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PaulWS

4 Perks? Check your documents!

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Four Perks? Just a word of warning. Two weeks ago I booked a 9 night cruise via the Celebrity website on Apex in 2021. I was offered and ticked acceptance of the 4 perks package and added that to my booking. The final page of the booking process showed the total cost with the 4 perks listed. I paid the deposit and took a screenshot of the final page. 

 

When the confirmation email with guestcopy.pdf arrived there was no mention of the perks so I called customer services for clarification. They said the perks were not included in my booking and if I wanted them it was an extra £1000. I emailed a copy of the booking page showing the 4 perks included. The rep consulted a supervisor who said it must have been a gliche on the website and they could not honour it. They did however kindly offer to cancel the reservation and refund the deposit. I cancelled feeling thoroughly disappointed by Celebrity.  

I followed up with a formal complaint and this is the gist of their response:

”I have spoken to the reservations supervisor who has advise me that we did experience a problem with the online booking system where the cruise was offering 'perks' but against a cost that didn't offer any perks.We have spoken to our revenue team and that have made the decision that we wouldn't honour any bookings that experienced this problem.”
 

Am I wrong to think this is outrageous? Not that it should make any difference but I am an Elite Plus member of their loyalty club and this would have been my fourteenth Celebrity cruise. I made the booking in good faith using their website facilities and they refuse to honour it. Horrible way to treat a loyal customer in my opinion.

Edited by PaulWS

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It's a good thing that you looked over your confirmation email and didn't get a surprise much later.   Also, it was a wise thing that you did to get a screenshot of your final booking page.  Booking a cruise with 4 perks and not getting them would be very aggravating but at least they let you cancel the cruise without penalty.    

 

I always feel a bit uneasy after booking with perks either directly with the cruise line or with a TA for the fear of not getting what was promised.   I was short-changed for a couple of cruises with a particular TA and got it cleared up after a couple of visits to the guest relations desk.  Something that I don't like to do on a vacation is to quibble about a few dollars.

Edited by TickledBlue

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1 hour ago, PaulWS said:

Four Perks? Just a word of warning. Two weeks ago I booked a 9 night cruise via the Celebrity website on Apex in 2021. I was offered and ticked acceptance of the 4 perks package and added that to my booking. The final page of the booking process showed the total cost with the 4 perks listed. I paid the deposit and took a screenshot of the final page. 

 

When the confirmation email with guestcopy.pdf arrived there was no mention of the perks so I called customer services for clarification. They said the perks were not included in my booking and if I wanted them it was an extra £1000. I emailed a copy of the booking page showing the 4 perks included. The rep consulted a supervisor who said it must have been a gliche on the website and they could not honour it. They did however kindly offer to cancel the reservation and refund the deposit. I cancelled feeling thoroughly disappointed by Celebrity.  

I followed up with a formal complaint and this is the gist of their response:

”I have spoken to the reservations supervisor who has advise me that we did experience a problem with the online booking system where the cruise was offering 'perks' but against a cost that didn't offer any perks.We have spoken to our revenue team and that have made the decision that we wouldn't honour any bookings that experienced this problem.”
 

Am I wrong to think this is outrageous? Not that it should make any difference but I am an Elite Plus member of their loyalty club and this would have been my fourteenth Celebrity cruise. I made the booking in good faith using their website facilities and they refuse to honour it. Horrible way to treat a loyal customer in my opinion.

They just don't care. Plain  and simple. I just got off the phone with Celebrity re my existing cruise. Took 5 phone calls between 7 and 8 am this morning. Last rep said oh the price has dropped by 300 bucks. Good news!   Wait a minute I was quoting in USD. Your booking is in Canadian.   These reps have gone from bad to worse.

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2 hours ago, PaulWS said:

Am I wrong to think this is outrageous? Not that it should make any difference but I am an Elite Plus member of their loyalty club and this would have been my fourteenth Celebrity cruise. I made the booking in good faith using their website facilities and they refuse to honour it. Horrible way to treat a loyal customer in my opinion.

 

Honestly, yeah, I think you're wrong to think it's outrageous.  In the end, they allowed you to cancel with no penalty.  So, no harm, no foul.  Also, it's not like you booked it and then MONTHS later had it go sideways.  You identified a problem right away and had a resolution.

 

And yes, the fact that you are Elite Plus is totally irrelevant.

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Your experience is not a one off!  We have had several instances of perks going missing with no recourse.  Then once, we had OBC we were not told we had until we checked out!  Celebrity’s IT and customer service (and now pricing compared to product) are leaving loyal folks on the cutting room floor.  We are Elite+ but are now sailing on Viking more and more.

