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Refund timelines or assistance?


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I'm starting a new thread, although I suppose this could probably be added to one of the existing ones...

 

We booked our cruise in February 2020 for a November 2020 sailing. We made deposits of 20%--thankfully not much compared to what some people had already paid before cancellation. We eventually decided to cancel on August 3, given the challenges of getting into FP and the potential for a cruise having to stop mid-trip because of a positive test from anyone on board. We will be out the $100/person administrative/cancellation fee, but that's fine. We were initially told by our TA that refunds might take up to 90 days. 90 days came and went. Our TA was told by PG that the refunds may take up to 120 days. That came and went yesterday. I emailed PG customer service myself this morning, and their response was:

 

  • We hope you are well and staying healthy.  When the pandemic arrived in the U.S. in late February, everyone in our industry thought we would be back to normal within 6 months and we all know now that the virus is still raging which has impacted not just our cruise line but many others.  Our parent company Ponant is committed to refunding all our guests who requested a refund however it will take time.  On a weekly basis we are refunding based on the sailing date and the date the guests or Paul Gauguin canceled the voyage.   Please rest assured your clients will be refunded but we cannot advise you of a date.   

     

    We sincerely appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.

 

120 days from cancellation is more than enough time for them to process a refund, IMO, even in this unusual times. What are other people's experiences with the refund timeline? Are people really getting refunds without having to resort to chargebacks, threats of lawsuits, etc.?

 

Does anybody have a named contact at PG who might be able to help get our refund processed immediately as opposed to us having to continue waiting for some unknowable future date?  (DM if you aren't comfortable sharing publicly) We have some home maintenance that we had planned this month, expecting to have the refund by now. It's not going to break us to do the maintenance without the refund, but it's less comfortable than we want.

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Gee, that's a change from what I've been hearing on this forum for months, that Ponant was not giving out refunds at all, only future cruise credits.  

 

You might think about filing a dispute with your credit card, just in case, since apparently that has "wakened them up" in the past, I believe.  (This is all hearsay, not my own personal experience.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

There are many stories here and on the Ponant board about Ponant not honoring their contract in regards to refunds. Wendy is correct, if you want a refund, and not a FCC, you will almost certainly need to file a dispute with your credit card company.

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Everyone here has a different story since ponant never stayed consistent in honoring their agreements...we did get our refund just after 120 days, it wasn’t easy, since the credit charges are so old, ponant/PG  have to wire money into your account and not a credit card reversal.....make sure you let them know your bank info when or even if asked..it’s the only way for a refund as opposed to FCC, which is unacceptable after looking at their requirements for when we could use the FCC. We had the help of our wonderful TA and we even got the 200.00 admin fee back as it was cheesy and small of ponant to try to keep this....don’t give up and stay on them and always be respectful since the ponant/PG representative  is just doing their job..you can file a credit card dispute but make sure you have all your info as I read here in CC that ponant tried to claim that they refunded a few and at first American Express believed ponant....it’s not their fault we are in a pandemic, but the reputation of Paul Gauguin/ ponant really suffered  after being sold to ponant.  I don’t think we would sail on the PG for a few years till ponant calms down and starts treating its customers the way PG used to...

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Jazzbeau....read my post today....if the credit charge is early last year , they can’t just reverse the charges...they wire money into your bank account..make sure you discuss this issue with the representative and fill out the form they sent us ..good Luck 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for all the replies. I thought I had my cruise critic board account set up to send emails when people responded, but they never came, and I forgot to check regularly! Funny timing on me deciding to check the board this morning... I just got an email from my credit card saying there's a pending credit to my account from PG Cruises! Here's the full timeline for anybody interested:

  1. February 25, 2020: Booked cruise and made deposit (can't remember the %, but it looks like 20-25% of total; no airfare was included). This was for the Nov11 Society Islands and Tuamotus departure (sorry, can't remember the exact name).
  2. August 3, 2020: Had TA notify PG Cruises that we were cancelling before the normal deadline to get full refund - $100/person admin fee
  3. Jan 19, 2021: Pending credit to CC used to pay deposit on Feb25. It is the correct amount (deposit - $200). This is 169 days after the cancellation. They had our deposit for 329 days total.

It looks like the last update on our particular cruise dates is that it did actually happen but on Le Soleal instead of on the PG. I'm sure that would have ultimately been fine. It was simply not ever worth the risk of a positive test from one of our 4 family members going or someone else on the ship, which would have ruined the whole thing for everyone. I'm glad we seem to be getting the credit finally. It's entirely too slow processing things from PG/Ponant. It will definitely have us a little less enthusiastic about recommending the PG to friends and family, and will make us less likely to do business with Ponant or a subsidiary of theirs. Maybe we'll get over it since FP is so wonderful and the staff and crew on the PG are amazing, but it might be lower down the list of trip priorities for a while.

