Can Overseas Adventure Travel renege on paying a cash refund for trips they cancelled?

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Dwayne Coward

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Unfortunately the company wanted a check or access to my checking account. The deposit was paid by credit card and the rest by check.
In that case, you may then want to consider filing a complaint with your State's Attorney General. Ultimately, if you can't get a satisfactory result, we would recommend contacting an attorney who can review the terms and provide you with your legal options.
 
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Apr 28, 2020
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We also had an upcoming trip w/ OAT - to be in May. We called numerous times as we found out they'd canceled March/April trips, they had no information until our last phone call when they told us they'd moved our trip to May 2021. We immediately told them we did not accept the date change & would dispute charges with our credit card company and reference Provision 9 in their contract, which allows a full refund, including trip insurance should they delay your trip. They sent us the "force majeure" email and we are currently in the credit card dispute process.
As others have said, their trip insurance is useless as to a refund unless you are deadly ill, otherwise you get a trip voucher if you "cancel for any reason".
Two major issues: 1) whether OAT will even be in business a year from now, as a major source of income is their cruise business, and 2) whether international travel will be safe in the future as Covid recycles (which it will).
We had paid our full amount as I believe June travelers also have done ( as well as March/April who got early cancellation & promise of refunds). They obviously are using our money to hold their company together. I'm told they are asking fall travelers to pay early. DONT DO IT.
They tell you you're getting a $500 per person credit for the trip delay, but then have raised the price of the trip and removed a "frequent traveler" credit, thereby reducing the incentive to $100 credit. Smoke-n-mirrors.
I had concerns from online posts before our first trip and after reading their contract. Now I know how they act when circumstances change. Anyone thinking of traveling with them, don't do it. Its not sour grapes, they're just unethcial that's all.
 
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Oct 8, 2018
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If your trip was rescheduled to 2021 it is now more than 90 days before departure. Can you cancel and get a refund minus the fee?
 
May 4, 2020
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All this is interesting. Allianz said they mailed us a letter but we never got anything. The supervisor we spoke to said we cancelled (we did not) The money was
off, we paid $499 each through OAT and apparently the policy was cost $149 each and was refunded to OAT. I think that's fraud. I don't think that we will see anything from this but a bad headache. We asked for a written voucher but the representative refused to comply/accomodate. This would have given us a better place in line in a bankruptsy hearing. They continue to offer trips and that may be a fraudulent ploy. Consumer advocates spread the word. Corona is moving around the globe, we are prime age groups and ships small or large are closed disease culture areas as we can see from the cruise ships anchored outside harbors.
 
May 4, 2020
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This is a very interesting. No class action possibility? This whole thing has me sick and not sleeping. Nothing seems kosher in this. Any lawers in the group?
Thanks for the lead on the Massachusetts AGs complaint form. I'll also try the Illinois comsumer complaints office, this was really good when Lisa Madigan was there. Bunko is more than a parlor game. I never expected OAT to be so dishonest and cavalier to its long term customers.
 
May 4, 2020
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Thanks, Neil. Capital One says this about the dispute process:
"If the merchant rejects the dispute, responsibility for the disputed amount is based primarily on the merchant’s policies and terms concerning refunds or cancellations. "
Per your entry above about Grand Circle claiming force majeure and OAT is owned by them, I see no way to recover my money, even if I appeal directly to the OAT CEO for rescinding the offer for a full refund. Tripmate will not cover my "cancel for any reason" insurance either. Sadly, there is a serious lack of consumer protection when it comes to travel.


Does Capital One state what happens when the "policy" is issued after-the fact of the booking? I filed a dispute with AAA Mastercard but havenot heard back. We purchased the trip and the travel insurance on December 3, 2019. The trip was cancelled on the 19th of March 2020, one day after Costa Rica closed its borders.
We were contacted by the OAT representative and asked if we wanted to rebook for 2020 travel. We declined, than we were offered a refund of the trip payment and the travel insurance. We were waiting and then re received an itenerary for the same trip, unsolicited and not agreed to with a billing for the trip. We couldn't get in touch so we thought it was a mistake until we received a demand for passport information. This led us to a chase through two more representatives who confirmed that we had "opted" for a refund. The later confessed that we had been promised a refund but that was not going to happen. We asked about the travel insurance and were there was no refund available there either. Allianz Travel insurance has confirmed that the travel insurance was cancelled by OAT on 21 March for the full value of $998.00 for distribution to us and they followed it up with a letter stating the same thing. No money! pOLICY IS NOT LAW, AND what is the date and the exact clause stated for the denial of cash refund (OUR MONEY) NOT THEIRS when they cancel trips. I'm not sure about the trip refund but the refund from Allianz is due to us. This company will never recover from this stain on their reputation even if they recover from the cancellations. If it were possible in this corona virus disaster we should all picket their headquarters and let the news photograph our signs.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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Does Capital One state what happens when the "policy" is issued after-the fact of the booking? I filed a dispute with AAA Mastercard but havenot heard back. We purchased the trip and the travel insurance on December 3, 2019. The trip was cancelled on the 19th of March 2020, one day after Costa Rica closed its borders.
We were contacted by the OAT representative and asked if we wanted to rebook for 2020 travel. We declined, than we were offered a refund of the trip payment and the travel insurance. We were waiting and then re received an itenerary for the same trip, unsolicited and not agreed to with a billing for the trip. We couldn't get in touch so we thought it was a mistake until we received a demand for passport information. This led us to a chase through two more representatives who confirmed that we had "opted" for a refund. The later confessed that we had been promised a refund but that was not going to happen. We asked about the travel insurance and were there was no refund available there either. Allianz Travel insurance has confirmed that the travel insurance was cancelled by OAT on 21 March for the full value of $998.00 for distribution to us and they followed it up with a letter stating the same thing. No money! pOLICY IS NOT LAW, AND what is the date and the exact clause stated for the denial of cash refund (OUR MONEY) NOT THEIRS when they cancel trips. I'm not sure about the trip refund but the refund from Allianz is due to us. This company will never recover from this stain on their reputation even if they recover from the cancellations. If it were possible in this corona virus disaster we should all picket their headquarters and let the news photograph our signs.

