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

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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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I would not be looking to travel to Australia this year. If the open to international travel they might have quarantine rules in place. I agree 100% with Weihlac in being extremely cautious booking anything that is not fully refundable if the country is not open to tourism. And with the problems we have seen with companies only allowing future credits- why take a chance?
 
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LDF

Apr 13, 2020
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After many troubling calls to OAT, we received a full refund on our cancelled trip yesterday. I made complaints to the BBB, Massachusetts Attorney General, and the FTC for cruises. Initially, OAT put us into a 2021 trip we did not ask for or approve of, the topper was when we receive notice of a travel insurance policy that we also did not ask for or approve of. I'm not sure why they finally relented and gave a refund, maybe they want to stay in business after all. Best of luck to others in the same position.
 

Neil Maley

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It was more likely you complaints to the AG and BBB. I’m happy to see that some of you are getting refunds
but it’s too bad that it took complaints to the AG yo get the company to do the right thing.

I hope you remember this next time you book a trip.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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Delighted with your news, LDF. Congratulations! It's my considered opinion that the vast majority of travel providers are running around like chickens with no heads. It seems that no executives are sitting down quietly for a couple of hours and formulating a plan to take care of their customers. How could anything be more important? Knee-jerk reactions like rebooking a client for a similar trip next year without discussion are ridiculous. Surely management is aware of the tremendous impact social media and instant communication can have on their company. They can't just bumble along every day for months blaming the virus and alienating their clients. Every client that is treated badly creates a zillion more potential clients who will think that OAT is either incompetent or dishonest. This is far from what Grand Circle wants projected. I wonder who on earth is running the back office and what they are doing every day.
 

WDW

May 9, 2020
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Last week I wrote to OAT telling them that I didn't feel safe flying to Australia and asked what my options were. They haven't responded so I don't know if I should ask for my $350 deposit back (minus the $300 cancellation fee) or wait to see if they cancel the trip ( which isn't until Sep 1, 2020) and hope to get the entire $350 back. I won't be paying the balance due on June 3 so they may say I am in default. The only option I can think of is to ask them to apply the deposit to a future trip (assuming they still exist next year).
What do you recommend?
 

Neil Maley

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They might cancel the booking if you don’t pay the balance due and if the deposit was nonrefundable, you could lose it all.

This is something you have to decide on what you are willing to gamble and how much you are willing to risk.

Australia is being very cautious and opening will be first between Australia and New Zealand. If they do allow other countries to travel, it’s likely going to require 14 day quarantine. So I have a feeling your tour might not happen.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,691
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San Francisco
Last week I wrote to OAT telling them that I didn't feel safe flying to Australia and asked what my options were. They haven't responded so I don't know if I should ask for my $350 deposit back (minus the $300 cancellation fee) or wait to see if they cancel the trip ( which isn't until Sep 1, 2020) and hope to get the entire $350 back. I won't be paying the balance due on June 3 so they may say I am in default. The only option I can think of is to ask them to apply the deposit to a future trip (assuming they still exist next year).
What do you recommend?
I like winning games, WDW, so I would ask them to apply the deposit to a future trip. If you're not ready to book that future trip, ask for a credit until you're ready. I'd ask that the credit be good for 2 years ... that's what lots of travel providers are doing right now. Neil's right, as usual, if you don't make the final, your deposit is history. If what we've been hearing about OAT and Grand Circle is wide-spread, they may start applying some bonus funds to those credits as a gesture of customer appreciation. We;'ve had several Grand Circle trips in the past, and I'm hoping that all will eventually work out for the companies.
 
