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Refunds and cancellations - who have been the good guys?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Mark Warner have also updated their info - offering credits against future holidays. No mention of refunds
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Interesting. Would anyone here book with them today, knowing that if the virus hits them in the future you'll get a credit note, not your money back?
Does this not really mean that they're really shutting up shop for the future?
snow report
 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?
Sunweb appear to have "revised" their position in a similar fashion to Neilson (perhaps not surprising when one looks at the reviews they are both getting on Trustpilot).

They now say "If you are unable to find and book a suitable holiday within 6 months, you can request a refund from Sunweb. The transfer will occur within 3 months of the request for a refund."


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Tue 14-04-20 4:09; edited 2 times in total
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andy from embsay wrote:
Has anyone been dealing with Wasteland, the uni ski trip people? They’re ABTA members but have only refunded “extras” (which seems to be the security deposit). They’re saying (to a bunch of young folks who perhaps won’t argue) that because they’ve had to pay their accommodation providers they should claim on their insurance if they want a refund or (and this is where i get suspicious) have a voucher for next year’s trip - if they’ve really paid out all their costs then presumably they’d go bust next year if everyone went with a voucher? I’ve emailed pointing out the ABTA rules but had nothing back. Have any other SHs got kids in a similar position? Ta.


How was the payment made? If a credit card was used try a Section 75 cashback
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It was debit card so we could go through the claimback (or whatever it’s called) or our travel insurance, but to be honest it’s not just the money - but I just don’t really buy this “we can take you next year for the same price but we can’t give you your money back because our accommodation providers won’t refund us” line.
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Chris Bish wrote:
Man from ABTA was on BBC Breakfast this morning. The gist of it was that the law relating to 14 day refunds applied, but that they simply hadn't got the money. Might take 4 months, but all ABTA/ATOL bonded holidays would be refunded eventually. I am still waiting for Alpine Elements to refund.

snowHead


I'm having similar with Alpine Elements.

First response was contact your travel insurance - we will only consider a refund if your travel insurance wont pay

Second response was take a travel voucher or book another holdiay with us

Several fob off emails later

We don't have the money to refund you because we've paid for chalets / hotels / flights up front and need to get this money back first. You wont have a chance of a refund before July 31st.

Complete fob off - i would advise no one to touch them
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We had our Chalet booking cancelled by a company in Tignes (was accommodation only booking not a package) and they're quoting their T+C's that as it was Force Majeure they don't need to offer us any refund etc. Is this right?
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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!
@Tiddles, at least credit them with (eventually) a bit of honesty - you can't have your money back because they haven't got any!

The alternative for many smaller operators is that people take them to court, bankrupt them, and then hope the ABTA/ABTOT bonds pay out (which are typically insurance backed, they don't reflect a pot of cash retained for refunds, and my understanding is that they require operators to have failed in order to pay out). That will likely be a longer process than July 31st, and then you're up against an insurance company.

For the larger operators, any refunds for skiers will, I suspect, essentially be paid out of cash that's been received in advance for summer breaks. If the entire summer season is cancelled (personal view is that's a very likely outcome at this point) then those guests are even worse off because there won't have been much cash from 2021 winter bookings, so they've no hope of a refund. It's a classic creditor situation - only the first people in the queue get paid.
ski holidays
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I don't know French law, but just because a contract can't be fulfilled ("Force Majeure") doesn't mean that one party gets to keep all the money of the other party (you).

If you had not already paid, do you think they could legally force you to pay for this service which they
cannot provide? They're really just hanging onto your money because they have possession of it.
ski holidays
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snowdave wrote:
@Tiddles, at least credit them with (eventually) a bit of honesty - you can't have your money back because they haven't got any!

The alternative for many smaller operators is that people take them to court, bankrupt them, and then hope the ABTA/ABTOT bonds pay out (which are typically insurance backed, they don't reflect a pot of cash retained for refunds, and my understanding is that they require operators to have failed in order to pay out). That will likely be a longer process than July 31st, and then you're up against an insurance company.

For the larger operators, any refunds for skiers will, I suspect, essentially be paid out of cash that's been received in advance for summer breaks. If the entire summer season is cancelled (personal view is that's a very likely outcome at this point) then those guests are even worse off because there won't have been much cash from 2021 winter bookings, so they've no hope of a refund. It's a classic creditor situation - only the first people in the queue get paid.


