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Refunds and cancellations - who have been the good guys?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
As quoted (Simon Calder, The Independent) in my previous post ...

"An estimated two million overseas package holidays were due to depart in the first 30 days of the government’s warning against non-essential travel, running from 17 March to 16 April 2020. They have all been cancelled – representing around £1bn that the law insists should be paid back to consumers."

Isabel Choat (The Guardian) chipped in, a couple of days ago ...
https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/apr/02/can-i-get-a-refund-is-travels-biggest-issue-coronavirus-travel-questions-answered

"Why ‘can I get a refund?’ is travel's biggest issue ... Customers are all asking the same question of an industry in freefall."

She links to an earlier consumer piece by her colleague Miles Brignall ...
https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/mar/30/coronavirus-travel-shutdown-your-rights-flights-tours-accommodation

"I booked a tour package, can I get a refund? In theory you are much better placed. If your holiday has been cancelled by the tour operator you should get a full refund – within 14 days."

Isabel Choat recommends ...

... you should keep contacting your travel provider for a refund. If the government acts on calls from Abta for the refund window to be extended from 14 days to four months, you will wait longer for the money.

Spot on ... whether your money is with an Abta piggy bank or some other 'stash of bash cash' !

[not to discredit (financially) Masque, who clearly has alternative beliefs, empathies and sentiments]
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think so. Had a situation where I cancelled a French hotel booking. It was more than 8 days in advance, so should have been without charge as that was the hotel's own booking conditions, but they would only give me a credit for the deposit already paid (just 40 euros, so no biggie). The email exchange was all in French, so my translation perhaps not perfect, but there was much talk of some "Official Decree" being the reason for not refunding.[/quote]

On 20th March I cancelled a mobile home holiday for July 2020 with Homair Vacances. I had paid in full at time of booking in December. I should only lose 10% of holiday cost at this stage as per booking conditions, but they are not offering any refund, just a credit voucher for full amount of holiday. I see information on new 'derogation' for companies here:

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/A13965

'Normally, the Tourism Code applies to package travel. It protects the traveler by providing for full reimbursement in the event of cancellation by the organizer and also by the client when exceptional and unavoidable circumstances arise (such as the current health crisis).

However, due to the magnitude of the economic risk incurred by providers in the context of the crisis and in order to respect the rights of consumers, the obligations of professionals have been exceptionally adapted by means of a derogation from the right to reimbursement.

How it works ?
The order provides that within 3 months, the operator must offer his client:

the postponement of your stay for a service identical or equivalent to that which has been canceled, but the price of which is not higher and which must not give rise to the invoicing of new costs;
or a credit note valid for 18 months.

If the credit is not used before the end of this period, the customer will be reimbursed for all of the payments made or, if applicable, for the balance of the remaining credit.'

Now I just have to cross my fingers and hope they are still in business next year.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
richjp wrote:
Well tif group can go on my black list. Their response below seems similar to others. To be clear, there was no advice not to travel when we left but we had to curtail our trip after two days in Corvara when everything was locked down.


So you entered into a contract with an insurer and their policy wording doesn't cover you for your loss. They are just going by the terms you entered into, it's not 'make it up as you go along' unfortunately. Unlucky for you but I can't imagine many (any) insurers would cover curtailment due to a Global pandemic. The tour op should refund you unused accommodation etc.


papajc wrote:
Nope foolishly paid on debit card.
It's a myth that you can only do a charge-back on a credit card. Your bank should be able to help you.


Mother hucker wrote:
@Masque, a great post from a great person. one quick question, how did such a great person end up homeless and on his back bottom twice with all the financial planning the aforementioned great person lectures all other plebs about?


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Who exactly is 'a dick' then?

