Trip cancelled by Rocky Mountaineer No Refunds given

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Apr 7, 2020
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We were booked and paid in full on a train and land tour of Canadian Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer this May. They just announced that all trips were cancelled until July 1. However the only option given was to reschedule the trip at a future date and they retain all funds. They Will not give refunds on cancelled trips, even though they cancelled the trip.

Any suggestions? Their Facebook page is flooded with complaints from people around the world, many of whom can’t reschedule due to health, economic, etc.

Do we have any recourse? This company is based in Canada
 

Patina

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Dec 22, 2015
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What do the terms of your contract state about cancellations? That is where you need to start, if it states they have the right to cancel and give you a credit rather than a refund, then you have no leg to stand on so-to-speak.
 
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Neil Maley

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The problem is these suppliers may not have the cash you refund everyone. That’s why they are offering credits. It will help the supplier stay in business.

What you need to look at is your original contract with the company and what it states about force majeure cancellations.

Chris wrote an article on this :

 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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We were booked and paid in full on a train and land tour of Canadian Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer this May. They just announced that all trips were cancelled until July 1. However the only option given was to reschedule the trip at a future date and they retain all funds. They Will not give refunds on cancelled trips, even though they cancelled the trip.

Any suggestions? Their Facebook page is flooded with complaints from people around the world, many of whom can’t reschedule due to health, economic, etc.

Do we have any recourse? This company is based in Canada
I've heard of Rocky Mountaineer, their trips sound wonderful, this is a huge disappointment I'm sure. What would be your best solution for this cancelled trip? Refunds will be based on the contract that you signed. Have a good, close look at it to see what they're required to do. Companies are not immune to cash woes with this lock-down, they may not be able to come up with hundreds of thousands to provide refunds. People can complain on social media all day long, but they should read their contracts first. Travellers are learning a harsh lesson about what happens to their money when things don't go well. Hopefully fewer people will skip over the fine print of an agreement in the future. I've learned the hard way to look objectively at the situation before I commit a big chunk of cash to a trip. Can I reschedule it? What fees are involved? Will my credit card protect me in case of problems? Do I need to insure my "investment"? Good luck, I hope you want to, and can, reschedule the trip. Please let us know the outcome.
 
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Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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I've heard of Rocky Mountaineer, their trips sound wonderful, this is a huge disappointment I'm sure. What would be your best solution for this cancelled trip? Refunds will be based on the contract that you signed. Have a good, close look at it to see what they're required to do. Companies are not immune to cash woes with this lock-down, they may not be able to come up with hundreds of thousands to provide refunds. People can complain on social media all day long, but they should read their contracts first. Travellers are learning a harsh lesson about what happens to their money when things don't go well. Hopefully fewer people will skip over the fine print of an agreement in the future. I've learned the hard way to look objectively at the situation before I commit a big chunk of cash to a trip. Can I reschedule it? What fees are involved? Will my credit card protect me in case of problems? Do I need to insure my "investment"? Good luck, I hope you want to, and can, reschedule the trip. Please let us know the outcome.
Well said. If anything this will teach all of us to see what a suppliers “force majeure” policy is going forward.
 
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Aug 30, 2015
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As a Canadian, I am embarrassed that they do this. They should have built up enough cushion in their business to accommodate refunding, they've been around for years and it is not a cheap trip.
 

Neil Maley

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As a Canadian, I am embarrassed that they do this. They should have built up enough cushion in their business to accommodate refunding, they've been around for years and it is not a cheap trip.
They are also dealing with hotels that might not be refunding and not having new bookings to offset the money they would have to refund. If I planned on one of these trips- I’d be rebooking it for next year.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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They are also dealing with hotels that might not be refunding and not having new bookings to offset the money they would have to refund. If I planned on one of these trips- I’d be rebooking it for next year.
Valid point Still not pleased to see it though. Every travel business is likely to need some government support. I feel that government support should only be given to those who refunded their customers.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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As a Canadian, I am embarrassed that they do this. They should have built up enough cushion in their business to accommodate refunding, they've been around for years and it is not a cheap trip.
I don't think any company anywhere could have planned for anything like this...there are thousands of businesses across all sectors that are struggling with cash flow that severely impacts their ability to refund.

Think about the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" when the Bedford Falls citizens rush the Building and Loan, wanting to close their accounts and withdraw their money. George Bailey tells them...'your money is in Charlie's house, and Charlie's money is in Bob's house....etc". There's a reserve, but it isn't like every deposit or every payment received from every customer is sitting in a vault waiting to be spent when their trip comes up.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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Well said. If anything this will teach all of us to see what a suppliers “force majeure” policy is going forward.
Great Letter to the Editor in today's newsletter. 5 entities involved with a cancelled cruise/tour. First three were booked directly, they've all taken very good care of the customer. The other two were online booking services who are cooperating very little. It's no wonder that experienced travellers book direct unless there's no alternative. The online services can be worse than useless.
 
