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MildredK

Vantage (again) - "No timeline for refunds" Guidance please?

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Hello all,

 

So sorry to trouble you again but your wisdom was wonderful last time.   Last time, I got your insights when we canceled our air with Vantage and were having trouble getting a refund.  Then in the end of Feb  we decided to cancel the entire trip (an expensive trip for us - over $8,000 to have taken place in July).      Cut to bottom line - we still don't have a refund.  And foolish us - we paid in full because their discount was good.  We've called regularly, spoken with various people about 6 weeks ago the Director Guest Experience(I'm not sure that is her exact title and I don't think there is a need here to give her name) and she said another 4 weeks for the refund.  Today we spoke to her and she said she never said that and they "have no timeline for refunds"!   Yikes!    My husband spoke with her at length and there was no assurance we would get our money back, and if we did, "no timeline for refunds".     Weeks ago we filed a complaint with BBB Bureau in MA.   We looked at the site recently and read many many complaints predating this year.    I think we did everything this time that the experts here suggested to help us get our airfare back.    

 

Her response today that "there was no timeline" for refunds was entirely unexpected!  We are at a loss. 


Any more wisdom?    It may be time to get an attorney involved.  

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Did you pay with cash or credit card?  If credit card, I would start there.  My fear is that when you said you paid in full you did an electronic transfer of cash from your checking or savings.  I've seen cruise lines that offer a discount when you pay in advance and don't use a credit card.  

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42 minutes ago, Roz said:

You are correct Roz, sadly,  we did pay with electronic transfer as it was a 10% discount on a big dollar amount.     We travel a lot and have never had any problem and didn’t expect one this time.    Lesson learned - credit card only  

 

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@MildredK I've always been leery of those offers, and your situation confirms this.  I am so sorry this is happening to you.  

 

Back when I first joined CC the Renaissance cruise line went bankrupt, and the only people who got anything refunded were those who paid with a credit card and/or had insurance other than the policy offered by Renaissance.  That stuck with me.

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Thank you.  We are trusting, not anymore.   We also always usually buy our own independent insurance and this time for some inexplicable reason we went with their insurance.    We are careful but we were going with friends who had been on Vantage before so we skipped some due diligence skips.   We now stand to lose a lot of money and have made a potential very expensive mistake.  We are contacting an attorney, small claims court in MA is limited to $7,000 so we need to do more than that

 

.  

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We always pay with AAA Visa--I will take my 3% from AAA in travel vouchers AND get the protection of paying by CC.

 

Getting 3% from cruise line for transfer from checking is a chance I will not take.

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Yep, at 3% we fully agree, we have credit cards with cash back or miles for the 2-3% range, but  this was 10% which  was a sizable savings but we won’t be doing it again! 

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14 hours ago, MildredK said:

Yep, at 3% we fully agree, we have credit cards with cash back or miles for the 2-3% range, but  this was 10% which  was a sizable savings but we won’t be doing it again! 

We agree.  We are from Vegas and gambled on this.  Unfortunately we lost.

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11 minutes ago, rljan said:

We agree.  We are from Vegas and gambled on this.  Unfortunately we lost.

I have a trip to Africa planned for February with Vantage. I am so grateful that I decided not to go with this 10% off deal paying a year in advance. For now, all I have to lose is US$500 deposit. I don't think I will go, but I'll wait and see what Vantage does. I might put the deposit towards a trip in 2022.

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I am so disappointed that Vantage will not refund your money as promised.  Are they at least offering vouchers?  

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Posted (edited)

Thank you.   We have a letter from them from months ago saying they would send a full refund.   They are not offering vouchers. A couple of months ago they offered us a deal to switch to a different cruise.  We  didn’t take it, as we would just like our money back as they agreed to in the letter they sent months and months ago.   We have a really negative opinion of the company after the hassle getting our airfare back (which we did ultimately did) and don’t want to do any business with them.
 

 And now they say “no timeline for refunds” and in talking to the director of customer satisfaction (?) on the phone, she wouldn’t say anything more.   Even when my husband quoted from their terms and conditions, she wouldn’t give an assurance we would get a refund or go beyond “no timeline for refunds””.   When we cancelled the cruise we expected to get our money back but that it to take a while, we didn’t expect the “no timelines for refunds” after months of stringing us along.

Edited by MildredK
Grammar

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Vantage owes me $22,000 for a June Iceland trip they cancelled.  I put all the monies on m Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the bulk of the payment was in February, 2020.  I too have written, called, Tweeted, sent messages by Linked In, filed with the Mass. Attorney General's office, and the BBB.  I am thinking about a class action suit.  If I do no hear anything by the end of August I am going to start writing the Boston Globe and contacting the Boston TV news channels.  

I have held off starting a claim with the credit card because I am concerned they will take it back if they don't get reimbursed by Vantage.  I have never had to institute a claim against a company before, with a credit card.

 

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Oh no,  Bornfreenowexpensive,  I'm sorry you're in the same mess we are, but I'm glad to not be alone.  We have not filed with the Mass Attorney General yet.   If you decide to file a class action law suit (the idea had crossed my mind) please message me.    Good idea on the Boston media.    We travel a lot and never have we experienced anything like this and we started trying to get our money back, pre-Covid.  

 

Take care

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2 hours ago, bornfreenowexpensive said:

I have held off starting a claim with the credit card because I am concerned they will take it back if they don't get reimbursed by Vantage.  I have never had to institute a claim against a company before, with a credit card.

