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Ponant & PG's New Cancellation Policy


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5 hours ago, Jared Purdy said:

 

Filing a third party default claim with my credit card (VISA) did the trick.  I got back 100% of what I paid, which was almost $25,000CDN.  Took about two weeks.

 I haven't canceled with PG yet but intend to.  I will get with my travel agent this week because final payment is coming up in mid May.  After speaking to several vendors in FP I am almost 100% certain that PG will not be able sail but they are refusing to cancel the trip until closer to the departure  date.  In other words after everyone has made full payment. 

I called the dispute department with my credit card  company to inquire about the 3rd party default and spoke to 2 agents and 1 was a supervisor and neither one knew anything about the 3rd party default option.  

They told me that they have to go by what PG's cancellation policy was and at this point it is 20% of the total cost of the trip.  They said because I was canceling the trip now and not PG canceling the trip I was doing it on a "voluntary" basis.  I don't want a FCC at this point...too much unknown about next year.  Who knows if PG will still be in business, what my financial status will be or my health for that matter.  I know that the ship needs a total refurbishment and that won't be cheap so Ponant may just throw the towel in on this one.  

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28 minutes ago, fedexretiree said:

 I haven't canceled with PG yet but intend to.  I will get with my travel agent this week because final payment is coming up in mid May.  After speaking to several vendors in FP I am almost 100% certain that PG will not be able sail but they are refusing to cancel the trip until closer to the departure  date.  In other words after everyone has made full payment. 

I called the dispute department with my credit card  company to inquire about the 3rd party default and spoke to 2 agents and 1 was a supervisor and neither one knew anything about the 3rd party default option.  

They told me that they have to go by what PG's cancellation policy was and at this point it is 20% of the total cost of the trip.  They said because I was canceling the trip now and not PG canceling the trip I was doing it on a "voluntary" basis.  I don't want a FCC at this point...too much unknown about next year.  Who knows if PG will still be in business, what my financial status will be or my health for that matter.  I know that the ship needs a total refurbishment and that won't be cheap so Ponant may just throw the towel in on this one.  

 

I'm not sure what the difference was in my case, or if Canadian credit card terms are different that in the USA?  I was advised by my TA who is American and based in the USA to go the 3rd part default option.  I followed his advise.  It may also have been due to me telling my credit card company that at the time I cancelled my cruise, which was March 23, PG still had a refund policy of 90%, as was told to me by my TA.  Then PG just changed the policy, on the fly, which doesn't fly.   Best of luck.  I'll rebook, but not until the coast is clear.  I'm not surprised by what your contacts in FP are telling you.  Can't see it happening this summer.

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2 minutes ago, Jared Purdy said:

 

I'm not sure what the difference was in my case, or if Canadian credit card terms are different that in the USA?  I was advised by my TA who is American and based in the USA to go the 3rd part default option.  I followed his advise.  It may also have been due to me telling my credit card company that at the time I cancelled my cruise, which was March 23, PG still had a refund policy of 90%, as was told to me by my TA.  Then PG just changed the policy, on the fly, which doesn't fly.   Best of luck.  I'll rebook, but not until the coast is clear.  I'm not surprised by what your contacts in FP are telling you.  Can't see it happening this summer.

I'll ask my TA and see what they say about it.  After I cancel I will speak to someone else at the CC company.  Different answers from different people sometimes.   Maybe Canada has different rules as you say.  Thanks for the help and advice to everyone about this issue.  Hopefully someone in the USA that uses that option and has a good outcome will post here too.

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8 hours ago, Jared Purdy said:

 

Filing a third party default claim with my credit card (VISA) did the trick.  I got back 100% of what I paid, which was almost $25,000CDN.  Took about two weeks.

That is good news. I have also filed a claim with VISA so here's hoping for the same outcome. Thanks for the advice.

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21 hours ago, Vesude said:

does anyone have a copy of the previous terms and conditions that applied before ponant changed them in March 2020. In mean the part that says that we are entitled to receive a refund.

The Passenger Ticket Contract is still on the PG website at https://www.pgcruises.com/ms-paul-gauguin-passenger-ticket-contract. Section 9b(2) pertains to cruise line cancelled cruises entitling the passenger to a refund:

 

Company may for any reason whatsoever cancel any sailing or terminate the Ticket/Contract at any time before departure of the Ship, and in such event, Company’s only liability will be to refund to the Passenger the amount it has received for the Ticket/Contract.

 

This is different from the Reservation Policies page which spells out cancellation fees in case the passenger elects to cancel their cruise:

 

https://www.pgcruises.com/reservation-policies

 

I don't have a copy of the previous Reservation Policies page but check earlier in this thread as I think someone else found it online.