Apr 7, 2020
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Thank you everyone for your valuable input. I did book direct, and will end up rescheduling. Their force majeure does not specifically state pandemics, and several folks on Facebook have contacted lawyers in Vancouver as they are unable to reschedule.

To add salt to the wound, they give a 10% additional credit for the new trip, BUT you are back to square one when pricing the new trip, and lose any promotions or perks in your original booking. For me the 10% Falls short about $600 to replicate my original package.

Although I’m sympathetic, I continue to be disappointed about this company and their policy Since they were the ones who cancelled. Unlike cruise lines which depend on repeat business perhaps these folks realize that most people do this trip once and that is it. But what they depend on is travel agents, and I’m sure many of them with clients on RM are quite upset

Stay healthy!
 
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Neil Maley

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Thank you everyone for your valuable input. I did book direct, and will end up rescheduling. Their force majeure does not specifically state pandemics, and several folks on Facebook have contacted lawyers in Vancouver as they are unable to reschedule.

To add salt to the wound, they give a 10% additional credit for the new trip, BUT you are back to square one when pricing the new trip, and lose any promotions or perks in your original booking. For me the 10% Falls short about $600 to replicate my original package.

Although I’m sympathetic, I continue to be disappointed about this company and their policy Since they were the ones who cancelled. Unlike cruise lines which depend on repeat business perhaps these folks realize that most people do this trip once and that is it. But what they depend on is travel agents, and I’m sure many of them with clients on RM are quite upset

Stay healthy!
Force majuere is defined as an Act of God and that’s what many consider a pandemic to be.

I am not sure that these suppliers can put new terms and conditions in place of the one that you agreed to when you paid for your trip.

We have some attorneys who read these forums. I’m curious as the whether this is even legal. I found RM’s original terms that say if they cancel a tour you are due a refund and then their new terms they just “temporarily” put in place.
 
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Apr 16, 2020
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OK, I've been in contact with RM and highlighted its own terms - by the way the Temporary ones on its website do NOT replace the original ones, they supplement them. As RM has cancelled then they are contracted to reimburse clients, the have no entitlement to retain money for the cancelled tours. They seem adamant that they will not refund and I am continuing to pursue this with them. I advise everyone to persist with refund requests. I would appreciate hearing from a Canadian lawyer on here about what the options are for bringing court action against the company, either as individuals or as a group.
 
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GAT

Apr 23, 2018
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I have not looked up the current regulations, but the BC government has implemented very strict ones, which may have forced RM to cancel their trips even if they had not wanted to do so. If so, that might add a new twist to force majeur.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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A company can write a force majeure clause in its contract. In another thread, we saw such a provision in, I believe, Delta's contract. However, if a company does not write in a force majeure clause, and instead has a contractual provision that their lawyers in Vancouver wrote for them which says that if RM cancels, the customer gets a refund, that's the deal. They don't get to re-write the deal later. You would need to ask a lawyer licensed in Canada to opine, but I'm pretty sure there is no Canadian law that says that a company can just say the magic words,, "force majeure," and get out of its contractual commitments.

Now I can imagine that RM does not have sufficient funds to refund everyone, so I understand their predicament. But RM could have written that into the deal as well.

I won't bore you with details of my bad experience with RM. And the web is full of stories before the pandemic of RM's refusal to refund when things go wrong. RM's mentality before the current situation was not to make refunds. Given the difficult financial situation they may be facing, that mentality will not have changed.

On the other hand, don't give up. My wife pursued them relentlessly, and eventually they wrote us a check for a portion of our claim.
 
Jun 18, 2020
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I have a trip booked in August, and RM just informed me that the trip is cancelled. And they are refusing to refund my deposit. The "Force Majeure" clause was not included in the T&C version in effect when I booked on Feb 5, 2020 (they added this in a later version). I suspect that many folks who are now getting burned by RM were also provided the version which did not have a Force Majeure clause.

The T&C Agreement in effect when I booked states:
"Cancellation by Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer may, in its sole discretion, cancel a tour or portion of a tour at any time, prior to departure. In that event, Rocky Mountaineer will repay the deposit or charges for the tour ... "

Clearly they are refusing to honor their Agreement, and I think they could and should be held legally liable, perhaps via a class action lawsuit.

At a minimum there should be a public spotlight on their illegal actions. If everyone they have burned reports their experience on social media or travel websites like tripadvisor.com, and If they care about their reputation, maybe they would reconsider.