 

 

Sorry you're in this situation.  Not sure why the credit card co. would take your card.  You did nothing wrong.  

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12 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

Sorry you're in this situation.  Not sure why the credit card co. would take your card.  You did nothing wrong.  

I believe they meant they'd take back the money, if they don't get it from Vantage.

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42 minutes ago, Shmoo here said:

I believe they meant they'd take back the money, if they don't get it from Vantage.

 

Still not sure what's being said, but thank you for taking the time to try to explain.  

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23 minutes ago, bornfreenowexpensive said:

Yes. I am concerned they would take back the refund money if they don’t get satisfaction from Vantage. Not take back my card. 

 

That's not how it works.  The credit card company will put the money back into your account very quickly, and then ask Vantage to prove that they provided the service.  They don't need to get 'satisfaction' from Vantage; Vantage needs to prove that you were wrong and they were right – which they can't do.

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11 hours ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

 

That's not how it works.  The credit card company will put the money back into your account very quickly, and then ask Vantage to prove that they provided the service.  They don't need to get 'satisfaction' from Vantage; Vantage needs to prove that you were wrong and they were right – which they can't do.

 

Thanks for clarifying.  That's my understanding.  I don't see the downside to taking that course of action. 

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Today’s Vantage song and dance. On hold for two hours. 

 

I booked this trip April 2019. Paid by CC. Paid balance 2/2020 by CC. Vantage cancelled us early April. I requested refund to CC. Got phone call June 5 offering voucher again. Told them refund only. July 1 made report to Mass AG and Mass BBB. Called them today. CS said no refund, bigger credit only. I said impossible, let me talk to supervisor. She comes back and changes her story. “No refunds after May 7” cancel date. Since mine was earlier I suddenly qualify. She read me back what payments would go to the different CCs I used. I requested an email documenting today’s conversation. Such a song and dance. Stay tuned.

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Wow!  This could be great news if they follow through.   Please do keep us posted.

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Had a totally different experience wit Vantage. We had booked an April Belgium and Holland cruise and paid via e-check to get the 10% discount. When they called to cancel the cruise, we were given 4 options;

 

1) A full refund which we were told upfront would minimally take 60-90 days. Not surprised as every travel-related company has been hit hard by cancellations and certainly cash flow is an issue.

 

2) Re-book for another cruise this year. That wasn't an option as they only run the Belgium-Holland cruises in the Spring and we had already done some of the other cruises. At the time we also had 3 other vacations planned, so it would have been tough to squeeze in another cruise later in the year. 

 

3) Take a FCC which could be applied to a cruise at a later date. Of course the prices for 2021 had already been announced with typical price increases, so we would have had to pay anything additional in costs.

 

4) Re-book our cruise for 2021 at the time of we were notified of the cancellation (we were given a day or so to discuss the options rather than having to decide on the spot). Vantage would eat any price difference up to $2K and our trip insurance would be transferred to the new trip. I was told initially we would see the new costs on our invoice but the invoice would get adjusted to what we had paid within a few days.

 

We took option 4, as we still wanted to do the cruise. We hadn't seen the money in ages and didn't need it, but our situation is of course not the same as everyone else's. As promised, our invoice got adjusted with a few days to show the same costs we had paid for this year's trip. Our flights were assigned in late May, although we know those will likely change, probably several times, between now and next April.  So far we've felt we have been treated fairly. With everything so uncertain with travel right now, only time will tell how things will be by next April and what our options may be at that time if the cruise gets cancelled once again.

 

Seems like those that are seeking a cash refund are having the most difficulty, which isn't surprising. There are literally tens of thousands of posts on the Air Travel forum from those trying to get refunds for cancelled flights, with those having booked thru a 3rd-party are having the most difficulty.

 

Hope everyone gets their cancellations straightened out.

 

 

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I did get an email from Vantage stating I am due a refund.  No word when.  "Call back monthly".  That is unacceptable.  I received the name of the person handling my complaint at the Mass. Attorney General's office.  I sent him the email from Vantage.  Thats all I know for now.

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Thanks for the update, I appreciate it.  We have filed with Mass Attorney General's Office but have not heard back yet but it's nice to know we will get a name.   In March (?) Vantage sent a letter saying we would get a full refund.   We just got a form letter from Vantage in response to our registered letter we sent to the company president.   

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Posted (edited)

My tulip cruise was canceled back in March, it would have been the first sailing of the year.  We bought on a special, airfare included from Syracuse with deviations.  We used our previous low water credits from 2018 sailing, and our total cash outlay was $4700, so nowhere near as bad as it could be.

 

I told Vantage from the beginning I wanted a refund.  Reading these and other threads, I knew that would be a long time coming, and figured at some point I'd just book another cruise for 2021...it would also serve to keep the low water credits from expiring.

 

I call Vantage a few nights back, it took chat/email/another chat to finally get to a phone number that would be answered.  Confirmed $ wasn't coming, so asked for a quote for the same tulip cruise/cabin class/airfare, it would be just a week later sailing (6 April) to accommodate work schedule.  Told them to just email me the quote.  After all the accounting mumbo jumbo, it would be $2,000 dollars more for the 2021 cruise.

 

I haven't gotten back to them yet, but this seems like a crock.  I bought on a good deal, seems like I should still get a cruise after the cancelation?  

 

The people on the phone and chat were nice, I don't envy their position at all.

Edited by ural guy
clarity

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