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Refunds and cancellations - who have been the good guys?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
In reply to the OP....
The good guys... in general have been my non-arriving guests!

Guests who booked with us and had to cancel due to travel restrictions have been excellent with us and totally understanding of our predicament (as a guest house in Ski Amadé, Austria).

By waiting and chasing up insurance options many cancellations were able to pay their balances and received a refund of their deposits from their insurance companies.

We didn't send out demands (unless requested by the guest to get the insurance flowing) but all of our balances were due to be paid and locked in by contract.

Some guests have already booked for next Easter... hopefully we'll all be sorted by then wink
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
NickYoung wrote:
The stuff reported by the Mirror is utter bunkum.

To claim your refund is delayed because they haven't yet received the money from, for example, the hotel booked on your behalf, is just a lie.

Tour operators pay for your hotel room (and everything else), 90 days AFTER you have been.

They are virtually Ponzi schemes.


Now you are talking "utter bunkum"! wink In ski name me the operators that pay 90 days after departure? Maybe in the 80s and 90s and the likes of giants such as TUI but I can assure you that is not the case for the vast majority. I pay my hotels in advance - that way we avoid the overbooking situation as the hotelier cannot claim not to have received funds. We do this to protect our clients' holidays and we have had one overbooking in the last 5 years that I can recall. Honestly, hotel rooms, apartments and chalet rentals are mostly paid upfront. How does Tour operating equal Ponzi?

As @snowdave said it is "It's akin to everyone walking into their bank tomorrow and asking for their money". Remember Northern Rock?
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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?
Dippy wrote:
Still absolutely no sign of a refund from Skiworld - only offer of a RCN which they say has an ABTA backing.
Trying the insurance route - although it seems this will take a long time - now thinking should have done a chargeback on credit card!


Why insurance route? Why not issue a letter before action & go via moneyclaim court route? Cant see them wanting it to get to court & a prescedence be set.
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Eurotunnel Le Shuttle wrote:
we have listened to your requests, and made the decision to extend the validity of all of our Frequent Travellers’ tickets by 12 months.
I think that counts as 'Good guys'.
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@admin, most definitely.
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@Snowfinders, The Ponzi bit is where TOs are claiming they can't refund whereas the accomodation providers are also claiming that they haven't yet been paid. Someone there is lying and it seems pretty clear to me its not because TOs are providing safe custody of client payments until the service is delivered rather than using them for everyday working capital. Your sitution is clear - get the money back from your accomodation providers pronto so you can refund the people that you contractually owe.
ski holidays
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Further media reportage over the past 24 hours ...

Breaking Travel News has an account of ABTA CEO Mark Tanzer's evidence to the House of Commons transport committee ...

TANZER AGAIN URGES CLARITY ON TRAVEL AGENT REFUNDS
https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/tanzer-again-urges-clarity-on-travel-agent-refunds/

TravelMole reports further heavy criticism of ABTA's ongoing campaign by the 'Right to Refund' campaigner Kane Pirie ...

"KANE PIRIE DISPUTES ABTA'S CLAIM OVER CREDIT REFUND NOTES"
https://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?news_id=2042584

BBC News has a report on the long-established school holiday firm PGL, and their own controversial stance on refunds ...

"HARD-UP PARENTS PLEA FOR REFUNDS FROM PGL TRAVEL FIRM"
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-52565927
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!
ABTA is attempting to get the UK government to follow the EU Commission's spineless advice to EU governments to water down long-established consumer protection in order to help its members keep their sticky paws on customers' money to which they are not entitled.

This nefarious tactic makes a mockery of ABTA's customer-facing slogan - "travel with confidence" . It gives the lie to its website boast: "Our offer of support, protection and expertise means you can have confidence in ABTA; and a strong trust in our Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that you remain confident in the holidays and travel experiences that you buy from our Members."

Should ABTA now be reported to the Advertising Standards Authority and/or Trading Standards for misleading marketing?

ABTA sells itself on the issue of consumer trust, plugging it as its USP. See this ABTA press release from last September: https://www.abta.com/news/importance-trust

If any other type of business was trying to evade the law and keep customer funds to which it was not legally entitled - and probably trading whilst insolvent - the directors would face the prospect of being locked up.

