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club12b

They Will Keep Your Deposit

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The company only give you 7 days to cancel before keeping your deposit. Also, to get a refund they make you fill out several forms. Other cruise line don't make you jump through hoops to get your money back.  Read the fine print, I will never book this cruise line. 

 

From the company:

Sadly, since we're outside the 7 day window of purchase, you won't be receiving your deposit back. However, you will receive a future voyage credit (and you have a year to sail with it, from the date of your origin

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The company only give you 7 days to cancel before keeping your deposit. Also, to get a refund they make you fill out several forms. Other cruise line don't make you jump through hoops to get your money back.  With 30 years of cruise experience I don't see myself ever dealing with this company. 

 

From the company:

Sadly, since we're outside the 7 day window of purchase, you won't be receiving your deposit back. However, you will receive a future voyage credit (and you have a year to sail with it, from the date of your origin).

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Read those Ts & Cs!

 

Many lines have fares with nonrefundable deposits although usually you can book with a refundable deposit for a slightly higher fare.  In the UK, deposits are nonrefundable as a rule so perhaps that viewpoint is at work with Virgin.

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Sorry, but it's your responsibility to know and understand the T&C's of any sale. Non refundable deposits are not unique to Virgin. 

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Your right, i should have read the fine print. I just want people to know so they can make a better decision than me. I will stick with RC and NCL. 

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9 minutes ago, Underwatr said:

Read those Ts & Cs!

 

Many lines have fares with nonrefundable deposits although usually you can book with a refundable deposit for a slightly higher fare.  In the UK, deposits are nonrefundable as a rule so perhaps that viewpoint is at work with Virgin.

Your right, i should have read the fine print. I just want people to know so they can make a better decision than me. I will stick with RC and NCL

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From Viring Voyages T&C (Google "virgin Voyages deposit")

 

Cancellation Policy
If you or anybody travelling with you wishes to cancel either your/their holiday, you must contact Shoreside Sailor Services if booking direct (email heretohelp@virginvoyages.com or call 1-954-488-2955; if in the UK call +44-20-3003-4914), or your travel agent, and give notice of the cancellation. The voyage will only be cancelled on the date we receive the notice of cancellation. If you cancel, the financial impact of the cancellation will depend on the sailing date and when you cancel.  Please note we are very flexible in allowing you to change your sailing date  -- see below in this section.   
  • If you cancel 121 days or more from the sailing date, any money paid will be refunded to you in the same manner in which you paid, minus your deposit.  Your deposit will only be refunded if you cancel within seven days of your booking if your cancellation was 121 days or more from the sailing date.  
  • If you cancel 120 days or less from the departure date, no refund will be given, but see below for our flexible booking policy.

Clearly stated.  Notice the next bullet, if you are within 120 days of sailing, there is NO REFUND AT ALL.

 

Sorry, your screw up.

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As I just noted in another thread below, the Cancellation Policy is very clear on the deposit:

DAYS PRIOR TO SAILING DATE & CANCELLATION IMPACT
 

  • 121 days or more

    All monies refunded, except for potentially your deposit.  

    Your deposit will be refunded only if cancellation is within 7 days of the date the deposit was made.  Otherwise, entire deposit amount is non-refundable.

Before you book for ANY cruise, you must read the cancellation policy. Here's the entire Terms and Conditions page from Virgin's site. 

https://www.virginvoyages.com/addl-terms-and-conditions

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I appreciate the OP reporting this and don’t think they were trying to make excuses. One of the reasons I enjoy reading a cruise lines forum before I book the cruise to find all the ins and outs specific to that line. Virgin is hard because there’s so little knowledge about them yet. This is good information to know.

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club12b...Welcome to Cruise Critic and thank you.

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Just now, hotsauce126 said:

What cruise line lets you refund the deposit? 

 

All Norwegian deposits are refundable.  Royal Caribbean and Celebrity offer refundable deposits on non-suite categories, but reduce the discount accordingly so you pay more.

 

I'm still stuck with my deposit on the Cuba turned Key West itinerary and keep hoping to change to a longer itinerary, but the winter 2021 itineraries were no better and there's still no sign of summer 2021 out of Miami.

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Non-refundable deposits are becoming quite common in the cruise industry and used by most lines for certain fares.   With Virgin you are dealing with an entirely new player and one would expect various hiccups and bad policy decisions.  Even MSC, which is a very experienced cruise line, has had more then their share of "hiccups" in the USA market.

 

The reality of Virgin is that owner is more of an innovator then a follower so we would expect lots of cruise "firsts" with that outfit.  But Richard Branson's track record is excellent and we welcome him to the cruise world and hope he shakes up some of his competitors.  

