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Pre-purchase of museum tix-you are taking a chance!


Crusin6

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I want to advise all the Med cruisers of something that is happening to me through no fault of my own. I purchased 6 tickets to the Doge's Secret Itineries Tour thru teleart.org. Of course I agreed to their terms which state no refunds, cancellations etc. Why wouldn't I? So here is what happened. SIX HOURS after I completed the transaction and way before I even received a confirmation from teleart, I received an e-mail from my online TA advising me that Carnival has changed the port of call sequence and we will be in Venice 2 days earlier than expected! OK, whatever. I tried to contact the ticket agency to explain my situation and change the tickets to the earlier day and guess what? Not only did they take 48 hours to respond, their e-mails went to spam and of course they said TOO BAD! Now, I realize that I could have waited to buy the tickets but why would I since the time of the museum's English speaking tour fit my schedule and we wanted to go. I don't know why I was thinking these tickets would sell out. If they did sell out,so what I would have saved money! Now I know from experience on these boards that some posters will insist that this is a fine company to deal with. Which may be true. However, they certainly could have made an exception as this was no fault of my own. I understand the electronic signature and the concept of Caveat Emptor and the ticket company has to make money, etc etc, but it is over 3 months away, they could just put the tickets back in inventory and re sell them. You know they will able to resell them. Sorry, I am trying to think logically and employ some good customer service here. I know we can all expect some rude treatment from SOME of the locals this summer. Or maybe they will be happy to see us, considering that many Americans are cutting back on travel plans. I know I have asked some of our private tour drivers to reduce our cost. The answer was yes. Anyway, I just wanted to make others aware that if they pre purchase anything of this sort and the cruise line changes course, they MAY have a problem. Yes, I also know the cruiseline reserves the right to change ports and is not responsible but it is just that so many posters on the MED cruise boards are talking about pre booking so as to not wait on line and to have scheduled admission times at various sites and museums that I thought this would be helpful to all. One other thing I just thought of. Since we will be there the day before the timed tour tickets, maybe I can ask when I get there if I could use them on that day. I don't expect much though, but I will ask them in Italian not English!:mad:

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Wow, that does not seem reasonable! I could understand if you were three days out from arrival or something of that nature but not three months in advance.

It still may be worth a telephone call to see if you could have the tickets changed to the date you now need.

I certainly will make note of the company you used before we book our tickets for summer of 2009.

Sorry this has happened to you and hoping you are able to get through to them and have the changes made. Did they understand that you just wanted to change the date not cancelled the tour? Too soon to give up.

Good Luck.

Kathy

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Is it possible to contact your credit card company and refuse payment? I don't know if it's possible but it's worth a shot.

 

2P.P1

 

 

The above is exactly what I would do! With your visit three months out and circumstances entirely beyond your control I am certain that any reputable credit card company will side with you, their valuable customer!!!

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Wow, that does not seem reasonable! I could understand if you were three days out from arrival or something of that nature but not three months in advance.

It still may be worth a telephone call to see if you could have the tickets changed to the date you now need.

I certainly will make note of the company you used before we book our tickets for summer of 2009.

Sorry this has happened to you and hoping you are able to get through to them and have the changes made. Did they understand that you just wanted to change the date not cancelled the tour? Too soon to give up.

Good Luck.

Kathy

You can't imagine all the e-mails I have sent. I tell them if I cannot cancel, I will just move to the previous day but to no avail. One rep at the CC company said I could dispute the charge, another one there said I could dispute but would not win still yet a poster from my Roll Call said that I have 24 hours from online purchase to cancel. She is a TA and said it was an internet law/rule. Who knows? I will keep on plugging though. BTW, my TA just got my cruise price (Carnival) reduced by $1500 for 2 cabins! Also, of course, Carnival just lifted the fuel surcharge as I booked last June! That with the 200 per cabin OBC is making me happy! However, not too upset should I lose the tix money, just more upset that I may have to pay again should we decide to do this tour anyway. We are thinking of just visiting the Doge's and skipping the Secret Tour at this point. Oh yeah, I will still have to pre book and pre pay for just the Doge's anyway! Go figure. Anyway, I know I have done well with the price reductions and such and it really is such a small amount compared to everything else but it is just that I found out so soon after you would think that they would really want to try to help me out. :(

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Is it possible to contact your credit card company and refuse payment? I don't know if it's possible but it's worth a shot.

