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refunds v going bust

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
this is just an observation not a criticsm, on one hand people are saying they feel for the resorts as they are going to be out of pocket, and on the other hand that want a refund on their ski passes, if they were really that bothered about it they would let them keep the ski pass money, but at the end of the day its every man for themselves, its the same with the ski companies, someone on another post is saying they hope the small chalet company they booked with dont go bust over this, but at the same time they are applying for a refund, you cant blame people for wanting a refund, its just human nature, but just remember when your favourite little ski company goes bust, you were partly responsible, and dont get me started on richard branson asking for a government hand out......good grief.
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@compostcorner, tour operators selling packages (a package is two or more elements - eg accommodation and transfer is a package) have to by law protect client money until the holiday is over - they can do this in a few ways - bonding, insurance or by holding client money in a client account. In theory they should always be in a position to fully refund customers when holidays have to be cancelled by the operator. Small operators who fall outside the law because all they offer is the accommodation, will almost certainly face a big black hole in their finances right now because they probably paid for their chalet rental up front and many will not survive - that's because the last few weeks of the season and especially with a well-timed Easter, represents their profit for the season. A lot of people are saying to claim on insurance but I think the claims process will be protracted and probably unsuccessful in the majority of cases - if you have a contract with an operator and the holiday hasn't been delivered then the claim is against the operator because they are meant to have measures in place to protect client money. Some travel policies have decent supplier failure cover but not many.

A friend of mine booked a family holiday for Easter - he's potentially down by £5k. Much as he feels really sorry for the chalet co, that's a fair chunk of money to put down to experience.

I don't feel sorry for all resorts - Zermatt, for example, are holding on to lift pass monies and pointing to their Ts&Cs.

Richard Branson rolling eyes
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As I understand the problem for TOs is that although the clients money is ringfenced under ATOL rules they may still be on the hook to their suppliers.
I was talking to a small TO last year who had decided not to operate this season do to the risk of flights being disrupted if there were a disorderly Brexit. It would mean they would have to refund customers but would still have to pay hotels etc., They said this would bankrupt them, so they were better off not operating.
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My daughter's uni trip operator has a clause that says that they will provide full refunds if they cancel the trip "subject to the deduction of their (unlimited) costs" - so if they have to pay suppliers, you're claiming off insurance or your debit/credit card (which seems reasonable to me - insurers have made a shedload of cash over the years, now it's literally payback time).
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If the supplier/chalet/hotel has a force majeure term they won't lose the money as they are not obliged to refund, it should be claimed back on insurance or section 75 if paid on a credit card. @Pruman if your friend is properly covered the worse they will be down is the insurance excess not 5k
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@compostcorner, fair points. I'm sympathetic to smaller TOs and, for example, very small businesses with say 1 or 2 chalets/apartments.

I find it more difficult to be generous to liftcos. Many times in the last 30+ years I've experienced them keeping one or two token drag lifts open to avoid being officially closed.
Nevertheless I hope they are able to cope with this disruption to their income and that I'll be able to pay handsomely to use their infrastructure in future.
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T@PeakyB, pleasantly surprised to get a link to a form to get a partial refund on our Serre Che season pass.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
From the point of view of an ex chalet company owner, it’s a tough place to be. Most guests will have paid up 8 weeks in advance so the cash will be in. The closures from today might represent a fourth or fifth of your season and refunds could very easily mean your company goes bust, through no fault of your own.

If this had happened a few years ago the choice would probably have been, lose loyal guests by keeping their money or go out of business. Some people might be severely out of pocket and but they have lost a holiday not a livelihood.

Glad I am not going through what some of my friends currently are.
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@chaletcompanyconfidential, I am fortunate that our apartment is small, and with no forward bookings until end of June, I can probably just manage until the summer balances are due. But who knows what will happen when they are. Not every small operator has the cash or even the opportunity to be bonded.
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Hells Bells wrote:
@chaletcompanyconfidential, I am fortunate that our apartment is small, and with no forward bookings until end of June, I can probably just manage until the summer balances are due. But who knows what will happen when they are. Not every small operator has the cash or even the opportunity to be bonded.


