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Cunard's Cancellations/Refunds Update 23rd April 2020


rog747
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Cancelled 10 March. Received FCC last Wed 11 May. Still awaiting refund on CC. US Booking with TA.

...Not upset or worried - simply adding a data point for those following the progress of the process. For what it's worth cancelled QM2 RT crossing at end of May. Applied FCC to existing booking of same for mid-May '21.

 

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Hello

I am in USA.  Cancelled three connecting sailings beginning 8/21/20 about a month ago through my TA.  Just saw the $1000 credit on my AMEX card yesterday 5/16.   FYI.  I am still booked on the 49 days voyage from New York to Sydney departing January 3.   Really hoping that goes off and that the traditional experience I am used to is in place.

Deck Chair.

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16 hours ago, Clagmeister said:

Day 62 since my claim for refund was agreed and still waiting.

I havent received my refund for 6th May roundtrip TA which was claimed 30th March. I certainly will not be waiting over 60 days if I have not received it by then I shall be informing Cunard I will be claiming S75 through my credit card. Shocking customer service from Cunard not impressed at all. 

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3 hours ago, majortom10 said:

I havent received my refund for 6th May roundtrip TA which was claimed 30th March. I certainly will not be waiting over 60 days if I have not received it by then I shall be informing Cunard I will be claiming S75 through my credit card. Shocking customer service from Cunard not impressed at all. 

We too are waiting for a % refund, cancellation done in March for a cruise that we should be on now.

Whilst it is infuriating to have to wait, the logistics of making refunds is quite onerous and person intensive. The refund amount should be double checked, the application of putting a refund to a credit card, should be a two person operation for security, and likewise with commercial online banking systems, at least 2 persons to facilitate payment. You cannot have the odd-bod employee working at home with total access to these refunds/systems; it would be mind blowingly senseless for any company. We have  seen "trusted" employee frauds in the newspapers, and the lack of infrastructure/security can manifest this. 

I am not totally defending Cunard, as they are not keeping to their published refund dates, but the numbers they are dealing with is absolutely huge, and this large scale process has never been part of the daily working practice until now. What with less staff in Southampton, patience is now a great virtue. At least we should all be covered (in the UK) by credit card returns or ABTA or whatever!  It has been said that they quickly take the money, and yes, it is easy over the internet/cards as it is a well tried and trusted way of payment, but refunds are different!

Fingers crossed for Carnival's survival!

 

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Cancelled our Cunard Cruise on 15th March prior to Cunards announcement that they would be halting sailings. Were promised a refund within 7 days, then 45 days. Having past the 60 days this last week followed up with their customer services asking when I could expect my refund, this is what I got which may be of interest to others hence posting.

 

Quote Thank you for your email. Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in our reply.  
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on our operations especially now that the vast majority of our team are working remotely. Your request has been received and our estimate is that refunds are likely to take a minimum of 60 days to process. We appreciate that this is not the news you were hoping for but do ask for your patience and understanding at this challenging time. 
I hope this information has helped to answer your enquiry.
 

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8 hours ago, LadyL1 said:

We too are waiting for a % refund, cancellation done in March for a cruise that we should be on now.

Whilst it is infuriating to have to wait, the logistics of making refunds is quite onerous and person intensive. The refund amount should be double checked, the application of putting a refund to a credit card, should be a two person operation for security, and likewise with commercial online banking systems, at least 2 persons to facilitate payment. You cannot have the odd-bod employee working at home with total access to these refunds/systems; it would be mind blowingly senseless for any company. We have  seen "trusted" employee frauds in the newspapers, and the lack of infrastructure/security can manifest this. 

I am not totally defending Cunard, as they are not keeping to their published refund dates, but the numbers they are dealing with is absolutely huge, and this large scale process has never been part of the daily working practice until now. What with less staff in Southampton, patience is now a great virtue. At least we should all be covered (in the UK) by credit card returns or ABTA or whatever!  It has been said that they quickly take the money, and yes, it is easy over the internet/cards as it is a well tried and trusted way of payment, but refunds are different!

Fingers crossed for Carnival's survival!

 

I too am awaiting refund of 7k approx. my OH a banker agrees with your summary  of the problems faced by an unprecedented situation for Cunard and others. Without proper procedures and security put in place the risk of fraud and or/hacking of accounts would be high. Our local train company apparently has just one person handling season ticket refunds. All this was put into perspective when my youngest daughter an emergency medicine consultant at the very front line of this crisis told me to think myself lucky that I am apparently fit and healthy at my age (70+) and not worry too much about money. I also am more concerned about my oldest grand daughter who qualified as a doctor last year and is also in the thick of it.

