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8 hours ago, No pager thank you said:

I was interested in this 2,000 a day business/special that someone speaking for P&O (allegedly) came out with today.

 

With little on TV, I set out trying to work out how "unprecedented" this refund issue really is - using pen, paper and basic maths, no other knowledge!

 

I share it here as supposition, and for illustrative purposes only, on the basis that no actual information has been forthcoming from P&O, frustrating most who are concerned about getting their money back according to any measurable period of time.

 

Looking at all the cruises disrupted so far across all seven ships, around 91 sailings have either been disrupted or cancelled across the fleet up to and including 31st July.

 

Using the actual capacity/cabin numbers for their ships, and the focus on high fill rates, you can get a fair guess of sold fares for these sailings. With the story of around "more than half" of people going for FCCs, not refunds, you can then have a fair stab at establishing what the refund backlog really is.

 

In doing so, you can assume that each payment has at least a deposit and a balance in most instances to reimburse (so each is a transaction needing to be processed), and additional transactions in some cases for excursions, pre boarding purchases etc.  This means that each cabin to be reimbursed has three or more "transactions" needing to be reversed to fulfill the refund.  Some just one or two, others more than three.

 

Without boring everyone with too many numbers, my estimates indicate that, at the worst, P&O have some 163k transactions to reimburse in total from both suspensions over the mid March to end July period, and somewhere in the region of 40k transactions needed to come back from the initial pause only.  At 2,000 a day transaction refund capacity, that's a total of 81.5 days effort at full tilt; we are going calendar not P&O working days here folks just to remind you 😉

 

Now, let's be fair/balanced and give P&O four weeks to set up this operation from when the problems really started in mid March; accept that's it's unprecedented; and give full latitude for them being slow off the mark with major incident response/planning.  That still gives them about 35 days of actual capacity up to now.

 

In turn, 70k of refunds should be out now, also assuming negligible numbers in the set up phase.

 

However, we know from passenger reports that many 1st wave suspensions remain un-refunded and up to 86pc overall. Even with a decent chunk of margin of error, it just doesn't suggest that a focus on refunds started at the outset.  45 days should have been deliverable at maximum, some quicker.

 

However, as nothing really started until, being generous, around 10 days ago, it gives you a sense of what the backlog volume really might be. 

 

It also suggests what will happen if the "pause" gets extended around the end of this month.  On that measure, only a quarter of the first (and second) suspension refunds combined could be out. 

 

This will be against a backdrop of passengers being asked to rebook on to increasingly full 2021 sailings, having less worthwhile 25pc bonuses due to fluid pricing, and greater skepticism built in about when cruising will restart.  Also lower goodwill generally.  All adds up to more passengers wanting refunds.  All leads to longer waits.

 

Conclusions:

 

-- If it's true, 2,000 refunds a day isn't sufficient/spectacular.  They need to speed up if so.

-- If it's only 2,000 refunds a day and the estimates that I have indicated are either accurate or an undershoot, then it will cause a bigger refund queue to form at some stage, arising from the slow start.

-- 60 days doesn't necessarily sound viable long term with this, even if they improve where they are now, as we know it that the official position is not the experienced reality for many.

 

You would need more transparency from Q&A from P&O to firm these numbers up, but in current circumstances, when I hear any special claim on this topic, always worth treating it with caution.  As I say my numbers are estimates only, so please treat with similar.

 

Mind you, I would be quite interested in hearing the response to "well you know only 2,000 a day will make it worse don't you..." from whichever customer services person announced that, if indeed they did😂

 

Hope more bank accounts are credited tomorrow for everyone on here


When I stated in an earlier post that I wasn’t surprised at the 2,000 refunds a day and that if they didn’t speed up beyond that level they would be overrun with the combination of the huge backlog plus the next batch of cancellations, I was tempted to try to work out roughly how many refunds they would be dealing with to illustrate the point - but I couldn’t be bothered! However, had I done so, I would have used the same methodology as you have used, so I think your calculations and conclusions are robust. 
 