 

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35 minutes ago, Hutchinj said:

The Passenger Ticket Contract is still on the PG website at https://www.pgcruises.com/ms-paul-gauguin-passenger-ticket-contract. Section 9b(2) pertains to cruise line cancelled cruises entitling the passenger to a refund:

 

Company may for any reason whatsoever cancel any sailing or terminate the Ticket/Contract at any time before departure of the Ship, and in such event, Company’s only liability will be to refund to the Passenger the amount it has received for the Ticket/Contract.

 

This is different from the Reservation Policies page which spells out cancellation fees in case the passenger elects to cancel their cruise:

 

https://www.pgcruises.com/reservation-policies

 

I don't have a copy of the previous Reservation Policies page but check earlier in this thread as I think someone else found it online.

 

Thanks but this is PG. I mean Ponant cruises

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I cancelled a cruise for Aug 2021. Submitted my "third party default" paperwork to the credit card company.

 

Got the full deposit back on my card 2 days after, less the $100 pp admin fee.

 

Folks, move forward and protect your funds.

 

You do have to abide by the cancellation terms at the time of cancelling the cruise.

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I would do this right now and be willing to forfeit 10% as a cancellation fee but have no need for a FCC. I need a cash refund for the balance of the $14K I’ve already paid!

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Not sure third party default is an option in US. I did a dispute, the funds were credited immediately and the cruise company has a period of time to respond/refute which seems likely. Gathering up docs to be ready when that happens.

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20 minutes ago, sita said:

Not sure third party default is an option in US. I did a dispute, the funds were credited immediately and the cruise company has a period of time to respond/refute which seems likely. Gathering up docs to be ready when that happens.

 

I was told by my financial institution that Ponant/PG has 10 weeks to contest it. 

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6 hours ago, ABoatNerd said:

I cancelled a cruise for Aug 2021. Submitted my "third party default" paperwork to the credit card company.

 

Got the full deposit back on my card 2 days after, less the $100 pp admin fee.

 

Folks, move forward and protect your funds.

 

You do have to abide by the cancellation terms at the time of cancelling the cruise.

 

Can you explain what the "third party default" actually is?  And I speak as a fellow Canadian.  Thanks.

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Hi Wendy.

 

A third party default is the cruise line - the TA is the 2nd party who we notify to cancel, adjust etc.  Because the travel agent does not have our funds, they can not provide a refund as the 2nd party. The cruise lines holds the funds and if they do not refund the customer within 30-45 days (my Master Card standard - MC is operated by Chase Bank) then the cruise line is in default of the terms and conditions.

 

I provided MC the TA paperwork and the terms and conditions of cancellation which were very straightforward. My TA checked with PG as to timing of my deposit refund and she wrote us "over 90 days" and that was that.

 

The deposit sits in my MC account for 45 days. PG has that long to provide me with my refund, if they do not MC does. They will notify me of which way it goes - but I get my deposit back.

 

As soon as I used the words "third party default" - I was forwarded to the Dispute Resolutions section who were efficient.

 

Given the attitude change with the arrival of Ponant, they will not be getting any of my cruise business.

 

I strongly recommend everyone awaiting a PG refund to get to your credit card company immediately.

 

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5 hours ago, ABoatNerd said:

I strongly recommend everyone awaiting a PG refund to get to your credit card company immediately.

 

Thanks, I don't have a horse in this race, but am awaiting a refund from a different cruise line (Regent.)  They have not changed their terms of service, they're just dragging it out to "up to 90 days" for a refund.  And since my payment goes directly to the cruise line, afaik, I doubt if there really is a "third party".  (Yes, I have a TA, but they do not, if I understand it correctly, collect any money from me, the cruiseline does.)

 

I too have no intention of booking the PG again, unless something drastic happens.  How sad.

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Thanks everyone for posting all your suggestions and comments as I have been finding it extremely helpful. Our PG cruise is booked through our TA for 2021. We are Canadian.  Going back and fourth since March with our TA regarding the best way to receive a refund instead of FCC. Our TA wrote an email 4 days ago with the recent policy changes requesting a refund minus the $100.00 cancellation fee. She suggest we wait as we are not a "priority " since our cruise isn't till 2021. Unfortunately we paid the deposit mid June 2019 so I will need to start the credit card 3rd party default  early June as I don't trust  PG  to come through with my deposit refund . Has anyone received a deposit or cruise  refund recently  without doing the credit card 3rd party default  and if so how long did it take ?

 

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8 minutes ago, DGK said:

Has anyone received a deposit or cruise  refund recently  without doing the credit card 3rd party default  and if so how long did it take ?

 

To date, no one that I know of from Cruise Critic, Trip Advisor, or Facebook have received a refund direct from PG/Ponant. The only successes I've seen or heard of came from credit card disputes.

