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Joined: May 2000
Posts: 1,191
Chris Offline OP
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There have been incidents where travel agents have not refunded or even partially refunded guests who were forced to cancel their vacations due to Hurricane Keith. This is because of the "unused portions of the package will not be refunded" clause that travel agents always seem to put on their packages. This is taken by the customer to mean that if they miss a dive or two or if they leave a day early then that portion of the package is non-refundable. Perfectly understandable, of course. BUT! this has been abused by certain travel agents.....if you don't use your package because of a hurricane, it's still non-refundable and you are forced to re-schedule. If you can't (or won't) reschedule, you still lose your money.

Even THAT would be somewhat A BIT understandable. But, what is outrageous is a few cases I have heard of where guests were stranded here during and immediately following the hurricane...the hotels gladly put them up free of charge, (and stated this in writing to the US based travel agent) but the travel agent has refused to refund the hotel's share of the bill to the guests!

It's not like the travel agent was going to lose their commission or anything like that...after all, the hotel only wants to refund their (the hotel's) share of the bill...it's just greed on the part of the travel agent...after all, why make 20% commission when you can make 100%?

If your hotel has said that your stay was free during and immediately after the storm, please contact your travel agent and BUG THE HELL out of them until they give you at least a partial refund. Belize is a friendly place, and we want to keep it that way, at least for our guests!

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 147
K
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K
I dont know how it is in the States, but in Canada, these "cancellation" conditions are dictated by wholesalers, not travel agents... Believe me, we (the travel agents) usually get all the s*** from passengers but the best we can do is (as you say) BUG THE HELL out of the wholesalers and try to get a refund....Please dont always call T.A. the bad guys. As in every job, there are good ones and "less good ones".... Karin

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 1,191
Chris Offline OP
OP Offline
It's only the bad ones I'm referring to. Problem is, they're out there. In any case, guests don't always have easy access to wholesalers. You're right, wholesalers set the conditions.........and travel agents accept them.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 147
K
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K
Just like clients accept them !...
Seriously, is there no ombudsman in the States, who could help settle this kind of disputes ? What about insurances ? A good travel agent should help his/her passengers, but can not give back money (s)he doesnt have anymore (as we have to sent the payment to the wholesalers usually 45 to 70 days prior to departure of the passengers). My best advice : dont yell at your travel agent, sit with him/her and, together, call the wholesaler to discuss the situation...Your travel agent should not be your ennemy !...

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
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Even some of us wholesalers are good guys! I refunded in full everyone who had to cancel due to the hurricane - unless the $$ had already been paid to the hotels and they did not refund or credit me. In some cases this meant me even giving back my commission. Like somebody said- there are good and bad, honest and greedy in every profession!


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