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FrankieSue

Shop card vs shipboard credits

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I have just noticed that the big warehouse travel agency that I have used for many years no longer offers shipboard credits for cruises booked and has replaced these by offering store « shop cards »..... this is not making me happy.... in the future I will reconsider the agency that I book with.... 

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6 minutes ago, FrankieSue said:

I have just noticed that the big warehouse travel agency that I have used for many years no longer offers shipboard credits for cruises booked and has replaced these by offering store « shop cards »..... this is not making me happy.... in the future I will reconsider the agency that I book with.... 

I have noticed that lately too.  Must be a reason-have you asked by any chance?  We have one booked with them for awhile for Europe next year that still had the OBC-hopefully they don’t change that.  

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7 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

I have noticed that lately too.  Must be a reason-have you asked by any chance?  We have one booked with them for awhile for Europe next year that still had the OBC-hopefully they don’t change that.  

No, I have not asked but I hope that they will honor the shipboard credits they gave for my upcoming b/b coming in January... those shop cards definitely do not have the same value.

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4 minutes ago, FrankieSue said:

No, I have not asked but I hope that they will honor the shipboard credits they gave for my upcoming b/b coming in January... those shop cards definitely do not have the same value.

Especially for Canadians!  

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8 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

Especially for Canadians!  

Absolutely.... i for one will shop around for next booking....

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When did that happen? I just transferred a cruise in to them on the 20th and my confirmation says Ship board credit.

 

Confirming, the Big Box’s name starts with a C, right?

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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Yes, it is the big C box... I saw this change for the first time today! I look for incentives to use during the cruise: shipboard credits, tips, specialty dinners, etc.... shop cards (especially in Canadian $) does not interest me.

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24 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

Maybe it depends on the cruise?

I thought that as well but I made many dummy bookings and they all came with shop cards. ☹️

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12 minutes ago, FrankieSue said:

I thought that as well but I made many dummy bookings and they all came with shop cards. ☹️

I just did that too...not happy.  

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They must have just changed this very recently. I transferred a cruise from HAL to big box that begins with a C and received shipboard credit. When I look at the very same cruise now, it is in the form of a shop card.

 

I would book with them either way, since I make frequent trips to their store.

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1 minute ago, ChinaShrek said:

Just curious.  What are shop cards?

 

Store gift cards. I'm guessing it's a Canadian term. I'd never heard of it either, but given the context that's clearly what it is.

Edited by MisterBill99

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2 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Store gift cards. I'm guessing it's a Canadian term. I'd never heard of it either, but given the context that's clearly what it is.

Thanks!  This thread makes more sense now.

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1 hour ago, canadianbear said:

Maybe it depends on the cruise?

I think it depends on the cruise line.  Another cruise line that I use, the perk for using that place to book your cruises just gave you a "cash" card equal to 8-9% of your cruise fare.  You got it after you completed the cruise, to be used at the warehouse.  Many people were just cashing in the cash card (even though it said it wasn't cashable).  So they changed it to a "shop" card, only good at the warehouse.  Still the same amount of credit.

 

Apparently their deal with HAL was for OBC?  Maybe they are just standardizing what perks they offer.

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2 minutes ago, ChinaShrek said:

Thanks!  This thread makes more sense now.

 

Actually, having bought and used one recently (in the US not Canada), I recall that it was called a Shop card as opposed to a "cash card". It worked out well for me since I used it on an online order which I then cancelled shortly after I placed it. The Shop card had the order amount returned the next day. The Cash card apparently was not reloadable and they would have had to mail me a new one.

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What percentage are they giving you in the card?  Is it more or less than 10%? I recently booked with the mega online TA (won't give the usual hint of who they are since I'm about to say what they are offering). They're offering 10% OBC on HAL plus $100 for their online coupon for verandas and up and $50 if you're a return customer and member of their loyalty club. The confirmation I got from them only listed the 10% and was apparently (per the TA) because there is a limit to what they can say that they are giving in the confirmation. The coupon and loyalty credit come in a different email. Of course it's crazy since the cruise line knows what they're actually giving. In any event it worked out fine for me since it was over 15% total in OBC.

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Sounds like they are forcing you to use it in their store instead of spending it on the ship or as a refund to your credit card. I guess I won't be going that route any more. Disappointing after directing our cruise spending ($60K in the last two years) through them. It looks like you can use it for one of their vacation packages but not cruises.

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The change occurred midnight Nov. 26th.  We were looking at a cruise that evening around 8-9pm PST when the big box TA and HAL were closed.  At that point it was showing an OBC for the cruise on-line.  The next day, Nov 27th, we called the TA and were informed that the OBC was now a "Shop Card" to be used at the warehouse after the cruise. The amount of the "Shop Card" was the same amount as the OBC listed on-line the night before.  I informed the TA on the phone that we were very disappointed in that move.  She informed us that it was negotiated with HAL and HAL was no longer willing to allow those nice OBCs we have received in the past.  I thought the OBC was something coming from the big box TA but was informed that HAL had a big voice in this change.  I have no idea if this is true/correct but confused me on who actually pays the OBC.  We will have to review this "Shop Card" benefit if we book any future cruises thru them. 

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It took awhile but I was finally able to get

the BigBox webpage to load and the terms and conditions do now say you get a shop card. That’s their word. And it arrives after travel is completed. It cannot be cashed out, but can only be spent at the club. 
 

It also says It’s only available for bookings made directly through that club’s agency. Which makes me wonder if my booking will qualify, as I transferred it in. My invoice says OBC. 

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1 hour ago, rajkr74 said:

She informed us that it was negotiated with HAL and HAL was no longer willing to allow those nice OBCs we have received in the past.  I thought the OBC was something coming from the big box TA but was informed that HAL had a big voice in this change.  I have no idea if this is true/correct but confused me on who actually pays the OBC.  We will have to review this "Shop Card" benefit if we book any future cruises thru them. 

 

That is an interesting question. I always assumed it was coming from their commission, as is typically the case with OBC from TA's. On the other hand I wonder if high volume TA's like the two big C agencies get some sort of kickbacks like car dealers.

 

On the other hand, I did a couple of test bookings (for both HAL and Celebrity) and this "Shop Card" is less than the 10% that the other agency is offering, PLUS their $100 coupon and loyalty. So I'm not sure why HAL and the other lines would have a problem with them offering that amount as OBC.

 

Clearly, customers need to tell them that they are not happy with this change. And then follow thru by booking with someone else.

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I don't book cruises through the big box company.  But if I did and they gave me a "shop" card for their store, I would not be a happy camper as I would rather have the shipboard credit.

 

Feel sorry for all you caught in that mess.

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I really don’t understand why it is that big of a deal. If you are using them as a TA then you are certainly a member, so I would assume you shop there. Either way you get the money. One way you buy drinks the other you buy toilet paper.....

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20 minutes ago, wyobean said:

I really don’t understand why it is that big of a deal. If you are using them as a TA then you are certainly a member, so I would assume you shop there. Either way you get the money. One way you buy drinks the other you buy toilet paper.....

 

You're right.  The major thing for us Canadians, though, is the OBC is in USD so we get an "extra" 30% in value.  Now we'll get C$800 to shop at the warehouse instead of US$800 to spend onboard.  That is a huge difference.

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