I understand your frustration. I really do. Last year we had a cruise cancel while we were on our way to the airport; the ship ran aground. This year, our European cruise was cancelled and we do not yet have a refund. But what has happened in the world was not planned by OAT or by any other travel provider. How many businesses in the travel industry will fail because of this pandemic is unknown. And everyone who booked is in the same boat, literally. When our cruise was cancelled last year, there were 64 passengers on that cruise. It took an inordinate amount of time to get us our refund/credit. It was tremendously frustrating. But the cruise line did not deliberately run the ship into the rocks. Whether you will ever get anything back is uncertain, but you control your own blood pressure.
 
May 8, 2020
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As the travel providers start doing basic accounting, they find that they do not have adequate funds to give to their customers. This scenario is being played out around the world. Companies want to keep their customers happy, but there may be little they can do. Balancing their liabilities with retaining enough of the operation and the employees to carry on (at some unknown date) has got to be a very difficult task. All anyone can do is keep asking, keep the pressure on and hope that you get lucky. For the record, Grand Circle's "Great Rivers of Europe" is a fabulous trip, it was our first river cruise ever back in 2002. GCT's tour guides and crew are incomparable.
I got a full refund, including the cost of the trip insurance, for the trip OAT cancelled after multiple denials by OAT. I filed online complaints with both the Better Business Bureau and the Massachusetts Attorney General. Google “940 Mass. Reg. 15.06,” regulation applying to Massachusetts tour operators, which is where OAT and Grand Circle are located. Received my full refund within a week of filing both complaints. Now I’m trying to get back the $550 they owe me for two other future trips I canceled. After saying I should get it within 7-10 business days, or by May 1, they now say it will take 90 days. And my trip invoices have disappeared from my account. Fortunately, I had printed them out before they disappeared.
 
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Dec 17, 2018
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Yes, we were successful in getting a full refund for our cancelled tour of Italy ( OAT cancelled it) which was to leave on March 26, 2020. Credit card payments were reimbursed 4/3 and e-check amount refunded 4/27. It took many phone calls, hours on hold and speaking to various agents but all monies were refunded. I also received the general notice that we had been re-scheduled for this tour sometime in 2021 but, as I had originally explain to the first agent who told me I could receive a refund, that is not what I wanted. I took the travel insurance "cancel for any reason" policy with OAT at the time of booking so I insisted they hold to that standard. We have traveled many times with OAT and have always had wonderful experiences and hope when this pandemic is a thing of the past, we can again do so.
 
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Apr 24, 2020
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This is a very interesting. No class action possibility? This whole thing has me sick and not sleeping. Nothing seems kosher in this. Any lawers in the group?
Thanks for the lead on the Massachusetts AGs complaint form. I'll also try the Illinois comsumer complaints office, this was really good when Lisa Madigan was there. Bunko is more than a parlor game. I never expected OAT to be so dishonest and cavalier to its long term customers.
File with the BBB in Boston. Business = Overseas Adventure Travel or Grand Circle. There are about 20 complaints about this and OAT has resolved quite a few where people are asking for refunds. Can't tell if they got $$$, but it was resolved.
 

Neil Maley

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File with the BBB in Boston. Business = Overseas Adventure Travel or Grand Circle. There are about 20 complaints about this and OAT has resolved quite a few where people are asking for refunds. Can't tell if they got $$$, but it was resolved.
The BBB has no power to force a refund. They merely take your complaint to the company and send you the companies response.

The Attorney General in Massachusetts can do more.
 
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WDW

May 9, 2020
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I'd heard so many good things about OAT that I put down a $350 deposit 27 July 2019 for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand. Last week I got a letter that the balance of $18,000 will be due 3 June - i.e., 90 days out. Yesterday I got instructions on how to get visas. IOW, no mention of the problems that you all are having. What happens if I just ignore the bill, nothing? Given what you all have been through, is it silly to think about getting my $350 back? I feel really bad for you.
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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I'd heard so many good things about OAT that I put down a $350 deposit 27 July 2019 for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Tasmania, Australia and New Zealand. Last week I got a letter that the balance of $18,000 will be due 3 June - i.e., 90 days out. Yesterday I got instructions on how to get visas. IOW, no mention of the problems that you all are having. What happens if I just ignore the bill, nothing? Given what you all have been through, is it silly to think about getting my $350 back? I feel really bad for you.
This is the current status of international travel to Australia.

International travel to Australia
  • At the current time, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members are permitted to travel to Australia.

Further: Australia’s borders are closed.

Assuming you are not a resident or citizen of Australia, you can not travel there at present. When this will change is unknown. If this changes, you will need a visa to enter Australia.

Before paying anything for a trip in Septemeber 2020 you would need a guarantee (in writing) that any additional payments are fully refundable if the trip cannot proceed. Otherwise walk away.
 
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