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What's My Recourse When My Agent Screws Up


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1 minute ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Whats the purpose of a TA then?

They get paid to act on your behalf.  Its their job,.

 

OP.....send them an email asking for their errors and omissions carrier.  See what happens.

 

If you need to go to small claims, show up and when they call you....ask for second call to waste the attorney they sends time.   Oh well your witness did not show up. LOL    Then request a jury which will take longer.

Steve

PS. I have never lost a small claims case.

Great "record" you have to brag about.    Some people have more to do their time  than, file claims and sue people.   Sounds like a great activity for you.   

 

You don't seem to get it-  "it's their job" mentality,  caused this problem.    Oh,  too bad,  to just directly make the refund claim yourself.   Took more of your time dealing with a middle man agent.   

 

 

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15 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

  Some people have more to do their time  than, file claims and sue people.   Sounds like a great activity for you.   

 

You don't seem to get it-  "it's their job" mentality,  caused this problem.    Oh,  too bad,  to just directly make the refund claim yourself.   Took more of your time dealing with a middle man agent.   

Not at all.

 

When you are derelict in your responsibilities and it causes financial harm then I am going to take you to court. What part of being a TA is that not their responsibility?

My 80+ old parents do not have a smart phone and do not even have internet, but use a TA, so it would be on them? The only reason they would use a TA is so they take care of it all.

 

So what are the responsibilities of a TA then? 

Steve

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On 7/17/2020 at 12:15 PM, hallux said:

But is that expressly to cancel the cruise AND request cash refund?

 

AH - "at the cruise line's discretion".  I read that as "you're cancelling and taking the offer the cruise line has put up" (in this case, FCC).  I would think the form filled out should expressly state it was the request for cash refund in order to hold up as proof that such was requested through the TA, and it probably doesn't.

 

The OP may be out of luck if the communication from the TA where it was offered that it would all be taken care of (including cash refund) was not in writing.

Yes....the form to cancel the reservation and request a refund.  Once you book through a TA, they own the reservation.  You don't deal with NCL directly at that point.  The TA services the reservation.

 

My form asked for the RES #, the date of my sailing, all who were sailing under the reservation, etc.  Then I signed it.  Sent it to my TA and also kept a copy.  I have emails with the cancellation/refund form attached. That shows dates and times and attachments associated with the request.

 

 

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On 7/17/2020 at 6:15 PM, mscdivina2016 said:

Whats the purpose of a TA then?

They get paid to act on your behalf.  Its their job,.

 

OP.....send them an email asking for their errors and omissions carrier.  See what happens.

 

If you need to go to small claims, show up and when they call you....ask for second call to waste the attorney they sends time.   Oh well your witness did not show up. LOL    Then request a jury which will take longer.

Steve

PS. I have never lost a small claims case.

My TA offers a pretty hefty OBC and booking discounts that I can't get dealing direct.  Plus, she always lets me know if particular bargains and sales on cabins I wouldn't have known without her looking at cruises all day, every day.  She was the only one who kept me informed as to what was going on with Hurricane Dorian while I was in a Miami hotel waiting to board my cruise.  She was calling me until 3:00 a.m. just to let me know what the port and cruise lines were doing.  Cruise ended up cancelling and she took care of changing all of my flights to get home, and hotel reservations.

 

I have never lost a small claims suit, either.  I'm in Cincinnati. Cost me $35 to file. 

 

As you say, show up on time.  Likely, the Travel Agent had to hire a local lawyer to represent them, if they choose to do so.  If you have your paperwork in order showing the cancellation, the date you cancelled, who you sent it to, etc., disposition should be quick and in your favor.

 

Any of these companies you deal with that are remote (as is the case with on-line Travel Agents), find it's more expensive to hire a lawyer and litigate in small claims court than to just admit their error.  

 

One such suit a year ago was against AT&T.  Big company......they made a mistake on my cell phone bill.  The mistake kept happening every month.  Every month I would call their customer service and get it corrected, only to have them do the same thing the next month.  Finally, I refused the extra charges (paying the legitimate charges), and they cut off my cell service.  I filed in small claims court. They sent a lawyer who drove 5 hours, one way, for the hearing.  He really had no explanation as to why my bill was incorrect.  Magistrate asked us to see if we could privately come to an agreement.  I was going to ask for a continuance (which meant the lawyer would have had to make another  trip).  He asked what I wanted.  I got a new iPhone and 3 months of free mobile phone service for my trouble.  My bill has never been wrong again.