But do you believe them - have they paid upfront for everything - normally the way companies work is 'do the job', 'raise an invoice' and then get paid 30,60,90 days later.

They will have ditched all the chalet hosts asap.

If it was right at the start of the ski season then yes i think they might not have any money but the end of it is when their cashflow starts to be positive.

Just the way they have behaved all the way through stinks
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Still waiting four weeks later for refund from Crystal Ski. Initially advised with receive refund in a fortnight... then by end of April. Still being patient.

My understanding was that they would pay the hotel etc after the holiday.

Appreciate they do not wish to go under but neither do I!
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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.
Wasteland have now moved on from “claim on your insurance or have a credit note” to “please bear with us it’s taking us time to get our money back from accommodation suppliers” - and a big quote from the Abta CEO. I have replied with a more recent quote from him where he says customers have an right to their money back, but also accepting it may take them a while to sort it out. We shall see...
ski holidays
 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
andy from embsay wrote:
Wasteland have now moved on from “claim on your insurance or have a credit note” to “please bear with us it’s taking us time to get our money back from accommodation suppliers” - and a big quote from the Abta CEO. I have replied with a more recent quote from him where he says customers have an right to their money back, but also accepting it may take them a while to sort it out. We shall see...


Hi - could you dig that quote out please - will use it in this weeks correspondence with Alpine Elements

Thanks a lot
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Tiddles, it's on the previous page

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=152222&start=520
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
thanks ansta1.
ski holidays
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Latest updates on holiday refund rights ... and experiences ...

Travel Weekly
https://travelweekly.co.uk/articles/367735/which-spells-out-agent-and-operator-differences-to-consumers

Which?
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/coronavirus-outbreak-advice-for-travellers/

MoneySavingExpert
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/2020/02/coronavirus-travel-help-and-your-rights/

Mirror
Coronavirus: TUI passenger in limbo over £5,500 refund for cancelled holiday
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/coronavirus-tui-passenger-limbo-over-21863501
ski holidays
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tiddles wrote:
andy from embsay wrote:
Wasteland have now moved on from “claim on your insurance or have a credit note” to “please bear with us it’s taking us time to get our money back from accommodation suppliers” - and a big quote from the Abta CEO. I have replied with a more recent quote from him where he says customers have an right to their money back, but also accepting it may take them a while to sort it out. We shall see...


Hi - could you dig that quote out please - will use it in this weeks correspondence with Alpine Elements

Thanks a lot


Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mark Tanzer said he was “very aware of the concern and frustration and anger that’s out there at the moment”.

He said Abta would take action against any member company offering only a voucher for future travel: “We absolutely reject the fact that firms should be denying their obligations under these rules.

“They do owe the customers a refund. The customer has to have that right. We will make sure that Abta members follow that rule.”
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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?
@Tiddles, many pay upfront for chalets, staff accom and utilities at the start of the season. Chalet hosts get about 100-200€ cash a week. If you think they’re sat on a bunk of cash you’re sorely mistaken.
ski holidays
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@Tiddles, yes I believe them (at least in the main). Unless they negotiated an unusually good deal from their landlord, the rent will be sunk cost, as will be their own operating expenses (keeping the company running from the end of last season to the start of this). Whilst there might be a small saving on a few staff wages, this will likely be eaten up by the emergency repatriation costs for staff and guests.

I realise that there are travel journalists who don't seem to read their own (or anybody's) financial pages, but travel is a low margin business with hugely seasonal working capital swings. If this had all kicked off 6 months ago, the ski travel industry would be close to peak cash, having taken in everyone's money and not yet spent it on operating for the season. At this time of the year, it's the opposite, all the money has been spent, and no cash has yet started coming in for next season. All this talk of rights needs to be grounded in the reality that the money has to come from somewhere, and it is unlikely to be ski holiday providers. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but it does mean you should manage your expectations as to the likely outcome.