May 4, 2020
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I did file with the Mass Attorney's office but the fill in block malfunctioned and it would not let me fill the block completely. I have not gotten a copy and I couldn't print a copy before I sent it. I filed a dispute with AAA Mastercard which they accepted but told me they didn't know if OAT/ Grand Circle would accept it. They said it could take up to 50 days. I am writing up the chain and have now resorted to send certified letters not emails.Maureen Pudlio is todays mission. Did BBB of Boston help any? Sorry but I don't have a copy of the refund letter posted about the travel insurance, I wanted to say thanks for that. I call on the number at the bottom and talked to Julette who sent me a copy of our letters. Allianz seemed to be very surprised that we had not received of reimbursement of the policies. I have to do the Illinois insurance site but I've had doctors appointments and other stuff this week. Any sucess stories or additional advice is appreciated.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
22,882
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www.promalvacations.com
I did file with the Mass Attorney's office but the fill in block malfunctioned and it would not let me fill the block completely. I have not gotten a copy and I couldn't print a copy before I sent it. I filed a dispute with AAA Mastercard which they accepted but told me they didn't know if OAT/ Grand Circle would accept it. They said it could take up to 50 days. I am writing up the chain and have now resorted to send certified letters not emails.Maureen Pudlio is todays mission. Did BBB of Boston help any? Sorry but I don't have a copy of the refund letter posted about the travel insurance, I wanted to say thanks for that. I call on the number at the bottom and talked to Julette who sent me a copy of our letters. Allianz seemed to be very surprised that we had not received of reimbursement of the policies. I have to do the Illinois insurance site but I've had doctors appointments and other stuff this week. Any sucess stories or additional advice is appreciated.
Couldn’t you just cut the wording for the AG in the description box to supplier refused to refund my payments for a tour they canceled and put your booking number in? They need facts only. Others have filed complaints here so I’m not sure why you are unable to if you just cut to facts.

You can also call them.
Speak with a Consumer Specialist (617) 727-8400
Available 10am to 4pm, Monday through Friday
Call us in Boston (617) 727-2200
 
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May 16, 2020
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Has anyone tried arbitration with OAT? Their terms and conditions require arbitration first. Or have you sued for a refund? I am in the same situation re being rebooked for next year without contacting me first etc.
 
May 16, 2020
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You may have to accept the reality that regardless of contacts, legalese, etc, OAT may simply have no cash flow and cannot provide a refund now or in the future.
I cannot believe OAT has no cash flow. The money we paid goes for hotels and restaurants and local guides. I am sure the hotels and restaurants did not get paid yet and OAT is keeping our money (with interest!). Plus, just look at their catalog and figure out how much cash they have on hand for all the trips they canceled.
 
May 8, 2020
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As of May 4, 2020, OAT has changed the terms of its passenger agreement as to what happens when you cancel a trip more than 90 days from the start of the trip. OAT is now trying to apply the new agreement retroactively to folks who booked under the old agreement. They can’t do that if you agreed to the old agreement, as almost everyone who is now seeking a refund did. The new agreement says that if you cancel more than 90 days from the start of the trip, they get to choose how to reimburse you, and can do it with frequent travel credits. And that your cancellation will normally be processed within 90 days, but no promises as to when it will actually happen. The old agreement said you get everything back, except a $300 administrative fee and whatever you paid for their trip insurance, and they had to process your refund within 30 days. If you have a problem with their not adhering to the old agreement, you can file an online complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General.
 
May 8, 2020
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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.
I have now also gotten back the $550 they owed me for the two trips I canceled. Not sure this would have happened if I had not filed new complaints with the Massachusetts Attorney General and the Boston BBB.
 
May 8, 2020
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76
Last week I wrote to OAT telling them that I didn't feel safe flying to Australia and asked what my options were. They haven't responded so I don't know if I should ask for my $350 deposit back (minus the $300 cancellation fee) or wait to see if they cancel the trip ( which isn't until Sep 1, 2020) and hope to get the entire $350 back. I won't be paying the balance due on June 3 so they may say I am in default. The only option I can think of is to ask them to apply the deposit to a future trip (assuming they still exist next year).
What do you recommend?
Take the money and run. That’s what I did. Don’t even think of traveling with them again!
 
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May 8, 2020
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Take the money and run. That’s what I did. Don’t even think of traveling with them again!
By the way, they are going to tell you that they have now changed their policy and won’t give you a refund, just a travel credit for your $50. But they can’t Retroactively change your agreement with them when you booked the trip. Doesn’t mean they won’t try! It’s probably not worth the fight for $50, but that’s all you will get. Just be glad you didn’t buy the trip insurance, or you would be out that money too.
 
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