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Kween Karen

"Agency issue"....???

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The good news is the HAL lady was very nice.

 

Sigh!!

 

There`s more good news, you found out now and have time to resolve this before your cruise. Check if your travel agent is a member of ASTA, or similar. If you cannot resolve the issue with the travel agent, get the an organization (like ASTA, or which ever your ta is affiliated with) and get them involved, also, notify your credit card company on Monday if the travel agency won`t corporate.

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Oh my goodness, Karen, I am so sorry to hear you're having to deal with this crap. I've been following your posts on here and the solo board and I know how excited you are about your upcoming cruise. I can only imagine the emotions you must be going through right now. Not only is it your first solo cruise but it's a very "grand" one at that. So many of us fellow solos have been following your plans and envying the fabulous itinerary that awaits you. We're right here behind you with our support and any advice we can offer. I'm an eternal optimist and always think that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.

 

What a fabulous HAL employee that woman was to go into the office and call you on her day off. That kind of dedication is rare in any business environment, so it should give you peace of mind to know that HAL really does care.

 

I'm sure things will all turn out and you'll still be taking the trip of your dreams. I'll say an extra prayer tonight to give you the strength to carry on until it's resolved on Monday. Please keep us posted. I can't wait to hear the explanation from your TA.

 

Diane

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Now that you know what the issue is, on to dealing with it. I agree with the other posters who say that the HAL staffer went out of her way to call you to discuss the situation. Bravo to that lady!!

 

I hate to say this, but I know that HAL has sent your agency payment reminders. When payment is overdue, the cruise line contacts the agency ... more than once. Why the agency hasn't responded to that, I don't know...

 

There IS a chance that your agency simply did not remember to send your money to the cruise line. If they took your funds that long ago, it's possible that they did not mark the then-far-future date (now) when it was to be sent to the cruise line. I truly hope this is the case, and that you resolve this first thing tomorrow morning. I know you'll keep us posted.

 

 

Now, if the agency gives you any stories, or claims, or whatever, it's time for you to take off the gloves. There are options for help. But let's deal with that only if it proves necessary...

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Oh Karen...I just know things will work out so you can have your dream cruise...Will keep checking back , so keep us posted

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Do not be sure the credit card company will offer protection. You must file a claim within 60 days of the original charge. It sounds like you are outside that window. Good luck and keep us up to date.

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Hey, we're here rooting for you! We have the utmost confidence the problem will be resolved. But, saying that doesn't mean there still won't be some unnecessary hassle for you. This absolutely should never have happened. There is no doubt that HAL had already been in touch with your agency somehow. You never would have received that initial call otherwise.

 

So, what have we learned? Maybe in the future you should deal with an agency closer to home so that when things go haywire, you can go in and pound on someone's desk. Maybe you should never in the future pay the full amount that far in advance. Maybe all early discount deals aren't what they are cracked up to be...but in this case, given the sizeable amount, I'm not sure we wouldn't have grasped at the discount the same way you did.

 

My guess is they'll just "Ponzi" someone else's money over to HAL to cover your bill. In any event you will be made whole. Speaking of being made whole, we are desperately dieting attempting to be made less for this trip.

 

Bob & Rosemary

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It is Sunday morning and I am still hanging in there. Monday morning can't come fast enough. I really appreciate all the support I have received on this thread and YES I have learned MANY lessons!!!

 

Bill and Rosemary............check out this book SuperFoods Rx Diet. I am sold on it.....it is TOTALLY healthy and the weight just drops off!

 

Holding my breath!

Karen

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The only (reasonably) sure thing is to book direct with a PCC!

Please consider this for future bookings - sleepless nights are not worth

a few $$$.

 

I feel completely confident booking a cruise with a TA, online or land based...I use a credit card and make sure the fare is charged to the cruiseline....In my opinion I don't feel I have to book direct with a PCC to avoid sleepless nights...

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I feel completely confident booking a cruise with a TA, online or land based...I use a credit card and make sure the fare is charged to the cruiseline....In my opinion I don't feel I have to book direct with a PCC to avoid sleepless nights...

 

 

You are more fortunate than others of us.

I do not have a brick and mortar TA within my immediate area with whom I would care to book our cruises/travel.

 

As to online TA's, in this economy, the rapid closing of many businesses, the fairly recent surprise (shocking) closure of a major cruise booker leaving many people high and dry.......... it isn't a sure think for many of us that we have a TA that we trust in the way you say you trust.

 

I have used a PCC for some years now and intend to continue doing so. Of course, even that is not 100% absolutely, totally risk free but just about the best it can get. :) Everything in life bears at least a smidge of risk ..... such as just walking down the neighborhood, safe as can be sidewalk.

 

 

 

 

Kween Karen...... I so sincerely hope you get your TA to immediately forward your final payment. I am so sorry you are suffering this angst and stress. Best Wishes.

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I don't think I've ever seen anything in HAL's writings putting the penalty date in any other terms than days from sailing.

 

 

Thanks, John.

