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


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Tom Wolber

President & CEO of Crystal Cruises

1501 Biscayne Blvd.

501

Miami, FL 33132, US

 

            Re:  Inexcusable Refund Practices for Cancelled Cruises

 

Dear Mr. Wolber:

 

            Word gets around.  We are currently booked on a sailing beginning October 22, 2020.  We have not yet cancelled it, but I suspect that we probably will.  We have learned that although Crystal canceled cruises, Crystal is imposing unreasonable wait times in refunding customers’ money.  We have learned that the typical periods Crystal is holding customer money is a minimum of 75 days, but that it can run over 100 days.  That is unacceptable.

 

As of now, we only have $8,600 exposed to Crystal’s abuse-the-customer business practices.  We are thinking carefully about whether we want to put more funds at risk in the event Crystal cancels this cruise.  Ask yourself, given your company’s on-going demonstrated failure to refund customers’ payments in a reasonable and timely fashion would you take such a risk?  My guess is you would not.

 

We have heard the vague excuses Crystal is giving its customers.  But we have learned the facts.  You are waiting to make refunds until you have done your bookkeeping to allocate the refunds to taxes, cruise fares, air fare and the like.  So, you are holding customer money for your convenience.

 

If you were practicing “customer-first” business, you would have immediately paid people the money that you owe them and did your accounting on your own time.  But at Crystal customers are not first.  They are last.  Crystal’s convenience is first.  We find that unacceptable.  We are just not sure if we want to pay you 10s of thousands of dollars, months in advance, for services you may never supply.

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4 hours ago, twinklles said:

Tom Wolber

President & CEO of Crystal Cruises

1501 Biscayne Blvd.

501

Miami, FL 33132, US

 

            Re:  Inexcusable Refund Practices for Cancelled Cruises

 

Dear Mr. Wolber:

 

            Word gets around.  We are currently booked on a sailing beginning October 22, 2020.  We have not yet cancelled it, but I suspect that we probably will.  We have learned that although Crystal canceled cruises, Crystal is imposing unreasonable wait times in refunding customers’ money.  We have learned that the typical periods Crystal is holding customer money is a minimum of 75 days, but that it can run over 100 days.  That is unacceptable.

 

As of now, we only have $8,600 exposed to Crystal’s abuse-the-customer business practices.  We are thinking carefully about whether we want to put more funds at risk in the event Crystal cancels this cruise.  Ask yourself, given your company’s on-going demonstrated failure to refund customers’ payments in a reasonable and timely fashion would you take such a risk?  My guess is you would not.

 

We have heard the vague excuses Crystal is giving its customers.  But we have learned the facts.  You are waiting to make refunds until you have done your bookkeeping to allocate the refunds to taxes, cruise fares, air fare and the like.  So, you are holding customer money for your convenience.

 

If you were practicing “customer-first” business, you would have immediately paid people the money that you owe them and did your accounting on your own time.  But at Crystal customers are not first.  They are last.  Crystal’s convenience is first.  We find that unacceptable.  We are just not sure if we want to pay you 10s of thousands of dollars, months in advance, for services you may never supply.

Did you send this to Mr. Wolber - or just post here.  You could also post on Crystal's FB page if you have not yet.  We canceled a September river cruise - and although it has been only a month, Crystal has had all our money since last fall.  Hopefully we will see soon.

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4 hours ago, KenzSailing said:

Well, we're not that far from someone calling this whole situation a plot by the Illuminati.

 

Illuminati?  That sounds Italian.

 

Thought Italians would have been tied in with Silversea and their Venetian Society, not Crystal.

 

🙂

 

🙂

 

 

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8 minutes ago, FlyerTalker said:

 

Illuminati?  That sounds Italian.

 

Thought Italians would have been tied in with Silversea and their Venetian Society, not Crystal.

 

🙂

 

🙂

 

 

 

Well, I was referring to the local franchisee, of course.

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IMHO Crystal execs clearly understand the frustration that their customers are experiencing and the harm it is doing to their reputation, so my take is that they have no choice when you are drowning and trying to keep your nose above water, you will do what you have to do to survive. They are in survival mode and I hope they do Survive but the odds are not in our favor. I am due a large refund prior to final payment on a Nov. cruise so if I receive it I will make final payment. If not I have no choice but to cancel and hope for the best.

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Imagine how much more serious Crystal's present cash management problems would be if they had not been able issue a lot of Future Cruise Credits (FCCs).  

When people begin to use those FCCs, the inflow of cash payments will be reduced.

Until FCCs are used or expire at a later date, they are recorded as a liability on the corporate Balance Sheet.  

 

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1 minute ago, Jim9310 said:

When people begin to use those FCCs, the inflow of cash payments will be reduced.

Until FCCs are used or expire at a later date, they are recorded as a liability on the corporate Balance Sheet.  


Exactly the same situation EVERY cruise line (and airline) are going to be in - certainly not unique to Crystal 

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39 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:


Exactly the same situation EVERY cruise line (and airline) are going to be in - certainly not unique to Crystal 

What appears to be unique to Crystal is that they are doing WORSE  than most cruise lines in refunding ….. in reasonable time anyway

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3 minutes ago, docmark said:

What appears to be unique to Crystal is that they are doing WORSE  than most cruise lines in refunding ….. in reasonable time anyway


Got any evidence to support that? 
 A review of pretty much any of the cruise line forums will find similar threads with guests complaining in how long it’s taken or taking for refunds 

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6 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:


Got any evidence to support that? 
 A review of pretty much any of the cruise line forums will find similar threads with guests complaining in how long it’s taken or taking for refunds 

My evidence is EXACTLY the other cruise line forums, I have been monitoring Oceania, Regent, and a little bit Holland. While there are some complaints everywhere, they are definitely doing better than Crystal. 