Update on my friend (she is also a dick apparently) - she emailed the French apartments company who own the property she was meant to be staying at, asking if they had been paid by the UK operator. It was a simple question. Judging by the evasive / defensive response it would look like that's a "non". More digging to do but likely that the operator is sat on her money and trying to keep it. It's not about keeping someone in business who is otherwise going to be out of business, it's about outing someone who is behaving in a fundamentally dishonest manner. More to follow. Incidentally, Trading Standards are the people to talk to if the package Travel Regs are being abused.
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@Mother hucker, because it usually takes a hard kick in the (metaphorical) nuts to learn the lesson. . . . There have been lots of kicks . . . but so little learning Crying or Very sad
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@Masque, the core point remains though you are saying the individual who has not made adequate provision is selfish, greedy and foolish but the business (who ultimately is more individuals) that has not made adequate provision is not selfish, greedy and foolish. Hmm any hypocrisy ?
.
Ah, the objective/subjective POV!
Look I'm really knackered and rest time short so I'll try to stay focused. I'll not try to explain the monetary difference between 'service' and 'exploitation'.

It's simply . . .

Many of those who could have prepared for a long anticipated buttfuck didn't.
Most of those who couldn't have prepared for Shocked WTF . . . couldn't. rolling eyes

What we are experiencing is not some sort of economy balance . . . . it's . . . You, me and us having the opportunity to take back what it means to be a 'human being' Any of you assholes remember what it means to be part of a society?


Beyond angry
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@Pruman, if you can't or won't learn from your mistakes . . . well, where does that leave you?
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@Masque, You're slating individuals for wanting to reclaim/hold on to what is theirs in the interests of personal/family security* yet not a word of criticism for the tourist industry businesses that chose to operate so finely on the margin that many are effectively being proven to be a ponzi scheme where future bookings cover the costs of providing the existing service. No thoughts that maybe thse businesses/individuals should have built more of a buffer themselves?

*And lets be honest - most working people who do not have the benefit of mega salaries and bonuses don't build up significant buffers by allowing people to take their money off them for nothing.


+1 to your comments DotM’s. I live on a pretty small monthly wage by most people’s standards, save bloody hard for any travel I go on (I live to travel) and as you remark in another post I prioritise a ski holiday over most other items in life because of the sheer joy it brings me.
I’m attempting where possible to get refunds back wherever I can, for holiday’s and event tickets. My annual insurance does not cover pandemic.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@cinsha I totally agree - work hard and save to be able to afford trips and am currently very frustrated to be stuck between a rock and a hard place with no holiday - tho did get as far as the airport before Mark Warner cancelled.
@masque your insults and judgemental attitude is appalling - and I for one hope I never bump into you on a ski trip
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Cinsha wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
@Masque, You're slating individuals for wanting to reclaim/hold on to what is theirs in the interests of personal/family security* yet not a word of criticism for the tourist industry businesses that chose to operate so finely on the margin that many are effectively being proven to be a ponzi scheme where future bookings cover the costs of providing the existing service. No thoughts that maybe thse businesses/individuals should have built more of a buffer themselves?

*And lets be honest - most working people who do not have the benefit of mega salaries and bonuses don't build up significant buffers by allowing people to take their money off them for nothing.


+1 to your comments DotM’s. I live on a pretty small monthly wage by most people’s standards, save bloody hard for any travel I go on (I live to travel) and as you remark in another post I prioritise a ski holiday over most other items in life because of the sheer joy it brings me.
I’m attempting where possible to get refunds back wherever I can, for holiday’s and event tickets. My annual insurance does not cover pandemic.


Exactly. Businesses are supposed to take the risk not their customers.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Pruman wrote:
richjp wrote:
Well tif group can go on my black list. Their response below seems similar to others. To be clear, there was no advice not to travel when we left but we had to curtail our trip after two days in Corvara when everything was locked down.


So you entered into a contract with an insurer and their policy wording doesn't cover you for your loss. They are just going by the terms you entered into, it's not 'make it up as you go along' unfortunately. Unlucky for you but I can't imagine many (any) insurers would cover curtailment due to a Global pandemic. The tour op should refund you unused accommodation etc.



I don't need to be told that. I was simply adding my experience to that of others on this thread. In fact unused accommodation or certainly part of it was refunded.