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There are two things Cunard could do to improve the situation.

 

  1. Provide clear updates on which date they are up to in terms of refunds. It's clear that we are going to be waiting more than 60 days so if they said 'we have processed all refunds requested on X date' I would be less likely to follow up.
  2. Use bulk payment files and credit card reversals. For the former, you could create a bulk payment file with all the payments into the Cunard accounts (obviously there will be differences by country of booking, agent vs direct). For the latter, you can take a sailing (e.g. Q15N) then look at all the booking references attached to that cruise and then filter by those made with a credit card payment. The vendor would be able to reverse those specific transactions.

While the latter will impact cashflow (and in my view the 60 days is about cashflow, not logistics), the former costs nothing and would reassure Cunarders (and cut down on the amount of follow ups they are getting).

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11 minutes ago, Coathanger said:

There are two things Cunard could do to improve the situation.

 

  1. Provide clear updates on which date they are up to in terms of refunds. It's clear that we are going to be waiting more than 60 days so if they said 'we have processed all refunds requested on X date' I would be less likely to follow up.
  2. Use bulk payment files and credit card reversals. For the former, you could create a bulk payment file with all the payments into the Cunard accounts (obviously there will be differences by country of booking, agent vs direct). For the latter, you can take a sailing (e.g. Q15N) then look at all the booking references attached to that cruise and then filter by those made with a credit card payment. The vendor would be able to reverse those specific transactions.

While the latter will impact cashflow (and in my view the 60 days is about cashflow, not logistics), the former costs nothing and would reassure Cunarders (and cut down on the amount of follow ups they are getting).

Coathangar, point 1 in your post is absolutely correct, I agree wholeheartedly. As always, I bet we in Australia will be the last to get our refunds. We seem to be tail end Charlie every time.

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5 hours ago, Coathanger said:

There are two things Cunard could do to improve the situation.

 

  1. Provide clear updates on which date they are up to in terms of refunds. It's clear that we are going to be waiting more than 60 days so if they said 'we have processed all refunds requested on X date' I would be less likely to follow up.
  2. Use bulk payment files and credit card reversals. For the former, you could create a bulk payment file with all the payments into the Cunard accounts (obviously there will be differences by country of booking, agent vs direct). For the latter, you can take a sailing (e.g. Q15N) then look at all the booking references attached to that cruise and then filter by those made with a credit card payment. The vendor would be able to reverse those specific transactions.

While the latter will impact cashflow (and in my view the 60 days is about cashflow, not logistics), the former costs nothing and would reassure Cunarders (and cut down on the amount of follow ups they are getting).

 

Both excellent suggestions.

 

I've sent three emails now specifically asking what date they were up to. They won't give a straight answer so I will continue to email them until I do get an answer. Like you, if they posted that they were up to 'X date" I'd be happier to sit and wait.

 

It seems strange that people OS are seeing refunds for future cruises when we can't even get an answer for March cruises.

 

I paid for both cruises with credit card so I will raise a disputed transaction with the bank (not getting goods paid for) and see if that is quicker.

 

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17 hours ago, LadyL1 said:

We too are waiting for a % refund, cancellation done in March for a cruise that we should be on now.

Whilst it is infuriating to have to wait, the logistics of making refunds is quite onerous and person intensive. The refund amount should be double checked, the application of putting a refund to a credit card, should be a two person operation for security, and likewise with commercial online banking systems, at least 2 persons to facilitate payment. You cannot have the odd-bod employee working at home with total access to these refunds/systems; it would be mind blowingly senseless for any company. We have  seen "trusted" employee frauds in the newspapers, and the lack of infrastructure/security can manifest this. 

I am not totally defending Cunard, as they are not keeping to their published refund dates, but the numbers they are dealing with is absolutely huge, and this large scale process has never been part of the daily working practice until now. What with less staff in Southampton, patience is now a great virtue. At least we should all be covered (in the UK) by credit card returns or ABTA or whatever!  It has been said that they quickly take the money, and yes, it is easy over the internet/cards as it is a well tried and trusted way of payment, but refunds are different!

Fingers crossed for Carnival's survival!

 

 

I'm totally in agreement with what you say Lady L1.

 

We tend to forget that normal staffing levels were never designed for this kind of situation and when one then considers the possibility of staff not being able to work normally, for whatever reason, then the organisation does come under severe stress.

 

Add to that the fact that with a total passenger capacity of 6,833 - okay divide by 2 to give average no of bookings - and spread that over in excess of 20 cruises during April and May and the scale of the problem takes on a new dimension.

