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DENBET30

What's My Recourse When My Agent Screws Up

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After NCL cancelled my April cruise, the major agency I booked through sent me an online refund request. I followed the agency's directions explicitly, filled out the refund form, and electronically sent it immediately. The agency said I need not contact the cruise line directly and they would handle everything.So far so good.Over the next three months I made three phone calls to my travel agency to check the status of my refund and in all three cases they put me on hold and eventually came back to confirm my refund request was being processed and it could take up to 90 days. Then the shocker. As it is now past 90 days I called my travel agency yesterday and was informed that NCL never received my refund request and the time has elapsed to receive a refund. To add injury to insult my TA implied it was my fault for not notifying NCL. I can understand that a glitch or some other mistake could have led to a lost refund request. That being said, however, there are three previous documented phone calls ( in my reservation record) of me inquiring from my TA the status of my refund request and in each case was told the refund was being processed. Clearly my TA was giving me misleading information that they were indeed checking my refund status and apparently they never even verified that a refund request was received. As a result I'm now in an untenable position with NCL. So what if any recourse is available to me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, DENBET30 said:

After NCL cancelled my April cruise, the major agency I booked through sent me an online refund request. I followed the agency's directions explicitly, filled out the refund form, and electronically sent it immediately. The agency said I need not contact the cruise line directly and they would handle everything.So far so good.Over the next three months I made three phone calls to my travel agency to check the status of my refund and in all three cases they put me on hold and eventually came back to confirm my refund request was being processed and it could take up to 90 days. Then the shocker. As it is now past 90 days I called my travel agency yesterday and was informed that NCL never received my refund request and the time has elapsed to receive a refund. To add injury to insult my TA implied it was my fault for not notifying NCL. I can understand that a glitch or some other mistake could have led to a lost refund request. That being said, however, there are three previous documented phone calls ( in my reservation record) of me inquiring from my TA the status of my refund request and in each case was told the refund was being processed. Clearly my TA was giving me misleading information that they were indeed checking my refund status and apparently they never even verified that a refund request was received. As a result I'm now in an untenable position with NCL. So what if any recourse is available to me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elevate to ownership/leadership of agency.  If not resolved, file a claim in small claims court.

 

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Lesson to others - get all matters like this in writing not on phone.  If you have to talk on phone, record name of agent, date and time of call and take notes.  Follow up in writing if possible even if it's from you to them.

 

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Enjoy your FCC.   I would say go to the top of the TA that you used to get them to refund you.   But the cost of small claims court will not be beneficial to your wallet.

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44 minutes ago, oracer said:

But the cost of small claims court will not be beneficial to your wallet

How much do you think it costs?  A quick search revealed several states charging under $100 to file, and the benefit of the process is that you can file without a lawyer.  However, you need to have all your stuff in order, and small claims does have an upper limit for what you can claim.

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The TA's lawyer will likely bump the case up to a higher trial court, which will be expensive for you.

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Yes, it will drag for years and the court will ask you what documentation do you have that you cancelled, you will say that the I told the TA to do it over the phone, they will say they have no documentation of that, the judge will rule in their favor.  

 

Small claims court for you and a local company is one thing, small claims court with a large company becomes costly.

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2 minutes ago, FLAHAM said:

The TA's lawyer will likely bump the case up to a higher trial court, which will be expensive for you.

I imagine they'd have to have a real good reason to do so, otherwise small claims would be ineffective for the "little guy", which is who it's supposed to help.

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33 minutes ago, hallux said:

I imagine they'd have to have a real good reason to do so, otherwise small claims would be ineffective for the "little guy", which is who it's supposed to help.

In most states, businesses can do this as a matter of right.

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2 hours ago, oracer said:

Enjoy your FCC.  

Well said..

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I am perplexed,  why you didn't just submit,  the online form  DIRECT to NCL??     I would have never-  bothered adding a middle man when it was a simple online request??   

 

I can not see-  you getting any refund from NCL-  you never contacted them.   And the agency-  probably isn't going to do anything either,  because they aren't going to get involved with a double dip,  since you have been issued  Future Cruise Credit by NCL.   

 

Do, you know someone,  who sails and can use the credit?   It can be transferred-   do it yourself,  however.   

 

You have NO possibility to sail again?    

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3 hours ago, PelicanBill said:

Lesson to others - get all matters like this in writing not on phone.  If you have to talk on phone, record name of agent, date and time of call and take notes.  Follow up in writing if possible even if it's from you to them.