I am not going to mention the TO as I do not think they are to blame. The whole region was closed which was beyond their control. It is not one of the big companies but a smaller company who I have used for off piste holidays for about ten years, as I know have other Snowheads. They may struggle if things do not get back to normal more quickly. On the morning we left, which was before other countries shut down, one of their guides said to me that he thought he would probably not be working again this season and of course he was right.

The TO thought that I should be able to recover the other costs from the insurer and I am sure they know far more about insurance matters than me, which in part explains my surprise when the claim was rejected.

I have informed the TO what has happened to see if they have any suggestions, but in doing so made it clear that I was not looking for any more recompense from them.

I know now that I may have to wear this one and fortunately it will not be a major financial problem for me as it might be reading other posts on this thread. I am not going to pursue this issue to the ends of the earth however if there is a way to get something back I would like to do so. In this lockdown period I tend to set myself one major task a day so that I feel that I have at least done something, so tomorrow I will read the policy terms in detail. What puzzles me is that if there is force majeure clause in the contract which there probably is, why did they not just invoke that?
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Masque wrote:
@Pruman, if you can't or won't learn from your mistakes . . . well, where does that leave you?

The trick is to learn from other people’s mistakes or, if you are going to make a mistake, make it a calculated one. If you are referring to my friend again, all she did was book and pay for a family ski trip. Not exactly a case of poor judgement because, in theory, there are laws designed to protect the customer. Sounds like your mistakes have been more seismic and maybe you didn't learn. And that's the thing about "I learnt from my mistake" - it's often the only thing left to be salvaged and saying it makes you feel slightly better.

Gerry wrote:
Exactly. Businesses are supposed to take the risk not their customers.

100% this.

Otherwise you get this sort of nonsense from page 1:

spyderjon wrote:

Mother hucker wrote:
Warrem smith Academy giving no refunds on cancelled courses

I've no issue with this. I'm assuming that WSA will have to employ their instructors under Swiss employment law and if this means they can afford to give a decent pay-off to their instructors and remain in business then so be it, it's what you have insurance for.

FFS people, the loss of your weeks skiing is a first world problem! Yes you've lost a week of fun and a few memories/pics but you've not 'lost' any money as you were spending it anyway - it's not like you're buying a car or similar were you'd have to go and buy it again. And not skiing for a week has actually saved you whatt you'd have spent on food/drink etc.

Just claim on your insurance and anything that's not covered just man up and suck it up!


Only flaw in that masterplan is that nobody’s insurance covers it. It’s up to the supplier to either deliver what was contracted or return the money. It’s a contractual matter not an insurance loss. And why should the customer need to know about employment contracts and why on earth would they need to feel somehow responsible for whether there’s a “decent pay-off” or not. They are business risks that the business owner needed to have thought about.

richjp wrote:
Pruman wrote:
richjp wrote:
Well tif group can go on my black list. Their response below seems similar to others. To be clear, there was no advice not to travel when we left but we had to curtail our trip after two days in Corvara when everything was locked down.


So you entered into a contract with an insurer and their policy wording doesn't cover you for your loss. They are just going by the terms you entered into, it's not 'make it up as you go along' unfortunately. Unlucky for you but I can't imagine many (any) insurers would cover curtailment due to a Global pandemic. The tour op should refund you unused accommodation etc.

I don't need to be told that. I was simply adding my experience to that of others on this thread.


You do need to be told that because you have blacklisted a company that appears to have stuck to the bargain - they followed the terms of the policy that you signed up for. It's like giving a restaurant a bad review because you turned up 45 minutes late with 3 extra diners.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Masque wrote:
@Pruman, if you can't or won't learn from your mistakes . . . well, where does that leave you?


clearly you never did, twice from nothing, once homeless.
Reading between the lines that would mean 2 failed business's or unemployable twice(thats if the homelessness is linked to one of the 2 other failings, if not then add that to the list of financial failures). Not really the kind of person i'll be taking financial advice from.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Warren Smith now letting everyone who cant claim from their insurance have a credit note for next season,
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thoroughly recommend >Arlberg Express< if you're bussing from Zurich airport to St. Anton in the future.