 

Hank

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Non-refundable deposits have always been the norm for those booking from the UK and I think elsewhere in Europe. That includes bookings for RCI, NCL, Celebrity, Princess & other Carnival brands, etc. 

Same with most transactions.

 

Gotta say it - to me it seems pretty pointless to take a deposit if it's refundable at the whim of the customer :classic_huh:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

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40 minutes ago, John Bull said:

Gotta say it - to me it seems pretty pointless to take a deposit if it's refundable at the whim of the customer :classic_huh:

 

That really is a good point.

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A deposit is to hold my space until the cruise line requires payment in full. The payment in full date is typically well in advance and offers the cruise line sufficient time to resell the cabin. Certainly a corporation wants to look out for its best interests.

 

But as a consumer i want to protect my interests and I prefer to deal with corporations that allow me to protect my interest by having a lenient cancellation policy and not deal with one having a strict cancellation policy.

 

Thanks OP for reporting this information. Another company on my caution list.

 

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As clear as mud.

 

UK rules .... HM Gov .. 2016

 

Businesses can keep your deposit or advance payments, or ask you to pay a cancellation charge, only in certain circumstances

 

If you cancel the contract, the business is generally only entitled to keep or receive an amount sufficient to cover their actual losses that directly result from your cancellation (eg costs already incurred or loss of profit).

 

 

 

Businesses must take reasonable steps to reduce their losses (eg by re-selling the goods or services).

 

 

 

Non-refundable deposits should only be a small percentage of the total price.

 

 

 

Cancellation charges must be a genuine estimate of the business’ direct loss.

 

 

 

However, 2019 ...the BBC reports

 

 

 

Travel companies have been warned against mistreating unfortunate customers by relying on unenforceable deposit and payment demands.

 

A lack of awareness over how much can be retained when a traveller cancels a booking is widespread, according to the Competition and Markets Authority.

 

A company cannot automatically keep a large deposit if the customer cancels owing to unforeseen circumstances.

 

Such a contract may be unfair, even if written into terms and conditions.

 

For example, somebody may cancel a booking owing to illness or a family bereavement. If the travel company has plenty of time to re-sell the room or holiday, or if it becomes available at a peak time, then the company should refund the payment or a hefty deposit.

 

Any amount it charges should reflect its costs. If the company includes a blanket "non-refundable deposit" demand or cancellation fee in its terms and conditions then this could be an unfair contract, not legally binding, and unenforceable - even if the customer has signed it.

 

Paul Latham, from the CMA - the UK's competition watchdog, said that as many as 50% of travel firms may not be fully aware of the rules. Many smaller firms may copy terms and conditions from others, potentially leading to a proliferation of unfair contracts.

 

The watchdog has no plans to launch an investigation into specific operators, but is working with travel trade bodies to raise awareness of the rules through its "small print, big difference" campaign.

 

On average, a family in the UK can spend up to £3,000 on holidays and travel each year.

 

The CMA wants customers to know that they do not always have to resort to travel insurance to retrieve deposits if they are forced to change their plans.

 

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly should contact the company involved, and can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for guidance.

 

Ultimately, they might have to take their case to court.

 

It is not the first time the CMA has raised the issue of unfair contracts. In 2016, it gave a general warning to firms, and specifically wrote to wedding venue owners to remind them of their legal obligations.

Edited by MBP&O2/O

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8 hours ago, CPT Trips said:

A deposit is to hold my space until the cruise line requires payment in full. The payment in full date is typically well in advance and offers the cruise line sufficient time to resell the cabin. Certainly a corporation wants to look out for its best interests.

 

But as a consumer i want to protect my interests and I prefer to deal with corporations that allow me to protect my interest by having a lenient cancellation policy and not deal with one having a strict cancellation policy.

 

Thanks OP for reporting this information. Another company on my caution list.

 

Why would any company want to give up the opportunity to sell any product?  Sure, it’s nice for a potential customer to retain the right to go ahead with a purchase or to cancel it at no cost — but to the extent that right has VALUE to the customer, it is something that the company should want to receive compensation for in giving it up.

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1 hour ago, MBP&O2/O said:

Anyone who believes they have been treated unfairly should contact the company involved, and can contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for guidance.

The OP is US-based, for what it's worth. I haven't read Virgin's contract regarding  where/how disputes are resolved.

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24 minutes ago, MBP&O2/O said:

 

Any amount it charges should reflect its costs. If the company includes a blanket "non-refundable deposit" demand or cancellation fee in its terms and conditions then this could be an unfair contract, not legally binding, and unenforceable - even if the customer has signed it.