To put some data into this: Tui, last year, made sales of €19bn and on a free cash flow basis, it lost €122m. It ended the year with more debt than it started the year, and was forecasting the same for 2020. Thomas Cook went bust. Both these events are before the impact of COVID.
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
All the more reason for those without s75 to fall back on to secure their cash refund soonest. There will be casualties.
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@r11s, and some of those will be holiday makers.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Tiddles wrote:
Chris Bish wrote:
Man from ABTA was on BBC Breakfast this morning. The gist of it was that the law relating to 14 day refunds applied, but that they simply hadn't got the money. Might take 4 months, but all ABTA/ATOL bonded holidays would be refunded eventually. I am still waiting for Alpine Elements to refund.

snowHead


I'm having similar with Alpine Elements.

First response was contact your travel insurance - we will only consider a refund if your travel insurance wont pay

Second response was take a travel voucher or book another holdiay with us

Several fob off emails later

We don't have the money to refund you because we've paid for chalets / hotels / flights up front and need to get this money back first. You wont have a chance of a refund before July 31st.

Complete fob off - i would advise no one to touch them


They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.
ski holidays
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Gerry wrote:
... They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.

Or less charitably, they've hit a cash flow problem, and they're trying to steal customer money to cover it if defrauding the customer's insurance company fails.

I'd say that if a company's directors are taking that path then they're likely trading illegally as they are insolvent.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
philwig wrote:
Gerry wrote:
... They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.

Or less charitably, they've hit a cash flow problem, and they're trying to steal customer money to cover it if defrauding the customer's insurance company fails.

I'd say that if a company's directors are taking that path then they're likely trading illegally as they are insolvent.


Do you think administrators would be offering refunds or honouring vouchers?
ski holidays
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philwig wrote:
Gerry wrote:
... They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.

Or less charitably, they've hit a cash flow problem, and they're trying to steal customer money to cover it if defrauding the customer's insurance company fails.

I'd say that if a company's directors are taking that path then they're likely trading illegally as they are insolvent.


Yeah but of course these are such normal times.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Gerry wrote:
.. Yeah but of course these are such normal times.
I'm so glad you pointed that out, I'd completely forgotten what the thread was about, what with all the Covid-19 stuff in the news.

If any of these companies think that some parts of the law no longer apply to them, that's not going to end well.
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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.
philwig wrote:
Gerry wrote:
... They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.

Or less charitably, they've hit a cash flow problem, and they're trying to steal customer money to cover it if defrauding the customer's insurance company fails.

I'd say that if a company's directors are taking that path then they're likely trading illegally as they are insolvent.


Not defending them (in fact not read most of the thread and so don't know who we are talking about), but on a technical point: My understanding is that it's not illegal to trade at the mo if insolvent. Certainly there is a revision to the Co's Act in place so that Co Directors cannot be held personally responsible for debts accrued if trading whilst insolvent. Damage limitation by the govt, otherwise too many businesses would be forced to shut.
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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
philwig wrote:
Gerry wrote:
.. Yeah but of course these are such normal times.
I'm so glad you pointed that out, I'd completely forgotten what the thread was about, what with all the Covid-19 stuff in the news.

If any of these companies think that some parts of the law no longer apply to them, that's not going to end well.


I think you're just being a say-as-you-likey from a position of anonymity in accusing a company of theft and insurance fraud.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
andy from embsay wrote:
Wasteland have now moved on from “claim on your insurance or have a credit note” to “please bear with us it’s taking us time to get our money back from accommodation suppliers” - and a big quote from the Abta CEO. I have replied with a more recent quote from him where he says customers have an right to their money back, but also accepting it may take them a while to sort it out. We shall see...


