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Morgsmom

Purchased OBC *not* refundable (?)

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I called about buying myself some OBC - bascially so that I could put some money on my account and give myself a pre-paid cushion.  I asked, (glad I did) if this was refundable if not all used.  I was told NO.  Hum, what?  The gent with whom I spoke said no one had ever asked before.  So why would I gift myself - or someone else- OBC bought AT FACE VALUE if it couldn't be refunded if not all used.   

 

Has anyone had experience with this?

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I don't the answer you received was correct.....I'm sure others will chime in.  

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I believe that answer is incorrect. I know that OBC from credit card points is fully refundable. I'd call back if I were you. 

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Remember regardless of the answer...OBC can always be used toward gratuities, giving you an even bigger cushion if for whatever reason you don't spend as much as you think.....

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40 minutes ago, Morgsmom said:

I called about buying myself some OBC - bascially so that I could put some money on my account and give myself a pre-paid cushion.  I asked, (glad I did) if this was refundable if not all used.  I was told NO.  Hum, what?  The gent with whom I spoke said no one had ever asked before.  So why would I gift myself - or someone else- OBC bought AT FACE VALUE if it couldn't be refunded if not all used.   

 

Has anyone had experience with this?

 

I have had  such refunds credited to me.  However, OBC from travel agents and/or Celebrity are NOT refundable.  

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I did this last November on the Silhouette.  I did not have a drink package, so wanted enough OBC to cover what I thought I would spend on drinks.  At the end of the cruise, I had a credit.  It was refunded within a couple of days.  The person you talked to was not accurate in his answer.

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14 minutes ago, keesar said:

 

I have had  such refunds credited to me.  However, OBC from travel agents and/or Celebrity are NOT refundable.  

 

I respectfully disagree, as my TA's OBC is, and has always been refundable, and why I use her for my cruises most of the time.  TA's and their policies can be different...you just need to research to find someone who does this.  Some TA's charge to cancel, and others do not have a charge.  The Big Box company charges 50 pp.  My TA does not charge, as long as it is in accordance with the rules of Celebrity.

Edited by Lastdance

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10 minutes ago, keesar said:

 

I have had  such refunds credited to me.  However, OBC from travel agents and/or Celebrity are NOT refundable.  

 

Celebrity OBC given as a perk is not refundable,  but often TA OBC IS refundable.  The TAs  we use offer OBC that is refundable.

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Thanks, all.  I just called back and got a different representative. She assured me that PURCHASED OBC was fully refundable if not used.  

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8 hours ago, Lastdance said:

 

I respectfully disagree, as my TA's OBC is, and has always been refundable, and why I use her for my cruises most of the time.  TA's and their policies can be different...you just need to research to find someone who does this.  Some TA's charge to cancel, and others do not have a charge.  The Big Box company charges 50 pp.  My TA does not charge, as long as it is in accordance with the rules of Celebrity.

Perhaps it depends on which Big Box; mine does not have additional fees for changes or cancellations.

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Some people refer to a popular high volume online TA in NH as "big box" who does charge a cancellation fee.  It always confuses me as I consider big box the warehouse stores where you by toilet paper by the truckload.

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24 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

Some people refer to a popular high volume online TA in NH as "big box" who does charge a cancellation fee.  It always confuses me as I consider big box the warehouse stores where you by toilet paper by the truckload.

The OP got the right answer about purchasing an OBC directly from Celebrity 8 hours ago. 

Edited by Oville

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40 minutes ago, wrk2cruise said:

Some people refer to a popular high volume online TA in NH as "big box" who does charge a cancellation fee.  It always confuses me as I consider big box the warehouse stores where you by toilet paper by the truckload.

 

Agree the NH TA is not a big box.  They do charge a cancellation fee but , IMHO, unless you are booking a bunch of place holder cruises until you decide what to do the small cancellation  fee is more than offset by the OBC .  1 cruise can easily offset 5-6 cancelled cruises.  Last time I used 1of the big box TA they were charging $25 for a price change and not participating in  Move Up.  

We only book cruises we plan to take and should we be forced to cancel our travel insurance would reimburse the $50 pp cancel fee.

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15 hours ago, Morgsmom said:

Thanks, all.  I just called back and got a different representative. She assured me that PURCHASED OBC was fully refundable if not used.  

 

Since you have already seen that you can get different answers to this question from Celebrity, are you sure it is worth the risk of purchasing OBC and hoping to get a refund.   If I wanted a cushion I would just take the money I would use for the OBC and put it in the safe at the beginning of the cruise and use it to pay down my account near the end of the cruise.

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After thinking on this since reading the OP, I have come to the conclusion that the Rep clearly did not understand the question which was being asked and automatically fell into the X provided OBC mode.

 

There is NO way, IME, that X would not refund any OBC which the passenger either purchased or had been purchased on their behalf.

