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Cancelation fee imposed by TA


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2 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

There have been several posts where TA’s have charged fees.  Some will deduct that fee if you book another cruise with them, others won’t. 

That would be the last time that TA heard from me

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I know of some fees by parking places. I have several weeks to book and going to see if they will waive the $15 fee if they move one, I'll book 2 other weeks. Waiting until I'm more sure when cruises start up again.

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Any fees are at the discretion of the agent, but you have to have agreed to such a fee when you made the booking. Personally I never charge fees and I would never use an agent who does so, but I know several agents who charge fees. Most will refund the fee if you book with them (for planning fee), cancellation fees are usually non-refundable but I know a few agents who will waive their cancellation fees if you rebook with them.

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Yes, it is common.  We only use one of two different companies and both will wave the fee for a good customer,  special reason (medical, death in family, etc.) or if you book another cruise in place of the cancelled one.   For an outright cancelation I would not have a problem paying a fee as compensation for all the work they do for us - and both always provide us help and support as needed.   So far we have avoided the fee.

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My own personal feeling is that charging a fee is very short sighted.  Most people that have been in sales for a long time and are successful will tell you it is not about today’s sale, it is about the repeat business and referrals that you generate by treating your customers right whether it’s written in your agreement or not.
 

You can spend hours doing research for a potential customer that never books so never gets charged a fee yet a customer that calls you knowing what they want and you spend all of ten minutes on that booking yet they get charged a fee just doesn’t sit well with me.
 

From what I’ve seen it is mostly the larger on line agencies that whose business model is based on volume and low overhead where customer service is secondary concern. 

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Thanks everyone for the update, I've never encountered this before, so I wasn't sure if it was a one off, or more bad info by the agent, which is a consistent reality.  For color, I had to inform her about "Cruise With Confidence" after she quoted me the standard cancelation policy, as if Covid wasn't wreaking havoc and wasn't front and center in the industry.  Unfortunately, I'm stuck with her until this particular cruise sails or I cancel. 

 

I go into all of this having done my homework, but I'm shocked that in light of what's going on and that the cruise lines, airlines and hotels aren't even charging cancelation fees, an agency would.  

 

 

Edited by akke29
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8 hours ago, matj2000 said:

Why are you using a TA that has cancellation fees?

 

That should be one of the first things you ever ask them....

We book through a very large online TA.  Like Ourusulbeach said it is based on volume and low overhead. We have used them for many years and it is all about the perks, have little use for lux customer service.  We usually get pre paid gratuities, Specialty dining for 2 and sometimes a matching cruise line credit, last year they threw in a limited travel insurance plan. .  When we call for a price reduction it is handled while we are on the phone. Just used them for the L&S and it was very easy doing it all via email. They do charge a $100pp cancelation fee but credit it to the next booking.  Not for everyone but works well for us, only use a TA to get the perks. 

Edited by taglovestocruise
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7 hours ago, Ourusualbeach said:

My own personal feeling is that charging a fee is very short sighted.  Most people that have been in sales for a long time and are successful will tell you it is not about today’s sale, it is about the repeat business and referrals that you generate by treating your customers right whether it’s written in your agreement or not.
 

You can spend hours doing research for a potential customer that never books so never gets charged a fee yet a customer that calls you knowing what they want and you spend all of ten minutes on that booking yet they get charged a fee just doesn’t sit well with me.
 

From what I’ve seen it is mostly the larger on line agencies that whose business model is based on volume and low overhead where customer service is secondary concern. 

Wonderful words of wisdom. Building relationships are part of the sales cycle. If you can’t sell yourself, your not likely to sell the final product (Cruise). 

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3 hours ago, taglovestocruise said:

We book through a very large online TA.  Like Ourusulbeach said it is based on volume and low overhead. We have used them for many years and it is all about the perks, have little use for lux customer service.  We usually get pre paid gratuities, Specialty dining for 2 and sometimes a matching cruise line credit, last year they threw in a limited travel insurance plan. .  When we call for a price reduction it is handled while we are on the phone. Just used them for the L&S and it was very easy doing it all via email. They do charge a $100pp cancelation fee but credit it to the next booking.  Not for everyone but works well for us, only use a TA to get the perks. 

 

No TA should be charging a cancellation fee for cruises that RCI cancelled due to the pandemic.  They are receiving full commission from RCI, as if you actually sailed, so they are not losing a penny (as they would if you cancel).

 

In my mind, it is just not good business !!!

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This is why my DH and I prefer to book directly.  Not that in this environment the Cruise lines might not go out of business!  But we also always book with a very reliable credit card.

 

Not worth a free dinner or small perk to loose your deposit or worse!

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25 minutes ago, Cruise a holic said:

This is why my DH and I prefer to book directly.  Not that in this environment the Cruise lines might not go out of business!  But we also always book with a very reliable credit card.

 

Not worth a free dinner or small perk to loose your deposit or worse!

I’m not sure what happened in that case above but in North America the standard practice is for your credit card to be charged by Royal directly regardless of whether or not you use a TA.  Unless a client is paying in cash Royal does not allow TA’s to use their own credit card to make payments  on the clients behalf.  
 

Some TA’s are even covered by governmental regulation that protects clients in the event of a cruiseline or airline failure and will refund the clients money regardless of where they reside.  

Edited by Ourusualbeach
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On 6/7/2020 at 9:07 AM, cruiserhal said:

Yes, it is common.  We only use one of two different companies and both will wave the fee for a good customer,  special reason (medical, death in family, etc.) or if you book another cruise in place of the cancelled one.   For an outright cancelation I would not have a problem paying a fee as compensation for all the work they do for us - and both always provide us help and support as needed.   So far we have avoided the fee.

 

Except that there are TAs that give awesome service and DO NOT CHARGE FEES.

 

Your choice......

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11 minutes ago, cruiserhal said:

I know but I would never change for that reason.  

Entirely your prerogative if you feel more comfortable booking directly through the cruise line.  Others prefer to use a quality TA that will cut into their commission and rebate it through perks or as a straight up discount.  Those perks and discounts add up in the long run and can be lucrative depending on your TA.

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Nope, but our TA's are friends who were doing mainly corporate travel and some personal travel for family, friends and anyone who asked.  It's a side business for them now as they sold their agency.  They are a few years older than us so once they are no longer booking for anyone, we have a couple of other friends who are mainly cruise TA's so we'll use them.

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Everyone is missing the point!!! This was my 150th cruise that was cancelled and I have no problem with the $99 fee if I cancel as they do move credit to another booking-----

The problem is I did NOT cancel--Celebrity did and to keep the deposit is THIEVERY!!

FRANK

I will be calling amex today

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50 minutes ago, fb0075 said:

Everyone is missing the point!!! This was my 150th cruise that was cancelled and I have no problem with the $99 fee if I cancel as they do move credit to another booking-----

The problem is I did NOT cancel--Celebrity did and to keep the deposit is THIEVERY!!

FRANK

I will be calling amex today

Celebrity?  You do know you're on the RCI board, right?   If you'd said that up front, I think you might have been told to ask on the Celebrity board as what happened doesn't apply to RCI.

Edited by BND
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