Jump to content

Combining FCC and Healthcare Discount, UNABLE! Fine Print?


BoundForSea
 Share

Recommended Posts

So wanted to share this as it was a big surprise to me, as many times is the case with unwritten policies from MSC. 

 

I had FCC that was from a first booking made in January for a May sailing. Then that got cancelled and it was issued and used for a October sailing. Then that got cancelled and FCC reissued yesterday. All the while the same booking number follows these bookings and FCCs. Thats standard. 

 

The FAQs indicate this is possible specifically to combine the two without any exceptions. On a call to travel agents, NA Senior VP Ken Muscat also soecifically noted this is combinable and mentioned what a great opportunity it is for customers. 

 

I called yesterday to apply my FCC and combine it with Healthcare Worker discount for a December sailing. After making the reservation with the agent who mentioned no issues I had to email MSC and provide the copies of credentials. They then apply the discount savings in the record. I was then told by them in an email:

 

“The Discount is for Brand New Bookings made after August 31, 2020 and Not Cruise Moves made after August 31, 2020. So the booking does not qualify for the Discount. I apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you”

 

I called back and the CS rep told me that this was indeed the case. I reminded her that this was a new booking due to YOU cancelling my other two!! No she said, the only case that someone could combine the Healthcare and the FCC was if the cancelled cruise that generated the FCC was booked after August 31st!!!!!! What????? Where is THAT written?? “Its the policy sir” How many people do you think are out there that booked since Sept 1 for an October cruise????? They were cancelled in early August (8th)  so thats technically impossible!!!!!! This means that if this is true, you could NOT possibly ever combine the two ever and the info about it being combinable is false. 

 

Im escalating this and I’m not backing down. 

 

 

Edited by BoundForSea
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, sidari said:

The offer of the discount for Health staff was for a New bookings only, by using original booking numbers on the FCC prevents it becoming a new booking and is classed as a rebooking.

Exactly!!! Here’s the FAQ question for it. Their system only allows new bookings using an FCC to use the existing booking number from which the FCC was generated from, therefore you can never conbine them and this FAQ is false. 

B1DF6A8F-D149-484D-9647-F175C28498F7.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The combination can be done, but unfortunately requires an obscene amount of escalation to the resolution team, which half the call center doesn’t know exists. You need to be “that person” and send an email directly to Ken Muskat with the issue for it to get forwarded to them. I had to do this to get the VC 5+5 applied on an FCC for ourselves and our clients. It is frustrating and time consuming, but they can do it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems like a catch 22 because when using the FCC you get the old booking number & date from the earlier cancelled cruise. Yet is does state healthcare promotion bookings can only be on bookings after August 31st.  It seems MSC's intent was that you can use a FCC for a booking under the Heathcare promotion.   Sadly, I'm not surprised some system problem prevents the agents from being able to book as intended.

 

HEALTHCARE HEROES OFFER

Terms & Conditions:

  • Up to 50% off cruises departing through Dec. 31, 2021 
  • Valid for all new bookings made from Aug. 31, 2020 - Apr. 30, 2021 
  • Valid on all cruises through Dec. 31, 2021 (excluding World Cruise)
  • Must call to book: 877-665-4655
  • Eligible healthcare workers: All doctors, nurses, front line and back office workers employed in hospital facilities, other related hospital services (ie. cleaning staff - only if directly hired by the hospital, excluding private companies), family doctors, pharmacists (operating during pandemic), private doctors and medical figures not employed in hospital facilities ONLY if specializing in directly related COVID-19 diseases (doctors who specialize in pneumology, virologists), healthcare volunteers (ambulance, social services) who offered their support during COVID-19 emergency, retired doctors who were called back to service to give support during pandemic, research lab employees (only if you've specifically performed COVID-19 tests)
  • Guests will be required to provide a certification to show proof of eligibility at time of booking as well as at embarkation
  • Is combinable with promotional rates and MSC Club discount (excluding brochure and group rates)
  • Kids 17 and under sail free on select cruises when sailing as 3rd/4th guest
  • Future Cruise Credits can be used on all new bookings from Aug. 31, 2020 - Apr. 30, 2021
  • Healthcare worker must be booked and must cruise (If two or more staterooms are booked, the discount will only be applied to the stateroom the healthcare worker occupies)
  • Healthcare worker can book more than one cruise
  • Single supplement will apply if traveling alone
  • Total CruiseFlex: Applicable on any cruise booked between Aug. 5 - Oct. 31, 2020 AND departs between Nov. 1, 2020 - Dec.. 31, 2021. Total CruiseFlex gives you flexibility to cancel your cruise within 48 hours and move your money to another cruise of your choice on any ship by Dec. 31, 2021. Learn More
 