As the prolonged delay to commencing refunds at pace was clearly deliberate and designed to underpin cash flow, the financial boffins at P&O will have calculated a start date for refunding at pace (which we now know to be 7 days ago) and the rate of refunds per day so that they don’t get overwhelmed (let’s assume that the 2,000 a day is correct) which, together, will continue to allow them to retain as much cash in the business for as long as they can get away with. I sincerely hope that I am wrong but it will be fascinating to see how long those in the next batch of cancellations have to wait for their refunds. Your calculations, along with my theory, may point to the fact that they could have as long a wait as the first few batches have experienced. As I say, I hope that I am proved wrong. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, grapau27 said:

Most of us sat back and didn't do anything until our original timeline of day 45 which was then escalated to up to 60 days.

I was asked by the agent if I wanted to be escalated when I rang at Day 59

Nothing wrong with anyone asking when they ring up they can only say Yes or no.

By law they should refund in 14 days even though given the circumstances most of us have been patient and understanding.

 


I agree. Nobody should feel guilty for having the audacity to enquire as to why their refund is already a month later than the legal requirement of 14 days, just because P&O has decided that they are going to hold on to their customers money for 2 months or more. Those who do not chase are effectively condoning this unauthorised behaviour, which has no basis in law.

Edited by Selbourne
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57 minutes ago, Josy1953 said:

I suspect that a number of people who have booked cruises for later in the year will decide to cancel and choose to lose their deposit. 

 

We have a cruise booked for November and have decided that until there is a vaccine we don't want to go on any cruises.  We have no intention of giving any more money to P&O and have to wait for however long to get it back so we will simply lose the deposit if P&O choose not to cancel the cruise before the balance is due.  It is only £124 because we booked early with a 5% deposit which we think in the current situation is negligible compared to what other people are going through.  We have another one booked for June next year and will leave that one until nearer to the balance due date before making a decision on that one.


There’s no need to ‘gift’ your deposits to P&O. The process for converting deposits to FCC is very simple. Took me 5 minutes. Like you, we are highly unlikely to cruise again until there is a vaccine, so we may end up losing it eventually, but you have until the end of 2021 to redeem it and may, by then, be able to use it on cruises for well into 2022 or even 2023. 

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6 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


There’s no need to ‘gift’ your deposits to P&O. The process for converting deposits to FCC is very simple. Took me 5 minutes. Like you, we are highly unlikely to cruise again until there is a vaccine, so we may end up losing it eventually, but you have until the end of 2021 to redeem it and may, by then, be able to use it on cruises for well into 2022 or even 2023. 

Selbourne, that only applies to bookings for cruises up to the end of August. You do not have the option of converting deposits to FCC on cruises departing from Sept 1st onwards. It may be, that as September comes,  the policy will change. However that requires second guessing P&O policy.  

Having said that, unless you take another P&O cruise,  regardless of what you do, you will lose the value of your deposit. 

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24 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Selbourne, that only applies to bookings for cruises up to the end of August. You do not have the option of converting deposits to FCC on cruises departing from Sept 1st onwards. It may be, that as September comes,  the policy will change. However that requires second guessing P&O policy.  

Having said that, unless you take another P&O cruise,  regardless of what you do, you will lose the value of your deposit. 


Apologies. I didn’t realise that it was only up until the end of August. Whilst you would hope that the same rules would apply,  I agree that you cannot second guess where we will be by then. If there remains no end in sight to the suspension of sailings, I guess there’s a risk that P&O may decide that they can no longer afford to offer that as an option. Customers will then be forced to either forfeit theif deposit or pay the balance in full and then wait an eternity for their money back, all the while getting more and more anxious about the increasingly perilous state of the company. Not a pretty picture. 

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55 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


There’s no need to ‘gift’ your deposits to P&O. The process for converting deposits to FCC is very simple. Took me 5 minutes. Like you, we are highly unlikely to cruise again until there is a vaccine, so we may end up losing it eventually, but you have until the end of 2021 to redeem it and may, by then, be able to use it on cruises for well into 2022 or even 2023. 

I will try to do that, but unfortunately we booked with a TA and they are not the most helpful and when I looked on the P&O site we can only convert up to the end of August at the moment.