They replied, saying they would prefer to give credit for future journey but were happy to refund in full. I felt very guilty taking the latter option, which was credited to my bank account.

They run a superb service - I met them in January helping my injured mate leave Stuben early: hostess on the bus greeted him when it arrived (5mins early); helped him on board; sorted luggage & a buggy-ride at the other end... fantastic people Razz
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Pruman wrote:
... Only flaw in that masterplan is that nobody’s insurance covers it. It’s up to the supplier to either deliver what was contracted or return the money. It’s a contractual matter not an insurance loss. And why should the customer need to know about employment contracts and why on earth would they need to feel somehow responsible for whether there’s a “decent pay-off” or not. They are business risks that the business owner needed to have thought about ....


I've had this discussion with a supplier, who was openly trying to push the responsibility for their contractual failure to deliver onto my insurer.

As I self insure, I pointed out that "insurance" doesn't affect contract law itself. Unless there's something I knowingly agreed to in my contracts which required me to insure them!
It's manifest nonsense, and I doubt very much they would take such an idea to the local court house, once it reopens for this type of business.

I think the polite thing to do is for suppliers to refund, and most have done this.
It's also the only commercially sane approach. The alternative is for businesses to self-destruct. Now we all know the risk, and that it's not insurable, no customers will pay up front to a business which has a proven track record of sequestering those funds should they be unable to deliver. There's a reason Vail Resorts and others refunded without question, and it's that they intend to be in business in the future. Of course many of those businesses will fail - I'm sorry about that, but business owners won't get away with stealing from their customers to dodge that bullet.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mother hucker wrote:
Warren Smith now letting everyone who cant claim from their insurance have a credit note for next season,


Penny finally dropped on the reputational consequences? About 3 weeks late though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@philwig, Exactly right, spot on, plus 1, nailed it etc.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Received from Oxygene Val Thorens & Les Menuires (ski lessons booked for the whole family)

"Given the exceptional, sudden and unforeseen nature of the Coronavirus crisis, the French government has made a ruling (called ordonnance 2020-315) relating to services which have been paid for but not realised. This ruling authorises the supplier to provide its clients with a credit note instead of a refund, which can be spread over a period of 18 months. "

Then offered a credit note or rebooking within 2 years.

Not sure I'm happy with that as I'm pretty sure they aren't paying their contracted instructors - or they are claiming 70% of those wages from the French Gov...
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Latest relevant media on this (last few hours) ...

From the travel industry's point-of-view:
Travel Daily: pressure from the The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
https://www.traveldailymedia.com/wttc-says-only-exceptional-flexibility-by-uk-government-will-save-a-million-tourism-jobs/

From the (American, and maybe more general) consumer's point-of-view:
PeterGreeenberg.com: "Finally Good News on Airline Ticket Refunds"
https://petergreenberg.com/2020/04/05/finally-good-news-on-airline-ticket-refunds/

richjp wrote:
Well tif group can go on my black list.


This is what tifgroup have released publicly (20 March):
https://www.tifgroup.co.uk/business/case-studies/coronavirus-faqs/

What tifgroup released on 29 Jan - specifically concerning China - was interesting in context:
https://www.tifgroup.co.uk/business/case-studies/coronavirus-in-china/

Given what they say, I guess the obvious question is ... Which travel insurers are paying out, or potentially paying out, to skiers whose trips were curtailed?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
Warren Smith now letting everyone who cant claim from their insurance have a credit note for next season,


Penny finally dropped on the reputational consequences? About 3 weeks late though.


There was slightly more happening behind the scenes, which did i get informed of earlier than this morning but was asked not to discuss with anyone.
I would 100% book with them again. Warren himself rang all effected customers and PERSONALLY guarenteed their money wherever the out come was.
I dont know him but for him to phone up off his private mobile number and go in to great depths of the situation seemed pretty stand up to me.
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Pruman wrote:
... It’s up to the supplier to either deliver what was contracted or return the money. It’s a contractual matter not an insurance loss. And why should the customer need to know about employment contracts and why on earth would they need to feel somehow responsible for whether there’s a “decent pay-off” or not. They are business risks that the business owner needed to have thought about. ...

