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Cancellation of booked trips

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Indah, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Indah

    Indah Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Weda, Lembeh and Rao Morotai
    I replied this in another thread. But then decide to make a separate thread and I edited it a little bit. I was shocked by the very agressive reply from a guests who has to cancel his reservation with us.

    Although I think that the real crisis is about life and death, About fear and losing millions of people. I still want to say something about cancelation policy. For many live aboards and resorts it will be extremely difficult not to go out of business for ever. This will not be over in some weeks. The money received for these booked trips is often already spent. Or have to be spend on salaries and other costs. How to finance future trips if they have to be offered as a compensation for a missed trip, without payment? Getting a loan from the bank is practically impossible here in Indonesia. And even if you can, the interest is more than 15%. Employees do not have any social security from the government. They fully depend on their employers. One employee is often taking care of many family members. They pay their costs of living and education. A cancelled holiday is no fun, but not a disaster. But food and a roof are essential.

    We offer: I"n case your insurance does not cover it, the best thing we can offer you is that we keep the payment you made as a credit for a future reservation. But it cannot be used for more than 50% of the final bill.
    Although in our cancellation policy it is very clear stated there can be no refund of a discounted prepayment, whatever the conditions are.

    To confirm your booking you only have to provide us with your full name(s) and a copy of your confirmed flight itinerary.
    Payment can be done at the end of your stay, by internet banking, cash*, debit card or credit card.
    Payment can also be done in advance. If you want to prepay, we offer you a 10% discount on the part of your reservation you pay in advance. This discount is not valid for the transfers by boat, car and airplane. To receive the 10% discount, you have to ask for this when you make the reservation and let us know which part of your booking you want to prepay. We will send you an invoice promptly and the invoice must been paid within 1 week after receiving your invoice. For any reservation made shorter than 30 days before your arrival date, we cannot offer this discount. By paying when you make your reservation you exclude also possible negative fluctuations in the exchange rates. Please note that there is no refund at all of this amount in case you cancel your trip, for whatever reason. Please note that we release temporary reservations after 7 days if we did not receive a copy of your tickets or a payment.

    We, all the families and school kids depending on our resorts and foundation, hope we may welcome you in very near future. And we think you will understand that our main concern at the moment is to take care of food (not salaries) of the families of our staff. Wish you all the strenght you need the coming time.
  2. chris kippax

    chris kippax Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    I find this policy strange and a deal breaker,
    If I paid $4000 for a trip and get a credit I expect to be able to use that $4000 in whole regardless of the final cost of the stay. Not pay $6000 for a $4000 holiday. Especially if the trip cancellation was out of my control.

    ppina and markmud like this.
  3. CWK

    CWK Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Probably on a LOB somewhere
    To me, if any diver has paid for a trip at a resort or LOB, then there is a contract between the diver and resort/LOB for the performance of services. If covid-19 travel bans make it impossible for the trip to take place, then the trip is not cancelled, but the contract between the diver and the resort/LOB has been frustrated. In general simplistic terms, a frustrated contract can be viewed as one that cannot be performed.

    From Frustration of Contract: Law, Discharge & Consequences | Solicitors London
    When customers have prepaid for products or services, English law in some circumstances requires the contractor (or consultant service provider, or supplier of a product) to refund prepayments of money for the performance the contract.

    I suspect that international law would be similar to English law. I am not a lawyer, perhaps a lawyer can chime in.
    markmud and rongoodman like this.
  4. BigJeff

    BigJeff Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Wales
    This is going to be a tough period for resorts and customers alike, at a minimum for the next few months.

    I guess it will be up to resorts/boats to come up with their own policies on the Covid-19 situation that will influence customer satisfaction. Everything from sticking to their original cancellation policy to (hopefully) a suitable compromise.

    As someone living in the UK I have just been hit with a global non-essential travel ban (was due to travel on Friday 20th March).

    I am still dealing with the airlines and don't expect an answer soon as they are all mega busy.
    However I have been lucky with my booked resorts close to Manado as they have both offered a re-booking voucher valid for a year, something I consider to be a fair compromise.
  5. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    We need to think. Don't we want a hotel or resort to be open the next time we're actually able to visit them?

    What's a compromise that you can accept?
  6. markmud

    markmud Self Reliant Diver--On All Dives.

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: South Lebanon, Ohio
    Hi chilly,

    I wish you would give your opinion on this.

