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Deposit refund inflexibility


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I was a little stunned by an RCI customer service experience this morning, especially given the "we'd really like to be in existence, post-COVID" perspective you would assume they have. (I should also point out that we're Diamond members.) My wife and I booked on board last year for an October 2020 cruise and paid a (reduced) deposit of $200 total. That deposit was/is classified as non-refundable, which is fine. We are canceling already, given the COVID situation, and while we'll get a "100%" (in parentheses) refund because of the window, they are insisting that the non-refundable deposit amount be considered $500. It's much less about the $300 difference, and much more about the principle of a reasonable customer service experience in these times. We booked through Costco, and their wonderful rep was in the 3-way call with the RCI rep, and understood our perspective. The RCI rep by contrast was inflexible, unreasonable, and frankly struck me as if he didn't care a whole lot.

As I said, "we'd really like to be in existence, post-COVID"? Maybe? Maybe not?

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Unfortunately reps aren’t given any leeway on the policies regarding cancellations during this period.  Royal is sticking to the black or white answers with no allowance for grey areas.

 

if you have not yet cancelled I would wait a while.  Currently their Cruise with confidence policy only extends to Sept 1.  Once they extend that you would at least get your entire deposit returned as a FCC without penalty. 

Edited by Ourusualbeach
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1 minute ago, mac_tlc said:

So Royal wants to charge you another $300 and then turn around and immediately let you cancel and give you that $300 as an FCC?

Aren't RCI policies great?

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I also booked a next cruise onboard my last cruise and a C & A Diamond member as well.  However, mine was for an open booking and I didn't get the extra perks since unbeknownst to me, I only had a sixty-day window to book which had lapsed.  I was informed that I could use the $200 deposit for any cruise in 2021-22 and beyond as long as I booked by Dec of 2020.  I asked for a refund instead and was told at that point it was a non-refundable deposit.  I guess I should have read the fine print -- but who could have known in early December our world was going to be turned upside down?  

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Hi all,

We booked a B2B cruise for late Oct/November onboard our last cruise in the fall.  We also have concerns as this is a TA so involves the flight over and a 21 days of sailing (sounded perfect!).  Both Italy and Spain are a lot of our trips and have concerns how ready these countries will be.  So we have 2 -$200 deposits.  I always booked future cruises on cruises but won't anymore.  Supposedly we cannot even change the ship booking to something else.  Doesn't sound like I want to talk to anyone about this- and sure it is a tough time for them.  Good luck to all of you also.

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2 minutes ago, Fran&Tom said:

Hi all,

We booked a B2B cruise for late Oct/November onboard our last cruise in the fall.  We also have concerns as this is a TA so involves the flight over and a 21 days of sailing (sounded perfect!).  Both Italy and Spain are a lot of our trips and have concerns how ready these countries will be.  So we have 2 -$200 deposits.  I always booked future cruises on cruises but won't anymore.  Supposedly we cannot even change the ship booking to something else.  Doesn't sound like I want to talk to anyone about this- and sure it is a tough time for them.  Good luck to all of you also.

Wait until they extend the cruise with confidence before doing anything. 

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32 minutes ago, aapoet said:

I was a little stunned by an RCI customer service experience this morning, especially given the "we'd really like to be in existence, post-COVID" perspective you would assume they have. (I should also point out that we're Diamond members.) My wife and I booked on board last year for an October 2020 cruise and paid a (reduced) deposit of $200 total. That deposit was/is classified as non-refundable, which is fine. We are canceling already, given the COVID situation, and while we'll get a "100%" (in parentheses) refund because of the window, they are insisting that the non-refundable deposit amount be considered $500. It's much less about the $300 difference, and much more about the principle of a reasonable customer service experience in these times. We booked through Costco, and their wonderful rep was in the 3-way call with the RCI rep, and understood our perspective. The RCI rep by contrast was inflexible, unreasonable, and frankly struck me as if he didn't care a whole lot.

As I said, "we'd really like to be in existence, post-COVID"? Maybe? Maybe not?

As others have asked, are they threatening to charge another 300.00 to your credit card??

 

Regardless, I wouldn't cancel until just before final payment.

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13 minutes ago, Ourusualbeach said:

Wait until they extend the cruise with confidence before doing anything. 

Not doing anything with our Oct 25 Allure. Haven’t booked airfare or local hotels. At this time not going too. Certainly not going to make a final payment if this continues. 

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8 minutes ago, bouhunter said:

As others have asked, are they threatening to charge another 300.00 to your credit card??

 

Regardless, I wouldn't cancel until just before final payment.

 

I am reading it as they have already paid in full for the whole cruise.  To make the math easy, let's assume the total cost is $1000.  They paid a $200 NRD then $800 for the cruise.  They would get 100% of the $800 back because it is outside final payment, but instead of refunding $800, RCI is saying they would only refund $500, because the deposit amount should be $500 instead of the $200 that they actually paid.

 

I am confused about the booked onboard vs booked through costco.  

 

Either way, like everyone said, just wait for the cruise with confidence to extend.

