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bobk57

TA service charge when your cruise is cancelled

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Just want to get your thoughts on a TA service/cancellation charge to their customers, when the cruise line cancels the cruise.  Their charge is for their time spent researching, updates and changes to the reservation.  They are charging us their minimum fee of $150. Is this reasonable and is this something most TA would do? Does anyone know what a TA makes on a 10-14 day cruise, that costs us approximately 5k?

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Posted (edited)

I think this is tacky. My TA does not do this and I would never use one who did. That being said, travel agents are making such minimal amount of money right now - I am not surprised that some are doing this trying to survive.

 

Many TAs are paid on a commission base of the cruise fare (not the entire amount with taxes and fees). 

Edited by Coral

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From the Princess announcement a few days ago indicating that their pause in cruising will extend to Dec. 15th...

 

Princess will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full in recognition of the critical role they play in the cruise line’s business and success.

 

if you already paid in full, then they get their full commission.  If you didn’t, then I could see some justification for a fee.

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26 minutes ago, bobk57 said:

Just want to get your thoughts on a TA service/cancellation charge to their customers, when the cruise line cancels the cruise.  Their charge is for their time spent researching, updates and changes to the reservation.  They are charging us their minimum fee of $150. Is this reasonable and is this something most TA would do? Does anyone know what a TA makes on a 10-14 day cruise, that costs us approximately 5k?

A few years ago we booked with a big box travel agency . I called them when the cruise line reduced fares and we were eligible for a reduction. Well, this agency said fine but we will charge you a change fee of $150.00. Then they explained that any changes after 24 hours of booking will have that fee. Never again did we book with them. have a good travel agent who takes care of us and never a fee for changes or cancellations.

 

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Never had a TA charge me for changing or cancelling a reservation and I have changed many and cancelled or had cancelled a few.   I would check the original paperwork you either signed or received and see if there is a clause telling you if they charge a service fee.  As other has said time to find a new TA.

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After we made a few changes to our cruise reservations, they added a new policy that they would add a service charge for additional changes.  They did have a prior policy that stated a fee when you cancel a cruise.  We had no intention to cancel the cruise, but never expected that princess would cancel the cruise.  Maybe time to find a new TA.

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I have a wonderful Travel Agent who is suffering from the cancellation of cruises.  She has gone over and above the service a standard TA would do for their clients.  A jewel to keep in my treasure box.

 

But I know she is hurting.  She has never and probably will never charge anything extra.  With no cruises for 9 months, she is still in the office putting out fires for her clients.  Instead of her charging me a fee, I sent her a small token of my appreciation since I couldn't "take her to lunch".  

 

Time for you to find another travel agent.

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Time to find another travel agent.  That is absurd.

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26 minutes ago, cr8tiv1 said:

I have a wonderful Travel Agent who is suffering from the cancellation of cruises.  She has gone over and above the service a standard TA would do for their clients.  A jewel to keep in my treasure box.

 

But I know she is hurting.  She has never and probably will never charge anything extra.  With no cruises for 9 months, she is still in the office putting out fires for her clients.  Instead of her charging me a fee, I sent her a small token of my appreciation since I couldn't "take her to lunch".  

 

Time for you to find another travel agent.

 

My agency and TA has a new admin fee of $20 added to any new (or probably revised) bookings.  COVID has been a big hit to them and the section of business that we use gets the best discount I know of in North America.  With all the cancellations and unknown factors with COVID, they must similarly be working a lot on files that would not be expected to need so much attention.  I am more surprised they aren't attaching a fee to existing bookings that run into cancellations.  I believe they are also impacted revenue-wise in regards to future cruises at this time as many cruise lines may be impacting.  I won't go into further details, and indeed, I don't know all of the details.

 

I can say I don't begrudge the $20 at all, given our net bottom line.  Hopefully, things will return to normal in the not-to-distant future.

 

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We had a TA that charged us a change fee of $25.  It probably was the worst $25 he ever received as we dropped him immediately.  Luckily we were able to get Princess to pull back our two future cruises from him at no cost.  I had to send them a letter requesting that the bookings be brought back to Princess and they did the rest.  The TA sent me a nasty note when he found out we had pulled the two future bookings so I reminded him of that $25 charge.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bobk57 said:

  They are charging us their minimum fee of $150. Is this reasonable and is this something most TA would do? Does anyone know what a TA makes on a 10-14 day cruise, that costs us approximately 5k?

As others have said, it's time to find a new TA.  Some agencies charge a 25.00 booking fee, while others charge anywhere from 50-100 for changes or cancellations, while the good ones charge nothing.  Because  the pandemic has decimated their earnings, these policies could be changing in the future, even for the "good" agencies.

The commission is based on a portion of the total cruise fare.  There are port taxes and fees as well as non-commissionable funds involved that no commission is paid on.  I would say the commission involved with a booking like you mentioned is 500+ easily.

Edited by SNJCruisers

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2 hours ago, bobk57 said:

After we made a few changes to our cruise reservations, they added a new policy that they would add a service charge for additional changes.  They did have a prior policy that stated a fee when you cancel a cruise.  We had no intention to cancel the cruise, but never expected that princess would cancel the cruise.  Maybe time to find a new TA.

 

No "maybe" about it. You should not use this TA again.