Yes it is a contractual matter. But in most current cases the failure is just as much the customer failing to turn up as the business failing to provide. Businesses had arranged, and in many cases paid for, accommodation, transfers, food etc - plus their own staff costs and expenses. Neither party is at fault, so why should any recompense be solely in one direction? And at a level that means one party gets fully repaid while the other loses money? In this sort of situation losses should be shared by both parties.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mother hucker wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
Warren Smith now letting everyone who cant claim from their insurance have a credit note for next season,


Penny finally dropped on the reputational consequences? About 3 weeks late though.


There was slightly more happening behind the scenes, which did i get informed of earlier than this morning but was asked not to discuss with anyone.
I would 100% book with them again. Warren himself rang all effected customers and PERSONALLY guarenteed their money wherever the out come was.
I dont know him but for him to phone up off his private mobile number and go in to great depths of the situation seemed pretty stand up to me.


OK fair dos. And the personal touch rather than a lawyer's letter goes a long way.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
ecureuil wrote:
Pruman wrote:
... It’s up to the supplier to either deliver what was contracted or return the money. It’s a contractual matter not an insurance loss. And why should the customer need to know about employment contracts and why on earth would they need to feel somehow responsible for whether there’s a “decent pay-off” or not. They are business risks that the business owner needed to have thought about. ...

Yes it is a contractual matter. But in most current cases the failure is just as much the customer failing to turn up as the business failing to provide. Businesses had arranged, and in many cases paid for, accommodation, transfers, food etc - plus their own staff costs and expenses. Neither party is at fault, so why should any recompense be solely in one direction? And at a level that means one party gets fully repaid while the other loses money? In this sort of situation losses should be shared by both parties.

ecureuil, unfortunately your logic is lost on many on this thread.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Mother hucker wrote:
Dave of the Marmottes wrote:
Mother hucker wrote:
Warren Smith now letting everyone who cant claim from their insurance have a credit note for next season,


Penny finally dropped on the reputational consequences? About 3 weeks late though.


There was slightly more happening behind the scenes, which did i get informed of earlier than this morning but was asked not to discuss with anyone.
I would 100% book with them again. Warren himself rang all effected customers and PERSONALLY guarenteed their money wherever the out come was.
I dont know him but for him to phone up off his private mobile number and go in to great depths of the situation seemed pretty stand up to me.

Mother hucker, glad to hear that you got sorted. I've known Warren for 20 years and not only is he a stand-up guy but he also has a reputation of being an excellent employer. I would have thought that, like many businesses in the UK and elswhere, that he had to keep his powder dry until he could ascertain what support package was being offered by the Swiss authorities etc.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
ecureuil wrote:
Pruman wrote:
... It’s up to the supplier to either deliver what was contracted or return the money. It’s a contractual matter not an insurance loss. And why should the customer need to know about employment contracts and why on earth would they need to feel somehow responsible for whether there’s a “decent pay-off” or not. They are business risks that the business owner needed to have thought about. ...

Yes it is a contractual matter. But in most current cases the failure is just as much the customer failing to turn up as the business failing to provide. Businesses had arranged, and in many cases paid for, accommodation, transfers, food etc - plus their own staff costs and expenses. Neither party is at fault, so why should any recompense be solely in one direction? And at a level that means one party gets fully repaid while the other loses money? In this sort of situation losses should be shared by both parties.