ABTA is trying to blackmail the Government (ie taxpayer) into bailing out its commercial members - despite the fact that those members can already avail themselves of all the other COVID support mechanisms, such as furlough, VAT and rates relief, easy loans, etc applicable to any business during the current crisis.

We will recover from Covid, eventually. But as for ABTA's reputation...
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Many years go I used the ABTA arbitration service against a company that screwed me over (in my opinion), it was patently obvious that ABTA was set up to represent its members in any dispute, not the customer. Don't assume ABTA will represent you, the customer, anytime soon. It's effectively a Travel Agent's Union.
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This is our most recent communication from Alpine Elements. It seems we are compelled to give the company an interest-free loan until January next year. Unless we wish to book with them again, which seems unlikely.

Why are you not offering me a cash refund?
The unprecedented scale of Covid-19
has had a significant effect on the travel industry. This situation has led to an extremely high volume of refunds, due in a short space of time. ABTA has therefore changed its guidance to travel companies and is advising we offer Refund Credit Notes rather
than cash refunds.
Your
Refund Credit Note
will in no way affect your right to a cash refund. They simply act to protect your money under ATOL/ABTA until their expiry date on January 31st, 2021, giving you more time to decide on a new holiday and for Tour Operators to process cash refunds.

I don’t want to rebook, so when will I get a cash refund
If you do not use your Refund Credit
Note by January 31st, cash refunds will be processed on or before the expiry date,
in line with ongoing guidance from ABTA and the Govt.
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Have you looked in to doing a chargeback? Seems the only way to get these companies to do the right thing
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Snowfinders wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
The stuff reported by the Mirror is utter bunkum.

To claim your refund is delayed because they haven't yet received the money from, for example, the hotel booked on your behalf, is just a lie.

Tour operators pay for your hotel room (and everything else), 90 days AFTER you have been.

They are virtually Ponzi schemes.


Now you are talking "utter bunkum"! wink In ski name me the operators that pay 90 days after departure? Maybe in the 80s and 90s and the likes of giants such as TUI but I can assure you that is not the case for the vast majority. I pay my hotels in advance - that way we avoid the overbooking situation as the hotelier cannot claim not to have received funds. We do this to protect our clients' holidays and we have had one overbooking in the last 5 years that I can recall. Honestly, hotel rooms, apartments and chalet rentals are mostly paid upfront. How does Tour operating equal Ponzi?

As @snowdave said it is "It's akin to everyone walking into their bank tomorrow and asking for their money". Remember Northern Rock?


Big business works on 90 day day terms, but if you want to insist that, somehow, the ski industry works differently to the rest of big business, fine.

The quote from @snowdave sums it up...people are asking for THEIR money back.
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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
flangesax wrote:
In reply to the OP....
The good guys... in general have been my non-arriving guests!

Guests who booked with us and had to cancel due to travel restrictions have been excellent with us and totally understanding of our predicament (as a guest house in Ski Amadé, Austria).

By waiting and chasing up insurance options many cancellations were able to pay their balances and received a refund of their deposits from their insurance companies.

We didn't send out demands (unless requested by the guest to get the insurance flowing) but all of our balances were due to be paid and locked in by contract.

Some guests have already booked for next Easter... hopefully we'll all be sorted by then wink


I assume you mean guests whose booking you couldn't service, have left their money with you and changed to next year. That's great.

If I misunderstand you and you are crowing that you have kept money for bookings you haven't serviced and aren't carrying the bookings forward, then you should keep quiet and hope no-one notices.

I am unaware of where a travel restriction has come in before a business closure, in order to make it the customers insurance problem rather than the holiday providers.


Last edited by 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 on Fri 8-05-20 12:01; edited 1 time in total
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Imagine you order a new car. After paying an initial deposit and then the balance, you turn up at the dealership to take delivery. But your new car isn't there. The dealer cannot say exactly when he will get it for you, except it won't be anytime soon: maybe eight months, perhaps 18 months. So you ask for your money back.