 

Point is, if you're right, don't be afraid to make your own case.  If the TA screwed up and didn't submit your request for cancellation and refund, then hold them accountable.  If you've got the evidence on your side, you should be good to go.  Find the execs or owner of the travel agency.  Show him/her your cancellation and refund request.  If that doesn't do it, file in small claims court.

Edited by graphicguy
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15 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

My TA offers a pretty hefty OBC and booking discounts that I can't get dealing direct.  Plus, she always lets me know if particular bargains and sales on cabins I wouldn't have known without her looking at cruises all day, every day.  She was the only one who kept me informed as to what was going on with Hurricane Dorian while I was in a Miami hotel waiting to board my cruise.  She was calling me until 3:00 a.m. just to let me know what the port and cruise lines were doing.  Cruise ended up cancelling and she took care of changing all of my flights to get home, and hotel reservations.

 

I have never lost a small claims suit, either.  I'm in Cincinnati. Cost me $35 to file. 

 

As you say, show up on time.  Likely, the Travel Agent had to hire a local lawyer to represent them, if they choose to do so.  If you have your paperwork in order showing the cancellation, the date you cancelled, who you sent it to, etc., disposition should be quick and in your favor.

 

Any of these companies you deal with that are remote (as is the case with on-line Travel Agents), find it's more expensive to hire a lawyer and litigate in small claims court than to just admit their error.  

 

One such suit a year ago was against AT&T.  Big company......they made a mistake on my cell phone bill.  The mistake kept happening every month.  Every month I would call their customer service and get it corrected, only to have them do the same thing the next month.  Finally, I refused the extra charges (paying the legitimate charges), and they cut off my cell service.  I filed in small claims court. They sent a lawyer who drove 5 hours, one way, for the hearing.  He really had no explanation as to why my bill was incorrect.  Magistrate asked us to see if we could privately come to an agreement.  I was going to ask for a continuance (which meant the lawyer would have had to make another  trip).  He asked what I wanted.  I got a new iPhone and 3 months of free mobile phone service for my trouble.  My bill has never been wrong again.

 

Point is, if you're right, don't be afraid to make your own case.  If the TA screwed up and didn't submit your request for cancellation and refund, then hold them accountable.  If you've got the evidence on your side, you should be good to go.  Find the execs or owner of the travel agency.  Show him/her your cancellation and refund request.  If that doesn't do it, file in small claims court.

 

Some of us don't have time to take things to court. Personally, I've had no issues standing up to companies when things are wrong and getting them corrected without going to court. Just seems easier....

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14 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

 

Some of us don't have time to take things to court. Personally, I've had no issues standing up to companies when things are wrong and getting them corrected without going to court. Just seems easier....

They had small claims court at night....not during the work day.  Plus, they gave plenty of notice as to the hearing date so plans could be made.  If it's between me losing $2K, $3K, $4K or more, I'd make the time to go to small claims court.

 

If you can work it out with the Travel Agent, all the better.  But, it sounds like the OP's Travel Agent isn't willing to admit their error.  That being the case, I'd file my suit.

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6 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

They had small claims court at night....not during the work day.  Plus, they gave plenty of notice as to the hearing date so plans could be made.  If it's between me losing $2K, $3K, $4K or more, I'd make the time to go to small claims court.

 

If you can work it out with the Travel Agent, all the better.  But, it sounds like the OP's Travel Agent isn't willing to admit their error.  That being the case, I'd file my suit.

 

Sure, I wouldn't lose thousands of dollars. But I also haven't had to go to court for that result. I haven't seen the OP reply back recently so it's hard to know at this point what they will or will not do. I've just personally had good success between 1. escalating the issue with a merchant supervisor, 2. using a BBB complaint to motivate them to resolve the issue, or 3. using a charge back to recover my money. All of those I've been able to do through e-mails/phone calls during breaks at work and took a much smaller time investment for me than small claims court. But maybe the difference is that, like in your ATT and situation, it never would have gotten that far. I have no interest in doing business with companies that aren't charging things correctly, had this issue not been satisfactorily resolve in the first few months by escalating the issue with supervisors I would have cancelled service and moved to another company. I certainly wouldn't have continued to do business with them after they cut my service and I had to sue them. 