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You're not alone.  Celebrity really needs to fix their website.  It's been a mess for years, and unbelievable that they haven't been able to find a solution yet.  I've had several instances where Celebrity has refused to honor the price shown.  

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PaulWS, You are right to be outraged!  I can’t imagine any other website that does not deliver what was purchased. I am saddened that Celebrity did not honor their original commitment to you. It sounds like others are not surprised which makes it even sadder. I am relatively new to Celebrity having come over from Viking Ocean but if I had this kind of experience, my time with Celebrity would be short. 

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I’d contact Celebrity One Touch for resolution & include a copy of your screenshot. Good luck

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Yes, I would find that very frustrating.  Especially when many of us do our due diligence to make sure we are literally and figuratively clicking all the correct boxes / options.  
 

This happened recently for a March cruise I booked via a 3rd party cruise that had sent out the 4 perk option and a visa gc on select cruises.  It was very limited dates and I read it over and over as it was a stupid good deal.  But as the email stated it was only on the limited listed sailings, so I went for it.  And the booking summary didn’t come back with the perks.  Emailed them and they said no problem we’ll honour it.  No back and forth.  I was super impressed with how they dealt with it quickly and didn’t make me jump through hoops.  
 

I really do like working through a 3rd party TA as they tend to work like they are your emissary.  
 

 

Edited by jrs101

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Have you seen this thread?  A similar thing happened to this person and she escalated her concern to the very top and got a favorable outcome...meaning they honored the booking even though it was a "computer glitch".  I'd definitely escalate this.  If their website programming is so prone to glitches, then their IT department needs to get it together.  In the meantime, they need to suck it up and do the right thing by the consumer.

 

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29 minutes ago, Georgia_Peaches said:

Have you seen this thread?  A similar thing happened to this person and she escalated her concern to the very top and got a favorable outcome...meaning they honored the booking even though it was a "computer glitch".  I'd definitely escalate this.  If their website programming is so prone to glitches, then their IT department needs to get it together.  In the meantime, they need to suck it up and do the right thing by the consumer.

Thanks for that. To be honest I am so disgusted and disillusioned with Celebrity that I would be unlikely to sail with them even in the unlikely event that they did the right thing. I have had my deposit returned so all this has cost me is the disappointment and wasted time. I will look elsewhere in future.

 

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26 minutes ago, PaulWS said:

I would be unlikely to sail with them even in the unlikely event that they did the right thing.

 

They DID do the right thing.  They refunded you completely.

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6 minutes ago, leisuretraveler223 said:

 

They DID do the right thing.  They refunded you completely.

Thank you for your contribution.

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12 minutes ago, PaulWS said:

Thank you for your contribution.

I would say you're welcome, but I suspect you were being sarcastic.  You came here and asked a question.  Evidently, you are only interested in hearing from people who agree with you.

 

Yes, it's frustrating.  But unfortunately, that's the nature of cruise bookings and websites.  They basically universally suck.  But most people don't seem to understand their business model is different.  Every cruise is strategically planned and marketed to make a specific set of revenue goals, starting years before the actual sailing.

 

You found a great deal and jumped on it. It turns out it was a mistake because parts of this industry suck.  But it was identified and addressed promptly.  You can be mad about not getting the deal you hoped for, but it's really a waste of outrage.  You lost some time trying to book a cruise.  Everyone here can relate to that.  But it's not a travesty.

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I did indeed ask a question and am interested in hearing from anyone with a view on the matter, however exceptional. Thank you again for your interest.

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On 12/19/2019 at 3:36 PM, leisuretraveler223 said:

I would say you're welcome, but I suspect you were being sarcastic.  You came here and asked a question.  Evidently, you are only interested in hearing from people who agree with you.

 

Yes, it's frustrating.  But unfortunately, that's the nature of cruise bookings and websites.  They basically universally suck.  But most people don't seem to understand their business model is different.  Every cruise is strategically planned and marketed to make a specific set of revenue goals, starting years before the actual sailing.

 

You found a great deal and jumped on it. It turns out it was a mistake because parts of this industry suck.  But it was identified and addressed promptly.  You can be mad about not getting the deal you hoped for, but it's really a waste of outrage.  You lost some time trying to book a cruise.  Everyone here can relate to that.  But it's not a travesty.

 

Thing is it was only identified by the Op. Not by Celebrity. Had the Op not seen the error he/she could have easily not found it until a much later date. I am sorry but this is a bait and switch from Celebrity. It is their computer system that screwed up. Not the customers. They should honor the reservation.