The dealer shrugs, saying: "Sorry, I'm having a cash flow issue myself so I'm afraid I'm going to have to keep your money until I've got this sorted. But here's a Refund Credit Note instead. My trade association says I can do this rather than obey the law, in the hope that you will eventually go away and stop pestering me - or that the government will treat car dealers as a special case and remove your legal right to a timely refund."
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@mitcva, imagine the dealer bought the car for you, and had it on the forecourt, but the day before you turn up to take delivery there is some unforeseeable disaster (i.e not something insurable) that destroys all the cars on the forecourt. You turn up, but the dealer has neither car nor money. Technically you may be in the right to demand a refund, but trying to enforce it now will put the dealer into receivership.

What do you do? Insist on a refund right now - when they may be bankrupt and you will only get a part payment, or perhaps nothing. (And their other customers may get nothing as well). Or accept a credit note and let the dealer continue trading with the hope of getting a full refund in 12 months?

Okay, this isn't an exact parallel - but for some companies it isn't far off.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
ecureuil wrote:
@mitcva, imagine the dealer bought the car for you, and had it on the forecourt, but the day before you turn up to take delivery there is some unforeseeable disaster (i.e not something insurable) that destroys all the cars on the forecourt. You turn up, but the dealer has neither car nor money. Technically you may be in the right to demand a refund, but trying to enforce it now will put the dealer into receivership.

What do you do? Insist on a refund right now - when they may be bankrupt and you will only get a part payment, or perhaps nothing. (And their other customers may get nothing as well). Or accept a credit note and let the dealer continue trading with the hope of getting a full refund in 12 months?

Okay, this isn't an exact parallel - but for some companies it isn't far off.


You are saying the customer will get the car (or refund), later if they can wait and not demand money back.

That's fine (though it doesn't remove the right say, "well actually, I need a car now, not in 12 months, so give me my cash back"), but that's not happening in many cases - some operators are keeping money for services not provided and are refusing to refund, or even offer a credit voucher.

That's not acceptable. It's theft.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@ecureuil, Not the greatest analogy. 92% of new cars are bought on finance and car dealers finance their whole stock. The entire business is basically a finance business and the vehicles are kind of incidental. The consumer is very well protected.

For the travel industry this disaster was foreseeable and insurable (Hiscox business interruption for example, although they are contesting it and will lose, covers it) - There was a practice run with the Icelandic volcano, and SARS most definitely impacted the business in the far east. Holiday hot spot Dubrovnik was put out of action by war. Things do happen periodically, albeit on a less global scale, and they can be thought about as part of disaster recovery planning. I would expect that the TUIs of this world have that in hand judging by the way they spring into action.

I think people have genuine sympathy for tour ops, especially smaller tour ops, who were having to pay upfront for services in resort and got caught without a chair when the music stopped. On the one hand their money is tied up and on the other their own customers are creditors. Charge backs though will hurt them badly, probably fatally.

What absolutely nobody has sympathy for is the deliberate hoarding of customers' money - neither having had to pay for anything up front in resort, while sitting on the customers' full balance and not making refunds. That's patently dishonest and in the fullness of time the "who are the bad guys" list needs to be published.
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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?
What @Pruman, said.
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@Chris Bish, exactly the same response from Skiworld
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Dippy wrote:
@Chris Bish, exactly the same response from Skiworld


Martin Lewis (moneysavingexpert), is clear on this.

Whilst having sympathy for businesses, he says if you can't/don't want to wait for YOUR money/or delay your holiday, go down the chargeback route, but TELL them you are doing it first.

They may suddenly find your money and get it back to you and avoid the costs THEY incur on a chargeback.
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NickYoung wrote:
Snowfinders wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
The stuff reported by the Mirror is utter bunkum.

To claim your refund is delayed because they haven't yet received the money from, for example, the hotel booked on your behalf, is just a lie.

Tour operators pay for your hotel room (and everything else), 90 days AFTER you have been.

They are virtually Ponzi schemes.


Now you are talking "utter bunkum"! wink In ski name me the operators that pay 90 days after departure? Maybe in the 80s and 90s and the likes of giants such as TUI but I can assure you that is not the case for the vast majority. I pay my hotels in advance - that way we avoid the overbooking situation as the hotelier cannot claim not to have received funds. We do this to protect our clients' holidays and we have had one overbooking in the last 5 years that I can recall. Honestly, hotel rooms, apartments and chalet rentals are mostly paid upfront. How does Tour operating equal Ponzi?