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On 7/16/2020 at 11:59 AM, graphicguy said:

OP...Every municipality is different.  But, I've used small claims court to good effect in the past.  Doesn't matter if it's a big company or not.  Matter of fact, aside from playing the waiting game with you, and what would probably be a request for a continuance, big companies have to hire legal representation in the municipality you reside.  I doubt very seriously they would send a corporate lawyer, especially now.

 

This should be cut and dry.  You have a record of when you called the TA and what was discussed.  Don't count on the TA to provide the dates/times you called, or any sort of record of what you discussed.  You have to do that.  It's also reasonable for the TA to act on your behalf with NCL.  The on line refund request had to have your signature on it. You had to print it out to sign it and email it back to the TA.   So, you should take a copy of that with you to court.  That will be key.

 

Once the magistrate hears the case (which shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, particularly given how small claims works), it's either a yes or no decision (or a continuance).  If the TA, or their representative don't show, you win.  If they provide no credible information to disallow your claim, you win.

 

It's not you suing NCL.  It's you suing the TA.  If the TA loses, they can take up their case with NCL.  If you win, you also get court costs.  I know in my cases, filing with the court costs $35, which I was reimbursed for, also.

 

I've taken AT&T, a large home builder, GM and one of their Cadillac franchisees, and others to small claims court.  I've never lost.  GM didn't even bother to show up, so I won by default.

 

Stay patient and persistent.  You have a good case.

You sue a lot of people...

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5 hours ago, graphicguy said:

Yes....the form to cancel the reservation and request a refund.  Once you book through a TA, they own the reservation.  You don't deal with NCL directly at that point.  The TA services the reservation.

 

My form asked for the RES #, the date of my sailing, all who were sailing under the reservation, etc.  Then I signed it.  Sent it to my TA and also kept a copy.  I have emails with the cancellation/refund form attached. That shows dates and times and attachments associated with the request.

 

 

You added a middle man-   Your form-  would have been the SAME process- and effort-   by you to submit DIRECT to NCL.   You then would have GOTTEN a direct confirmation from them of the submission.      No-   instead you choose to give to a courier-  that you have NO  confirmation they submitted anything.    Only-  they-  "said" so???        

 

What a waste of time,  when things go wrong.     

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On 7/16/2020 at 11:59 AM, graphicguy said:

OP...Every municipality is different.  But, I've used small claims court to good effect in the past.  Doesn't matter if it's a big company or not.  Matter of fact, aside from playing the waiting game with you, and what would probably be a request for a continuance, big companies have to hire legal representation in the municipality you reside.  I doubt very seriously they would send a corporate lawyer, especially now.

 

This should be cut and dry.  You have a record of when you called the TA and what was discussed.  Don't count on the TA to provide the dates/times you called, or any sort of record of what you discussed.  You have to do that.  It's also reasonable for the TA to act on your behalf with NCL.  The on line refund request had to have your signature on it. You had to print it out to sign it and email it back to the TA.   So, you should take a copy of that with you to court.  That will be key.

 

Once the magistrate hears the case (which shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, particularly given how small claims works), it's either a yes or no decision (or a continuance).  If the TA, or their representative don't show, you win.  If they provide no credible information to disallow your claim, you win.

 

It's not you suing NCL.  It's you suing the TA.  If the TA loses, they can take up their case with NCL.  If you win, you also get court costs.  I know in my cases, filing with the court costs $35, which I was reimbursed for, also.

 

I've taken AT&T, a large home builder, GM and one of their Cadillac franchisees, and others to small claims court.  I've never lost.  GM didn't even bother to show up, so I won by default.

 

Stay patient and persistent.  You have a good case.

This though, is a contract matter, and it has to be filed where the cruise contract specified, and is probably governed by arbitration rules. OP is wasting their time because OP failed to follow the instructions that were received in writing.

