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HAL and Seabourn are losing avid cruisers because of refunds

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1 hour ago, funintehsun said:

I don't understand some of the posts in this thread.  Are some seriously arguing in FAVOR of misleading customers and keeping them in the dark?   It is precisely for that reason that this thread was created.  Several long term cruisers feel betrayed by the way HAL has handled this and will consider other travel options in the future.  Furthermore, they will tell their friends about it.  That's what happened with me.  When I told my non-cruising coworkers that I had to dispute the charge, the response was that it was terrible that the line was keeping my money to pay their bills.

 

IMO, the reason HAL isn't communicating timelines and progress is because they never had any intention of sending refunds out until the 60 days passed.  Which means that the "up-to" part of the 60 days statement was a lie. No one was getting a refund  before 60 days.  Charitably, they may have been doing all the processing and approvals in those 60 days with the intention of releasing the funds on day 60 but no one was getting them before then.  Of course this is all speculation, but that's what happens in the absence of information.

I think you may be correct about the timing of refunds and FCC.  There was a flood of FCC’s sent out yesterday covering a large timeframe.  A few have reported that some refunds have started to flow.

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. HAL HQ is in Seattle, which had one of the earliest, most stringent and longest stay at home orders in the country. Like many companies HAL has strict security protocols around financial data and only limited staff have access to be able to issue financial instruments (payments, FCC, refunds, etc).  For data security purposes these functions cannot be accessed remotely. The revenue accounting/finance team is staffed (like all businesses) to handle NORMAL operations, not deal with a complete cessation of operations and all the financial implications of doing so. Each refund and FCC have to be individually reconciled and requested which requires staff in the office. How do you do that when your city is on lockdown and very few, if any, staff are able to come in to the office to work?

 

i agree HAL management could, and should be more transparent, but disagree that the sole issue here is cash flow or s desire to screw consumers 

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3 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

Your solution is unrealistic and beyond the ability of the cruise lines to deliver.  

Of course, they are trying to get back into operation which is in the interest of all of us.

My solution is for them to communicate in a fair manner with paying customers and that's "unrealistic"?  I appreciate your opinion but completely disagree with it. Fairness implies both sides would or could treat each other in a similar manner with similar results and that's just not the case here.  I don't know how things got so sideways where people don't think they are owed being "dealt with straight". 

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1 hour ago, CruiserBruce said:

 

 

We have $16K due us. Yes, I would like that money back. Yes, I would like HAL to communicate far better. But I won't pretend it is all about me to the ignorance of what is going on in the world. Tell me any other business that has this situation, and has magically refunded all monies due, please.

 

Viking Cruise Line

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Perhaps HAL could say we are currently processing FCC’s for x period of time.  Then we I’ll go to the next x period of time.  The same could apply to refunds.  All could be done without giving a set date but people would know where they stand in the queue.

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1 hour ago, LMaxwell said:

Viking Cruise Line

About the smallest cruise line in the business.

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1 minute ago, CruiserBruce said:

About the smallest cruise line in the business.

Not the smallest, or even close, given the size of all their operations; but point totally missed.  

 

I feel bad for folks that aren't getting any communication.  You deserve better.  Even if you don't think you do. 

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Posted (edited)

A smaller cruise line also has a smaller accounting and admin staff.   

 

There is never an excuse for poor, inconsistent, or no communication from a vendor.  Especially one that owes your money!

 

I suspect that one of HAL's issues is their IT systems.  They can hardly be called user friendly so I suspect that their internal IT systems are of similar functionality and performance.

Edited by iancal

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Second, all your friends just assume that HAL is holding your money, to pay their bills. That means you don't understand how this business works. HAL had 100% revenue loss the day they shut down, and that loss is up to about 6 months now, with the shutdown to about Oct 1. Not only did they have total revenue loss, but they have to refund all that revenue. All the business expertise in the several threads here on this topic never mention a comprehension of the complexity of this issue, nor what Carnival Corp is doing to mitigate the cash flow. "

 

Lol, saying that they are holding my money to pay their bills shows they understand the situation exactly.