So when Boots tell me that it’s not their fault that the Phillips shaver that they sold to me is faulty, I just have to accept that I’ve lost my money? A very different scenario I appreciate, but it’s up to the businesses to make the customer whole first and then for those businesses to seek to mitigate their losses through their suppliers. Businesses are generally rewarded for taking risks, but must accept that this isn’t guaranteed.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
In the interest of fairness, I had a moan about Holiday Extras earlier in the thread, and how they appeared to be happy to take advantage of free cancellation from suppliers, whilst refusing to refund me, pocketing the money in the process. Now, I don't know whether it's because I kicked up a fuss, or whether they've had a change of heart for everyone in the same situation and discovered a conscience, but pleased to say I had an email out of the blue this afternoon confirming my non refundable booking has now been converted into a voucher to be used in the next 18 months. A fair outcome.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Its interesting that despite the general view that insurers will try and wriggle out of claims (a view I dont fully support) that TIF are talking about refunding premiums for holidays which are not being taken. There is a small fact in there which is that the policyholder has in fact benefited from the policy to a certain extent in that they have had the "comfort" factor of knowing that should anything happen to them to prevent them travelling in the period between taking out the policy and the date they were due to travel then they could have claimed on the policy provided the reason preventing the travel was an insured event. This has to be worth something. Many of you may disagree but I think it is an inescapable fact that most people never claim on their various insurances (house car travel etc) despite paying up every year.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I think the main thing that people are missing is that this event is unprecedented. Tour operators, hotels, ski schools and airlines operate in a certain normal environment and they and their insurers understand and can correctly price the risk of a given operator or customer suffering insurable losses which they must then compensate.

A situation where an entire airline stops flying, a whole geographic region is simply closed by the authorities and countries close borders and airports could not have been priced since it's not happened in over 100 years and there is no risk data.

So, expecting that in such unprecedented times that all normal rules continue to apply is unrealistic.

I think we are all going to have to accept that there is going to be pain and that it's not realistic, possible nor fair for all the losses to accrue only to one party. In terms of who are the 'Good Guys' it's a fair question - but it has to be judged within the bounds of what is possible. For example in most European countries a company is legally compelled to prioritise payments of salary to employees so if they are close to bankruptcy they simply could not legally pay out refunds if that prevented them settling their salary obligations.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Similar for me with Holiday Extras. Had a booking for a non amendable parking off site at Heathrow. They said vouchers may be possible. I cancelled and they said no voucher. Fair enough I had booked a non amendable or cancelable product. Then today got an email with a voucher for the booking amount, with no prompting from me.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
So today I reached out to the hotel in Austria that I was due to stay at from Sat 14 - Sat 21 March and asked the following:

Quote:
I was wondering if you had been paid already for our stay by our ski holiday provider ahead of our arrival, or whether that is something that you have to invoice the company for after our visit. It would be great to know.


Their verbatim response:
Quote:
Because of the official closing of the ski resorts and the special epidemic law which started from Monday 16th of march we needed to pay back every deposit and where not allowed to charge. That's why we also didn't charge your provider for the (non) arrivals for the week 14th of march 2020. No cancellation amount was applied.


So my ski company weren't charged by my hotel and I now have proof that the company has my money, as the hotel certainly don't have it. Yet my ski company are only prepared to offer me a refund credit note to move the trip to the same dates as next year or allow me to use the credit note against another trip with the same company and the same names on the booking next season. No option for cash refund has been provided in writing, even though the law and their T's & C's say they'll do that. By applying the law I should have received my refund by 27 March. Instead I got a refund credit note on 1 April (no joke) offering a credit note only.

Any suggestions as to what I need to do next to get this higher up the chain and see my money, that I now know the ski company have in their possession, returned to me?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Neilson won’t refund me . Citing ABTA recommendations. Have pointed out that ABTA are not law makers and Neilson are legally obliged to refund several times but it cuts no ice .Said if I haven’t booked a hol with them by end September ( which I defo will not have ) then I can have a refund but I expect they will have gone bust by then or will find another excuse . Would be good to know which companies have refunded for booking hopefully future ski hols ?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
clairep wrote:
Neilson won’t refund me . Citing ABTA recommendations. Have pointed out that ABTA are not law makers and Neilson are legally obliged to refund several times but it cuts no ice .Said if I haven’t booked a hol with them by end September ( which I defo will not have ) then I can have a refund but I expect they will have gone bust by then or will find another excuse . Would be good to know which companies have refunded for booking hopefully future ski hols ?