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Always prefer getting a positive result without going to court.  That's a last resort.  But, if a company becomes defensive with me over what it is clearly an error on the company's part, I won't argue with them.  I just go to court.  As an aside, after my free 90-days of cell phone service was finished, I moved to Verizon.

 

What's not clear to me, was the OP's request in writing and sent by the correct date to the TA?  Again, TA owns the reservation.  It's up to them to manage it for the client.  Most cruise lines push you back to the TA once the cruise representative finds out you didn't book directly.

 

If, as the OP insinuates, s/he sent the written cancellation and refund request to the TA on time (NCL had some schedules the requests had to adhere to), then it's cut and dry.  TA is culpable.  It's up to the TA at that point to act as the OP's agent in dealing with NCL and getting the refund issued.

 

If, on the other hand, there was no written request made (which was required by NCL) by the OP, or one that was not  submitted according to the guidelines, then the only recourse is to accept the offer of FCC.

 

 

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3 hours ago, PTC DAWG said:

You sue a lot of people...

Only when necessary.  Bill me incorrectly?  Fix it.  Can't accommodate your own T's and C's, tell me why.  If it's something you can control but choose not to?  We go to court.

 

I'm not the sort of person to sit back and say "what can I do?".  You can do something.  But, don't complain if you're not willing to be fair or you're right but not willing to fight for it.

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44 minutes ago, zqvol said:

This though, is a contract matter, and it has to be filed where the cruise contract specified, and is probably governed by arbitration rules. OP is wasting their time because OP failed to follow the instructions that were received in writing.

That's a different story.  If OP didn't follow the procedure, and wants the TA to take the blame as a result, small claims court will not help.  Only person to blame is yourself at that juncture.

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Sorry for the situation you find yourself in.  I don't agree 100% with all the people saying 'why didn't you just do it yourself'.  Whenever I've used a TA, NCL then flat out refuse to deal with me direct and I would therefore assume this would be the case for the current situation and refunds.   I have today gone to my TA to notify them I want a refund rather than FCC and ensured I took a name etc.   As it is I have already received an email from NCL confirming the request so all good.

 

In the OP case, do you have in your country the ability to put a 'charge back' or file for a  Section 75 claim on your credit card?  In the UK in certain cases we can file a claim with the credit card for any dispute and they will take it up and reverse the transaction.  

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4 minutes ago, Misself said:

Sorry for the situation you find yourself in.  I don't agree 100% with all the people saying 'why didn't you just do it yourself'.  Whenever I've used a TA, NCL then flat out refuse to deal with me direct and I would therefore assume this would be the case for the current situation and refunds.   I have today gone to my TA to notify them I want a refund rather than FCC and ensured I took a name etc.   As it is I have already received an email from NCL confirming the request so all good.

 

In the OP case, do you have in your country the ability to put a 'charge back' or file for a  Section 75 claim on your credit card?  In the UK in certain cases we can file a claim with the credit card for any dispute and they will take it up and reverse the transaction.  

You make a good point.  NCL will et you and your TA know when they received the cancellation/refund request.  Mine came via email from both NCL and my TA.

 

Like anything else, you'll have good and bad TAs as well as good and bad Personal Cruise Consultants direct with NCL.  Aside from the "deals" OBC and discounts my TA gives me, she's been helping me for years.  Plus, she helps me regardless of which cruise line I want to cruise.  She has access to ALL of them.  She also has sailed most mainstream lines.  She knows what you should book (cabins, excursions, packages, etc).  And will steer me away from what really isn't worth the money.

 

When I worked with NCL directly, it was a crap shoot whether my PCC would be around long enough to help me 90 days down the line, or booking subsequent cruises.  Again, some were pretty good.  Some really didn't care to do any changes or follow-up once the cruise was booked.

 

Regarding the OP, it's not clear whether she did or didn't get the cancellation/refund form in on time.  And, if s/he did, where the hiccup was for the TA to tell her/him she didn't qualify for a refund.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/15/2020 at 12:27 PM, DENBET30 said:

 Clearly my TA was giving me misleading information that they were indeed checking my refund status and apparently they never even verified that a refund request was received. As a result I'm now in an untenable position with NCL. So what if any recourse is available to me?

