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RCG TreasureChest and RCG Ducats


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This (or something similar) is what Royal Caribbean Group should do to increase customer satisfaction, build cross-brand awareness, help them survive the Covid downturn and come out on the other side stronger than their competitors.

 

Launch a new savings & growth account for customers. Call it RCG TreasureChest or whatever great name marketing or cruisers can come with.

 

The idea is this:

- TreasureChest account will allow cruisers to move FCC funds freely between any of RCG's group of companies. For example, my attempt to sail to Venice got cancelled today for the third time in the row by RCL. Having a TreasureChest account I'd be able to move entire balance of booking into that account, and then use it to book a similar Venice cruise on Celebrity

- Use easy-to-understand conversion rate. Lets say USD$1 = 10 RCG Ducats. Simple to convert, simple to understand, fair conversion rate in most cases (when currency exchanges didn't move much between time of booking and cancellation).

- Offer incentives for cruisers to move cancelled bookings into RCG TreasureChest instead of issuing individual FCC and sometimes spending fours hours of agent's time trying to figure out all the correct FCC amounts

- Offer cruisers options to spend RCG Ducats on things other than future bookings. Not as good as cash but gives an extra piece of mind to cruisers who may be getting too old to cruise in 2022 who don't like the idea of FCC.

- Offer 5% dividends on RCG Ducats sitting in the TreasuryChest. 5% is way below what they can get today from investors, and RCG needs cash. Future bookings will be more expensive anyway, so even with extra paid interest RCG will come out ahead.

- Offer people to just buy some RCG Ducats at a discount. Easy way for RCG to keep cash flowing in.

- Offer verified cruisers to freely sell RCG Ducats to each other at whatever price they want. As long as there's a way to protect from money laundering this would let RCG keep their cash while letting cruisers know that they now have an additional way to get their refunds in cash.

 

How is this better than FCC? Well, for one thing a simple conversion rule would imply that RCG Ducats can be obtained by cruisers within hours instead of waiting for weeks and months for FCC to become available. I can't use RCL FCC to book Celebrity cruise.  RCG subsidiaries can also use RCG Ducats to move funds between companies. Lets say Celebrity needs a cash infusion ASAP. Celebrity sells FCC to TreasuryChest for RCG Ducats. Then Celebrity sells those RCG Ducats to RCL for cash. Voila - money get transferred, and accounting people stay happy.

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RCG will have numerous class-auction lawsuits to deal with once Covid situation will be under control.

 

  1. On behalf of shareholders who who will claim that RCG was negligent in the assessment of risks stated in their filings. Shareholders are the bagholders with devalued share prices, cancelled dividends, and continuously revised statements about the true state of the health of finances. Claims can be made that RCL is playing a game with valuation of their fleet, value and nature of cash equivalents on hands.
  2. On behalf of customers who did not see neither timely nor accurate refunds as were promised by RCL. It's irrelevant that RCL originally had non-refundable bookings that they decided to refund. The way RCL mismanaged refunds is a base for lawsuits.
  3. On behalf of creditors who financed RCL based on filed financials, which appear to be not as good as RCG pretends to be.
  4. On behalf of Travel Agencies who have lost and will lose more commissions because RCG tied up TA's commissions for RCG's own financial benefit and prevents TA's clients from booking their clients elsewhere (i.e. land-based Mexico or local vacations), and for wasting TA's time on ghost itineraries and rebookings.
  5. On behalf of Ports where RCG is going to break their call arrangements.
  6. On behalf of crew whose employment contracts RCG failed to honour.
  7. On behalf of governments for spreading Covid and exerting unnecessary and preventable burden on local health system.

Some lawsuits will get dismissed but some will stick and hurt RCG further. All because it will be easy to claims that RCG did not act in best possible faith towards their obligations and promises.

 

These problems can be fixed if RCG can find a way to quickly prop up their finances by offering some very long term financial obligations in exchange for cash. "RCG Ducats" can do just that. This option can help convert frozen customer deposits into cash that can be spend. A new royalty program can also help them raise cold cash from staunch cruisers who know that they will cruise when deals are good but are not willing to book ghost cruises.

 

Cash helps fix bad faith. Cash makes lawsuits go away. Cash chest crashes competition. RCG have no clue how to raise more cash. I'm giving them an idea. What do they have to lose?

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If everything you say is true then appeasing a small group of people who don't like their policies that several thousand are embracing probably is the least of their concern

 

53 minutes ago, PatMunits said:

 The way RCL mismanaged refunds is a base for lawsuits

 

Just curios what law was broken?  Not trying to argue, just trying to learn.  

 

55 minutes ago, PatMunits said:

On behalf of Ports where RCG is going to break their call arrangements.

 

Royal can't sail because of orders put in place by governments and authorities and in most cases by the ports of call themselves.  I think ports will have face a challenge in court pursuing a case against Royal when most countries have closed their borders and refuse to allow cruise ships to arrive.   That's like saying Royal should sue Canada for closing its borders that caused Royal to lose millions of dollars in revenue.

