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Catered Chalets with Good Cancellation Policies

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Don’t want to make the mistake of last season where we had to claim for a cancelled holiday on insurance (and only received the money minus excess last month), wondering if people have found any catered chalets for this season (March time) with good cancellation policies, eg they’ll give a full refund in the case the holiday can’t happen due to Covid. Mainly looking in either Tignes or 3Vallies.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@alexcarter, welcome to SnowHeads - try posting your requirements on the Solutions Room here www.chaletsdirect.com I’ve seen several independent chalet operators offering Covid assurances but, as always, the devil will be in the detail.
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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?
@alexcarter, The chalet holiday is going to be a much smaller market this year. Companies like Crystal aren't running any.

Stating the obvious but it's not a great model for these Covid affected times.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
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Snow Retreat is my go-to chalet company in the 3V: https://www.snowretreat.co.uk/
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
As an apartment owner, ive had many enquiries and the question has cropped up, what if I cant travel because of Corona?

Its quite simple, take out Insurance against it.

Of course the response is usually, my Insurance wont cover it.

Then my response is simple. Im an apartment owner, not an Insurance Company. If they wont cover it with their financial might, how can I?

Ive taken bookings on that basis.

What I have done is offer returns to those who have cancelled due to the Virus, who had booked in advance of the Pandemic.

And to that end, Ive had once cancellation, and the others have just moved their bookings, some to the summer which is nice.

I cant understand why anyone who wishes to book now feel they should be getting their money back because of something they know is a problem.

Can you imagine someone ringing me and asking if they can book to come skiing in November, but can they get their money back if theres no snow, and they cancel!!!!!!!!!!
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You'll need to Register first of course.
alexcarter wrote:
Don’t want to make the mistake of last season where we had to claim for a cancelled holiday on insurance (and only received the money minus excess last month), wondering if people have found any catered chalets for this season (March time) with good cancellation policies, eg they’ll give a full refund in the case the holiday can’t happen due to Covid. Mainly looking in either Tignes or 3Vallies.


cant happen due to covid is quite broad
Why should the operator be out of pocket for things out of their control?

Why should Chalet owner lose out if the renter gets covid so can't make the trip. departure country has a travel ban to destination country. destination country has a travel ban from departure country.
you pays your schilling you take your chances.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Mr.Egg wrote:
alexcarter wrote:
Don’t want to make the mistake of last season where we had to claim for a cancelled holiday on insurance (and only received the money minus excess last month), wondering if people have found any catered chalets for this season (March time) with good cancellation policies, eg they’ll give a full refund in the case the holiday can’t happen due to Covid. Mainly looking in either Tignes or 3Vallies.


cant happen due to covid is quite broad
you pays your schilling you take your chances.


True, i more meant if the FCO are advising against travel to that country. I totally understand companies not being able to refund just because a customer has COVID and can’t travel, but i think if the holiday gets cancelled i don’t think it’s unreasonable for the chalet to offer a refund. This is exactly what happened to our holiday booked for last march and the chalet company didn’t refund. I’m basically looking for companies that would refund if cancel this year due to lockdowns in France or FCO advcing against travel there
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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!
@alexcarter, I see where you are coming from although I'm not sure as a former chalet and until very recently S/C operator I have a huge amount of sympathy to your original question (I have a lot of sympathy for your general situation!)

The big UK operators seem to have decided not to, this winter, and so very many chalet providers will be smallish outfits with limited resources.

So, sort of, the question to myself were you to ask me for a quote would be, "can I get another booking with someone who'll accept the risk or who has better insurance?" I might - in that situation - consider giving you a provisional booking where we shared the risk, in that I continued to advertise and if I got a more risk hungry booking, I'd cancel you (obviously with a full refund).

It's going to be a really tricky winter. I think I'd be looking at better insurance if I were you, if such a thing is on offer.
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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.
Quote:

i think if the holiday gets cancelled i don’t think it’s unreasonable for the chalet to offer a refund.


Only if the chalet company cancel it. If you choose not to go that's on you. I don't see why the chalet company should be out of pocket. Even if the FCO banned you* from travelling, presumably the chalet could have been rented to someone within their own country.

If you are not happy about it, don't go. It amazes me how worked up some people are getting. Unless you have a terminal illness there will be plenty more opportunities to ski in future.

*It's worth remembering the FCO only advises. You are free to travel against their advice, and it is possible to get insurance to places they advise travelling against.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
boarder2020 wrote:
Quote:

i think if the holiday gets cancelled i don’t think it’s unreasonable for the chalet to offer a refund.


Only if the chalet company cancel it.

I think that's what the OP is asking about.

If the chalet company cancels it, he wants refund from the chalet company. Granted, the chalet company will have to file for refund from their own insurance.

The point being, if there's a full scale lockdown, the chalet company can't rent it to anyone anyway. So they CAN file for insurance claim and refund the money to the customer. Or they can choose NOT to file for insurance claim and let the customer file for their individual claim. Seems the OP prefer to just get the refund from the chalet company without fuss.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

I think that's what the OP is asking about


Not the impression I got from "I’m basically looking for companies that would refund if cancel this year due to lockdowns in France or FCO advcing against travel there.