 

Lesson to others,   complete simple processes,  yourself-  and deal direct.    The more middle men you involve-  the more chance of an issue.    Even at this point-  it's going to be different stories-   with the agency and NCL.  And NO proof of anything  for the client.    

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, DENBET30 said:

 

You have no recourse.
 

The TA isn’t going to give you a refund. 

 

The cruise line is happy that “you” did not request a refund and will not give you another opportunity to request one. They get thousands of “sad stories” every week. They just say “no”. 
 

You got the 125% FCC. Enjoy your next cruise. 

Edited by BirdTravels

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17 hours ago, hallux said:

How much do you think it costs?  A quick search revealed several states charging under $100 to file, and the benefit of the process is that you can file without a lawyer.  However, you need to have all your stuff in order, and small claims does have an upper limit for what you can claim.

The filing fee for small claims court can be included in the amount requested for settlement (may not apply in all

jurisdictions/courts).  Just be sure to up hold your part in showing up for the hearing - a no show results in no award

and the filing fee a frivolous lost effort !  Pray that the other side no shows and doesn't contest !

But it should not get to this state if a business is operated ethically and honestly.

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When we were cancelled our TA said to look for the NCL cancel notification and to submit what we wanted ourselves.  At that time I thought it was pretty lazy of the TA since they already received their commission but I'm so glad we did.  Waited 85 days but were eventually refunded.

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5 minutes ago, EllieinNJ said:

When we were cancelled our TA said to look for the NCL cancel notification and to submit what we wanted ourselves.  At that time I thought it was pretty lazy of the TA since they already received their commission but I'm so glad we did.  Waited 85 days but were eventually refunded.

Glad you figured out the BENEFIT of - direct.   As you now know-  your lazy assumption was way off.    Glad it worked out- and perhaps a good method to consider for the future.    

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1. Do you have any of this in writing? A saved e-mail with the refund request and any notification back that it was sent in and you didn't need to contact NCL?

 

If so, I would start by escalating this issue with the TA company, if it's a "major" company, they should do something to try and make this right. Second, if I got nowhere I would see if I could file a charge back through my CC and/or contact the better business bureau. I had a "major" travel company violate a contract with me and refuse to make it right. After contacting the BBB they did. 

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31 minutes ago, sanger727 said:

1. Do you have any of this in writing? A saved e-mail with the refund request and any notification back that it was sent in and you didn't need to contact NCL?

 

If so, I would start by escalating this issue with the TA company, if it's a "major" company, they should do something to try and make this right. Second, if I got nowhere I would see if I could file a charge back through my CC and/or contact the better business bureau. I had a "major" travel company violate a contract with me and refuse to make it right. After contacting the BBB they did. 

Agree with this advice about BBB.  Reputation is everything.

 

I don't know the rules for "everywhere" but in NYC you need to be a resident and the company needs to have an office here to file in small claims.

 

The FCC is worthless if the OP doesn't plan on cruising with NCL again.  TA should be offering "the value" in credit for any trip OP wants.

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Posted (edited)

OP...Every municipality is different.  But, I've used small claims court to good effect in the past.  Doesn't matter if it's a big company or not.  Matter of fact, aside from playing the waiting game with you, and what would probably be a request for a continuance, big companies have to hire legal representation in the municipality you reside.  I doubt very seriously they would send a corporate lawyer, especially now.

 

This should be cut and dry.  You have a record of when you called the TA and what was discussed.  Don't count on the TA to provide the dates/times you called, or any sort of record of what you discussed.  You have to do that.  It's also reasonable for the TA to act on your behalf with NCL.  The on line refund request had to have your signature on it. You had to print it out to sign it and email it back to the TA.   So, you should take a copy of that with you to court.  That will be key.

 

Once the magistrate hears the case (which shouldn't take more than 10 minutes, particularly given how small claims works), it's either a yes or no decision (or a continuance).  If the TA, or their representative don't show, you win.  If they provide no credible information to disallow your claim, you win.

 

It's not you suing NCL.  It's you suing the TA.  If the TA loses, they can take up their case with NCL.  If you win, you also get court costs.  I know in my cases, filing with the court costs $35, which I was reimbursed for, also.

 

I've taken AT&T, a large home builder, GM and one of their Cadillac franchisees, and others to small claims court.  I've never lost.  GM didn't even bother to show up, so I won by default.

 

Stay patient and persistent.  You have a good case.