Edited by Josy1953
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1 minute ago, Selbourne said:


Apologies. I didn’t realise that it was only up until the end of August. Whilst you would hope that the same rules would apply,  I agree that you cannot second guess where we will be by then. If there remains no end in sight to the suspension of sailings, I guess there’s a risk that P&O may decide that they can no longer afford to offer that as an option. Customers will then be forced to either forfeit theif deposit or pay the balance in full and then wait an eternity for their money back, all the while getting more and more anxious about the increasingly perilous state of the company. Not a pretty picture. 

No problem - I had to recheck the small print.

The issue we have currently, is that future cruises all require 15% deposit, which, coupled with the increased prices,  means that our current deposit (£500+) is not sufficient for any cruise that currently appeals to us. Therefore I will probably book a cheap future cruise, so as to keep the deposit "alive" until such time as an attractive, affordable cruise becomes available.

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All those on here who keep going on about “losing” their deposit, don’t just accept that at face value. The “non refundable deposit “ flies in the face of Unfair Contract Terns legislation, The Consumer Rights Act, CMA guidelines and government guidelines. I managed to get a refund of £900 deposits a few years ago from P and O on this point. They don’t want it tested in court because they know they will probably lose. 

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15 hours ago, Pine Man said:

I 've just got the same emails, which is encouraging.

Blimey! Full refund arrived overnight for my April cruise on Azura.

 

YeeHaa!

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


Apologies. I didn’t realise that it was only up until the end of August. Whilst you would hope that the same rules would apply,  I agree that you cannot second guess where we will be by then. If there remains no end in sight to the suspension of sailings, I guess there’s a risk that P&O may decide that they can no longer afford to offer that as an option. Customers will then be forced to either forfeit theif deposit or pay the balance in full and then wait an eternity for their money back, all the while getting more and more anxious about the increasingly perilous state of the company. Not a pretty picture. 

This is Carnivals rivals cruise with confidence.

Maybe Carnival will react similarly.

 

Screenshot_20200520_083206_com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox.jpg

Edited by grapau27
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


Apologies. I didn’t realise that it was only up until the end of August. Whilst you would hope that the same rules would apply,  I agree that you cannot second guess where we will be by then. If there remains no end in sight to the suspension of sailings, I guess there’s a risk that P&O may decide that they can no longer afford to offer that as an option. Customers will then be forced to either forfeit theif deposit or pay the balance in full and then wait an eternity for their money back, all the while getting more and more anxious about the increasingly perilous state of the company. Not a pretty picture. 

Hopefully P&O will do the same as RCL and let us cancel and move our deposits to a later sailing after August.

 

Edited by grapau27
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3 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

This is Carnivals rivals cruise with confidence.

Maybe Carnival will react similarly.

Screenshot_20200520_083206_com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox.jpg

Graham, if the current cessation policy carries on, I think Carnival will have no option but to adopt such a policy, as otherwise future bookings will just dry up completely. Far better to have some cash coming into the business, than none at all.

My only concern would be how secure FCCs would be in the case of a cruise line  declaring bankruptcy. 

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1 hour ago, Josy1953 said:

I suspect that a number of people who have booked cruises for later in the year will decide to cancel and lose their deposit...

 

Similar to others, I am also faced with the decision of whether or not to move my stake in the P&O casino for a cruise likely to go in the next cull.  My ship is not even finished yet, never mind a vaccine.

 

On the one hand, the P&O Booking Transfer policy gives me flexibility for my 5pc deposit; move an unlimited number of times, to higher or lower value cruises.  On the other hand, P&O has quietly upped the stakes in any new cruise booking to 15pc.  Matched with less competitive pricing and my 5pc is only a "small bag of chips," with unfavorable odds. End result, "transfer" as you wish, but add more stake in to the next and subsequent cruises.

 

Like others, also loathed to donate my chips to the bank when I do actually want to go on holiday and not donate my money instead, however limited.

 

My solution - potentially book a ''booze cruise" - one of the two night jaunts to Amsterdam or Guernsey.  Even at around £349 per passenger or £700 a cabin, which is cheap, 15pc is still less than the 5pc stake in my current cruise, and I imagine would be the same for near everyone else. Push the "booze cruise" right back and see how what happens, +/- vaccine/safe cruising/social distany/treatment with a view to rebooking again, and extending the due date on my liability.