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On 12/19/2019 at 12:36 PM, leisuretraveler223 said:

I would say you're welcome, but I suspect you were being sarcastic.  You came here and asked a question.  Evidently, you are only interested in hearing from people who agree with you.

 

Yes, it's frustrating.  But unfortunately, that's the nature of cruise bookings and websites.  They basically universally suck.  But most people don't seem to understand their business model is different.  Every cruise is strategically planned and marketed to make a specific set of revenue goals, starting years before the actual sailing.

 

You found a great deal and jumped on it. It turns out it was a mistake because parts of this industry suck.  But it was identified and addressed promptly.  You can be mad about not getting the deal you hoped for, but it's really a waste of outrage.  You lost some time trying to book a cruise.  Everyone here can relate to that.  But it's not a travesty.

 

I  agree that they really shouldn't have to honor it.  I don't know exactly what happened in this case but, I always take a screen shot if a deal looks too good to be true ... and we all know the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.  

Next, I call to make sure that the deal is really legitimate and send in the screen shot if they request it.  I always  preface this with a statement like, "this may be a mistake and I certainly don't want to see anyone get fired over it, but  if it is possible to still get this deal, I would sure like to take advantage of it".  You cannot believe how many times that has worked for me in the past, including free hotel rooms, super cheap flights  and even a free cruise once (only for the cost of the taxes).  One thing I have come to recognize are obvious IT mistakes on travel and again, I will never insist that they honor any erroneous prices.  Usually, they are thankful that I am pointing this out and have given it to me or sometimes, they already know about it and inform me that can't honor it.  The problem usually gets shut down very quickly thereafter.  If it stays up for days or weeks after they've identified the problem, well, then it is just a bait and switch and shame on them.  

I go onto a well known travel website that sells cruises and the prices on page one are oftentimes much less than when you click in to book the cruise.  I just won't book with them anymore because they obviously do that to draw potential passengers in.  It's a slimy practice, for sure!  

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Cruise Raider said:

 

I  agree that they really shouldn't have to honor it.  I don't know exactly what happened in this case but, I always take a screen shot if a deal looks too good to be true ... and we all know the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't.  

Next, I call to make sure that the deal is really legitimate and send in the screen shot if they request it.  I always  preface this with a statement like, "this may be a mistake and I certainly don't want to see anyone get fired over it, but  if it is possible to still get this deal, I would sure like to take advantage of it".  You cannot believe how many times that has worked for me in the past, including free hotel rooms, super cheap flights  and even a free cruise once (only for the cost of the taxes).  One thing I have come to recognize are obvious IT mistakes on travel and again, I will never insist that they honor any erroneous prices.  Usually, they are thankful that I am pointing this out and have given it to me or sometimes, they already know about it and inform me that can't honor it.  The problem usually gets shut down very quickly thereafter.  If it stays up for days or weeks after they've identified the problem, well, then it is just a bait and switch and shame on them.  

I go onto a well known travel website that sells cruises and the prices on page one are oftentimes much less than when you click in to book the cruise.  I just won't book with them anymore because they obviously do that to draw potential passengers in.  It's a slimy practice, for sure!  

 

 

There was no question in my mind that the offer was “too good to be true”. I specified the cruise I wanted using Celebrity’s own booking site which I have used many times before. I confirmed that I wanted the 4 perks to be priced in. They gave me a price. I had a budget in mind and their offer was within my budget,  I accepted. They then refused to honour the price they had given me  If that is considered acceptable business practice I am totally bewildered.

 

 

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Maybe if they did have to honor these things then someone WOULD get fired and they would fix their website to match their complicated pricing structure.   OR my preference would be for them to return to a simple pricing structure that their crappy IT systems could handle.

 

In the meantime they should add an option to that final confirmation screen to allow you to email yourself the guest invoice so you can review what you are actually booking before hitting the final commit button.

 

I personally never complete a booking on the Celebrity site.  I always place a 24hr hold then call the automated system to get the guest invoice and then if all is in order call a captains club rep to take my deposit.

 

Edited by wrk2cruise

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17 minutes ago, PaulWS said:

There was no question in my mind that the offer was “too good to be true”. I specified the cruise I wanted using Celebrity’s own booking site which I have used many times before. I confirmed that I wanted the 4 perks to be priced in. They gave me a price. I had a budget in mind and their offer was within my budget,  I accepted. They then refused to honour the price they had given me  If that is considered acceptable business practice I am totally bewildered.