 

And as I have said before, no one has lost their money, it was budgeted for and presumably paid willingly.

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*

2 hours ago, Solent Richard said:

 

I'm totally in agreement with what you say Lady L1.

 

We tend to forget that normal staffing levels were never designed for this kind of situation and when one then considers the possibility of staff not being able to work normally, for whatever reason, then the organisation does come under severe stress.

 

Add to that the fact that with a total passenger capacity of 6,833 - okay divide by 2 to give average no of bookings - and spread that over in excess of 20 cruises during April and May and the scale of the problem takes on a new dimension.

 

And as I have said before, no one has lost their money, it was budgeted for and presumably paid willingly.

As my refund is way past the 45 days I was promise I have no guarantee I have not lost my money. As Coathanger said all Cunard has to do is provide updates on their website as to where they are up to with the refunds. It would take Cunard a few minutes to update their website, it would restore my faith in them. As it is Cunard in Australia has no information for us at all.

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2 hours ago, Solent Richard said:

 

I'm totally in agreement with what you say Lady L1.

 

We tend to forget that normal staffing levels were never designed for this kind of situation and when one then considers the possibility of staff not being able to work normally, for whatever reason, then the organisation does come under severe stress.

 

Add to that the fact that with a total passenger capacity of 6,833 - okay divide by 2 to give average no of bookings - and spread that over in excess of 20 cruises during April and May and the scale of the problem takes on a new dimension.

 

And as I have said before, no one has lost their money, it was budgeted for and presumably paid willingly.

Agree nobody has lost money but since booking and the disastrous way things have changed many now need that money and perhaps are not in the fortunate situation you may be. Even if we were informed accurately and honestly it would be different but the response from Simon Palethorpe and Cunard has been very poor and doing their reputation no good at all and fear their future reputation will be damaged and many loyal customers lost.

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3 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

Agree nobody has lost money but since booking and the disastrous way things have changed many now need that money and perhaps are not in the fortunate situation you may be. Even if we were informed accurately and honestly it would be different but the response from Simon Palethorpe and Cunard has been very poor and doing their reputation no good at all and fear their future reputation will be damaged and many loyal customers lost.

 

As a loyal Cunard Cruiser, one is not surprised by Palethorpe's primary action of "inserting head into a bucket of sand", and the lack of true empathy, coupled with perceived incompetence of many in Customer Services.  

However, it's the Cunard itinary, ships, crew and onboard service that one finds of great import, then paying one's fare for.  Thankfully, the "Ship" reputation is not receiving irreparable damage.

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1 hour ago, PORT ROYAL said:

 

As a loyal Cunard Cruiser, one is not surprised by Palethorpe's primary action of "inserting head into a bucket of sand", and the lack of true empathy, coupled with perceived incompetence of many in Customer Services.  

However, it's the Cunard itinary, ships, crew and onboard service that one finds of great import, then paying one's fare for.  Thankfully, the "Ship" reputation is not receiving irreparable damage.

Cunard's reputation as a cruise company is suffering irreputable damage in many loyal and future customers eyes so in effect it is bound to have an effect on all the ships if not directly but through people either walking away from Cunard or not booking with them in the first place because of their appalling service. I have been cruising since 1997 my first on QE2, not exclusively with Cunard, but I am seriously considering taking my future cruise experiences if I ever cruise again in the future elsewhere and I am sure I will not be the only one.

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2 hours ago, jland said:

*

As my refund is way past the 45 days I was promise I have no guarantee I have not lost my money. As Coathanger said all Cunard has to do is provide updates on their website as to where they are up to with the refunds. It would take Cunard a few minutes to update their website, it would restore my faith in them. As it is Cunard in Australia has no information for us at all.

 

Good afternoon Jland.

 

Having had a browse through this and other sites and taken in many of the comments I have maybe two observations to make on your suggestion.

 

1. Updates, by their very nature would probably distract yet another member of an already depleted staff from their principle roll in the office

 

2. Other than Simon pale thorpe appearing on an individuals doorstep with a fist full of dollars/pounds, I'm of the opinion few on here would be satisfied.

 

Irrespective of the above, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. 

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2 hours ago, majortom10 said:

Agree nobody has lost money but since booking and the disastrous way things have changed many now need that money and perhaps are not in the fortunate situation you may be. Even if we were informed accurately and honestly it would be different but the response from Simon Palethorpe and Cunard has been very poor and doing their reputation no good at all and fear their future reputation will be damaged and many loyal customers lost.

 

Hi there Major.

 

I had previously noted your comment where you stated that your 'refund', as yet not received, was for a cruise on 6th May.