I don't see how the FCO advising against travel there is the chalet companies problem. It doesn't even stop you from travelling there (although I accept things become more complicated).
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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:

If the chalet company cancels it, he wants refund from the chalet company. Granted, the chalet company will have to file for refund from their own insurance.


It's hysterical that people think that chalet companies have insurance for this. Or that such insurance exists.
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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
Quote:


It's hysterical that people think that chalet companies have insurance for this. Or that such insurance exists.



I have friends that run a guesthouse and the expectations people have for efunding deposits is unbelievable. People will email the week before their arrival simply saying they've changed their plans can they get a refund. If it was some life or death situation causing a change in plans I would have some sympathy, but it's usually not. I tell them they shouldn't refund, but they say it's not worth the hassle as it will no doubt lead to bad reviews online. Even though it often means a loss of earnings as it's not easy to resell the rooms at short notice.

People are clueless. They expect the accomodation to take all the risk and losses. If you are not happy with the risks due to covid either insure yourself or don't go this winter. One winter off skiing will not hurt. Plenty of the ski bums I know have accepted this fact and decided to focus on other things this winter. It's the 1 week a year holiday skiers that seem most incensed they must have their ski trip at all costs this year regardless of covid.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The OP is proposing planning for risks we all know are now significant. I think that's the opposite of "clueless".
Past Jan 1 litigation within the EU from the UK is no longer going to be simple.

I'm thinking that there are three types of holiday company:
  1. Those not operating because they can't take the risk of lock down costs.
  2. Those who have a history of full refunds last season and are offering the same now.
  3. Those who want to keep advance payments irrespective.
An example of (2) is Canada's CMH who offer all your money back if Covid stops play. How else would they get anyone to pay?

I can't imagine that (3) is going to really work for anyone.

Are insurance companies actually offering to cover this sort of consumer (not business) risk?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
If there is a full lockdown and the company can no longer meet the demands of their contract to the client of course they should refund. I don't think anyone would say anything different.

If the accomodation is open and their area not lockdown they shouldn't have to refund as they are holding up their end of the contract. It's no different to if you book a hotel and then your flights are cancelled. While the hotel may help you out as a gesture of good will they have no obligation to refund you the money. You would have to go through your own insurance, or maybe claim through the airline.

I get it, it sucks there is so much uncertainty and you may not be able to claim lost money through your insurance. That's the situation right now though. If you are not ok with it don't go.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
boarder2020 wrote:
If there is a full lockdown and the company can no longer meet the demands of their contract to the client of course they should refund. I don't think anyone would say anything different.

But the OP got burned this past season when all ski resorts were closed. As per his first post, the holiday company didn't refund and he had to claim through his own insurance. So one can't take it for granted for an automated refund. You can't fault him for wanting "better" refund policy than what he had gotten last season.

He maybe asking for too much to also expect a full refund when it's just FCO advising against travel to that country. But it's not unreasonable to expect a refund if the destination country/county are in lockdown and the chalet wouldn't have been able to sell the property to another client anyway.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Being in the mountain bike game, we fairly regularly have people fall off their bike and get injured just before they're due to travel out to us. Occasionally this even results in "Well, Bob hurt his shoulder, so all six of us are going to cancel." In such circumstances, we regularly hear the line "but it would be much easier if you just refunded us instead of having to claim on our insurance." rolling eyes Well, yes. Yes it would. Still not gonna happen.

To be fair, we generally have awesome clients. And they have been absolute legends through the whole covid affair. We're very lucky and very grateful. But in 15 years of doing this, you do hear every line at some point.
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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?
As nobody knows whats happening next week, let alone in 4 months time, the simplest option without playing the insurance blame game is just to sit tight and book something last minute.

Everything else can be managed fairly simply:
Book some flexi-ferry / tunnel affair.
Last year ESF refunded everyone in full, and you can book over the phone without downpayment for the coming season.
Equipment can be hired on arrival, and PdS is offering full refunds on unused passes.

So either:
- sit tight and wait until the situation is clearer
- take a punt but only commit a deposit (you can afford to lose) at this stage
- go with a company who commit upfront to allowing to to rebook.

Good luck finding someone offering full refunds who still has availability, as that's probably as rare as the proverbial rocking horse dung, for the reasons cited by many posters above.
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I've found a place that offers refunds up until the day before travel - though it's self catered so I can see why it would get more rare with catered chalets, what with upfront costs.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@alexcarter, As WindofChange said - book last minute - especially if you are looking at travelling during the quieter weeks.
You would have a clearer picture of how travel/skiing etc is progressing.
As long as you are flexible about which resort to choose you would certainly find something to suit - be it a catered chalet or self catering.

I have noticed quite a few smaller catered chalet operators are now offering an 'enhanced' self catering option - which looks a lot more appealing than pure self catering.
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stevomcd wrote:
Quote:

If the chalet company cancels it, he wants refund from the chalet company. Granted, the chalet company will have to file for refund from their own insurance.


It's hysterical that people think that chalet companies have insurance for this. Or that such insurance exists.


Very much this.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Very much this.


If the chalet company cancels the holiday, their insurance is surely irrelevant. They have not fulfilled their contract and should refund (surely that's not even a grey area)?

If the customer is unable to attend (for whatever reason) that is a different matter.
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