My cruise on Symphony scheduled for August was cancelled  over 2 weeks ago, and I have been told , REPEATEDLY, that refund may take 90 BUSINESS days....as far as I know, no other cruise line is quoting 90 BUSINESS days

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1 minute ago, docmark said:

My evidence is EXACTLY the other cruise line forums, I have been monitoring Oceania, Regent, and a little bit Holland. While there are some complaints everywhere, they are definitely doing better than Crystal. 

My cruise on Symphony scheduled for August was cancelled  over 2 weeks ago, and I have been told , REPEATEDLY, that refund may take 90 BUSINESS days....as far as I know, no other cruise line is quoting 90 BUSINESS days

 

"The plural of anecdote is not data."

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2 hours ago, Jimmycruiser said:

They are in survival mode and I hope they do Survive but the odds are not in our favor. I am due a large refund prior to final payment on a Nov. cruise so if I receive it I will make final payment. If not I have no choice but to cancel and hope for the best.

Why would you do that - throw good money after bad?

Does your refund guarantee their survival? If so, how?

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1 hour ago, Stickman1990 said:


Exactly the same situation EVERY cruise line (and airline) are going to be in - certainly not unique to Crystal 

Do you have first hand knowledge of their financial situation and how much of their total business revenues they are willing to "sink" into cruising?

Did they manage to obtain extra finances like Carnival Corp. and NCLC which is keeping those two companies afloat for now without cruise revenue (and giving refunds like with Oceania & Regent)?

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51 minutes ago, Stickman1990 said:

Got any evidence to support that? 
 A review of pretty much any of the cruise line forums will find similar threads with guests complaining in how long it’s taken or taking for refunds 

Yes

1) Two Viking river cruises refunded in 3 days !!!!!!!

2) American cruise line deposit refunded in 1 month

3) Oceania 3 deposits ($1500 each) refunded in 43 days and 1 fully paid cruise ($23K+) refunded in 53 days.

But you are partially right - my Seabourn refund is now over 100 days overdue.

 

Edited by Paulchili
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3 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Do you have first hand knowledge of their financial situation and how much of their total business revenues they are willing to "sink" into cruising?

Did they manage to obtain extra finances like Carnival Corp. and NCLC which is keeping those two companies afloat for now without cruise revenue (and giving refunds like with Oceania & Regent)?


No I don’t - which is exactly why I don’t speculate on whether they will survive or not 

 

Re additional funding - I don’t know what measures Genting have taken to secure additional funding 

 

I do know from several friends and posters on this board that Crystal are continuing to make refunds to guests 

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18 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

Yes

1) Two Viking river cruises refunded in 3 days !!!!!!!

2) American cruise line deposit refunded in 1 month

3) Oceania 3 deposits ($1500 each) refunded in 43 days and 1 fully paid cruise ($23K+) refunded in 53 days.

But you are partially right - my Seabourn refund is now over 100 days overdue.

 

 

I have no "skin in the game" as we received our refund from the truncated World Cruise about a month ago, after 53 days, of which 21 days were the fault of the credit card company. I will, however make two observations on your post. First, Viking is a bit of an "outlier" and should probably not be cited in the refund timing debate. They are privately owned, and according to the Director of Sales in a river cruise agent town hall two weeks ago, they have no debt and all ships are paid for in full upon delivery. I have a hard time believing that for the Ocean division, but that is what the man said. Second, Oceania is part of NCLH, a very much larger operation than Crystal with more resources than Crystal to throw at the refund operation. And if you go to the Regent board you will find many of the same complaints, even though they are also part of NCLH.

 

Not trying to excuse Crystal's performance here, and I do wish they would post something on one of these threads, just trying to provide some perspective.

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2 hours ago, blackfoot said:

Paul chili,same experience, I am square w/Oceania, Regent, Viking and HAL. Professional all!

 

Kenz, have a couple more cocktails and share more of your floor show w/ all of us!

 

Thanks for staying until the end of my set.

 

"Enjoy your waiter, and don't forget to tip the veal!"

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3 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:

Re additional funding - I don’t know what measures Genting have taken to secure additional funding

 

I also don't know if Genting HK has secured additional financing.  Whether they have or not, I'd be most interested in knowing their commitment to Crystal going forward. 
 

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9 hours ago, Paulchili said:

Why would you do that - throw good money after bad?

Does your refund guarantee their survival? If so, how?

My final payment date was extended to mid September so if I receive refund due mid July (90 days) and they are still in business by mid September, odds have improved that they will Survive, assuming they really start sailing in November. I know it is only Speculation but it is a risk I am willing to take. IMHO.

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12 hours ago, Stickman1990 said:


Exactly the same situation EVERY cruise line (and airline) are going to be in - certainly not unique to Crystal 

What seems to be unique to Crystal is promising a refund within 90 days and not keeping that promise.
 

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