 

Ultimately, they might have to take their case to court.

 

Thanks for that, MBP.

 

And therein lies the rub.

Even using a Small Claims Court it's both expensive (in your example £150 for court fees alone) and legalistic beyond the Average Joe.

Parties in the Small Claims Court can seek legal advice in advance of a case, but free Citizens' Advice is very very limited and the Court cannot award the fees for professional advice even for a successful claim.

And neither side can be represented in the Court by a professional. So once in Court, unless Joe is himself a solicitor he's on his own.

If Joe is suing Average Jane she's in the same boat - and all that kinda makes sense in keeping down the cost of Court access.

But cruise lines & travel agents & such have their own legal departments which can represent them in Court.

Add to that a stack of get-outs on legal technicalities and Average Joe is in a legal minefield.

Then there's the long drawn-out timescale and the work and grief involved in chasing a relatively small sum. It takes a resolute cruiser to see it thro to the end, and - win or lose - that cruiser's original grief is amplified by whole process. 

 

Years back I sued a firm of accountants appointed to liquidate a business that was a debtor of mine. I sued the accountants' company name on their paperwork. In Court my case was thrown out because a liquidator is a person. not a business - I should have sued the employee of the accountancy firm who signed the paperwork, not the accountancy firm itself. :classic_rolleyes:

I could've started again but chose not to throw good money after bad or more wasted time after time already wasted.

Heads they win, tails you lose.

But that's life.

 

I suspect that in the modern age, the mention of review sites and social media probably carries more weight than the mention of Court action.

Hopefully I'll never have the need to find out.:classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Why would any company want to give up the opportunity to sell any product?  Sure, it’s nice for a potential customer to retain the right to go ahead with a purchase or to cancel it at no cost — but to the extent that right has VALUE to the customer, it is something that the company should want to receive compensation for in giving it up.


Why would any consumer want to pay a company for a good or service that is never delivered? Sure it’s great for their bottom line, so I can understand a company’s PR department making that argument, but a customer?

If a customer cancels a trip well before the the actual trip the company has not delivered any product to the customer. The company has not incurred any cost and has given up nothing in exchange for keeping a deposit after having OPM (other people’s money) for a time.

To me the value of retaining the right to go ahead with a purchase or to cancel a trip, at no cost, three or four months before the trip is actually delivered is nothing. It seems the company also agrees to this valuation because will pay me absolutely zilch if they cancel the trip with even less notice. 


 

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53 minutes ago, CPT Trips said:


Why would any consumer want to pay a company for a good or service that is never delivered? Sure it’s great for their bottom line, so I can understand a company’s PR department making that argument, but a customer?

If a customer cancels a trip well before the the actual trip the company has not delivered any product to the customer. The company has not incurred any cost and has given up nothing in exchange for keeping a deposit after having OPM (other people’s money) for a time.

To me the value of retaining the right to go ahead with a purchase or to cancel a trip, at no cost, three or four months before the trip is actually delivered is nothing. It seems the company also agrees to this valuation because will pay me absolutely zilch if they cancel the trip with even less notice. 


 

The simple fact that you want to be able to put down a deposit to reserve a space on the cruise gives it value.  You WANT it, therefore it has value to you.  As long as you hold the reservation for that space the company is without the right to sell it to someone else, so they have lost that right - ie: given that value to you.  

 

The notion of that value becomes even more clear if, because of demand, the price goes up (which is certainly a possibility) —simply  protecting yourself against a fare increase is a value to you.

 

Sure:  you want to get something for nothing - and you should try to understand the cruise line’s reluctance to give up that something for nothing.

 

In financial services comparable transactions take place all the time:  options to purchase a security are bought and sold regularly — those options represent value — whether or not they are ever exercised — similarly your option to purchase a cruise at a stated price has value — whether or not you exercise it.

 

 

Edited by navybankerteacher

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40 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

 As long as you hold the reservation for that space the company is without the right to sell it to someone else, so they have lost that right - ie: given that value to you.  

 

 

 

I would sure agree that this is as it should be.  Unfortunately based on what I read here they do have that right and exercise it relatively frequently.   

 

Anyway, I would think the cruise companies benefit from nonrefundable deposits by attracting more to at least start the booking process.  That is, as long as the cancellation rate isn't too high.    I sure can see refundable deposits disappearing with the higher demand for cruises.   Without debating the right or wrong of it,  who wouldn't prefer a refundable deposit as long as it doesn't carry a surcharge.   

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