Ask for "Healthcare Heroes" when booking.

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/cruise-deals/promo-terms-and-conditions

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, slei15 said:

The combination can be done, but unfortunately requires an obscene amount of escalation to the resolution team, which half the call center doesn’t know exists. You need to be “that person” and send an email directly to Ken Muskat with the issue for it to get forwarded to them. I had to do this to get the VC 5+5 applied on an FCC for ourselves and our clients. It is frustrating and time consuming, but they can do it. 

This exactly and for everything. My travel agent was able to get things done (rather, almost done so far) by getting to Ken Muskat. That's what it took to get the right people working on my specific issue. Now those right people are working on it, but it is taking multiple departments including the "obscenely escalated" FCC department and the separate reservations department and they are each waiting on each other and sending each other notes in the system. (According to the status report given to my TA.)

 

I have to believe that they are beholden to the absolute worst reservations software infrastructure that money could buy back in the early days of computer code.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, mamaneedsavacay said:

I have to believe that they are beholden to the absolute worst reservations software infrastructure that money could buy back in the early days of computer code.

Perhaps this is why the new MSC luxury line has stated they will use a different system.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Até said:

Perhaps this is why the new MSC luxury line has stated they will use a different system.

The worst system indeed, however add to that some (not all but alot) of really awful Customer Service employees using it. It’s really a recipe for disaster. Some days its seens like they grabbed someone out of the unemployment line, handed them a phone and a laptop, gavethem 20hours of distance learning and sent them out to answer our calls. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BoundForSea said:

The worst system indeed, however add to that some (not all but alot) of really awful Customer Service employees using it. It’s really a recipe for disaster. Some days its seens like they grabbed someone out of the unemployment line, handed them a phone and a laptop, gavethem 20hours of distance learning and sent them out to answer our calls. 

Agreed. 

 

I actually posted what was supposed to be a funny story about that last March, but the topic got deleted. An MSC agent who was obviously working from home set her phone down and walked away from it, leaving my TA on an open line for 30 minutes while she (the MSC agent) used the restroom, yelled at her kids, and made herself some lunch.

 

A mute button and updating every ten minutes or so doesn't seem like a lot to ask. Or something you should have to spend too much time on in training. My TA eventually hung up, so we'll never know if she was really waiting on a supervisor, but if the supervisor had answered, I don't know how the agent would know since she was quite occupied doing all those other things.  We just had to laugh. That was the week before March 15 and at the time, I couldn't imagine a more poor job of customer service. 

 

For the record, I'm not saying that these agents are bad people, or dumb, or any kind of ill-intentioned. Besides that one, they've all tried very hard to be helpful. The third part of the problem is that none of them are EMPOWERED to do anything about anything. I think of a time I was in Target and something had been mis-labeled for a ridiculously low price. When it rang up for (justifiably) much more, I politely handed it back to the self-checkout guy and said I didn't want it any more. He just gave it to me for the lower price with the swipe of a badge. I recognize there's a difference in scale here, so maybe it should need to go to an MSC "supervisor," but even they can't seem to do anything. There is no such thing as a manager's override password.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cruise lines have all taken a tremendous hit to their bottom lines. They generously offer a FCC with an additional 25% of cruise paid.  Your FCC is actually the original booking number so it’s not considered a new booking. 
 