 

1 hour ago, PatMunits said:

On behalf of governments for spreading Covid and exerting unnecessary and preventable burden on local health system.

 

If any gov't pursues legal cases against organizations and businesses that were involved with spread there are millions of businesses at risk of this litigation.  In my state 13 people died from a bridge tournament that infected dozens more.  There was no history of cruise ship contact in anyone's past.    Is that organization responsible?  Weddings, funerals, churches, schools, colleges and political rallies are just a small sample of activities involving spread.  How much spread occured in work places around the world before companies reacted?  The gov't is going to be very busy pursuing legal action against all these organizations. 

 

What about airlines who allowed the virus to spread into the New England area (and Canada) from Europe killing thousands and costing those area millions of dollars.  Most airlines worldwide would be wiped out from such litigation.  So sad. 

 

Like many businesses Royal was the victim of spreaders who brought the virus onto their property.  Many business have been involved with spread that occurred because individuals brought the virus to that business.  Should these businesses pursue legal action against those individuals?

 

 

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9 minutes ago, twangster said:

Just curios what law was broken?  Not trying to argue, just trying to learn.  


There's a myriad of relatively recent consumer protection laws that protect consumers even if the vendor is in another jurisdiction.

RCL advertises in the province where I live. One can likely successfully argue that they do business here even if they pretend to be based elsewhere. After all they do have country-specific websites.

Here's an example based on my own experience. I was sold a Venice cruise. It was cancelled after last payment was due. My FCC was not available for a few months. I couldn't use it to rebook Venice cruise at a later date. I gave RCL fresh funds to pay for what essentially was a rebooking. My TA spend over four hours getting everything arranged. It was the fault of RCL because couldn't reconcile my money in their system. The rebooked Venice cruise got cancelled after last payment was due. An easy refund is not possible because it was partially booked with FCC and 25% bonus. My TA spend another set of multi-hour calls with RCL to book yet another Venice date. RCL messed up FCC amounts, the cruise was more expensive, etc.

The third Venice cruise booking now fell through again. What is RCL's offer at the moment? A 3% bonus ($100) if they keep their money, or at least 45 more days before they begin the process of refunding me my money that they got from me over the past 18 months. When I gave them my cash there was no refund condition that mentioned anything about waiting for 45 days before getting my money back. That's a broken promise of an easy refund.

There's mounting frustration in regards to repeatedly wasting my money and my TA's time on cancelled contracts because RCL claims that they cancelled my Venice trip not due to Covid but because it now makes more financial sense for them to do it. That's negligence on upholding terms of the contract and failure to refund money in a reasonable amount of time without any offer of reasonable compensation for all the troubles. Corporations got sued and lost cases for much less significant issues, and here we have cases where tens of thousands of people are affected. 

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RCL has changed the rules how fccs can be used at least 3 times, 4 if you count before sometimes could use 2 on same booking, then make  deposit and apply to balance  then ok if it's more than cruisefare, can be used to include deposit.. I'm pretty sure one other change I'm forgetting. 

 

How in the world could they possibly co ordinate across more than one cruiseline if I have to get on cc and find out changes? They dont print the rules that I know of where us non ta's can see them.

 

I got a refund for 2nd canc just due to changes that I didnt want to keep up with, not a 2nd fcc. 

 

Btw I think you can get your refund now in a few weeks lately. 

Edited by firefly333
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I won't argue that the process has not been ugly and slow at times.  However I am not sure if this rises to the level that law was broken.   In the end there appears to be an intent to make all consumers whole and in many cases they have exceeded the terms of the contract of carriage.    That's why I was hoping you could point me to a specific Canadian law has covers this area of interest.

 

How courts around the world process legal cases related to COVID-19 will be very interesting to follow for many years to come.  There's no shortage of lawyers that will try them.   

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The best option is to just take a refund. That way you can do whatever you want with the cash - take a land vacation, book another cruise on any line you choose once cruises start again, save it for retirement, etc. We had two cruises booked and took a refund on the first one that was canceled. We did a lift and shift from November on enchantment of the seas to November 2021 on symphony of the seas only because we had a really good rate that was 1/3 of the same rate on Symphony and a refundable deposit. If things are not back to normal by the time our final payment is due, we will create request a refund of our deposit.

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https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-under-consumer-protection-act#:~:text=Under the Consumer Protection Act %2C when you order a product,get a refund for it.

 

Misrepresentation

It’s illegal for the business or individual to give you false information about themselves or the product or service they offer. Some examples of misrepresentation include:

  • promising to deliver a service or product when they know or should know that it’s not possible
     

Last night (when RCL knew for days as per leaked release) my Venice cruise was still bookable. I'm not sure whether 45 days freeze period prior to refund processing is reasonable. However, there are plenty of anecdotal cases on this forum where consumers were not refunded their money long after the promised dates. There are also cases where consumers were successful in having funds refunded by credit card companies that can be used to showcase that at least as far as some banks are concerned RCL didn't fulfill the terms of service.  