 

2P.P1

I did that already, got 2 different answers and a lesson on how CC's work. Duh! I am told by the CC Cust. Service that when I dispute it, if the tix agency does not respond, then I could actually be off the hook. If they do respond with a NO, then I am on the hook.:mad:

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The above is exactly what I would do! With your visit three months out and circumstances entirely beyond your control I am certain that any reputable credit card company will side with you, their valuable customer!!!
Thanks. Read my 2 posts regarding this issue. The 2 outsourced customer service reps I spoke with gave me different answers. They might agree with me but it may also come down to wether or not they want to absorb the charge to help me out should the tix people refuse. Capital One, BTW. And yes, I expect to keep calling.
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I did that already, got 2 different answers and a lesson on how CC's work. Duh! I am told by the CC Cust. Service that when I dispute it, if the tix agency does not respond, then I could actually be off the hook. If they do respond with a NO, then I am on the hook.:mad:

 

If it were me, I would not take NO for an answer with my credit card company! I would INSIST on speaking with a manager - and THEIR manager if that doesn't get you satisfaction - and not take no for an answer! Tell them you will cancel your credit card with them and go with another company that provides more responsive customer service. Keep a list of all names and positions of folks that speak with you on the telephone. Believe me, YOU WILL WIN! There is no excuse for an American being treated shabbily by a foreign ticket agency. Eventually, if you insist long enough, you WILL be speaking with a person in authority to help you here in the USA. (I know this from personal experience.)

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There is no excuse for an American being treated shabbily by a foreign ticket agency.

 

The OP mentioned that he agreed to the terms and conditions which stated "no refunds". I wonder if the situation would be any different at an agency in the U.S. selling non-refundable tickets?

 

With all of the variables involved in cruising and the chance of not making a designated time for a museum, tour, etc.... it's a good reminder that if you can reserve only and pay when you arrive, it's probably a better alternative. Not sure if this is possible though for Doge's Palace?

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Okay, I feel for the OP and I do feel the ticketing agency is being unreasonable given the lead time in this instance, but what part of "No refunds or cancellations" is unclear?? He agreed to it - now he has to suck it up. I wouldn't like it if it happened to me either, but the bottom line is that is what he agreed to. The credit card company should not have to absorb the cost... why would they? If he cannot work something out with the ticketing agency, I don't see why going after the credit card company would do him any good?

 

It's the cruise line's change of itinerary which has caused this - and it would be no different than if we cannot get into Livorno and our prepaid tickets to the Uffizi become confetti - that's the risk you take with prebooking anything these days.

 

I don't mean to sound harsh, or as if I don't feel bad for the OP, because I do - I just think that this is one of those - you bought it now it's yours kind of situations. :)

 

I would keep trying to work with the ticketing agency, and I'd try by phone rather than email. If push comes to shove, you could present on the day and give it a shot - or ask your hotel in Venice to book for you.

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The OP mentioned that he agreed to the terms and conditions which stated "no refunds". I wonder if the situation would be any different at an agency in the U.S. selling non-refundable tickets?

 

With all of the variables involved in cruising and the chance of not making a designated time for a museum, tour, etc.... it's a good reminder that if you can reserve only and pay when you arrive, it's probably a better alternative. Not sure if this is possible though for Doge's Palace?

 

 

We did it the way you suggest, Susan M, but we were staying at a hotel in Venice pre-cruise. I simply emailed our hotel and asked that they make the reservations for me. I gave them a choice of several times on a specific date for our Secret Intineraries Tour. The hotel emailed me back with a confirmation number which I printed and took with me, and we simply paid when we got to the Doges Palace the morning of our tour. We saved all the fees from the internet agencies too.

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Okay, I feel for the OP and I do feel the ticketing agency is being unreasonable given the lead time in this instance, but what part of "No refunds or cancellations" is unclear?? He agreed to it - now he has to suck it up. I wouldn't like it if it happened to me either, but the bottom line is that is what he agreed to. The credit card company should not have to absorb the cost... why would they?
I couldn't agree more with this. "No refunds or cancellations" is absolutely crystal clear. If you want the benefits of booking ahead, you also have to take the disadvantages as well. The OP says:-
Of course I agreed to their terms which state no refunds, cancellations etc. Why wouldn't I?
Well, one good reason would be you not being able to accept the risk of your plans changing through no fault of your own, meaning that your money is wasted.