Ski schools and ski hire shops in the same boat as small ops. Not bonded and completely able to provide a service but unable to do so.
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PeakyB wrote:
... I find it more difficult to be generous to liftcos. Many times in the last 30+ years I've experienced them keeping one or two token drag lifts open to avoid being officially closed. Nevertheless I hope they are able to cope with this disruption to their income and that I'll be able to pay handsomely to use their infrastructure in future.

But what if not issuing refunds, as in the example of Zermatt mentioned above, means that they can pay the lifties. patrollers, ticket office staff, basher drivers, etc for an extra week or two, rather than giving them notice tomorrow?

Whole swathes of businesses are going to be severely affected, with airlines, TOs and accommodation providers just the beginning. Leisure business, and travel operators will be next; followed by others who service all of those. Etc. Many will not survive. And if everyone tries to claim from their insurer, not all of them will survive either, as they probably haven't priced for a pandemic. The best solution has to be for the (financial) pain to be spread around everyone, by not insisting on every refund that in "normal" times you might be entitled to.
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ecureuil wrote:
PeakyB wrote:
... I find it more difficult to be generous to liftcos. Many times in the last 30+ years I've experienced them keeping one or two token drag lifts open to avoid being officially closed. Nevertheless I hope they are able to cope with this disruption to their income and that I'll be able to pay handsomely to use their infrastructure in future.

But what if not issuing refunds, as in the example of Zermatt mentioned above, means that they can pay the lifties. patrollers, ticket office staff, basher drivers, etc for an extra week or two, rather than giving them notice tomorrow?

Whole swathes of businesses are going to be severely affected, with airlines, TOs and accommodation providers just the beginning. Leisure business, and travel operators will be next; followed by others who service all of those. Etc. Many will not survive. And if everyone tries to claim from their insurer, not all of them will survive either, as they probably haven't priced for a pandemic. The best solution has to be for the (financial) pain to be spread around everyone, by not insisting on every refund that in "normal" times you might be entitled to.


Let's be clear that many people who have booked and paid for holidays, lift passes etc. are also going to be affected.. They will need the refunds too...
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Quote:

Let's be clear that many people who have booked and paid for holidays, lift passes etc. are also going to be affected.. They will need the refunds too...


This is not the case. Holiday expenditure is by definition disposable income. You don't NEED the money or you wouldn't have spent it on a holiday. It's obviously an awful thing to lose your holiday, but your financial position has not changed.

Resort business owners and workers of all kinds do NEED the money to pay their bills and stay in business.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
stevomcd wrote:


This is not the case. Holiday expenditure is by definition disposable income. You don't NEED the money or you wouldn't have spent it on a holiday. It's obviously an awful thing to lose your holiday, but your financial position has not changed.



aka "sunk costs" - whether or not you go on a holiday makes no real difference.
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It's not a good look for those in the trade to be saying their needs are more than those of punters (even if it may be true) You don't know the efforts someone might have gone to to fund a family ski trip at Easter say and the financial uncertanties those customers themselves face or whether their insurers are going to play silly bugs. Just as business insurers are playing force majeure cards, travel policies will be too.

Playing devil's advocate a business that won't even roll over a booking to next year and replan accordingly around it is one that is signalling its in a marginal position.

Now that said its a horrible time for all so everyone has my sympathies.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
stevomcd wrote:
Quote:

Let's be clear that many people who have booked and paid for holidays, lift passes etc. are also going to be affected.. They will need the refunds too...


This is not the case. Holiday expenditure is by definition disposable income. You don't NEED the money or you wouldn't have spent it on a holiday. It's obviously an awful thing to lose your holiday, but your financial position has not changed.

Resort business owners and workers of all kinds do NEED the money to pay their bills and stay in business.

