns and instilling confidence.  Crystal's lack of basic information and transparency, especially now that they have failed their own time commitments on some refunds, raises serious questions.  My patience and understanding has been exhausted. 

 

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Mighty Quinn...to quote you below, I completely agree.

 

Why couldn't Crystal make the process more transparent to their valued guests by posting updates on their website or sending a quick email when they fail to meet their own deadlines?  Something to the effect of .... despite our best efforts, some refunds are now taking longer than 90 days.  We know we've let you down, but these are exceptions and we're working to get those refunds to you within xxx days.  I'm sure that would reduce the amount of emails and phone calls they need to answer now, whether by valued guests directly or via their TAs.  It's the absence of info that generates inquiries."

 

Thanks for putting the situation in clear perspective.

~Nancy

Edited by oakridger
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9 hours ago, BWIVince said:

Is anyone actually using their travel agent for this, like they should be?  We know Crystal has furloughed most of their customer service agents (as most of the travel industry has — we are NINE MILLION industry jobs down right now in the US right now), so bombarding an email box and complaining about response time, while of course justifiably frustrating, doesn’t seem like a smart or practical game plan if you’re trying to get action.

 

And absolutely, before 90 days you can get a credit from your credit card company to cover the gap, and after 90 days the credit card company can do a chargeback for the refund based on your documentation.

 

Vince

My agent told me that they will not take phone calls and respond slowly to emails. I am at 90 days soon and will make a charge back, but I will lose 25% of my original payment as I took the 75% refund and 25% as FCC. I am beyond disappointed with their cavalier attitude. 

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1 hour ago, G2G said:

My agent told me that they will not take phone calls and respond slowly to emails. I am at 90 days soon and will make a charge back, but I will lose 25% of my original payment as I took the 75% refund and 25% as FCC. I am beyond disappointed with their cavalier attitude. 

G2G, why will you lose the 25% FCC?  I thought they were processing those much faster, and it should be on your account already.  Did your TA tell you this would happen if you dispute the cash refund on your credit card?

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17 minutes ago, SusieQft said:

G2G, why will you lose the 25% FCC?  I thought they were processing those much faster, and it should be on your account already.  Did your TA tell you this would happen if you dispute the cash refund on your credit card?

Crystal told my agent, they said it was a penalty. 
Whilst the FCC may be showing on my account, I have no way of seeing this, I asked Crystal & they said it’s for internal view only. 

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It is true that if you do a chargeback, you would likely only get what the credit card company is responsible for — that’s important to note.  If the transaction was part of a bigger deal with credits and such, I would definitely wait longer to see what happens unless my bank advised me I had to file it now or never because of some kind of timeline restriction in my agreement with them.

 

Chargebacks are time consuming and distracting for merchants, especially right now when all resources are dedicated elsewhere.  If a bank invoices the money back from a cruise line and voids the transaction, any deal that you had with the supplier for extra stuff may go with it.  The last thing suppliers want to take the time to do is negotiate a new deal with the cardholder, they’ll usually just pay the chargeback and be done.  That can be good or bad in this case.

 

Vince

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9 hours ago, MightyQuinn said:

 

Yes.  Our travel agent has advocated for us with Crystal and we're no further ahead in knowing the status of our refunds.  Yesterday I asked her to escalate our situation again so we'll see. 

 

Numerous concerns about the timeliness of refunds have been raised here on CC with no response from Crystal.  Instead you and other industry insiders have kindly provided some basic info about the process, which I have appreciated.  Why couldn't Crystal make the process more transparent to their valued guests by posting updates on their website or sending a quick email when they fail to meet their own deadlines?  Something to the effect of .... despite our best efforts, some refunds are now taking longer than 90 days.  We know we've let you down, but these are exceptions and we're working to get those refunds to you within xxx days.  I'm sure that would reduce the amount of emails and phone calls they need to answer now, whether by valued guests directly or via their TAs.  It's the absence of info that generates inquiries.

 

Crystal has asked for our patience and understanding as they navigate these tough times.  I fully appreciate the difficulties they face with huge volumes of refunds being processed by a reduced staff working from home.  But tough times call for good and frequent communication.  It's key to resolving concerns and instilling confidence.  Crystal's lack of basic information and transparency, especially now that they have failed their own time commitments on some refunds, raises serious questions.  My patience and understanding has been exhausted. 

 


Thanks for the explanation — let’s see what comes of escalation in the sales channels vs. reservations.  I know what challenges reservations has in keeping up with this situation — the problems only compound when they have new rounds of cancellations coming every week or two, each longer and further out than the last.  

Sales, OTOH, is really the team that’s responsible for addressing the concerns you mentioned, and the feelings you described.  They are the ones responsible for managing the reputation to the degree you mention, when the operations teams (like reservations) are in the weeds like they are now.  (I don’t envy my account managers right now.)

 

Vince

Edited by BWIVince
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FWIW, we are in the process of requesting refunds from Qatar Airways. The airline canceled our flight in early May. We received this email about 2 weeks ago. The bold, underlined and italicized text is my editing, not the airlines. (I also redacted our personal reservation information from the cut-and-pasted text.) Qatar Airways is fully owned by the Qatari government. If government-owned entities are experiencing refund delays, it may serve as an illustrative barometer of the challenges experienced by privately-owned operators.

 

Rob

 

Thank you for submitting a request for a refund to Qatar Airways and apologies for the delay in responding.

If you have requested your refund at least 72 hours before your scheduled flight departure, your refund will be accepted. It may take up to eight weeks to get the money back into your bank account or card depending on who you bank with.

We are currently processing an unprecedented volume of requests. Our ability to do this swiftly has been made more challenging by government lockdown measures, however we are working through all of the requests and will complete the task.

Despite these challenges, we are processing your refunds as quickly as we can. 

Additionally, if you do not hear back from us by the time your scheduled flight has departed, do not worry. Your refund request will be accepted and processed in due course.

You can help us to process refunds more quickly by refraining from submitting multiple requests, or calling us to follow up, as this slows down our processing time. To review the status of your request and add additional comments, follow the link below:
http://qatarairways.zendesk.com/************

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused. We are grateful to you for your patience and understanding at this time.

Sincerely,
Qatar Airways Support

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Well, my TA’s contact was laid off after 25 years with Crystal.  She is getting the same (all different answers) that everybody is getting which basically does not get us our money back, just pleas to be patient.  

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