 

It would be nice if, in the circumstances, the ticket agency were to waive its rules. But if it doesn't, it's perfectly within its rights to refuse to waive it.

 

And it's not the credit card company's fault at all. They have to pay the ticket agency - they have no basis for refusing to do so - and asking them to waive the charge is just asking them to throw their money away. Why should they?.

 

But I don't mean to slam the OP, who seems to be being realistic about this, and rightly warning other members about this very real disadvantage of booking early.

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I want to advise all the Med cruisers of something that is happening to me through no fault of my own. I purchased 6 tickets to the Doge's Secret Itineries Tour thru teleart.org. Of course I agreed to their terms which state no refunds, cancellations etc. Why wouldn't I? So here is what happened. SIX HOURS after I completed the transaction and way before I even received a confirmation from teleart, I received an e-mail from my online TA advising me that Carnival has changed the port of call sequence and we will be in Venice 2 days earlier than expected! OK, whatever. I tried to contact the ticket agency to explain my situation and change the tickets to the earlier day and guess what? Not only did they take 48 hours to respond, their e-mails went to spam and of course they said TOO BAD! Now, I realize that I could have waited to buy the tickets but why would I since the time of the museum's English speaking tour fit my schedule and we wanted to go. I don't know why I was thinking these tickets would sell out. If they did sell out,so what I would have saved money! Now I know from experience on these boards that some posters will insist that this is a fine company to deal with. Which may be true. However, they certainly could have made an exception as this was no fault of my own. I understand the electronic signature and the concept of Caveat Emptor and the ticket company has to make money, etc etc, but it is over 3 months away, they could just put the tickets back in inventory and re sell them. You know they will able to resell them. Sorry, I am trying to think logically and employ some good customer service here. I know we can all expect some rude treatment from SOME of the locals this summer. Or maybe they will be happy to see us, considering that many Americans are cutting back on travel plans. I know I have asked some of our private tour drivers to reduce our cost. The answer was yes. Anyway, I just wanted to make others aware that if they pre purchase anything of this sort and the cruise line changes course, they MAY have a problem. Yes, I also know the cruiseline reserves the right to change ports and is not responsible but it is just that so many posters on the MED cruise boards are talking about pre booking so as to not wait on line and to have scheduled admission times at various sites and museums that I thought this would be helpful to all. One other thing I just thought of. Since we will be there the day before the timed tour tickets, maybe I can ask when I get there if I could use them on that day. I don't expect much though, but I will ask them in Italian not English!:mad:

 

 

We will be in the Med in May on Carnival. Wich cruise are you on?

That could cause tons of Problems for people who have booked private tours. I will check our ports now to see if there has been any changes.

Please let me know which one you are on.:eek:

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Is it possible to contact your credit card company and refuse payment? I don't know if it's possible but it's worth a shot.

 

2P.P1

 

I would try this too seeing as you tried to cancel prior to getting the confirmation.

 

To the OP, how much money are you out?

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I would try this too seeing as you tried to cancel prior to getting the confirmation.

 

To the OP, how much money are you out?

 

Keep trying to get the refund through your credit card company. I know we put over a $1000. per month on our card and the credit card company has always gotten us refunds whever we have insisted that we are in the right. There are plenty of other credit cards out there, so if you let them know you are taking your business elsewhere if you don't get satisfaction (and mean it) I truly believe you will prevail. After all, do you truly believe that the ticketing agency will HOLD your time open for you since you've informed them that the ship will not be in port at that time! Believe me, they will resell the slots and you should not be the "stuck-ee"!

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If all else fails, just show up when your cruise ship gets there, get in line with the mob, hand them your tickets, and shuffle in. If questioned, plead ignorance, and blame it on them!

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Okay, I feel for the OP and I do feel the ticketing agency is being unreasonable given the lead time in this instance, but what part of "No refunds or cancellations" is unclear?? He agreed to it - now he has to suck it up. I wouldn't like it if it happened to me either, but the bottom line is that is what he agreed to.

I totally agree with what you said here. :)

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If it were me, I would not take NO for an answer with my credit card company! I would INSIST on speaking with a manager - and THEIR manager if that doesn't get you satisfaction - and not take no for an answer! Tell them you will cancel your credit card with them and go with another company that provides more responsive customer service. Keep a list of all names and positions of folks that speak with you on the telephone. Believe me, YOU WILL WIN! There is no excuse for an American being treated shabbily by a foreign ticket agency. Eventually, if you insist long enough, you WILL be speaking with a person in authority to help you here in the USA. (I know this from personal experience.)