What if the holiday maker WAS a flight attendant and is now out of a job?

The cost may have been disposable last month, but not any more. The refund may mean their next month’s rent payment or food on the table...

RIGHT NOW, it may appear the ski industry is more affected by the closing. But every industry will be affected by the underlying cause, the coronavirus. Just at a slightly different timeframe.
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A friend had booked through Air B and B (France) for early April and reports she received a 100% refund.
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@Hells Bells, good for the liftco at Serre Che for offering a part refund to their loyal season pass holders.

I have no animosity towards liftcos. Without them I wouldn’t ski. I’m sure there are variances in how different liftcos treat their clients, staff, suppliers etc and build up goodwill and relationships.

I know from experience that a few I’ve dealt with over the years have a very hard nosed attitude. People tend to remember that.

I certainly hope liftcos have put aside some of their past profit to honour contracts with their seasonal staff.
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We are in the lucky position that we holidayed in Feb so missed the problem. I always get a loan to pay off my credit card payments so would be financially down just a small amount, what with excess and interest. I guess it's all relative, people are going to get sick, some will even die, people will loose jobs, company's will disappear it's all very sad, but people are trying to help each other. Let's hope some good comes out of this and the big companies realise they need the small ones to survive so the system as a whole can move forward in the seasons to come.
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There seems to be an attitude among some that those seeking a refund are being selfish and greedy in so doing. I don’t understand that sentiment.
Most of us pay out well in advance for a holiday, a service, at significant cost. It’s not just throw away spare cash. It’s hard earned to provide a time of pleasure, relaxation, family bonding. A time to recharge before being back to the slog of life.

If that holiday or service cannot be taken then I damn well want my money back so that I can spend it again how I see fit to provide future times of pleasure, relaxation and family bonding!

If you are one who thinks that is selfish and greedy then you’re really not thinking much at all.
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jirac18 wrote:
There seems to be an attitude among some that those seeking a refund are being selfish and greedy in so doing. I don’t understand that sentiment.
Most of us pay out well in advance for a holiday, a service, at significant cost. It’s not just throw away spare cash. It’s hard earned to provide a time of pleasure, relaxation, family bonding. A time to recharge before being back to the slog of life.

If that holiday or service cannot be taken then I damn well want my money back so that I can spend it again how I see fit to provide future times of pleasure, relaxation and family bonding!

If you are one who thinks that is selfish and greedy then you’re really not thinking much at all.


+1

I also run my own business and had all my customers cancel for the next 2-3 weeks. That’s 150000nok (£15k, less now as the nok has tanked) of business lost but there’s no way I’m keeping payment or charging them of a service we cannot provide. I will most likely temporarily lay myself and partner off and hope for the best.

My Easter holiday is off and I will be expecting a refund, directly or via my insurance.

Keep safe everyone.
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My insurer, Holidaysafe, (#7 in Which list) has said that we are not covered for the loss of accommodation. Meanwhile, our accommodation provider, Go Montgenevre is telling us to look to our insurers - no refund or credit offer. And as for the smug Fitzwilliams who are suggesting that we are greedy in wanting our money back. They can do one.

Has anyone else had promising news from an insurer about accommodation costs?
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We have been told our Ibis Budget accommodation booked for our trip to the FamEoSB are transferable for 12 months.
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[quote="abc"][quote="stevomcd"]
Quote:


The cost may have been disposable last month, but not any more. The refund may mean their next month’s rent payment or food on the table...



They would have been in exactly the same financial situation if they had taken the holiday 2 weeks ago. The only difference is the loss of enjoyment of the holiday.


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Mon 16-03-20 12:55; edited 2 times in total
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[quote="Spoon"]
jirac18 wrote:


I also run my own business and had all my customers cancel for the next 2-3 weeks. That’s 150000nok (£15k, less now as the nok has tanked) of business lost but there’s no way I’m keeping payment or charging them of a service we cannot provide. I will most likely temporarily lay myself and partner off and hope for the best.