The Health care promotion Is a great deal! I totally understand them not wanting to mix both of these great deals. My goodness these CruiseLine are hurting and who knows how many will survive. They still have no word as to when they’ll be able to resume cruising when they do they’ll need to make some money. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, kidless said:

Cruise lines have all taken a tremendous hit to their bottom lines. They generously offer a FCC with an additional 25% of cruise paid.  Your FCC is actually the original booking number so it’s not considered a new booking. 
 

The Health care promotion Is a great deal! I totally understand them not wanting to mix both of these great deals. My goodness these CruiseLine are hurting and who knows how many will survive. They still have no word as to when they’ll be able to resume cruising when they do they’ll need to make some money. 

I agree with you, in that I am sympathetic to the industry and want these cruise lines to survive. The issue is not that it "should" be combined. The issue is that THEY said it could be. It's their prerogative to limit combinations of discounts, etc., but in this case they have said that both you can and then you can't. 

 

I have a feeling this is what happened with the 125% FCC in the first place. Someone high up decided the right thing to do was offer a bonus 25% to encourage FCC's over refunds. Nothing wrong with that, but make sure your people have the systems and processes to do it. (They didn't, at least not in March/April.)  I would argue that all of these FCC issues come from attaching them to the old booking number. They really needed to smart logistics person to think through how this was going to work before they started any of it. Someone smarter than me, I'll fully admit.

 

I saw elsewhere today (not on CC) that they are finally getting some of those March/April "black hole" refunds done and they are offering a 25% discount on a future cruise, as an apology. I'm glad for those folks. But I find myself wishing I had just gone for the full refund, because now I'd be getting my actual money back and STILL getting an extra 25% off a future cruise. All I have right now are hopes and dreams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, BoundForSea said:

The worst system indeed, however add to that some (not all but alot) of really awful Customer Service employees using it. It’s really a recipe for disaster. Some days its seens like they grabbed someone out of the unemployment line, handed them a phone and a laptop, gavethem 20hours of distance learning and sent them out to answer our calls. 

 

 I do believe you will find a positive resolution if you stick with this. MSC customer service is lacking, but eventually they come through. Denying you the discount goes against the spirit of the offer. Best of luck to you and please let us know how it all turns out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

 I do believe you will find a positive resolution if you stick with this. MSC customer service is lacking, but eventually they come through. Denying you the discount goes against the spirit of the offer. Best of luck to you and please let us know how it all turns out.

Thanks much. Thats my plan. It lies with a rep and their conflict resolution team I believe. We shall see. I will for sure keep you posted here. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/1/2020 at 8:58 PM, slei15 said:

The combination can be done, but unfortunately requires an obscene amount of escalation to the resolution team, which half the call center doesn’t know exists. You need to be “that person” and send an email directly to Ken Muskat with the issue for it to get forwarded to them. I had to do this to get the VC 5+5 applied on an FCC for ourselves and our clients. It is frustrating and time consuming, but they can do it. 

 

Just wondering if you could send that email address for him and/or contact number to my email address in my signature? I’m getting absolutely nowhere with the process thus far. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/2/2020 at 10:09 PM, kidless said:

Cruise lines have all taken a tremendous hit to their bottom lines. They generously offer a FCC with an additional 25% of cruise paid.  

 

I disagree that offering additional 25% in FCC was 'generous'. The offering was a business decision to:

a) Hold your money 

b) Ensure future loyalty.

 

As we've already noticed, prices have risen by more than the 25% FCC and the  real stinger is that FCC's are becoming more and more limited. Example, you can not apply FCC to certain sales promotions. Not to mention, if one of the companies files bankruptcy your FCC holds zero value.