 

3 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Lots of assumptions here, and that is what is wrong with threads like this. For example, we canceled on March 13, early on in the process. So not many people are over 60 days yet...we certainly aren't. Cruise Critic is less than 5% of all cruisers, and how many of that small percentage are owed money? Can you really say nobody is getting refunds? And the vast majority of cruises were canceled after the shutdown, which started around March 15, so not yet 60 days yet. So, there is not clearly a lie.

 

I guessed you missed the part where I wrote that I was speculating. And while Cruise Critic is a small sample size of the overall cruising population, the fact that NO ONE on here has stated that they have received their deposit refund past a certain date is pretty damning.  We are only about 5 days away from the 60 day cancellation window for many.  If HAL had been disbursing refunds all this time, it seems pretty unlikely that no one from cruise critic would have received theirs assuming that cc members were evenly distributed among the general population.

Edited by funintehsun

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2 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

My solution is for them to communicate in a fair manner with paying customers and that's "unrealistic"?  I appreciate your opinion but completely disagree with it. Fairness implies both sides would or could treat each other in a similar manner with similar results and that's just not the case here.  I don't know how things got so sideways where people don't think they are owed being "dealt with straight". 

Communications are fine, but your demands for concrete timelines are what is 'unrealistic'.  

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I really have to wonder if it were not a cruise line in a feel good industry if people would be willing to wait so long for a refund with little, no, or conflicting communication from the  vendor or have sympathy for the cruise line because they need the money from the cruise they cancelled to pay for their business expenses and hence can give no commitment that I will be paid in 3, 4, even 5 or six months.

 

Would it be different if was an appliance manufacturer, and airline, a automobile manufacturer, an IT company?

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This is pretty much a First World Problem.   We're waiting for our discretionary spending money back from a cruise line.   There are people waiting for their first unemployment check to be processes after 10 weeks (Hello Florida), there are people waiting for that $1200US check from the Feds, so they can pay their rent, their mortgage, feed their family.

 

Perspective people, please.  

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25 minutes ago, iancal said:

I really have to wonder if it were not a cruise line in a feel good industry if people would be willing to wait so long for a refund with little, no, or conflicting communication from the  vendor or have sympathy for the cruise line because they need the money from the cruise they cancelled to pay for their business expenses and hence can give no commitment that I will be paid in 3, 4, even 5 or six months.

 

Would it be different if was an appliance manufacturer, and airline, a automobile manufacturer, an IT company?

Well, Apple and Tesla have some pretty passionate fans/defenders but I can't imagine anyone going to the mat for Whirlpool or Delta.

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13 minutes ago, slidergirl said:

This is pretty much a First World Problem.   We're waiting for our discretionary spending money back from a cruise line.   There are people waiting for their first unemployment check to be processes after 10 weeks (Hello Florida), there are people waiting for that $1200US check from the Feds, so they can pay their rent, their mortgage, feed their family.

 

Perspective people, please.  

Many of us who are waiting for refunds are not wealthy. Some may have saved up for years, or were making monthly payments in increments over time, or maybe chose a vacation over other purchases. Some maybe were working & now have lost their job & need those extra funds to get by to pay the rent. It’s not outrageous to expect some basic communication from any company that is holding onto your $. 

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20 minutes ago, kaiiak said:

Many of us who are waiting for refunds are not wealthy. Some may have saved up for years, or were making monthly payments in increments over time, or maybe chose a vacation over other purchases. Some maybe were working & now have lost their job & need those extra funds to get by to pay the rent. It’s not outrageous to expect some basic communication from any company that is holding onto your $. 

Totally agree with you.  This shutdown has placed everyone at risk of losing homes, livelihood and life.  Let’s put people above corporations.

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2 hours ago, funintehsun said:

And while Cruise Critic is a small sample size of the overall cruising population, the fact that NO ONE on here has stated that they have received their deposit refund past a certain date is pretty damning. 

 

I was pretty sure I posted I had received our refund and have several on our roll call but another is still waiting and had HAL’s insurance.  We all cancelled before HAL did.  

So, other than those that had insurance, we only got some back but it’s back.