Keep safe everyone.


I applaud your attitude. Hope you can withstand the financial hit. Don't know what staff you employ, but what will be the impact on them?
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harrim51 wrote:
I always get a loan to pay off my credit card payments so would be financially down just a small amount, what with excess and interest.


If you need a loan to pay off your credit card, I would suggest you are living beyond your current means. Interest paid on the loan from this year could have been used towards the next holiday.

A slightly less extravagant holiday one year, with money saved on interest, would allow you to have a better holiday in future years without the debt.

Not rocket science. rolling eyes
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I paid for it.

I didn’t get it.

I want my money back.

I’m not fussed if it’s you or your insurers or my insurers who pay me but someone is going to pay me!

Don’t enter into a financial contract with me if you are unprepared to fulfill its terms. The same is expected of me. If your terms say no refunds then I carry all the risk which is fine if I agree to it. If I’m not fine with the risk I can choose not to agree the contract. If your terms offer refund then stop quibbling and cough up.

This isn’t the first time there have been extraordinary circumstances leading to holiday cancellations, if you’ve learned nothing from such previous circumstances you are foolish and should question your business acumen!
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Has anyone had any recent dealings with Mark Warner, I spoke to them this morning and was told that they're dealing with bookings in chronological order and could not comment right now, but i would be contacted either today or tomorrow to discuss options.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
the people who have saved up all year, and the people who can only afford one holiday a year will of course want their money back, and i am one of them, but in these situations dont we all have to make sacrifices, the worlds in crisis and still we only think of ourselfs.
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Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
It's not a good look for those in the trade to be saying their needs are more than those of punters (even if it may be true) ....


Slightly OT, but we've had major exhibition cancelled at work, a big marketing expenditure, and the accommodation has basically said 'tough sh*t, hospitality is bearing the brunt of this crisis, we may go under as a result, so hope you don't mind but there are no extenuating circumstances and we'll be keeping your money'. Our company can probably afford to lose the £1100 or so - it just means knock-on to marketing activity somewhere else in the year - but that's not the ideal response because I now won't be booking with that particular supplier ever again.

This is in complete contrast to our family holiday accommodation provider who gave us a full refund within minutes of asking and I'll be using them for sure in the future.

People (and their responses) ultimately sell things to people.
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compostcorner wrote:
the people who have saved up all year, and the people who can only afford one holiday a year will of course want their money back, and i am one of them, but in these situations dont we all have to make sacrifices, the worlds in crisis and still we only think of ourselfs.



No - this is a minor sideshow to distract us from the true horrors going on. But the behaviour of suppliers who want my holiday spend in the future will certainly dictate how I feel about doing business with them in the future. Pension I've used a number of times in Austria proactively emailed me without me enquiring to apologise that they had to cancel and that they'd made a full refund of deposit automatically. In the past they refunded me without quibble when I had to cancel with a broken leg (and I'd offered to let them keep it as clearly that wasn't their fault). Guess who I'll be loyal to in the future?
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Insureandgo covering us up to £2k per person with £80.00 excess, booked with Swiss Air, Bens Bus to Val d'Isere and Val d’Isere Location but not getting much back from the latter two about the status of our trip.
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brianatab wrote:

I applaud your attitude. Hope you can withstand the financial hit. Don't know what staff you employ, but what will be the impact on them?


Thanks, I thought that’s what any reasonable person/business would do.

Luckily there’s only two of us (joint owners) and the Norwegian government has introduced some financial measures to help businesses today. They will cover full wages for the next 20 working days for anyone that has been temporary laid off and that drops to 60% from working day 21.

Normally the employer has to cover wages for the first 14 days. This was cut to the first 3 days and will be a great help to reduce our costs and hopefully this will blow over in a few weeks and we can reopen after Easter.

Wife was also temporary laid off today and schools are closed, so we will use the time with the kids.