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I experienced a similar situation this morning with a call to C&A.  Originally booked next cruise in April 2019 for an Indy cruise in nov 2020.  Paid the $200 deposit and signed the agreement acknowledging the non refundable  deposit and subject to $100 pp penalty if cruise cancelled/changed.  In October I paid an additional $900 toward my final COD.  On March 23, last month, I cancelled the cruise and asked for full refund of $900, knowing my deposit would be forfeited.  During the call I was told I would only receive $600 as deposit in normally $500.00 and therefore I would forfeit the full deposit.  I pointed out that the agreement I signed did not reference “normal $500 deposit”.. after much discussion and asking to speak with supervisor they agreed to reimburse me the $900.  After 30 days, no refund, hence my call today.  First they told me refund was processed on April 10.  I stated I had not received refund, I checked with bank (cap 1) this morning.  Then they told me funds were released on April 19... for 2 different amounts, totaling $600.  Similar delay tactic I’ve here on boards.  I pointed out that once bank receives funds it does not take more than a day to show up as “ pending” credit.  They again referenced the $500.00 original amount for deposit.  Needless to say we had another discussion that escalated with supervisor intervention...again I felt the delay, deflect approach.  I immediately contacted CAP 1 and initiated a dispute claim.  The bank rep noted that that have been processing a lot of similar claims.  The whole process may take up to 90 days but I will not accept RCCL ignoring the realities of their own policies and their attempt to keep my money.    After 18 cruises with RCCL there will be no more.

thanks for letting me vent.

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44 minutes ago, aapoet said:

I was a little stunned by an RCI customer service experience this morning, especially given the "we'd really like to be in existence, post-COVID" perspective you would assume they have. (I should also point out that we're Diamond members.) My wife and I booked on board last year for an October 2020 cruise and paid a (reduced) deposit of $200 total. That deposit was/is classified as non-refundable, which is fine. We are canceling already, given the COVID situation, and while we'll get a "100%" (in parentheses) refund because of the window, they are insisting that the non-refundable deposit amount be considered $500. It's much less about the $300 difference, and much more about the principle of a reasonable customer service experience in these times. We booked through Costco, and their wonderful rep was in the 3-way call with the RCI rep, and understood our perspective. The RCI rep by contrast was inflexible, unreasonable, and frankly struck me as if he didn't care a whole lot.

As I said, "we'd really like to be in existence, post-COVID"? Maybe? Maybe not?


I don’t think your diamond status has any bearing on Royal Caribbean’s policy regarding deposits.   
 

m

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3 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Threads like this should be bookmarked as a prime example why folks should NOT pay anything above deposit until final payment, regardless of how psychologically satisfying it might be.

I rarely pay until right before final payment.  I just watch prices to see if they go down!

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15 minutes ago, Cruisin_n_Boozin said:

 

 

 

I am confused about the booked onboard vs booked through costco.  

 

 

I suspect the on board  booking was assigned to that cruise's booking agency which is the normal procedure if it was booked with an agency. We've done onboard bookings and that is what has happened unless we specified that we didn't want it to be assigned to the current cruise booking agency.

Edited by robtulipe
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19 minutes ago, cruisegirl1 said:


I don’t think your diamond status has any bearing on Royal Caribbean’s policy regarding deposits.   
 

m

I agree that status has no bearing, nor did I raise it during my discussions.  However,  how a company treats its customers does have a direct bearing on how customers will make future decisions.  I also cancelled a hotel reservation that had a non refundable deposit and to my surprise I was reimbursed in full for everything.  Similar recent  situation with an airline...also reimbursed 100%. In both cases, cancellation was Covid related. Will I use both services again, you bet I will!  I was treated as a valued customer even though I am not a “frequent” customer.  As concerns RCCl, the way that they are handling this situation with their customers, frequent or not, is disrespectful.  They do not deserve future consideration of our business.  

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35 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Threads like this should be bookmarked as a prime example why folks should NOT pay anything above deposit until final payment, regardless of how psychologically satisfying it might be.

Biker,

I have always been a “pay it off early” guy, but after this I am changing my tune and agreeing with you 1000%!

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11 minutes ago, not-enough-cruising said:

Biker,

I have always been a “pay it off early” guy, but after this I am changing my tune and agreeing with you 1000%!

I am not an investment broker, but wouldn't those extra payments be better off in your saving/checking account vs the Royal Caribbean "bank"? 

 

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1 minute ago, swooldri said:

I am not an investment broker, but wouldn't those extra payments be better off in your saving/checking account vs the Royal Caribbean "bank"? 

 

at 0.001% interest rate, I'm not sure it matters. Earn 13 cents interest, then have to declare it as earned Income on your tax returns? It just cost me 25 cents just to type this response.

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2 minutes ago, swooldri said:

I am not an investment broker, but wouldn't those extra payments be better off in your saving/checking account vs the Royal Caribbean "bank"? 

 

 

At current interest rates, that would be pennies.

 

That's not the reason not to pay your balance early.

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