Get your bank to do a chargeback.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
After finally tracking down a telephone number, BA were great, refunding the money straight away.

Avis equally excellent in helping us, being really flexible and franky decent at Innsbruck. In fact, with one exception below, pretty good considering.

A hotel in the Tyrol were were booked into were less acommodating; I know its a challenge for hotels, etc, but we were telephoned up as we were leaving to ask if we were cancelling our non-refundable booking (payment on arrival) booked via Booking.com. We wern't (we were already travelling) but the hotel was closed when we arrived; they had closed earlier and knew of this, apprently, at ghe time of the call. We did wonder if this was a deliberate attempt to get us to cancel. We then found that a few days before hand, they had charged us against the Booking.com terms. Booking.com no help, telephone impossible and email/mesaging just reports that its the hotel responsibility,nothing to do with them and our messages have been passed through to the hotel. Finally spoke to the owner who suggeted cancelling and saying we would get a full refund as the hotel a closed, then emailed to say our booking was non-refundable....

Of course I can do a charge back on the cc, but the usual manual form to be completed after a wait of 28 days, etc.

Such a shame as we've seen mostly everybody being decent about the difficulties and challenges facing us all as a consequence of C19.
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clairep wrote:
Neilson won’t refund me . Citing ABTA recommendations. Have pointed out that ABTA are not law makers and Neilson are legally obliged to refund several times but it cuts no ice .Said if I haven’t booked a hol with them by end September ( which I defo will not have ) then I can have a refund but I expect they will have gone bust by then or will find another excuse . Would be good to know which companies have refunded for booking hopefully future ski hols ?


I assume it was a package holiday. You need to ask them to comply with legislation and not a recommendation. Provide them a reasonable time to issue the refund (48 hours) and state should they fail to do so you will be initiating a charge back.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@ptex, not sure if this helps or hinder but this site gives you the legal position in Austrian law. https://europakonsument.at/en/page/hotel-cancellations-austria
I suspect that it doesn't cover your situation but worth a read.
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Regarding refunds of UK-booked holidays, ABTA seem to be updating their guidance daily ... though it's still based on hopes of a government relaxation of the UK regulations ... and Simon Calder of The Independent has a story on this marked 'exclusive' ... below ...

ABTA - latest

https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

Quote:
We completely understand that customers may feel frustrated and concerned by the process of receiving a refund ... It is virtually impossible for ABTA to effectively police Members on coronavirus-related complaints ... If you are not able to amend your holiday to another date, your travel provider may offer you a Refund Credit Note instead of an immediate cash refund. This Refund Credit Note can be used to book another holiday at a later date and, in the meantime, it is protected by ABTA/ ATOL if your original booking had that protection ... This protection will last initially until 31 July 2020, at which point, if you have not used the Refund Credit Note to book another holiday, you will be entitled to a cash refund.


Of course, none of that actually changes the existing 14-day deadline which required refunds by 30 March.

Simon Calder - latest

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/package-holiday-refund-rules-suspended-abta-coronavirus-a9417261.html

Quote:
As the travel industry implodes because of the coronavirus crisis, rules on refunds for cancelled holidays are to be suspended ... Mr Shapps [Grant Shapps, transport secretary] is expected to agree to companies issuing credit notes enabling the holidaymaker to book a new trip within two years. Any customer who does not redeem the voucher can then claim the sum in cash.


Of course, any of that would essentially apply to travel enterprises whose finances/refund potential can be underpinned by formal relationships with Abta/Atol etc.

As Simon Calder reminds ...

Quote:
Until the rules change, a strict entitlement to a cash refund remains.