 

Worst case scenario, P&O abolish flexi transfer and I either have to go partying for a weekend when it's safe with a bottle of free carry on of my choice to enjoy, or I lose the same money that I would have doing nothing now.  My choice.

 

Best case scenario, rebook on to a 2022 cruise with non FCC inflated prices and with the new low 5pc "tempter/restore confidence deposit."  Therefore I get the cruise that I want, and I don't pay twice, to get less.

 

Just encouraging those not to give up on their money, you don't have to.

 

Yes, it's a small faff and all avoidable if P&O either gave clarity now, extended final payment dates, or reintroduced 5pc deposits with fixed cruise pricing. 

 

But that would be too customer focussed it seems...🤑

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10 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

This is Carnivals rivals cruise with confidence.

Maybe Carnival will react similarly.

 

Screenshot_20200520_083206_com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox.jpg

 

10 minutes ago, grapau27 said:

This is Carnivals rivals cruise with confidence.

Maybe Carnival will react similarly.

 

Screenshot_20200520_083206_com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox.jpg

I think Carnival will have no option but to follow suit, if they want to maintain some sort of cash inflow.

From a consumer point of view, I would be concerned as to the value of a FCC in the event of the  cruise line going bankrupt. 

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14 minutes ago, Pine Man said:

Blimey! Full refund arrived overnight for my April cruise on Azura.

 

YeeHaa!

Excellent news, really pleased for you.

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4 minutes ago, No pager thank you said:

My solution - potentially book a ''booze cruise" - one of the two night jaunts to Amsterdam or Guernsey.  Even at around £349 per passenger or £700 a cabin, which is cheap, 15pc is still less than the 5pc stake in my current cruise, and I imagine would be the same for near everyone else. Push the "booze cruise" right back and see how what happens, +/- vaccine/safe cruising/social distany/treatment with a view to rebooking again, and extending the due date on my liability

Which is exactly what we are planning to do.

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8 minutes ago, wowzz said:

Graham, if the current cessation policy carries on, I think Carnival will have no option but to adopt such a policy, as otherwise future bookings will just dry up completely. Far better to have some cash coming into the business, than none at all.

My only concern would be how secure FCCs would be in the case of a cruise line  declaring bankruptcy. 

I cancelled our RCL June 7th cruise on Allure of the seas in April 2 days before final payment and took a FCC of £300 for our deposit.

Royal the following week paused cruises till June 12th where we could have got a refund if we paid in full but didn't want another refund scenario.

We have a final payment in November for P&O but will wait till the last minute or take a FCC from P&O before their deadline.

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18 minutes ago, wowzz said:

From a consumer point of view, I would be concerned as to the value of a FCC in the event of the  cruise line going bankrupt. 

I agree that this is untested, however P&O have stated, it appears with ABTA support and Government underwriting, that the value initially actually paid by the customer on a cruise is protected in all cases, but not the 25pc "bonus". 

 

Although that really would take forever and a day to sort out if previous large scale examples are to go off, personally I am not concerned that my money isn't protected one way or another.

 

PandNoRefund made a good point earlier this morning I felt that the loss of peak season revenue will hurt P&O the most (and more than the current batch), as fuller ships would have been paying decent, inflated, sums per cabin.

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4 minutes ago, No pager thank you said:

Although that really would take forever and a day to sort out if previous large scale examples are to go off, personally I am not concerned that my money isn't protected one way or another.

Although many others would be concerned.  

From P&O's point of view, my concern would be that whilst I might be able to hang on to existing cash by the use of FCC incentives, new bookings (and new cash) will dry up in the very near future.

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I’m thinking of putting my deposit for my October cruise towards upgrading my cabin for a cruise I’ve got booked for September 2021 😊 Hubby had a fit when I told him the price but if you added the two cruises together it was still cheaper and we were happy to pay for the two cruises at the time. I think I’ve convinced him 😄

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42 minutes ago, No pager thank you said:

Glad that it's not just me thinking on that wavelength.

 

Josy - you should be able to transfer to any cruise currently on sale. Hope this helps you.

Thanks I will look into 2022 cruises

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