Edited by Lord_autolycus
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Good news, lord A...329 days sounds about right...although the PG is older, it works perfectly for FP...I don’t like the new ships they might use eventually like le soleal...it is too modern for such a relaxed voyage and area but I know it has environmental benefits for FP...I was tipped off another line is looking to enter this market in the next year with a nod to fitting into the FP market share that Ponant is losing with a smaller manageable ship also!v

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5 minutes ago, Supertuscan99 said:

Good news, lord A...329 days sounds about right...although the PG is older, it works perfectly for FP...I don’t like the new ships they might use eventually like le soleal...it is too modern for such a relaxed voyage and area but I know it has environmental benefits for FP...I was tipped off another line is looking to enter this market in the next year with a nod to fitting into the FP market share that Ponant is losing with a smaller manageable ship also!v

I have gotten notifications set up correctly now, so I saw your post immediately! Yay!

 

As far as another line coming into the market... that would be excellent news.  Aranui had announced a new ship which they expected to launch in mid-2022, but I don't know how covid has affected that. 

 

My wife and I are very worried that we will be priced out of the PG once Ponant is done with the renovations to it. We loved the PG and were excited to return to it in 2020. We shall see what the future holds, I suppose! We aren't planning any trips yet anyway. Want to see how the vaccine might help get case numbers down and relax restrictions everywhere.

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On 1/19/2021 at 11:43 AM, Lord_autolycus said:

Thanks for all the replies. I thought I had my cruise critic board account set up to send emails when people responded, but they never came, and I forgot to check regularly! Funny timing on me deciding to check the board this morning... I just got an email from my credit card saying there's a pending credit to my account from PG Cruises! Here's the full timeline for anybody interested:

  1. February 25, 2020: Booked cruise and made deposit (can't remember the %, but it looks like 20-25% of total; no airfare was included). This was for the Nov11 Society Islands and Tuamotus departure (sorry, can't remember the exact name).
  2. August 3, 2020: Had TA notify PG Cruises that we were cancelling before the normal deadline to get full refund - $100/person admin fee
  3. Jan 19, 2021: Pending credit to CC used to pay deposit on Feb25. It is the correct amount (deposit - $200). This is 169 days after the cancellation. They had our deposit for 329 days total.

It looks like the last update on our particular cruise dates is that it did actually happen but on Le Soleal instead of on the PG. I'm sure that would have ultimately been fine. It was simply not ever worth the risk of a positive test from one of our 4 family members going or someone else on the ship, which would have ruined the whole thing for everyone. I'm glad we seem to be getting the credit finally. It's entirely too slow processing things from PG/Ponant. It will definitely have us a little less enthusiastic about recommending the PG to friends and family, and will make us less likely to do business with Ponant or a subsidiary of theirs. Maybe we'll get over it since FP is so wonderful and the staff and crew on the PG are amazing, but it might be lower down the list of trip priorities for a while.

Hi, Le Soleal did not end up taking the Nov 11th cruise. Ponant had switched the sailing back to the PG. Then It was cancelled 😞 one week before we were to set sail. (AFTER we made final payment 😡 the week before.) We were very disappointed. 
I’m happy for you that you received your money back. 

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1 minute ago, jbmom2120 said:

Hi, Le Soleal did not end up taking the Nov 11th cruise. Ponant had switched the sailing back to the PG. Then It was cancelled 😞 one week before we were to set sail. (AFTER we made final payment 😡 the week before.) We were very disappointed. 
I’m happy for you that you received your money back. 

Oof! Sorry to hear that! Are they saying you’ll get a refund or did they push for future credit as your “only” option?

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6 minutes ago, Lord_autolycus said:

Oof! Sorry to hear that! Are they saying you’ll get a refund or did they push for future credit as your “only” option?

We had the choice of a refund, but decided to book for the summer 2021 & transferred the money to the new booking. I sure hope it goes!

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5 minutes ago, daetchief said:

Aloha all,

 

I'm pleased to report that PG Cruises electronically deposited/refunded my deposit for a cruise we were scheduled to take this summer.   It took ~40 days from request submission to refund deposit.   [Less $100.00 per reservation or $200.00 a couple]

 

Memory being a decaying condition, I'm pleased with this outcome, if not the timeline it took to receive it.  I'll monitor the boards here and possibly reschedule for 2022/2023 if PG is still in business.

 

This is from the 'other' thread concerning refunds.

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