 

Way to go Ponant. You have single-handedly destroyed our dream of cruising in French Polynesia! Yes, I know there are other (or at least, were) other FP cruising options but none offered the allure that the Paul Gauguin once did. Such a shame. I envy those of you that can look back on fond memories of past PG cruises in FP in happier times. <sigh>

 

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Thank you for your quick response Hutchinj. PG only has 3.5 weeks for my refund ( because it will be a year since my deposit ) otherwise credit card company here we come.

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1 hour ago, Wendy The Wanderer said:

 

I too have no intention of booking the PG again, unless something drastic happens.  How sad

Our sentiments exactly.... not to be crass but over the years we have (happily) spent a small fortune returning to Paul Gauguin, again and again, and have influenced others to cruise her as well. We are not alone; I think the ship enjoys a high repeater ratio especially given her limited itineraries (which we think are near perfect btw but many people seem to be working a bucket list)

 

This is the worst treatment of clients we have ever seen. I’m noticing an increased presence of PG on social media and starting to received regular promotion emails again...not going to make up for their horrendous policy change.

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Consumers must always treat themselves first, the top priority. Many do not. Posts on other boards show concepts like, I will leave my deposit to help Celebrity etc, quite nuts.

 

Ponant is obviously an anti-consumer, vicious corporation with no reasonable principles and values, who takes the view that PG customers are "obedient consumers" who can be abused but still come back.

 

I note that all the cruise lines these days have this attitude about cruisers because so many repeatedly book despite downgrading and increased prices.

 

I have cancelled my one and only PG cruise booking and will not recommend the line to anyone.

 

In fact, I was already on break from cruising because of the anti-consumer behaviors of the cruise lines - moved on to Globus land trips and had the best trip of my life last June to Austria, Switzerland, France and Germany with a QM2 departure from Hamburg to NYC. It included the Glacier Express to Zermatt and many other great side events. Ate much local foods. Simply outstanding trip and no cruise has ever came close to this trip.

 

I would recommend that us PG folks give strong consideration to other vacation options as quite frankly, the cruise industry does Not deserve us.

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the duplicate post but wanted to be sure those pursuing refunds from PG/Ponant saw this:

 

Only after some urging from my wonderful TA, I finally heard back from PG in regards to my request for refund from our cancelled July 4th cruise. Here's what they said:

 

Your refund request has now been noted. The Covid19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on our economy, especially the hospitality and travel industries.   We are doing our best to issue refunds, but due to the circumstances some delays should be expected, please allow up to 120 days for processing.   

 

So to their credit, it appears that PG is going to honor our refund request albeit after a wait of up to 6 months. Hate to wait that long but even so this is much preferred to filing a credit card dispute. Things are looking up (I think). 

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Our  cruise with PGC was settled (well almost) as the TA filed suit in 2 courts with Ponant. We are to get 100% refund of our hard earned cash.

It a shame that the worlds best cruise line was reduced to most unethical cruise line in the world. I hope the old owners buy it back and re-instate a ethical policy concerning cancellation.

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On 6/11/2020 at 9:54 AM, Hutchinj said:

Sorry for the duplicate post but wanted to be sure those pursuing refunds from PG/Ponant saw this:

 

Only after some urging from my wonderful TA, I finally heard back from PG in regards to my request for refund from our cancelled July 4th cruise. Here's what they said:

 

Your refund request has now been noted. The Covid19 pandemic is having an adverse effect on our economy, especially the hospitality and travel industries.   We are doing our best to issue refunds, but due to the circumstances some delays should be expected, please allow up to 120 days for processing.   

 

So to their credit, it appears that PG is going to honor our refund request albeit after a wait of up to 6 months. Hate to wait that long but even so this is much preferred to filing a credit card dispute. Things are looking up (I think). 

I have just received the same email from PGC. I wait with bated breath . Meanwhile I'll continue with the credit card claim.

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On 6/14/2020 at 7:41 PM, Skywave said:

I have just received the same email from PGC. I wait with bated breath . Meanwhile I'll continue with the credit card claim.

The TA for our Charter Cruise with PGC had to hire two lawyers and file suit against PGC. PGC came to their senses and settled quickly. Our TA asked that we (all in the charter) give them a little time, before we went with the credit card route. We'll get 100%aren't  back this week.  If you have to wait 6 months , call your credit card. PGC can't be trusted saying they'll refund you in 6 months.

 

Edited by GreatPyrs
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I've just received a credit from VISA for the full amount I paid less 10%. This, apparently could be reversed if PGC counter claims and is successful. I can't see this happening so I guess the answer is the credit card route.

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On 6/24/2020 at 4:02 AM, Skywave said:

I've just received a credit from VISA for the full amount I paid less 10%. This, apparently could be reversed if PGC counter claims and is successful. I can't see this happening so I guess the answer is the credit card route.

 

I had a credit card claim with Ponant, they grabbed back half which is better than 100% but I don't know what happened to my FCCs.

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