    Here is what I think is fair, ethical, and meets the general gist of contract law:
    1. A reservation that is cancelled more that 6 weeks out should be refunded in full.
      1. Although, a booking fee could be charged of no more than 300 dollars or 10%, whichever is less.
    2. A reservation that is less than 6 weeks out, and cancelled because of a pandemic, like we have here, than a voucher could be offered for future use or a full refund less a booking and overhead fee or no more than 10%.
      1. If a voucher is offered than a rebooking fee may be applied. But it should be no more than $300 or 10%, whichever is less.
        1. If a resort or LOB offers a voucher with a rebooking fee, they should offer a freebie for the trip. Like free nitrox or a free drink package. There should be some give and take.
    I am willing to pony-up for the industry. And I think it is ethical to charge a modest booking fee for these cancelled reservations.

    Forcing someone to pay $6,000 for a $4,000 trip is ridiculous, even though the trip is postponed. We are all being harmed by this virus, in one way or another, even customers. Customers who can't show-up for a reservation, because of a pandemic, should not be forced to keep a business solvent.

    In the U.S. we have politicians and bureaucrats who are violating civil liberties and now habeas corpus. Our federal courts have vowed to stay open for these cases to be heard. In our country, if federal courts are decreed closed, it is de facto martial law. We all have skin in this deadly game.

    MrBigfins and Indah like this.
  7. chris kippax

    chris kippax Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Australia
    Personally I put money away for tough times, i try to have enough so I could not work for a lengthy period . I would hope any profitable business would attempt something similar. If I pay a business $4000 I expect $4000 worth. If someone pays me $4000 I give them what they are owed.
    MrBigfins and markmud like this.
  8. CWK

    CWK Contributor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Probably on a LOB somewhere
    In general, I happy to accept a 100% credit for a future trip, as opposed to a full refund. The resort/LOB can use the funds to tide them over.

    Let us not forget that governments will come out with bailout plans for affected sectors of their economies.
  9. Indah

    Indah Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Weda, Lembeh and Rao Morotai

    Maybe I miss some points. Thoughts on this welcome. Times are pretty hectic for everybody and I might follow the wrong logic. This is stated on the invoice and website: By using the possibility of pre-payment with a discount of 10% on the pre-booked part of your booking, you waive the right to cancel with reimbursement of the full or partial amount paid. If you cancel everything or part of your booking, for whatever reason there is no refund.

    Email from a customer: I do not understand in the slightest but you are being perfectly clear.
    But please, have some self respect and don’t hide behind a veil of hypocrisy having taken and held to ransom the money I worked over a year for to get to you.
    You have no interest in peoples welfare whatsoever or you’d have cancelled this booking to help prevent the spread of the virus, like most have.
    For the record, we are all in this, most people are being reasonable.
    I am disgusted by your lack of flexibility, consideration for your guests and attempt at personal guilt tripping. It’s unsavoury.
    I was happy and excited to return but based on your attitude, I do not feel welcome.
    I wonder have you actually considered just how few people will be wanting to travel when this is over and perhaps it is better to look after the ones you have in hand, that will rebook time and again, rather than take advantage of the situation.
    And make no mistake that is exactly what you are doing.
    Anyway rest assured that I will personally make sure every diver I know in the UK and beyond knows of this terrible customer experience.
    All you had to do was reschedule 8 days and that would have been worth another 50 over the next few years of repeat custom from me and my partner. Poor business decision.
    Disgusted former guest who knows how to use social media...

    This was the reply after I send her this message: Thank you. Sorry if I was not clear enough. We never offered the possibility of rescheduling without costs. In normal conditions this I not at all a custom in tourism. In general people take a travel insurance, as we also advice standard.
    > What we offer is that people can make a reservation without any deposit payment. They only have to send their confirmed flight tickets. But for the guests who refrain from any refund in case they cancel we offer a discount of 10% on the prepaid part of their reservation. As mentioned both at the website and clearly on the invoice.
    > As a sign of goodwill we offer that for now guests can postpone their trip and use their prepaid amount in IDR as a credit for their next booking. However, with the condition that the credit cannot be more than 50% of the final bill.
    > For example: if you paid 500 and the final bill would be 750, you could use 250 from your credit. But if the final bill would be 1000 or more, you can use 100% (500) of your credit when paying your final bill.
    > Please keep in mind that this is a gesture of goodwill, not because we are obliged to do this. The coming months we have to try to feed our staff and families. When the situation will be "normal" again we cannot afford it to have guests who do not bring in any income for us at all. Anyway it will be very hard to stay in business if this lasts too long. Honestly, I do not care so much about that. My main concern are the million(s) who will suffer and lose their lives here in Indonesia the next 4 months.
    > I hope now everything is more clear and we thank you for your understanding.
    > Best regards,
    > Rob
    Darnold9999 likes this.
  10. Indah

    Indah Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Weda, Lembeh and Rao Morotai
    No, no bailout plans here. This is Indonesia.
    markmud likes this.

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