SO what did you end up doing?

Steve

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On 7/15/2020 at 4:24 PM, Budget Queen said:

I am perplexed,  why you didn't just submit,  the online form  DIRECT to NCL??     I would have never-  bothered adding a middle man when it was a simple online request??   

 

I can not see-  you getting any refund from NCL-  you never contacted them.   And the agency-  probably isn't going to do anything either,  because they aren't going to get involved with a double dip,  since you have been issued  Future Cruise Credit by NCL.   

 

Do, you know someone,  who sails and can use the credit?   It can be transferred-   do it yourself,  however.   

 

You have NO possibility to sail again?    

When you book through a travel agency, NCL will not talk with you directly, ever, everything goes through the travel agency.  Why would the poster think the refund would be any different especially when the travel agency said they would handle it?

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21 minutes ago, mscdivina2016 said:

Only way that would/may work is if the charge is showing the TA agency and not NCL.

 

Steve

Most likely true but still worth checking on.

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I feel so bad for you. You shouldn’t have to sue the TA that screwed up by giving you BS information. It just shouldn’t have to come to that. Granted you should have sent the form directly to NCL and got confirmation but who knows all this. You are depended on your TA who is supposed to give you correct and accurate guidance. 
I’m going to vent now. I just am totally stunned by why anyone would use a TA. Not bashing but for a couple hundred bucks of OBC and yes someone will say they get $1000 and well worth it then you are staying in a much bigger room then me. It ain’t worth it. We booked our last November cruise for the first time with a TA.. I convinced my wife to try her and it would be worth the $275 extra in OBC. After months and months of emails , calling her and the cruise company to constantly verifying her false inaccurate info.we earned that $275 alright if we got a penny an hour for the time we spent. Then in the end once onboard all the $275 OBC was supposed to be on our shipboard account. Which we couldn’t confirm prior to boarding. Only $175 showed and it took 4 trips to guest relations and a call to her from the cruise line and still was never right. Had to call once we were back on land to get the $100 they cheated us out of. We made no changes on this cruise. We are not high maintenance people just want accurate documents. It was an absolute nightmare. She never could get it right. So I hope you get it worked out. We will never ever ever book through a TA again. Some say they have their TA get them price drops, discounts and handle everything. Maybe but hold on to those TA’s. 

Good Luck!

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@cheeseheads4ever there are good and bad TAs out there.  All 4 of my cruises were booked through TAs (every one was a different TA), the first 2 were not my choice but I also had no issues with either.  The 2 NCL cruises were by my choice and I had good experiences with both - one was a TA some family members use on a regular basis for cruises while the other was one that is available to me through work.

 

In the case of the 2 NCL cruises the TA's were responsive to questions, got answers I was seeking and even made adjustments to one of the rooms when a change in perks was desired (I sailed with a couple on the second trip, they had their own room).  I would absolutely book through the TA I used on the fall cruise again, if they remain available.  She was an agent as part of a larger company.

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5 hours ago, hallux said:

@cheeseheads4ever there are good and bad TAs out there.  All 4 of my cruises were booked through TAs (every one was a different TA), the first 2 were not my choice but I also had no issues with either.  The 2 NCL cruises were by my choice and I had good experiences with both - one was a TA some family members use on a regular basis for cruises while the other was one that is available to me through work.

 

In the case of the 2 NCL cruises the TA's were responsive to questions, got answers I was seeking and even made adjustments to one of the rooms when a change in perks was desired (I sailed with a couple on the second trip, they had their own room).  I would absolutely book through the TA I used on the fall cruise again, if they remain available.  She was an agent as part of a larger company.

Agree about that.  Like anything else, there are good and bad TAs, just like there are good and bad NCL PCCs.  But, my experience with NCL PCCs, good luck finding one who is there more than a year.  My TA, on the other hand, has been booking for me for a decade or more.

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Agree there are good and bad TA’s but you will never know cause you can’t post them on this site. You have to walk through a minefield like we did. Get a bitter taste in your mouth for them. Still can’t post even the horrible ones. Thought this site was to help fellow cruisers. It rubs me wrong.

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