Plan to keep calling, expect to go up the ladder and expect to win! You are right and I didn't really think in these terms before, but it really is shabby treatment. We are spending a lot of money there this year but let all the foreign agencies/hotels et al remember that many of us are spending it at home as well/instead! One other thing though, it will cost me to call Italy and then with the time difference and language issue I prefer to keep e-mailing them and calling the CC company. It is difficult to get a supervisor from teleart, I have e-mailed the several addresses on their site, got one response, and how would I know who I am speaking with anyway? They could claim to be the CEO her/himself!:confused:

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I would try this too seeing as you tried to cancel prior to getting the confirmation.

 

To the OP, how much money are you out?

96E converted to $151 by CC. we are a family of 6, I think it was 16E per. Not really a big deal in the scheme of things, it is just that this all occurred with a few hours. I should have just rolled over and gone back to sleep instead of web surfing!:o

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Okay, I feel for the OP and I do feel the ticketing agency is being unreasonable given the lead time in this instance, but what part of "No refunds or cancellations" is unclear?? He agreed to it - now he has to suck it up. I wouldn't like it if it happened to me either, but the bottom line is that is what he agreed to. The credit card company should not have to absorb the cost... why would they? If he cannot work something out with the ticketing agency, I don't see why going after the credit card company would do him any good?

 

It's the cruise line's change of itinerary which has caused this - and it would be no different than if we cannot get into Livorno and our prepaid tickets to the Uffizi become confetti - that's the risk you take with prebooking anything these days.

 

I don't mean to sound harsh, or as if I don't feel bad for the OP, because I do - I just think that this is one of those - you bought it now it's yours kind of situations. :)

 

I would keep trying to work with the ticketing agency, and I'd try by phone rather than email. If push comes to shove, you could present on the day and give it a shot - or ask your hotel in Venice to book for you.

What hotel? This is a change of cruise line port time. We are Rome to Rome, I never said I had a hotel in Venice. Please re read the post. Thanks

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I couldn't agree more with this. "No refunds or cancellations" is absolutely crystal clear. If you want the benefits of booking ahead, you also have to take the disadvantages as well. The OP says:-Well, one good reason would be you not being able to accept the risk of your plans changing through no fault of your own, meaning that your money is wasted.

 

It would be nice if, in the circumstances, the ticket agency were to waive its rules. But if it doesn't, it's perfectly within its rights to refuse to waive it.

 

And it's not the credit card company's fault at all. They have to pay the ticket agency - they have no basis for refusing to do so - and asking them to waive the charge is just asking them to throw their money away. Why should they?.

 

But I don't mean to slam the OP, who seems to be being realistic about this, and rightly warning other members about this very real disadvantage of booking early.

You are correct, there is no need to slam me, it is not alot of money. However, it happenned 6 hours later that the cruiseline changed the port time. Under reasonable circumstances, this would constitute an unusual situation where an override would be appropriate. The tix agency has not lost any money, all it would take would be to void the transaction. BTW, this is really not a negative thread at all, just information for all to be aware of. Also, the cruiseline did not offer any shore excursion that included the Secret Itin. so I would have had to book on my own anyway.:(

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This is the official site for Doge's Palace .... I think you have the option of just reserving a ticket by phone and paying once you arrive. http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it/frame.asp?pid=595&z=2&tit=biglietti

Thanks Susan for the link . That is the website I used and you get re directed to teleart. It never mentioned I could reserve and not pay. Maybe you can,;) but I couldn't move on and get a booking # until my card was accepted. BTW, I made a mistake and hit Visa instead of MC the first time and it was rejected! as I said earlier, I should have gone back to bed!LOL

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It never mentioned I could reserve and not pay. Maybe you can,;) but I couldn't move on and get a booking # until my card was accepted.

 

In my post I mentioned that you can reserve by phone ... here's the info from the link I provided:

Bookings

- can be made at the Museum Information Desk the day before the visit or the same day, depending on availability;

- Telephone Booking at the number 0415209070 up to 48 hours before the visit;

On-line Booking:

VISIT IN ENGLISH (this link directs you to the web site that you booked through)

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