The Sun has published their take on these events ... in the past couple of hours ...

https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/11344204/cancelled-holiday-vouchers-refund-rules/
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
ecureuil wrote:
Pruman wrote:
... It’s up to the supplier to either deliver what was contracted or return the money. It’s a contractual matter not an insurance loss. And why should the customer need to know about employment contracts and why on earth would they need to feel somehow responsible for whether there’s a “decent pay-off” or not. They are business risks that the business owner needed to have thought about. ...

Yes it is a contractual matter. But in most current cases the failure is just as much the customer failing to turn up as the business failing to provide. Businesses had arranged, and in many cases paid for, accommodation, transfers, food etc - plus their own staff costs and expenses. Neither party is at fault, so why should any recompense be solely in one direction? And at a level that means one party gets fully repaid while the other loses money? In this sort of situation losses should be shared by both parties.


"customer failing to turn up" Laughing Really? Seriously? And no, businesses have not paid the suppliers at the other end. At most, they 'might' have paid a deposit but they will almost certainly get that back too. At the moment the losses aren't shared, they are 100% on the customer side. The status quo is achieved by simply giving the customer their money back.


spyderjon wrote:
I've known Warren for 20 years and not only is he a stand-up guy but he also has a reputation of being an excellent employer. I would have thought that, like many businesses in the UK and elswhere, that he had to keep his powder dry until he could ascertain what support package was being offered by the Swiss authorities etc.


The Swiss have a package of help for small businesses https://www.cnnmoney.ch/shows/big-picture/videos/coronavirus-updates-switzerland-2 - it's been there since mid March.

The real 'stand-up' thing to do is to voucher those who are happy with a voucher and refund those who want a refund. Out of interest, what have other companies like Snoworks done?


paul65 wrote:
So today I reached out to the hotel in Austria that I was due to stay at from Sat 14 - Sat 21 March and asked the following:

Quote:
I was wondering if you had been paid already for our stay by our ski holiday provider ahead of our arrival, or whether that is something that you have to invoice the company for after our visit. It would be great to know.


Their verbatim response:
Quote:
Because of the official closing of the ski resorts and the special epidemic law which started from Monday 16th of march we needed to pay back every deposit and where not allowed to charge. That's why we also didn't charge your provider for the (non) arrivals for the week 14th of march 2020. No cancellation amount was applied.


So my ski company weren't charged by my hotel and I now have proof that the company has my money, as the hotel certainly don't have it. Yet my ski company are only prepared to offer me a refund credit note to move the trip to the same dates as next year or allow me to use the credit note against another trip with the same company and the same names on the booking next season. No option for cash refund has been provided in writing, even though the law and their T's & C's say they'll do that. By applying the law I should have received my refund by 27 March. Instead I got a refund credit note on 1 April (no joke) offering a credit note only.

Any suggestions as to what I need to do next to get this higher up the chain and see my money, that I now know the ski company have in their possession, returned to me?


As I have said a few times previously, this is exactly what is going on. Most UK tour ops have not had to pay anything for your cancelled accommodation, lift passes etc and any flights will have been refunded to them - they are sitting on your cash and using it to run the business, pay themselves etc. So, next step is to advise them of the Law as it existed when you contracted with them - it's OK for Grant Schnapps (sp) to move the goalposts now but, as far as I know, the law that applies is the law that existed when the deal was done. I love the way ABTA and co call them merely “rules” and that they can be “relaxed”. It’s the Law FFS. However, because The package Travel Regs are a Statutory Instrument, Mr Schnapps can amend them without an Act of Parliament but I doubt he can apply the changes retrospectively. Anyone know?

Tell them you are doing a charge-back (and, yes, you can also do that for debit cards these days and your bank should oblige) and if that fails for any reason there is always moneyclaimonline. As most people will take the line of least resistance and accept vouchers, it shouldn't be this difficult for you to get your cash back.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Out of interest - has anyone achieved a refund from Skiworld for their Package holiday?
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@Dippy, We're awaiting a response from them.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

I love the way ABTA and co call them merely “rules” and that they can be “relaxed”. It’s the Law FFS.


ah - you forget that we now live in the Trumpian world of "alternative facts" Toofy Grin
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