As @snowdave said it is "It's akin to everyone walking into their bank tomorrow and asking for their money". Remember Northern Rock?


Big business works on 90 day day terms, but if you want to insist that, somehow, the ski industry works differently to the rest of big business, fine.

The quote from @snowdave sums it up...people are asking for THEIR money back.


@NickYoung The travel industry doesn't work like you think it does. I've pointed you to some clear evidence of this (the statutory accounts of Europe's largest travel operator).

I have little sympathy for the way some operators (including the one I booked with) are treating customers (i.e. not refunding me, or even offering a credit note), but our case as consumers isn't strengthened by misinformation and assumption.

It is my money, I would like it back, but I recognise the money isn't there in many cases. Assuming it is, and therefore wasting months going through a legal process, which the operator might then dispute, leaving you even more out of pocket (MCOL costs are only low if you win quickly!) and potentially timing out on chargebacks and insurance, could be a very poor decision.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
If the big tourist companies don't work on 90 day terms, then they are just about the only industry that doesn't.

Regardless, it does not change the fact that no stalling or mis-information regarding T&Cs, the law is, unequivocally, on the customers side.

If the operator disputes, it will be them losing even more money.

Some operators, large and small, are clearly being dishonest and unlawful and their business practices are being called into question.
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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!
And for context, I am carrying over a £1500 Disneyland Paris holiday to next Summer, rather than take a refund.

Ironically, Disney are abundantly clear - if you want a refund, you can have a refund - no restrictive time frames, or delay.
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Scam wrote:
It's been a while since I checked in here. Has anyone got anywhere with Snowchateaux regarding lift pass/ski hire refunds? They were promised straight away but we've received nothing. As I paid by Visa debit card I am going to call my bank today and get them on the case. I can't be faffed with delay tactics any more, I've got plenty of other things on my plate. It's not like Snowchateaux are refunding accommodation costs anyway rolling eyes ; they shouldn't have any problems refunding money for ski hire etc.


Having unfortunately worked for them in the past I'd recommend leaving a review on Facebook if you want to get anywhere. There had been staff that hadn't been paid this week and as soon as they started to get bad reviews on their they paid up.

I've also noticed that they are selling a lot of items off on the local Facebook groups so I wouldn't be surprised if they're not be around much longer so I wouldn't hang around.

I'll say it again they really don't like bad feedback on their Facebook page and will do anything to protect it, so if you can get the rest of your party to put up a review also.

Hope this helps and you get your money back soon.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
NickYoung wrote:
If the big tourist companies don't work on 90 day terms, then they are just about the only industry that doesn't.

Regardless, it does not change the fact that no stalling or mis-information regarding T&Cs, the law is, unequivocally, on the customers side.

If the operator disputes, it will be them losing even more money.

Some operators, large and small, are clearly being dishonest and unlawful and their business practices are being called into question.

I work in "big industry". Our payment terms are generally 30 days.
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Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?
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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.
Quote:

ine the dealer bought the car for you, and had it on the forecourt, but the day before you turn up to take delivery there is some unforeseeable disaster (i.e not something insurable)
I’m not sure I have the hang of
This quote selection. The Wimbledon Championships have insurance for global pandemic. It was therefor neither unpredictable nor uninsurable.
We were due to go to Spain for the F1 this weekend. On The Beach returned our money for accommodation and transfers 2 weeks after Ryanair cancelled the flight. How last long it will be until Ryanair may return the money for flight is another question but On The Beach will pass it on as soon as they receive it. On The Beach will get my business if they survive this.
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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
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.
ski holidays
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
marcellus wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.

That makes sense to me. I was countering the suggestion that paying 90 days in arrears was normal in "big business".
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More media and trade updates on this ...

From Ireland ... Independent.ie

"STATE TO GUARANTEE REFUNDS FOR HOLIDAY-MAKERS AS MINISTERS APPROVE SUPPORT FOR TRAVEL AGENTS"
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/state-to-guarantee-refunds-for-holiday-makers-as-ministers-approve-support-for-travel-agents-39191758.html

Quote:

THE government has approved proposals to support coronavirus-hit travel agents.
Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Shane Ross brought the plans to protect the travel trade industry to Cabinet.
The help is to come as a State guarantee in the form of a refund credit note for package holidays booked though Irish-registered travel agents and tour operations.


