Regent Seven Seas flout EU consumer legislation

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May 1, 2020
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The Managing Director of Regent Seven Seas Cruises Limited (RSSC) in the UK seems to be under the impression that a change in the ABTA code for its members negates their responsibility to consumers under the ‘Packaged Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.

The EU regulations state that: “Any refund required must be made to the traveller without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after the package travel contract is terminated.”

However, Graham Sadler, Managing Director of Regent Seven Seas Limited says that a change in ABTA code “… allow Tour Operators to not be bound by the 14 day refund ruling. They have temporarily changed their code to say “as soon as possible”. He also states incorrectly that: “The ABTA code replicates the EU Package Travel Regulations.”

Simon Welch, a customer whose cruise was recently cancelled by Regent Seven Seas commented: “We are expected to pay for our cruise holidays months in advance of departure, and it can’t be right for them to ride roughshod over the law and keep hold of our money for months after a cancellation. This is completely unacceptable.

“The ‘Packaged Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018’ is a comprehensive piece of EU legislation drawn up with considerable effort to protect European consumers. I made a booking with RSCC in good faith, having been advised in writing by them that the booking was covered under this protective legislation.

“Having been quoted “up to 90 days” for my refund by RSSC, I e-mailed RSSC personally to request my refund, and Mr Sadlers response was extraordinary in that he either considers that ABTA can arbitrarily issue guidelines which override European legislation, or perhaps he is not fully conversant with the specifics of the regulations under which his company is selling packages to consumers such as me?”

I am still awaiting a refund.
 
May 1, 2020
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I am retired living off my savings (which have been reduced by around 30%). This cash would last me many months thus reducing the need for me to withdraw savings (ie sell assets) at a vastly reduced price, thus having a long term impact on my retirement funding position. Apart from that its a matter of principal. RSSC are stating a position to their customers which is contrary to the legal position. Honesty is always a better policy.
 

Neil Maley

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I can tell you that all suppliers didn’t anticipate the sheer numbers of cancellations they would have to deal with and have to wait until more bookings come in to be able to continue refunds.

I’m sorry you are in the position you are in, but there are millions of others in a similar position and the fairest way for suppliers to provide refunds in date order.

They say you can’t milk a stone - and you can‘t provide refunds until there is more cash.

Please read #1 in this story on our home page.

 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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You can try to go through any regulatory bodies that would oversee this and see if they have anything to say. I'm not quite sure which one though since you state both UK and EU and I'm pretty positive the UK is no longer part of the EU so those regulations wouldn't be the same anymore but I could be wrong. Though as Neil said they just don't have the cash to refund everyone in a short time period nor do they have the manpower to do that (I believe all divisions of RSSC's parent company just furlough 20% of its workforce).
 
May 1, 2018
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It's seems you are legally in the right. However, if the managing director has refused to comply, then your recourse would be to hire a solicitor to sue them for your refund. We can't really help you beyond that since the company has already made it clear they have no plans to voluntarily comply with the applicable laws.

@justlisa - The OP is confused by adding referencing the EU because the "Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018" is a UK law, not an EU law.
 
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Neil Maley

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It seems the supplier is agreeing to the refund but they just don’t have immediate cash for a refund under the original terms. By the time the OP would find and pay a solicitor it’s likely they will have the refund.

I urge all of you to read the story posted on Elliott.org about refunds and the time frames they are taking.
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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I am retired living off my savings (which have been reduced by around 30%). This cash would last me many months thus reducing the need for me to withdraw savings (ie sell assets) at a vastly reduced price, thus having a long term impact on my retirement funding position. Apart from that its a matter of principal. RSSC are stating a position to their customers which is contrary to the legal position. Honesty is always a better policy.
I think my colleagues have explained the situation very well. Millions of travellers have been forced off-base by this virus. Thousands of cruisers are in exactly your same situation. If a corporation does not have the cash, they cannot refund. It's as simple as that. Honesty has nothing to do with it; everyone is coping and hoping for the best. Legal action is beyond the scope of this forum.
 
May 1, 2020
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It's seems you are legally in the right. However, if the managing director has refused to comply, then your recourse would be to hire a solicitor to sue them for your refund. We can't really help you beyond that since the company has already made it clear they have no plans to voluntarily comply with the applicable laws.

@justlisa - The OP is confused by adding referencing the EU because the "Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018" is a UK law, not an EU law.
The "Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018" is an EU law and as the U.K. remains a full member of the EU until the end of this year It is applicable. (I live in the U.K. anyway) and this booking was made under this legislation (Regent sent me a document at the time of booking specifically stating this).

A lack of funding (cash flow) should be addressed by the shareholders who should also carry the risk (as well as the rewards) not the customers whose money should not be used for these purposes without the permission of the customer. Furthermore if Regent have insufficient funds to trade they should immediately appoint administrators. Thereby allowing customers to reclaim their money from the backstop guarantees provided (in the U.K. this is ABTA).

If we allow people (and in this case companies) to choose which laws they abide by society will break down.
 