 

 

 

I understand what you are saying and can feel your frustration ... but, again, I know that different travel websites have gone through these same issues and these 'too good to be true' prices are not honored.  I guess it is all in the expectations.  I don't expect too much when I know there was an obvious mistake and that way, I'm happy if they honor it and not too disappointed if they don't.  It shouldn't be considered an acceptable business practice but I always go back to this ... if due to a human error, I can understand why they wouldn't honor it.  

As an aside ... I recently read an article that might be of interest:  

Airlines don’t have to honor ‘mistake’ fares, U.S. agency rules

 

https://www.latimes.com/travel/la-trb-airline-mistake-fares-dot-ruling-20150511-story.html

Edited by Cruise Raider

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My two cents ...I own a small business.  When our staff makes mistakes (and website mistakes are typically caused by something a staff member has done.....), we honor it.  Offering to refund the money paid is certainly one way to handle the situation; however, it certainly is not the way to build customer satisfaction and loyalty.  If I bought something and had a confirmation of the price and service, I'd expect to get that regardless of a website glitch.  Getting away with excuses like that is a way any cruise line can change their mind at any time to take something away.  It's a bad business policy.

 

And I caution everyone to frequently check your cruise planner.  We had the 4 Perks as part of our Med cruise last August but they weren't appearing in our Cruise Planner.  Took several calls to Celebrity to get it corrected.  I had a confirmation showing the 4 Perks were included.  What if they had decided to say "oh that was a glitch when you booked?"

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Host Anne said:

My two cents ...I own a small business.  When our staff makes mistakes (and website mistakes are typically caused by something a staff member has done.....), we honor it.  Offering to refund the money paid is certainly one way to handle the situation; however, it certainly is not the way to build customer satisfaction and loyalty.  If I bought something and had a confirmation of the price and service, I'd expect to get that regardless of a website glitch.  Getting away with excuses like that is a way any cruise line can change their mind at any time to take something away.  It's a bad business policy.

 

And I caution everyone to frequently check your cruise planner.  We had the 4 Perks as part of our Med cruise last August but they weren't appearing in our Cruise Planner.  Took several calls to Celebrity to get it corrected.  I had a confirmation showing the 4 Perks were included.  What if they had decided to say "oh that was a glitch when you booked?"

 

 

 

 

I will field this just in case it was directed at my most recent comment ... if not, please feel free to disregard.  

In post #1, the OP indicated the perks were not included on his confirmation, which is why he called.  In a more recent post, the OP indicated the deal was 'too good to be true'.  I rarely book any cruises on websites, but when I see those 'too good to be true' obvious website errors on any travel, I call to confirm and get that in an invoice before I would have an expectation that it would be honored.  

I don't believe any major cruiseline is really in the business to bait and switch but, it doesn't give anyone a warm and fuzzy feeling when they feel cheated.  I guess I just wouldn't feel cheated if I knew that they wouldn't honor a deal that was never really rightfully mine.  

 

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9 minutes ago, Cruise Raider said:

 

I will field this just in case it was directed at my most recent comment ... if not, please feel free to disregard.  

In post #1, the OP indicated the perks were not included on his confirmation, which is why he called.  In a more recent post, the OP indicated the deal was 'too good to be true'.  I rarely book any cruises on websites, but when I see those 'too good to be true' obvious website errors on any travel, I call to confirm and get that in an invoice before I would have an expectation that it would be honored.  

I don't believe any major cruiseline is really in the business to bait and switch but, it doesn't give anyone a warm and fuzzy feeling when they feel cheated.  I guess I just wouldn't feel cheated if I knew that they wouldn't honor a deal that was never really rightfully mine.  

 

You misunderstood me. It never for one moment occurred to me that the price was “too good to be true”. I proceeded entirely in good faith and accepted the price offered once I had established that it  was within my budget.

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I have an upcoming cruise with 4 perks. My receipt shows all 4.  When I tried to book shore excursions with my OBC, I wasn’t able to.  I called Celebrity and they said “No OBC” on this booking. I called my TA and she called Celebrity. Celebrity reinstated the OBC saying “The OBC fell off the booking”.  What does that mean??  Sloppy record keeping if you ask me. 

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36 minutes ago, PaulWS said:

You misunderstood me. It never for one moment occurred to me that the price was “too good to be true”. I proceeded entirely in good faith and accepted the price offered once I had established that it  was within my budget.

 

 

I must have misinterpreted your statement:  

There was no question in my mind that the offer was “too good to be true”.

 

Good thing you caught it before it was too late.  

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