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43 minutes ago, Crazy For Cats said:

Totally agree with you.  This shutdown has placed everyone at risk of losing homes, livelihood and life.  Let’s put people above corporations.

Putting people above corporations sounds very touchy-feely good.  But without corporations, the people would not  have jobs.   Corporations need people and people need corporations.  One is not above the other.

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2 hours ago, kaiiak said:

Many of us who are waiting for refunds are not wealthy. Some may have saved up for years, or were making monthly payments in increments over time, or maybe chose a vacation over other purchases. Some maybe were working & now have lost their job & need those extra funds to get by to pay the rent. It’s not outrageous to expect some basic communication from any company that is holding onto your $. 

If you had the discretionary funds, done any way, you are still far better off.  If you need those funds to pay your rent, perhaps you shouldn't have put it down for a cruise; you would have cancelled earlier to get your money back.  Just sayin.'  "discretionary" means not necessary for life's necessities.  

 

It isn't good that companies aren't communicating.  But, look at this:  They have been thrown into a last-second catastrophe.  They own probably millions of people, per cruise line, a refund.  Most likely, none could have not anticipated something like this and do not have the mechanism to do the volume of refund  business.   If you want, engage an attorney to try to get you to the front of the refund line.   

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At least HAL is offering refunds. I had a 7 week African once in a lifetime trip planned where I was flying to Africa March 25. The nightmare started the week before when G Adventures cancelled my 100% guaranteed departures tour and broke their contract that gave me a refund to offer me a one year voucher and Royal Air Maroc cancelled my Cairo to Casablanca flight and would not give me anything but a one year voucher on its airline. Then  Turkish Airline, Air France and Egypt Airline cancelled my flights. Egypt gave me a worthless voucher, AF refunded my money and points and Turkish Air nothing. HAL at least offered (and I took) the chance to double my money. 

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28 minutes ago, slidergirl said:

If you had the discretionary funds, done any way, you are still far better off.  If you need those funds to pay your rent, perhaps you shouldn't have put it down for a cruise; you would have cancelled earlier to get your money back.  Just sayin.'  "discretionary" means not necessary for life's necessities.

 

If you want, engage an attorney to try to get you to the front of the refund line.   

Of course, I was just waiting for someone to reply with a snarky remark about money... didn’t take long. 🙄 Thanks Dave Ramsey! Luckily I’m still working & being paid, but I do have compassion for folks who are not & need their money back ASAP. I’m guessing some retirees are also stressed about $ since the stock market tanked. 

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18 minutes ago, kaiiak said:

Of course, I was just waiting for someone to reply with a snarky remark about money... didn’t take long. 🙄 Thanks Dave Ramsey! Luckily I’m still working & being paid, but I do have compassion for folks who are not & need their money back ASAP. I’m guessing some retirees are also stressed about $ since the stock market tanked. 

They are a lot on here that will back HAL to hell and back. Bottom line they are holding money that does not belong to them. I was told 90 to 180 days from date of cruise, not when it canceled, which would be at least 90 from June 14 for me. Filed dispute with  card ASAP. I bet my American Express gets money from HAL sooner, they credit it to my account in less than 24 hours. 

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Posted (edited)

Don't confuse being a cruise line cheerleader with having good personal financial management practices and skills.  In this instance they may well be at opposite ends of the spectrum. 

 

 Really...90-180 days.  Who on earth would find that an acceptable response to a refund query?

Edited by iancal

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Sad to hear that HAL is behaving just like NCL when it comes to mismanaging refunds that are due to customers for cruises they canceled.  Had to file a credit card dispute as that is the only way to get our refund.

 

Based on what everyone is saying here I will not ticket a New Year's cruise on HAL for 2021.  We had been sailing on HAL for New Year's the past six years but no more.

 

HAL, like NCL, you reap what you sow.

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20 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

Viking Cruise Line

 

And how many ocean-going ships does Viking Cruise have?

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I have not seen this mentioned, but does anyone know whether the cruise lines have loss of business insurance which would cover part or all of these refunds?  Also, isn't a cruise line required to keep deposits into a "trust-type" account  until actually earned?  We attorneys are certainly required to do so.

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