Not all travel companies are ABTA members of course. Alpine Elements are but Mark Warner unfortunately are not.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
ABTA is for travel agents, so Mark Warner would not be a member. ATOL is for Tour operators, and MW state that they are ATOL protected on their website.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Not a refund but an 18 month credit note direct from the Ibis hotel we had booked for travel down to the Family Bash which is much better than the 31st Dec on the official Accor email received a few days before that. This means we can use it all of next season. It's only €60 but better than nowt.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Ski Amis: I've yet to find out if they count as good guys, although Snowheads in previous years have mentioned them favourably.
Recently they like other operators have told punters to claim on insurance and when that fails accept a credit voucher for next season. I pointed out that my travel insurance (highly rated in a Which report) covers me cancelling, not them cancelling. All standard stuff, except that Ski Amis booking conditions point strongly towards a travel policy available from MPI Brokers. I guess it's expensive but have any Snowheads used it? I'd be interested to know whether it has paid out in the current situation.
As I'd still like to have the holiday I paid for, I've accepted the credit voucher for the catered-chalet room and transfer cost. I'll report in due course whether I get good value from it. Assuming I survive the pandemic, obvs.
Meanwhile the lift pass and resort tax (paid through Amis) have been refunded to my credit card after a few weeks. Ditto the equipment hire, booked separately through Intersport.
ski holidays
 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?
Another point about Wasteland - their bolt-on insurance doesn’t cover cancellation for Covid/pandemics - thankfully (if it comes to it) our family policy does - but it feels a bit rich that they’re pointing kids to a policy that doesn’t cover them for what’s happened.
ski holidays
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Hells Bells wrote:
ABTA is for travel agents, so Mark Warner would not be a member. ATOL is for Tour operators, and MW state that they are ATOL protected on their website.

I think ATOL protection only kicks in if the underlying business has actually failed. (And is then either "get-you-home" if already away, or refund/replacement if yet to travel).
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Gerry wrote:
Tiddles wrote:
Chris Bish wrote:
Man from ABTA was on BBC Breakfast this morning. The gist of it was that the law relating to 14 day refunds applied, but that they simply hadn't got the money. Might take 4 months, but all ABTA/ATOL bonded holidays would be refunded eventually. I am still waiting for Alpine Elements to refund.

snowHead


I'm having similar with Alpine Elements.

First response was contact your travel insurance - we will only consider a refund if your travel insurance wont pay

Second response was take a travel voucher or book another holdiay with us

Several fob off emails later

We don't have the money to refund you because we've paid for chalets / hotels / flights up front and need to get this money back first. You wont have a chance of a refund before July 31st.

Complete fob off - i would advise no one to touch them


They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.


as a consumer i never settle for a credit note; i do not provide credit to businesses.

Checked their accounts on companies house?
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After my dash home, I called P and O yesterday to change my April Zeebrugge to Hull for a Nov Hull to Zeeb. As my ticket was the most basic there was no credit if I had used it for the 60 quid Calais to Dover a month ago.

Called and it was changed with no quibble. As April is more expensive the guy said there was quite a bit of credit, so upgrade to the Brasserie for the meals. Still loadsacredit so the next upgrade was to a premium cabin and then to a premium cabin with a window. Still credit remained, dancing girls not available so he then added 5 x 90 min WiFi passes. By this stage we both had the giggles.....
Now looking forward to November!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
nugget wrote:
Gerry wrote:
Tiddles wrote:
Chris Bish wrote:
Man from ABTA was on BBC Breakfast this morning. The gist of it was that the law relating to 14 day refunds applied, but that they simply hadn't got the money. Might take 4 months, but all ABTA/ATOL bonded holidays would be refunded eventually. I am still waiting for Alpine Elements to refund.

snowHead


I'm having similar with Alpine Elements.

First response was contact your travel insurance - we will only consider a refund if your travel insurance wont pay

Second response was take a travel voucher or book another holdiay with us

Several fob off emails later

We don't have the money to refund you because we've paid for chalets / hotels / flights up front and need to get this money back first. You wont have a chance of a refund before July 31st.

Complete fob off - i would advise no one to touch them


They’ve hit a cash flow problem and are trying to settle with their customers without having to borrow.


as a consumer i never settle for a credit note; i do not provide credit to businesses.

Checked their accounts on companies house?


Nor do I and no I haven't.

They have given a date when they say they will be in a position to refund their customers. All I did was give my opinion as to why I thought they weren't refunding right now.
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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!
I love North Sea Ferries (P&O)-- my Holiday starts when I board... Smile
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
nugget wrote:

Checked their accounts on companies house?


What do you think looking at the accounts would achieve?
FWIW, the last filed accounts covered the year to April 2019 which was a long time ago.
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@peerless ploughman, you'll find from a quick search that MPI are very highly rated around here. There's a thread here about what they would cover:
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=152198&highlight=
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