 

There are money grabs and then there are money grabs and this is not one of them, for sure.

 

bon voyage

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I do think it's a good point that "calling back and getting a different answer" is not really sufficient to know with certainty.  I would ask for that guarantee in writing if it is a concern.  You never know if they've rolled out a new rule or are selling a different product.  Past practice doesn't always guarantee future success, especially if the terms are ambiguous from the outset. 

 

They're essentially selling you a gift certificate.  In my line of work, we do not treat gift certificates as refundable for cash & we started putting expiration dates on ours because from an accounting perspective, they create liabilities for the organization that affect our bottom line.  This is a topic that has really come to the forefront in the last decade or so, so it would not surprise me if they changed the rules re: purchased OBC at some point, particularly if it is a suggestion that comes out of an audit situation.

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Just to add to the confusion, we had some unused TA OBC on our recent Celebrity Cruise - I asked at Guest Relations if this was possibly refundable, and the answer was an emphatic 'NO'.

 

I used almost all of it up but I deliberately left a couple of dollars credit on the account, and lo and behold, it was refunded the next day after we returned home.

 

So it would seem that TA OBC will be refunded, good to know for my future reference.

 

 

 

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While it's too late for the OP....once you are on the ship, you should check your account and look for OBN and OBR entries.  OBN are not refundable, OBR are refundable.   If you believe your TA OBC is refundable, but it's showing as OBN, go to guest services and ask them to call your TA for you...they will place the call and hand you the phone.....and resolve the difference early in the cruise.  (they call will be free....you can always call your TA (on any matter) from guest services free).

 

Don't wait until the end of the cruise....

 

I am in the same situation as the OP...leaving on a cruise in a week....I decided to just take cash

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20 hours ago, Morgsmom said:

I called about buying myself some OBC - bascially so that I could put some money on my account and give myself a pre-paid cushion.  I asked, (glad I did) if this was refundable if not all used.  I was told NO.  Hum, what?  The gent with whom I spoke said no one had ever asked before.  So why would I gift myself - or someone else- OBC bought AT FACE VALUE if it couldn't be refunded if not all used.   

 

Has anyone had experience with this?

we've had obc leftover and they sent a check

 

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Why even brother with cushion of OBC. We book air and lodging with Credit card points. Book the lowest balcony at the cheapest price after final payment with NO perks.

Rack up charges for gratuities ,etc and have all those charged to credit card with Chase Reserve giving 3 points for travel credits. Ready for the next trip.

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21 hours ago, jelayne said:

 

Celebrity OBC given as a perk is not refundable,  but often TA OBC IS refundable.  The TAs  we use offer OBC that is refundable.

Thank you for clarifying.   I am glad your experience is better than mine with refunds.

 

However, the biggest refund I have received on any cruise has been $2.67.  I guess a refund is better than receiving a bill on my credit card.  

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21 hours ago, NantahalaCruiser said:

Perhaps it depends on which Big Box; mine does not have additional fees for changes or cancellations.

Unfortunately, I assumed that people on CC knew that the Big Box store was the one in NH...of course, one should never assume anything on here, as it also depends on how long one has been on CC, along with other variables.  There are big box stores and there is a store referred to as a “Big Box”store for cruises.  I bet even saying NH would not be enough, as one cannot mention the names on here, so herein lies the problem...gotta laugh, as we need a glossary of terms for CC.  Oh, and by CC, I mean Cruise Critic!!!  Hopefully, I have not offended anyone with my language or abbreviations etc.🥰

Edited by Lastdance

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We receive OBC from our TA and have always been able to receive cash on the day before we leave the ship if we have not used the OBC.  We use this cash to augment our gratuities to staff.  The Celebrity OBC is non refundable. 

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On 6/18/2019 at 3:01 PM, Lastdance said:

 

I respectfully disagree, as my TA's OBC is, and has always been refundable, and why I use her for my cruises most of the time.  TA's and their policies can be different...you just need to research to find someone who does this.  Some TA's charge to cancel, and others do not have a charge.  The Big Box company charges 50 pp.  My TA does not charge, as long as it is in accordance with the rules of Celebrity.

 

30 minutes ago, Barb1403 said:

We receive OBC from our TA and have always been able to receive cash on the day before we leave the ship if we have not used the OBC.  We use this cash to augment our gratuities to staff.  The Celebrity OBC is non refundable. 

Agree - OBC from my TA has always been refunded if not used. OBC as a perk is not.

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Some OBC from TAs is nonrefundable.  It really depends on the promotion.  You should always confirm whether or not it is refundable both with your TA and with Guest Services once you're on the ship (or look at the OBN/OBR designation on your account per the suggestion above).

 

I believe that X will refund small dollar values as a matter of routine, which is why those with nonrefundable OBC may see that occur.

 

 

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