Wash hands and stay safe everyone.
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@PeakyB, they include cancellation insurance in the price of the pass. I think they may do it for 6 day passes too as long as it hasn't been used.
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It doesn't matter if you are insured or not they wont be able to pay out if they go bust, which they will do if every holiday maker and business make claims, it's hardly a licence to print money as it is, my holiday insurance is about the same as it was 25 years ago
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jirac18 wrote:
I paid for it.

I didn’t get it.

I want my money back.

I’m not fussed if it’s you or your insurers or my insurers who pay me but someone is going to pay me!

Don’t enter into a financial contract with me if you are unprepared to fulfill its terms. The same is expected of me. If your terms say no refunds then I carry all the risk which is fine if I agree to it. If I’m not fine with the risk I can choose not to agree the contract. If your terms offer refund then stop quibbling and cough up.

This isn’t the first time there have been extraordinary circumstances leading to holiday cancellations, if you’ve learned nothing from such previous circumstances you are foolish and should question your business acumen!


I'm with you on this. We did have a trial run - remember the Icelandic volcano? Who can forget? Cost me a few grand. Luckily it came at the end of the ski season but it seriously disrupted general travel and you would hope that tour ops and airlines learned valuable lessons.

It really is reasonable to ask for a full refund for services not delivered because you can bet your life the tour operator won't end up paying their suppliers at the other end of the equation. In any case tour ops are meant to protect client monies until the holiday has been delivered. That is either done by bonding (if they go bust), insurance or a client account.

Your insurers will almost certainly not pay out. For example, take a read of the FAQs from the Ski Club Insurance website - https://www.skiclubinsurance.co.uk/coronavirus-faqs/ - those words are not disimilar to others I have looked at today and in fact they are identical to some other products underwritten by the same underwriter.

The vital words are these:

Quote:
Am I covered for cancellation due to the Coronavirus?
Travel insurance policies have different terms and conditions regarding what is and what is not covered in regards to cancellation of a trip.
This type of event is usually not covered across the travel insurance industry for cancellation. This is because most policies have specific reasons for cancellation and the “fear of an epidemic, pandemic, infection or allergic reaction” is not one of those reasons.
We would advise travellers who have booked package holidays to a destination affected by the viral outbreak and looking to cancel their trip or amend their travel plans to contact their travel agent or tour operator in the first instance.


I have noticed that some people confuse commission-earning brokers (the likes of MPI, Snowcard and Ski Club) with actual underwriters. It's the underwriter who generally manages the claims either directly or via a third party claims company, and they call the shots. It's their wording and your contract is with them. Trust me they will only pay out on what the contract says, especially now! So the same merry go round happened after the volcano - some tour ops and airlines said "claim on your insurance", customer does just that and many weeks later gets declined only to have to go back and fight the tour op or airline.

So I say best of luck to anyone caught up in this but worse things will happen.
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The company we work for is effectively bust, they are paying us our reduced pay, but have no idea how to manage the rest, it was a bad season, then the virus panic hit. If everyone pursues refunds hundreds of small businesses will go bust. Next season will have far less choice and much higher prices.
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At least in France, according to the BBC, Macron has just said "No business, regardless of size, will be allowed to fail".

On which basis, it's the French govt paying for everyone's refunds. They'll take it all back off us in taxes somehow...
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brianatab wrote:
harrim51 wrote:
I always get a loan to pay off my credit card payments so would be financially down just a small amount, what with excess and interest.


If you need a loan to pay off your credit card, I would suggest you are living beyond your current means. Interest paid on the loan from this year could have been used towards the next holiday.

A slightly less extravagant holiday one year, with money saved on interest, would allow you to have a better holiday in future years without the debt.

Not rocket science. rolling eyes



Er yes, I live beyond my means, I have a loan for a house and a car! This year I could have saved £134 in interest on a tesco loan.
I would rather have my fun now thank you very much. If the interest rate was high I may well miss a holiday and end up spending the saved money on something else, but for now I am happy living on the never never. snowHead
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