 

There are many TAs for USA & Canadian residents that will not have any charges for changes you have made to the booking (changing cabins, requesting refares, etc.) including no fees for cancelling the cruise.  They do not even charge when you refare to a lower fare that reduces their commission.

 

And a number of these TAs will offer a discount from Princess published pricing.

 

When choosing a TA, ask questions about any fees up front. If you do not like the answers, do not use that TA.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, bobk57 said:

Just want to get your thoughts on a TA service/cancellation charge to their customers, when the cruise line cancels the cruise.  Their charge is for their time spent researching, updates and changes to the reservation.  They are charging us their minimum fee of $150. Is this reasonable and is this something most TA would do? Does anyone know what a TA makes on a 10-14 day cruise, that costs us approximately 5k?

 

Was that in the original terms from the TA, or was it something they made up on the spot?

 

I once went to a local TA, which I thought would be nice because they offered free transportation

to/from the ship.

 

Before I signed, I noticed that they said they could charge a cancellation fee.

 

I didn't sign.   The agent helping me assured me "oh, we never do that".

 

I have sort of felt that that something like this was in the terms, but generally ignored

in good times...

 

There was this thread from a couple months ago ... adding a fee makes a credit card dispute

much more appealing.

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2749714-think-twice-about-a-chargeback/

 

Edited by Roberto256

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1 hour ago, Roberto256 said:

 

Was that in the original terms from the TA, or was it something they made up on the spot?

 

I think it is different if the OP cancelled the cruise vs the cruise line cancelling the cruise.

 

The sad thing is that the OP would probably have used that agent again. Now they won't. That is an expensive $150 fee as there will be no more future business from this client.

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54 minutes ago, Gail & Marty sailing away said:

I agree....

Either find a new TA or use our Princess Vacation Planner who has been our champion for the last 10 years.

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Posted (edited)

I would go as far as calling Princess and informing them that the agent is charging a fee for a cruise that Princess, not the client cancelled. There may be rules in place against such things. Your agent just may have blown his/her chance to book any CCL cruises in the future. Princess can either cut ties with the TA, or heck, let them pay the cancellation fee since THEY cancelled!!

Edited by CineGraphic

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We use  an online TA because the fares are almost allways cheaper and they offer great OBC that the cruiselines do not. they do have a change fee of 35.00 and a cancellation fee of 100.00 but over the years we have more than recouped those fees an the above mentioned pluses.

The covid cancellations are very hard on them. They did state that our 100.00 cancellation fee would be put towards the deposit we will put on our next cruise booking.

The other TA we sometimes use just charges a 25.00 upfront admin fee but no cancellation fees, but they seldom offer the OBC that the other one does.

I would love to know the TA,s that do not charge fees. I wonder if it is hidden  the fares that they offer? 

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3 hours ago, Coral said:

I think it is different if the OP cancelled the cruise vs the cruise line cancelling the cruise.

 

The sad thing is that the OP would probably have used that agent again. Now they won't. That is an expensive $150 fee as there will be no more future business from this client.

 

Exactly!!  If the pandemic doesn't kill their business, then these types of policies will. 

I've had 5 cruises canceled so far this year and none of them incurred a cancelation fee that affected me.  It sounds as though the OP might want to take this up with Princess ... it's a long shot, but I know they are paying out for additional expenses.  This might qualify.  ???  

I learned that the agencies that have bookings are paid a commission from the cruiselines if the sailing that was canceled was paid in full and the cruiseline was the one to cancel the sailing.  Sounds like the OP's cruise may have been canceled prior to final payment, though.  If that wasn't the case ... ouch!  The OP is being gouged.  

 

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10 minutes ago, gmjc2 said:

 

I would love to know the TA,s that do not charge fees. I wonder if it is hidden  the fares that they offer? 

No - it isn't hidden.

 

My agent is a very high volume Princess agent and gets a ton of repeat business and referrals. She knows if someone cancels, they will come back and book with her next time so she doesn't see a need to do this. Her business is based on solid, repeat business.

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The first time a TA charged me a cancellation fee (for this type of situation) would be the last time I used that TA.

 

With that said, I have no issue with a TA charging a fee for services, as long as it is disclosed up front before the consumer makes a decision. I used a TA that would charge a fee for services in planning a trip, but as long as the trip was booked with them, the fee got applied to the cost. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, bobk57 said:

Just want to get your thoughts on a TA service/cancellation charge to their customers, when the cruise line cancels the cruise.  Their charge is for their time spent researching, updates and changes to the reservation.  They are charging us their minimum fee of $150. Is this reasonable and is this something most TA would do? Does anyone know what a TA makes on a 10-14 day cruise, that costs us approximately 5k?

I would let your current agent know that your future business will be taken elsewhere due to this cancellation fee and that you would let your friends know (especially if it is a local agency where your friends may go). I would also ask that they waive it due to the cruise line cancelling but I doubt they will do that.

Edited by Coral

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Every sales person in every field has to work for their sales. Sometimes the work pays off, sometimes it doesn't. Our TA does not charge for changes, cancellations. Seems a charge is a little strange when it is the cruise line that cancelled the voyage. After all, T.A.'s are agents of the cruise lines. At least that is how the cruise lines like to think of them. I would find another agent or book direct.

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