 

I get it. Cruise lines have taken a super big hit. Probably a bigger hit than any industry, but the FCC's weren't generous gifts. They were carefully calibrated offerings based on cash flow in an attempt to reduce profit loss. We all love our cruise lines, but they are big business.

 

PS: Sorry you aren't getting anywhere Bound :(. It's not going to be easy, but I think it will be worth it :)

 

 

 

 

Edited by BermudaBound2014
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very early on, I suggested that you guys not take the FCC and I stand by that recommendation.  The extra 25% means nothing if you can't apply it to the booking you want.  Just not worth the risk.

Only slightly related is the fact that I've received 2-3 future cruise discounts for prior issues.  Only the won't let me apply them to anything I've booked.  I've stopped pressing the issue, as I have a cruise set up just the way I want it and it seems like anytime I allow MSC to put their fingerprints on anything, the booking gets screwed up.  So I'll just leave things as they stand.

But again, I do suggest that customers take cash instead of FCC and if you can't receive a prompt refund, dispute it with your credit card company.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

I disagree that offering additional 25% in FCC was 'generous'. The offering was a business decision to:

a) Hold your money 

b) Ensure future loyalty.

 

As we've already noticed, prices have risen by more than the 25% FCC and the  real stinger is that FCC's are becoming more and more limited. Example, you can not apply FCC to certain sales promotions. Not to mention, if one of the companies files bankruptcy your FCC holds zero value.

 

I get it. Cruise lines have taken a super big hit. Probably a bigger hit than any industry, but the FCC's weren't generous gifts. They were carefully calibrated offerings based on cash flow in an attempt to reduce profit loss. We all love our cruise lines, but they are big business.

 

PS: Sorry you aren't getting anywhere Bound :(. It's not going to be easy, but I think it will be worth it 🙂

 

 

 

 

Oh man I intend to. Thanks! I agree on all points. FCC was calculated and fares were adjusted accordingly. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/3/2020 at 5:52 PM, BoundForSea said:

Thanks much. Thats my plan. It lies with a rep and their conflict resolution team I believe. We shall see. I will for sure keep you posted here. 

 

We are kind of in the same boat.  We have the reservation and cost combining the FCC and healthcare discount, but are waiting for CS to transfer the FCC from our previous reservation.  Our TA says that when it comes to MSC, be patient and stay calm with them, they are unbelievably slow but in the end make it right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Price was just finalized last night.  We were able to combine the FCC and healthcare discount on the same reservation.  We (TA) did have to cancel the original reservation and re-book to do it.  It was a long process, but if you have patience, and I believe a good attitude about it, MSC does what they promise.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, KennyFla said:

Price was just finalized last night.  We were able to combine the FCC and healthcare discount on the same reservation.  We (TA) did have to cancel the original reservation and re-book to do it.  It was a long process, but if you have patience, and I believe a good attitude about it, MSC does what they promise.

 

Excellent news for you!! Hopefully @BoundForSea will be successful also. With a good attitude and patience, MSC will often come through with  what they promise, but it takes some work and the process is clunky and time consuming (as you mentioned). 

 

PS: thank you both for your service in the health industry.

Edited by BermudaBound2014
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/21/2020 at 10:13 AM, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

Excellent news for you!! Hopefully @BoundForSea will be successful also. With a good attitude and patience, MSC will often come through with  what they promise, but it takes some work and the process is clunky and time consuming (as you mentioned). 

 

PS: thank you both for your service in the health industry.

Update:

 

Well the discount has finally been applied. This process was not for the faint of heart, and finally after alot of work and documentation (keep detailed notes on your calls if you dont use a TA and if you do tell them to) management got involved and it was fixed. If I didnt have copious notes for my two cancellations and FCCs that were on the same booking number I would have not been successful.  As a TA I cant stress enough, document- document- document. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will also add that when you experience assistance from some of the middle and upper management they are super to work with and very polite and understanding. The interaction remewed a sense of loyalty and consumer happiness after working with them. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Thank You for 25 Years - Click for Fun Stuff!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...