 

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1 minute ago, PatMunits said:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-under-consumer-protection-act#:~:text=Under the Consumer Protection Act %2C when you order a product,get a refund for it.

 

Misrepresentation

It’s illegal for the business or individual to give you false information about themselves or the product or service they offer. Some examples of misrepresentation include:

  • promising to deliver a service or product when they know or should know that it’s not possible
     

Last night (when RCL knew for days as per leaked release) my Venice cruise was still bookable. I'm not sure whether 45 days freeze period prior to refund processing is reasonable. However, there are plenty of anecdotal cases on this forum where consumers were not refunded their money long after the promised dates. There are also cases where consumers were successful in having funds refunded by credit card companies that can be used to showcase that at least as far as some banks are concerned RCL didn't fulfill the terms of service.  

 

I worked in credit card disputes and actually getting a refund does not show rcl didnt fulfill the terms of service.

 

People read whatever they want into refunds. It could be they have a deal with rcl to automatically refund if your cruise was cancelled. Or that rcl agreed a refund was due. Or rcl issued the refund so the credit card company removed their temporary credit. All it means is you got your refund. Period. We very carefully wrote "the credit will remain on your account" and deliberately did not get into details. I've had cases where I issued credit and later the card member called me and said the company put them into collections. The company is free to rebill or try and collect if they feel the credit was issued in error. It can actually wind up on your credit report as non payment. 

 

USA laws say credit card companies have 90 days to close the case. 3 months, so 45 days isn't unreasonable. 

 

You go too far in your assumptions.

 

Believe me lots are less than happy with some changes and cancellations. Me too. Some like lift and shift have worked out well. This cc board is a bit harsh. Rcl in particular. I feel bad for anyone losing their cruise....  some will say get over it, its covid, not rcl fault..

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6 minutes ago, JT1962 said:

The best option is to just take a refund.


Best for a consumer, and absolute worst situation for RCL due to lost business and depletion of tight cash reserves.

A loyalty program can be a business arrangement between RCG and and loyal cruisers. RCG gets much needed cash. Cruisers get extra perks that can be exchanged for some undetermined benefits in the future.

I would agree for the following offer:

- a full amount of my latest cancelled booking can be exchanged for RCG GoldenDucats + 10% one time bonus

What's in it for me?

+ saving the headache of arguing with RCL about the exact amount of money I should actually deserve to get back after multiple FCC use, OBC transfers, and cash payments

+ 10% bonus in my travel fund

+ option to use RCG GoldenDucats on any RCG group of companies in parts or in full without worrying that someone will mess up my balance

What in it for RCG?
+ immediate option to move my booking amount from an escrow type of account in their books to "cash on hands" free to be used for anything

+ freed-up call centre time

+ no loss of business revenue because I will have to book with them in the future
+ ability to make further itinerary changes because a person like me is not actually booked on anything
+ ability to completely dismiss claims by a creditor (me) in case they have to declare a bankruptcy. They can simply devalue all GoldenDucats like Weimar Germany or Putin's Russia.
+ If I don't book for two years then their 10% bonus to me becomes an equivalent of borrowing at under 5% interest, that's a lot less than 12% they have to pay for their bonds

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I don't think they are even concerned with FCC. In their minds there is probably 10-25% that will never get used. They are also raising cruise rates above the 125% in some cases. Wasting time and limited resources to make customers happy about 125% FCC is not in their best interests. They want those gone and get back to normal.

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Did anyone know that Starbucks carries 1.6 billion dollars in their gift card program

 

I'll bet 10% of that never gets used

Edited by John&LaLa
looked it up, closer to 4%
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Best for a consumer, and absolute worst situation for RCL due to lost business and depletion of tight cash reserves.

 

A loyalty program can be a business arrangement between RCG and and loyal cruisers. RCG gets much needed cash. Cruisers get extra perks that can be exchanged for some undetermined benefits in the future.

 

To each his own, but I care much more more about my money than I do any particular company staying in business. I am not loyal to any particular cruise line or company and not a fan of loyalty programs. To me if a company cannot stay in business by selling their product at a fair price without a lot of gimmicks, then they don’t deserve to stay in business.

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2 hours ago, John&LaLa said:

Just use BitCoin😉

I guess you chose Dukat due to Venice

 

Think Royal Caribbean Buccaneers.

BitCoin is not good because may lead to sudden and unexpected conversion rate fluctuations. The one who can print their own money, which then universally get accepted becomes the rich dude. This is why US Treasuries are still as good as gold.

 

What RCG can do to add an extra veil of legitimacy to such a scheme is to implement using blockchains. They can probably get this going with some third-party help in a matter of weeks.

Edited by PatMunits
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