 

I'm hopoing to get something a little more definitive than that.

I'll contact HAL to inquire.

 

There have been times when we would be on an HAL cruise on the date a final payment was due for an upcoming cruise. I do not like to authorize final payment until the day it is due in the event that triggers penalty phase earlier than necessary. If I knew it didn't effect penalty phase start date, I would authorize payment before we left. Until I know for sure, I will continue to wait for the actual due date.

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All I know is that we were booked on segments of a Grand Voyage earlier this year. If early payment was made, (May? 2008) there was a savings. Our penalty phase started in Nov 2009 and final payment wasn't due until Dec 2008. The GWV does have earlier penalty for cancellation than 'normal' cruises.

 

Our TA sends the HAL 'Guest Confirmation' to us. It spells out the specific cancellation penalty dates with the percentage or dollar amounts penalized if canceled after that date. For our next cruise it is $850 after the final due date (NOT when payment is made, but the due date), about 2.5 weeks later 50% of the gross, 4 weeks before sailing 75% of the gross and the day before we board 100% of the gross. Very definite as to the dates and the amount.

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Do not be sure the credit card company will offer protection. You must file a claim within 60 days of the original charge. It sounds like you are outside that window. Good luck and keep us up to date.

 

What protection is there if HAL requires final payments around 75 days out? I would hate to only do 'last minute cruises'.

Pat

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Karen I am so sorry to read about this. I can understand your worry and sure it has not been a fun weekend.

 

Unfortunately it is too bad that everyone does not realize that the charge on a credit card should always show up from the cruise line. If it does not then that unfortunately is a HUGE warning sign to start asking questions. The way my agency is set up we cannot possibly collect and charge a payment to us. Every thing we do has to go thru the cruiseline. We have absolutely no way to do it where it would show our company name.:confused:

The other thing that bothers me with this is because HAL was NOT paid then the agency would not have recieved that discount for early payment so if they did hold on to the money not only would they have to pay the full amount to HAL without the discount but then turn around and take a discount of their commission. So it sounds to me like the agency was hoping to use that money as float money and figuring they could come up with enough sales commissions before final was due to pay this but in this case have not.

 

Agencies do have a shorter window to pay final payment if that agency requested to pay that client direct.

 

Karen did you pay via an American Express card? Amex does make it a bit easier to file a claim. But even if you paid with Visa or Mastercard you will be protected just a little bit of work on your part

 

 

I hate to say this, but I know that HAL has sent your agency payment reminders. When payment is overdue, the cruise line contacts the agency ... more than once. Why the agency hasn't responded to that, I don't know...

 

There IS a chance that your agency simply did not remember to send your money to the cruise line. If they took your funds that long ago, it's possible that they did not mark the then-far-future date (now) when it was to be sent to the cruise line. I truly hope this is the case, and that you resolve this first thing tomorrow morning. I know you'll keep us posted.

 

 

Now, if the agency gives you any stories, or claims, or whatever, it's time for you to take off the gloves. There are options for help. But let's deal with that only if it proves necessary...

 

I totally agree the agency would have received numerous emails and possibly phone calls from HAL. My guess is that the agency has asked HAL for several extensions which is why this may have set an alarm to HAL and HAl inturn called Karen direct which is normally No No.

 

All I know is that we were booked on segments of a Grand Voyage earlier this year. If early payment was made, (May? 2008) there was a savings. Our penalty phase started in Nov 2009 and final payment wasn't due until Dec 2008. The GWV does have earlier penalty for cancellation than 'normal' cruises.

 

Our TA sends the HAL 'Guest Confirmation' to us. It spells out the specific cancellation penalty dates with the percentage or dollar amounts penalized if canceled after that date. For our next cruise it is $850 after the final due date (NOT when payment is made, but the due date), about 2.5 weeks later 50% of the gross, 4 weeks before sailing 75% of the gross and the day before we board 100% of the gross. Very definite as to the dates and the amount.

 

Mary Ellen this is all true, and the agency would have been receiving all these emails and phone calls to this regard.

Karen, I am guessing that HAL will work with you on getting this paid from the agency as well as maybe getting the money from the credit card company if need be so that you can still sail.

I am sure this will all be worked out but unfortunate that it had to happen. You are lucky that HAL was on the look out but since they have a special department that handles this and the fact you had ben purchasing shor excursion on their web site and the agency must have set up a deal to pay HAL direct it was probably all big warning signs to HAL.

 

I wish you lots of luck tomorrow and that this gets cleared up quickly but I have to say that I find it hard to believe that your TA was not aware there was a problem. I am sure they knew.

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Thanks again for all the support. It helps....even if just to keep my mind occupied!

 

The credit cards I used were 2/3 American Express and 1/3 Master Card.

 

The lady from HAL agrees with you....the TA knew and was just covering his *** when he wrote to me that he was unaware.

 

She was very nice.....and I am hoping the do indeed work with me to get this resolved. The bottom line in my mind today, however, is......my cruise fare has not been paid!!! What a mess! But I am learning SOOO much!