Which?

"TRAVEL AGENTS CHARGING TO PROCESS CORONAVIRUS REFUNDS
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/05/travel-agents-charging-to-process-coronavirus-flight-refunds/ - Which?

The Travel Journalist

"ABTA TELLS GOVERNMENT IT SHOULD REFUND HOLIDAYS TO SAVE COMPANIES FROM COLLAPSE"
https://thetraveljournalist.co.uk/abta-tells-government-it-should-refund-holidays-to-save-companies-from-collapse/

Quote:
Of particular concern is that the Civil Aviation Authority, which provides financial protection for holidays, has never confirmed ABTA’s claim that Refund Credit Notes will have the same protection as holidays, leaving holidaymakers understandably concerned that if a travel company goes bust, they’ll be left holding a worthless piece of paper.


"YOUR HOLIDAY BALANCE IS DUE, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?"
https://thetraveljournalist.co.uk/your-holiday-balance-is-due-what-should-you-do/
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
marcellus wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.


I'm not buying that at all.

However, even under those circumstances, the liability lies with the provider, not the customer.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
marcellus wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.


I'm not buying that at all.

However, even under those circumstances, the liability lies with the provider, not the customer.
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?
@NickYoung, I think @marcellus (given his business) would know...are a chalet operator?
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Stumbled on this.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/start-storm-uk-travel-industry-kane-pirie
ski holidays
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
marcellus wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.


That means that by mid March, the time at which the music stopped, they no longer have those fixed costs to pay and therefore the customers' funds should still be intact, especially for a trip not scheduled to commence until April.

Other operators who rent apartments and hotel rooms do not pay for them up front (unless their previous payment history stinks of course). If the room/apartment isn't utilised there is no bill. They have contracts with suppliers that mean they can give back room allocations depending on demand.

Companies are either solvent, in which case they should be able to meet their liabilities and make refunds, or they are insolvent, in which case the Directors need to think hard about their fiduciary duties. Directors of companies who pay themselves in preference to their creditors (in this case it'll be their own customers) are breaking company law.
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NickYoung wrote:
marcellus wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.


I'm not buying that at all.

However, even under those circumstances, the liability lies with the provider, not the customer.


I'm not commenting on liability, refunds etc (deliberately so given my business) just correcting some incorrect assumptions being made, but I would be interested to learn of your expertise in the market that give you grounds to reject my correction.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
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@mitcva, thanks for the link. Very interesting.
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!
Pruman wrote:
marcellus wrote:
NickYoung wrote:
Super.

So if operators are paying their accounts on 30 days terms, where was the people's money, who had paid up front, 10 weeks ahead of travel and have not received the service/product they have paid for?


Operators usually have to pay the majority of their fixed costs (ie the rent of the chalet) in advance of the season starting not 30 days after delivery/invoice in the same way that "big businesses" do that I suspect sugarmoma666 was referring to.

Usually they will have paid the Balance of the Full seasons Rent mid September, which will be before pretty much every tourist will have paid for the balance of their holiday.


That means that by mid March, the time at which the music stopped, they no longer have those fixed costs to pay and therefore the customers' funds should still be intact, especially for a trip not scheduled to commence until April.

Other operators who rent apartments and hotel rooms do not pay for them up front (unless their previous payment history stinks of course). If the room/apartment isn't utilised there is no bill. They have contracts with suppliers that mean they can give back room allocations depending on demand.

Companies are either solvent, in which case they should be able to meet their liabilities and make refunds, or they are insolvent, in which case the Directors need to think hard about their fiduciary duties. Directors of companies who pay themselves in preference to their creditors (in this case it'll be their own customers) are breaking company law.


Often it's the last 4/6 weeks of the season where and operator makes a profit so if the last 4/6 weeks don't happen the operator is likely to cover their seasons costs but has no profit from the season, therefore no cash left in the bank.
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@marcellus, even from my own very small point of view, March and Easter bookings are used to pay my bills until the summer season bookings start to come in. With nothing left, and no chance yet of collecting Summer balances, it may start to look a bit tricky come June.
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All these businesses saying "we're keeping your money for services we haven't provided, because otherwise we won't have any money".

On what planet do you think it's ok?

It's not your money.

Use YOUR insurance.
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