Edited by graphicguy

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1 hour ago, sanger727 said:

1. Do you have any of this in writing? A saved e-mail with the refund request and any notification back that it was sent in and you didn't need to contact NCL?

 

If so, I would start by escalating this issue with the TA company, if it's a "major" company, they should do something to try and make this right. Second, if I got nowhere I would see if I could file a charge back through my CC and/or contact the better business bureau. I had a "major" travel company violate a contract with me and refuse to make it right. After contacting the BBB they did. 

 

 

If the process was followed correctly and the travel agency dropped the ball, whatever, they should have errors & omissions insurance to make op whole.

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1 hour ago, graphicguy said:

 

 

This should be cut and dry.  You have a record of when you called the TA and what was discussed.  Don't count on the TA to provide the dates/times you called, or any sort of record of what you discussed.  You have to do that.  It's also reasonable for the TA to act on your behalf with NCL.  The on line refund request had to have your signature on it. You had to print it out to sign it and email it back to the TA.   So, you should take a copy of that with you to court.  That will be key.

 

 

I don't see this that "cut and dry".   There is no way to prove what was said with any phone calls.    I also fail to understand-  with the OP claiming they printed out the form and filled it out-   WHY they didn't just send it DIRECT to NCL?    Is isn't clear where they sent it?     Hopefully they have their tracking information and the form saved?   

 

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22 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

I don't see this that "cut and dry".   There is no way to prove what was said with any phone calls.    I also fail to understand-  with the OP claiming they printed out the form and filled it out-   WHY they didn't just send it DIRECT to NCL?    Is isn't clear where they sent it?     Hopefully they have their tracking information and the form saved?   

 

If it's a form like my TA has (my TA calls it a LETTER OF CANCELLATION) it's essentially a sheet that's printed on the TA's letter head stating you want to cancel your cruise.  It should have the Res# and the sailing date.  It should also have a CYA statement which says although the TA will process the request, final disposition is done at the cruise lines' discretion.  At least, that's what mine said.  Pretty cut and dried, as I mentioned before.

 

It would be helpful if the OP kept track of the dates and time of the phone calls, and what was discussed.  Even better, have the names of the people s/he discussed cancellation with at the TA's office.

 

If the OP has that sheet which was signed by them, and the date sent to the TA, it will be admissible in small claims court.  If the TA did not submit it within the time frame NCL stipulated (if submitted, at all), then they are responsible if NCL declines the refund.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

If it's a form like my TA has (my TA calls it a LETTER OF CANCELLATION) it's essentially a sheet that's printed on the TA's letter head stating you want to cancel your cruise

But is that expressly to cancel the cruise AND request cash refund?

 

33 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

 It should also have a CYA statement which says although the TA will process the request, final disposition is done at the cruise lines' discretion.  At least, that's what mine said.

AH - "at the cruise line's discretion".  I read that as "you're cancelling and taking the offer the cruise line has put up" (in this case, FCC).  I would think the form filled out should expressly state it was the request for cash refund in order to hold up as proof that such was requested through the TA, and it probably doesn't.

 

The OP may be out of luck if the communication from the TA where it was offered that it would all be taken care of (including cash refund) was not in writing.

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3 hours ago, hallux said:

But is that expressly to cancel the cruise AND request cash refund?

 

AH - "at the cruise line's discretion".  I read that as "you're cancelling and taking the offer the cruise line has put up" (in this case, FCC).  I would think the form filled out should expressly state it was the request for cash refund in order to hold up as proof that such was requested through the TA, and it probably doesn't.

 

The OP may be out of luck if the communication from the TA where it was offered that it would all be taken care of (including cash refund) was not in writing.

Yep-    WHY didn’t they just submit the Cruise Line form direct????      Broken record-  I know-  but they certainly weren’t  incapacitated with  the ability to - simply do it themselves.    ALL this- would have been avoided.    

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2 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

Yep-    WHY didn’t they just submit the Cruise Line form direct????      Broken record-  I know-  but they certainly weren’t  incapacitated with  the ability to - simply do it themselves.    ALL this- would have been avoided.    

Whats the purpose of a TA then?

They get paid to act on your behalf.  Its their job,.

 

OP.....send them an email asking for their errors and omissions carrier.  See what happens.

 

If you need to go to small claims, show up and when they call you....ask for second call to waste the attorney they sends time.   Oh well your witness did not show up. LOL    Then request a jury which will take longer.

Steve

PS. I have never lost a small claims case.

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