 

Assuming, on the figures I posted earlier, and that refunds were being actioned in chronological order, I wouldn't be thinking mine would be due for some weeks hence.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

Cunard's reputation as a cruise company is suffering irreputable damage in many loyal and future customers eyes so in effect it is bound to have an effect on all the ships if not directly but through people either walking away from Cunard or not booking with them in the first place because of their appalling service. I have been cruising since 1997 my first on QE2, not exclusively with Cunard, but I am seriously considering taking my future cruise experiences if I ever cruise again in the future elsewhere and I am sure I will not be the only one.

 

Good afternoon again Major.

 

I'm not even sure that 'irrefutable' damage has been done to the Cunard brand. 

 

Okay there are a dozen or two disgruntled Cunard cruisers on these boards, a slightly larger number over on the P&O board and similar numbers on other cruise boards with considerable blood letting on MSC.

 

And consideration of those numbers, set against let's say, Cunard's World Club membership, tells me that future loyalty will not be an issue.

 

So maybe opting for an alternative line may not be over wise especially when one has enjoyed so much when cruising with Cunard: unless of course there's an urge for toys to leave the pram as an act of pure spite.

 

I'll let you into a little secret. I had an Emerald cruise cancelled that should have sailed on 25th of April. Scenic, the parent company, informed me through the Travel Agent I booked with, that... 'Due to the volume of requests Emerald are receiving please be aware that refunds are taking between 12-16 weeks to be processed'.

 

So I've accepted that and this is the first time I have mentioned it because basically I see little point in getting worked up about it. After all...

 

1086718705_BlogFeaturedImage.thumb.jpg.a05953514a16bb96b20778199fe28477.jpg

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

 

Good afternoon again Major.

 

I'm not even sure that 'irrefutable' damage has been done to the Cunard brand. 

 

Okay there are a dozen or two disgruntled Cunard cruisers on these boards, a slightly larger number over on the P&O board and similar numbers on other cruise boards with considerable blood letting on MSC.

 

And consideration of those numbers, set against let's say, Cunard's World Club membership, tells me that future loyalty will not be an issue.

 

So maybe opting for an alternative line may not be over wise especially when one has enjoyed so much when cruising with Cunard: unless of course there's an urge for toys to leave the pram as an act of pure spite.

 

I'll let you into a little secret. I had an Emerald cruise cancelled that should have sailed on 25th of April. Scenic, the parent company, informed me through the Travel Agent I booked with, that... 'Due to the volume of requests Emerald are receiving please be aware that refunds are taking between 12-16 weeks to be processed'.

 

So I've accepted that and this is the first time I have mentioned it because basically I see little point in getting worked up about it. After all...

 

1086718705_BlogFeaturedImage.thumb.jpg.a05953514a16bb96b20778199fe28477.jpg

 

 

Like my statement said "if I ever cruise again" which at the moment is not looking good, other than ones already booked for next year, and considering land based holidays which there are many places I would be happy to visit and wouldnt be an "urge for toys to leave the pram".

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31 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

1. Updates, by their very nature would probably distract yet another member of an already depleted staff from their principle roll in the office

 

It is reasonable to expect that the shoreside team know exactly where the refunds are up to right now, the finance team in particular. Given your history with the Royal Navy, I'd be surprised if you would accept anything less were you in charge.

 

A well worded Tweet and Facebook update should take all of 15 minutes total per day. 

 

Compare this to the numerous emails, calls and social media responses the teams are having to action at present, and we have a net saving in time.

 

Which would allow the depleted staff to return to processing refunds.

 

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We also were waiting for our credit card credit for a cruise canceled in March. I found a cruise I wanted to book for next year so I called them and had my credit moved to the new booking.  It was simple to do and Cunard was helpful.

 

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39 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

2. Other than Simon pale thorpe appearing on an individuals doorstep with a fist full of dollars/pounds, I'm of the opinion few on here would be satisfied.

 

I'd personally prefer Mr Palethorpe not appear on my doorstep.

 

I can only speak for myself, but I accept the need for Cunard to manage their cashflow and delay the drawing down of loans. As stated above, I have no doubt in my mind that refunds could be bulk processed if there was the corporate will. 

 

I also accept their preference for Future Cruise Credit instead of a cash refund from a business perspective, though did not appreciate the latter being framed as a 'forfeiture'.

 

What I do not accept is the lack of transparency around the progress of refunds.

 

If a company tells me to expect to wait 60 days in this current situation, fair enough. But if it is likely this timeframe won't be met, the minimum I'd accept is being informed of progress.