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Karen, I hope everything works out for you in the morning. Somehow, I know HAL will help you with this and that's why they called you in the first place. Your agency hasn't responded to HAL's request for money so HAL alerted you.

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Just wondering. If a deposit has been made to a private TA and insurance purchased through them, and they go out of business before final payment is due, what happens? I'm beginning to think in this economy it pays to book directly with HAL.

 

What is a PCC ? Is that someone from HAL? Like a FCC ?

 

 

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You are more fortunate than others of us.

I do not have a brick and mortar TA within my immediate area with whom I would care to book our cruises/travel.

 

As to online TA's, in this economy, the rapid closing of many businesses, the fairly recent surprise (shocking) closure of a major cruise booker leaving many people high and dry.......... it isn't a sure think for many of us that we have a TA that we trust in the way you say you trust.

 

.[/b]

 

 

 

 

]

 

Perhaps I did not word my post clearly...I do not have a personal brick and mortar TA...I now book all my cruises online with various agencies.(TA's?)...My trust with any of them is only because I use a credit card and my fare is shown paid directly to the cruiseline...Obviously some need more assurance this...My only point is one does have other options than booking directly with a cruiseline.

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Karen, you're not going to like the sound of this, next time keep all your transactions on one credit card, since you've paid with MC and AMEX, this could complicate things with the credit card companies.

 

Wishing you luck for tomorrow.

 

mamaofani, when purchasing an insurance policy from a travel agent, it is essential that you get a the companies name and the policy number. This should be provided to you at the same time you make a payment for the policy premium. If the travel agent goes under, you still have your insurance policy in place, unless the insurance company goes belly up too.

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Just wondering. If a deposit has been made to a private TA and insurance purchased through them, and they go out of business before final payment is due, what happens? I'm beginning to think in this economy it pays to book directly with HAL.

 

What is a PCC ? Is that someone from HAL? Like a FCC ?

 

 

 

PCC = personal cruise consultant. They work for HAL, in the HAL offices. I love having one.

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Just wondering. If a deposit has been made to a private TA and insurance purchased through them, and they go out of business before final payment is due, what happens? I'm beginning to think in this economy it pays to book directly with HAL.

 

What is a PCC ? Is that someone from HAL? Like a FCC ?

 

 

 

Carol.....

 

A PCC is a Personal Cruise Consultant at HAL. They handle your whole booking same as a TA but they work directly for HAL. They only do cruise line air reservations. I prefer PCC to the regular sales reps as you deal with the same person each time you call/each cruise if that is what you want. With the reps, you speak with whoever picks up the phone when you call and it probably is a different person each time.

 

As to the particular TA involved with Karen.. All of what Lisa said alerted HAL there was probably something amiss but I would add there is a good chance this TA has been doing the same thing with other customers. Maybe HAL has tracked a number of guests whose payments have not been received via this TA.

 

Most likely, they were 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'. They've been using clients' funds to keep their business running and finally they're at or close to the end of the line and are just plain out of money.

 

Let's all hope they have just enough left to forward Karen's payment or at least are ASTA or such and there is a fund from which some funds can be recovered.

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What protection is there if HAL requires final payments around 75 days out? I would hate to only do 'last minute cruises'.

Pat

Go to the HAL site and read about their Cancellation Protection plans. The Standard just covers the cancellation fees, but the Platinum is "real" insurance that covers other expenses.

 

What is a PCC ? Is that someone from HAL? Like a FCC ?
Others have explained this, but one difference that I see is that the on board FCC is pretty much a deposit taker that you never talk to again, but the PCC is like any other TA that you deal with right up to sailing ... only s/he works for HAL.

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Thank you all for your answers about the PCC, and yes, I have the insurance compnay name but just noticed I don't have the policy or number. I'm emailing the TA right now.

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She was very nice.....and I am hoping the do indeed work with me to get this resolved. The bottom line in my mind today, however, is......my cruise fare has not been paid!!! What a mess! But I am learning SOOO much!

I don't quite understand this. Was final payment due? Also, what about your initial deposit? Was that passed along to HAL? If not, then I can't understand how you would even have a standing reservation. Generally, the cruise lines only give "courtesy holds" on a cabin for a few days while the agency forwards the deposit.

 

I still say, I wouldn't be too concerned. Sounds to me like it's a bottleneck in the paperwork at the agency. The fact that your agent called you back over the weekend tells me that he's on the up and up. Otherwise, he would have just ignored your phone call.

 

I still wouldn't lose sleep over this quite yet. Let your agent get the matter straightened out on Monday and get the payment to HAL expedited. Then if there's a problem, because you have put everything on a credit card, you can easily file a dispute for the charge, pay nothing to that agency, and then just transfer your booking to either a HAL PCC or another agent and make the final payment with them. But, again, I don't think that's gonna be necessary. This agent sounds like he's legit simply because he took the time and trouble to call you back. If his agency was going under, and your payment was not going to be made, he would simply have ignored your telephone call.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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