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

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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 dont see why they would have no cash flow. The money we all pay goes for hotels, meals, etc plus whatever their commission is, and OAT didnt have to pay for those if no guests were traveling. They have hundreds of trips every month and none are going so they have all the cash on hand...
 

Neil Maley

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I dont see why they would have no cash flow. The money we all pay goes for hotels, meals, etc plus whatever their commission is, and OAT didnt have to pay for those if no guests were traveling. They have hundreds of trips every month and none are going so they have all the cash on hand...
They have already paid these hotels already has May not be able to get that money back from all vendors. It’s not as simple as you might think.
 
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May 8, 2020
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File online complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Massachusetts Attorney General. It worked for me. I got a full refund, including of the amount I paid for trip insurance. This was after their promise to refund, followed by multiple refusals to refund. I think they still have a lot of money. They brag on their “coronavirus update“ page that 50,000 folks still plan to travel with them, and 19,000 folks whose trips have been impacted by covid-19 have moved their departures to 2021 and 2022.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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File online complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Massachusetts Attorney General. It worked for me. I got a full refund, including of the amount I paid for trip insurance. This was after their promise to refund, followed by multiple refusals to refund. I think they still have a lot of money. They brag on their “coronavirus update“ page that 50,000 folks still plan to travel with them, and 19,000 folks whose trips have been impacted by covid-19 have moved their departures to 2021 and 2022.
Aren't these the same people who are rebooking clients without their approval? The New York Times just had a story on OAT ... things are not looking good.
 

Neil Maley

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This is just wrong- they know that Massachusetts law requires refunds and they are trying to sidestep it.

I think people really need to re-think the companies they do business with. This has opened a lot of eyes on suppliers that are doing the right thing vs. those outwardly defying state laws.
 
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May 29, 2020
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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.
Do you live in Massachusetts? I just filed a consumer complaint with the AG for the $7,000 OAT won't refund me for the safari they canceled. I live in another state so I'm just curious whether state of residency is a factor in your success.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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File online complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the Massachusetts Attorney General. It worked for me. I got a full refund, including of the amount I paid for trip insurance. This was after their promise to refund, followed by multiple refusals to refund. I think they still have a lot of money. They brag on their “coronavirus update“ page that 50,000 folks still plan to travel with them, and 19,000 folks whose trips have been impacted by covid-19 have moved their departures to 2021 and 2022.
We complained In writing to company execs, lawyers, BBB of Boston, Mass AG starting April 10. May 13 got call saying we’d been approved for full cash refund. Received credit to our credit card promptly for part we‘d paid on the card. Confirmed the check had been sent via USPS (we’d paid by over $15,000 by check) and we‘d receive in 7-10 days, “business days“, which makes no sense it would take so long in USPS, but we weren’t going to quibble. 10 biz days later we called and were told new policy was 7-21 business days ...which is really sketchy. As of June 2 no check. Staff were given and had no explanation to give us as to how it could possibly take so long.
 
Apr 24, 2020
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We complained In writing to company execs, lawyers, BBB of Boston, Mass AG starting April 10. May 13 got call saying we’d been approved for full cash refund. Received credit to our credit card promptly for part we‘d paid on the card. Confirmed the check had been sent via USPS (we’d paid by over $15,000 by check) and we‘d receive in 7-10 days, “business days“, which makes no sense it would take so long in USPS, but we weren’t going to quibble. 10 biz days later we called and were told new policy was 7-21 business days ...which is really sketchy. As of June 2 no check. Staff were given and had no explanation to give us as to how it could possibly take so long.
Well, wonders never cease The OAT check issued and (allegedly) mailed May 13 finally arrived June 5th. Full $19,800. Funds are in our account and check hasn’t bounced. Phew. What a freaking ordeal. [By way of contrast, Vanguard check mailed from Philadelphia on June 2 arrived June 4. WTH, OAT?]
 
Jun 15, 2020
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I am in similar situation as described above. Cancelled March 9. Promised refund of balance after cancellation penalty would be sent within 7 - 10 days. After multiple calls, advised they changed their policy 6 weeks later and only credit for trip in 2021. Appreciate suggestion to file with Mass. AG. Did so today. Thanks all.
 
Apr 10, 2020
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Have you contacted your credit card company?
Yes, both my sister and I filed disputes with our credit card companies, and they have tentatively credited the money that we paid for the trip (almost $13,500.00) back into our accounts. My sister should hear the results of the dispute by July 22nd, and I should hear back from my credit card company by August 9th. Thank you for that suggestion!
In an email from Christopher Elliot in mid-April, he requested that I escalate my complaint to both OAT and Allianz. I sent a detailed account of my complaints and request for refund on April 15th and have received no reply. I am shocked that these reputable companies have ignored my letter. Right after we returned from England (March 15th), I submitted a receipt for our cab ride ($107.00 U.S.) from our hotel to the airport, which was supposed to be covered by OAT, and not surprisingly, I haven't been reimbursed for that either.
I recently went to the OAT website, and my "Upcoming Trips" link says that I canceled the 2021 trip they signed me up for. I did not do that, but neither did I agree to the "terms and conditions" that I had to click to see the itinerary of the 2021 trip. From the dates, I surmised that the 2021 trip does not include the three-night stay in London, for which we paid $790.00 each.
This Trip of a Lifetime has turned into the Trip From Hell.
I am hopeful that our credit card disputes will be approved, and that we will get all of our money back.
 
Apr 10, 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.
My sister and I were to go to Africa on an OAT tour in March, and got as far as London, and had to turn around and fly home the next day. I've posted more thoroughly about this on another post, so won't tell the entire story. They canceled our insurance policies (I was informed about this is a letter that said "per my request" they had canceled my insurance!) and rebooked us on another trip in 2021 that is more expensive, and does not include the three-day pre-trip for which we had each paid $795.00. I will never do business with OAT or Allianz again.
We have both filed disputes with our credit card companies, and they have tentatively credited the charges for the trip back to our accounts while they investigate the dispute.
 
Apr 10, 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?
Don't give them any more of your money!