May 30, 2019
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A lack of funding (cash flow) should be addressed by the shareholders who should also carry the risk (as well as the rewards) not the customers whose money should not be used for these purposes without the permission of the customer. Furthermore if Regent have insufficient funds to trade they should immediately appoint administrators. Thereby allowing customers to reclaim their money from the backstop guarantees provided (in the U.K. this is ABTA).
To the OP:
You may find it useful to read this page from ABTA

Here is an FAQ that appears to apply to people who made travel plans using their limited savings. I don't know it it applies to someone who might have to sell assets at a reduced price, or if it applies more specifically to someone who would lack the money to pay rent or feed their children while waiting for a refund.
A number of our Members have put in place special arrangements for cases of particular hardship – for example, if you have been made redundant during the Covid-19 crisis and your travel insurance policy does not cover you for that risk. If you find yourself in that situation, please ask your travel company how to apply for exceptional assistance and the evidence that would be required to help them to prioritise your case.
Presuming the trip was through ABTA & covered by ATTF, isn't the process of reclamation of monies after an insolvency pretty lengthy? As I understand, many trips booked with Thomas Cook before they folded 7 months ago have yet to be paid. And, the ATTF is running out of money, meaning that taxpayers would have to pay (which likely means more bureaucracy and even longer payout time).

This forum is generally about self-advocacy. In that context, I can't make any recommendations other than to be polite and persistent and hope the refund comes through soon.
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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The "Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018" is an EU law and as the U.K. remains a full member of the EU until the end of this year It is applicable. (I live in the U.K. anyway) and this booking was made under this legislation (Regent sent me a document at the time of booking specifically stating this).

A lack of funding (cash flow) should be addressed by the shareholders who should also carry the risk (as well as the rewards) not the customers whose money should not be used for these purposes without the permission of the customer. Furthermore if Regent have insufficient funds to trade they should immediately appoint administrators. Thereby allowing customers to reclaim their money from the backstop guarantees provided (in the U.K. this is ABTA).

If we allow people (and in this case companies) to choose which laws they abide by society will break down.
The lack of funding may be addressed by bankruptcy; this is the legal way corporations deal with this type of problem.. Then you will have no refund.

Regent Seven Seas is owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) a holding company that is domiciled in Bermuda. So your legal recourse likely would be in Bermuda. For that, you will need to contact a lawyer.
 
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May 1, 2020
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Bankruptcy would trigger a full refund (in the U.K. anyway) from ABTA which bonds all holiday bookings on behalf of customers in the event of a company failure, an this is Governement backed.
 
May 30, 2019
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Bankruptcy would trigger a full refund (in the U.K. anyway) from ABTA which bonds all holiday bookings on behalf of customers in the event of a company failure, an this is Governement backed.
It would trigger a long, drawn out refund, involving the government paying money out after the ATTF is officially depleted. Heck, the UK government might decide to prioritise funding support for people who are sick then pay out travelers a fraction of what they paid.
 

weihlac

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It would trigger a long, drawn out refund, involving the government paying money out after the ATTF is officially depleted. Heck, the UK government might decide to prioritise funding support for people who are sick then pay out travelers a fraction of what they paid.
And the Guardian article was from March 18 when the UK was "solvent". How things have changed in 6 weeks. Bailing out cruise lines from Bermuda may not have much priority.
 
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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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This thread has definitely given me more insight into why there's so many more restrictions to booking cruises over there compared to the US.

Your options are to wait for regent to refund you or pursue legal channels (which this forum cannot help with) that will almost assuredly take longer. You've essentially called for a government pushed bankruptcy of a private entity that is not incorporated in the UK (even though you personally have no ability to make that happen) - which would take months and months to wind through courts since there's no indication at this time that any cruise line is even entering the idea of bankruptcy.
 
May 1, 2018
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The "Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018" is an EU law and as the U.K. remains a full member of the EU until the end of this year It is applicable. (I live in the U.K. anyway) and this booking was made under this legislation (Regent sent me a document at the time of booking specifically stating this).
No it's not. There is no such EU law called "Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018". That is the name of the UK law - which applies in the UK regardless of EU membership.

The applicable law passed by the EU is called "Directive (EU) 2015/2302 of the European Parliament and of the Council on package travel and linked travel arrangements".
 
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jsn55

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I followed up on this with several sources and this news appears to be inaccurate. The most derogatory information I saw was that "the cruise lines CPAs said it might go bankrupt". I think financial experts could say that about any company whose revenue stream has dried up while expenses continue during this crisis..
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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I followed up on this with several sources and this news appears to be inaccurate. The most derogatory information I saw was that "the cruise lines CPAs said it might go bankrupt". I think financial experts could say that about any company whose revenue stream has dried up while expenses continue during this crisis..
Not to mention of the mainstream cruise lines I don't believe NCL is the most heavily leveraged, so unless they happen to have way worse terms if NCL is doing that the others are too. Plus any bankruptcy would likely be a reorg for their debt... which several airlines have done a few times and survived well enough.