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6 minutes ago, shippmates said:

We also were waiting for our credit card credit for a cruise canceled in March. I found a cruise I wanted to book for next year so I called them and had my credit moved to the new booking.  It was simple to do and Cunard was helpful.

 

 

Glad to hear of your positive experience. 

 

Presumably the call centre staff were able to answer your call within a reasonable period of time, indicating that sufficient resources are now on hand. 

 

Which returns to my previous point that processing refunds appears to be a lower priority for Cunard by choice. 

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We had this from our TA in the UK last week. Like everyone else we were promised 60 days. 

 

Q013B  QUEEN ELIZABETH | 10 April 2020 | 33 Days

Further to your recent contact with our Cruise & Stay department, I confirm that following ongoing FOC advice and the suspension of cruises over the coming months, your travel arrangements have now been cancelled in full. I realise how disappointing this may be and trust you understand this exceptional situation is entirely beyond our control.

Under normal circumstances we would refund your money immediately, but of course these are not normal circumstances. As you may have heard in the media, airlines, hoteliers and even cruise lines are not refunding tour operators like ourselves in a timely fashion. Not only will they not refund immediately, but many are no longer accepting phone calls or answering emails, so the process has stalled, and we have no way of knowing how long this will go on. Consequently, without refunds from our suppliers we booked for you, we cannot in turn process your refund at the moment and have issued you a “Refund Credit Note” (RCN) to the value of the amount due to you. I fully appreciate this is not an ideal resolution for the moment, but can assure you that we take no pleasure being placed in this position by the industry in which we operate.

Your Money is Safe: Backed by ABTA and ATOL, a “Refund Credit Note” entitles you to rebook a holiday at a future date or receive a cash refund before the expiry date of the note. It also retains the financial protection that you had with your original booking. As your original booking was a package holiday with flights, this came with ATOL financial protection and the RCN will still provide this protection. For further clarification visit www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak and look for the section “What is a Refund Credit Note” (RCN).

Please be assured we are working hard to recover monies from each of the suppliers involved and once we are in a position to process your refund we will be in contact again. I cannot offer any assurances of timings at this stage, but in any event, ABTA rules determine that we must refund you by 31 January 2021 at the latest.

Assuring you of our best attention at all times.

Yours sincerely

 

 

So they now want to keep my money til possibly January, so I have put in a Section 75 claim with my credit card company. Hopefully it will take no more than 6 weeks from now. 

I hope Cunard don't make everybody wait that long.

 

Also

 

 

 

Carnival Corp put this out to the stock market........ 

 

https://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/CCL/14540739.html

 

 

Last month the company completed a successful financing effort with a heavily oversubscribed offering of senior secured notes, senior convertible notes and common stock, netting $6.4 billion of additional liquidity

 

the majority of guests affected by our schedule changes want to sail with us at a later date, with fewer than 38 percent requesting refunds to date. Our booking trends for the first half of 2021, which remain within historical ranges, demonstrate the resilience of our brands and the strength of our loyal recurring customer base, of which 66% are repeat cruisers.  In addition, we plan to stagger fleet reentry to optimize demand and operating performance over time.

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Dahani said:

We had this from our TA in the UK last week. Like everyone else we were promised 60 days. 

 

So they now want to keep my money til possibly January, so I have put in a Section 75 claim with my credit card company. Hopefully it will take no more than 6 weeks from now. 

I hope Cunard don't make everybody wait that long.

 

Also

 

Carnival Corp put this out to the stock market........ 

 

https://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/CCL/14540739.html

 

 

Last month the company completed a successful financing effort with a heavily oversubscribed offering of senior secured notes, senior convertible notes and common stock, netting $6.4 billion of additional liquidity

 

the majority of guests affected by our schedule changes want to sail with us at a later date, with fewer than 38 percent requesting refunds to date. Our booking trends for the first half of 2021, which remain within historical ranges, demonstrate the resilience of our brands and the strength of our loyal recurring customer base, of which 66% are repeat cruisers.  In addition, we plan to stagger fleet reentry to optimize demand and operating performance over time.

 

 

 

 

Difficult situation for the travel agents. Hopefully the chargeback (Section 75) avenue bears fruit.

 

While a 38% refund rate is good for liquidity, it's worth noting the heavily oversubscribed offering reportedly comes with an 11.5% interest rate.

 

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I was very excited this morning when I received an email from Cunard asking me to register for access to their Asset Bank. Yay here's our refund from our interrupted QM2 voyage in March I thought! I registered with high hopes, but alas, it was not to be. I am a travel advisor and it is a "bank" of photos and other goodies we can use for marketing.The wait continues........... :)

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