Q. Very last calendar year, we booked a tour to Portugal and Spain by Vantage Deluxe Earth Journey. This was to be our 3rd Vantage journey in as a lot of several years, and the next with friends. Which includes the optional excursions, air, insurance coverage, and expenses, my spouse and I compensated $12,959 for the tour.
This March, Vantage canceled the tour because of COVID-19 concerns. On March 16, I requested for a refund. Vantage agreed to difficulty a refund in 30 times.
Two months later, I acquired an e mail confirmation that the refund was “in method.” I have made many phone calls and 3 created requests because then. After 100 times, I am even now awaiting the refund. Vantage is stonewalling.
Vantage’s Tour Participation Arrangement says that Vantage will problem a “prompt” refund for any tour canceled by Vantage for any rationale. Can you enable me get my Vantage Deluxe Environment Vacation refund?
RICK PEDERSEN, Fulshear, Texas
A. Vantage must have refunded your tour inside 30 times as it promised — and as it is contractually necessary to do. But it had no way of recognizing what would materialize in the following 30 days. In March, you are going to recall, journey floor to an almost total halt. Each individual one particular of Vantage’s suppliers knowledgeable related delays. So the refund method slowed down noticeably.
How sluggish? Effectively, as I write this, 1 cruise line is telling travellers they’ll need to have to wait around two years to get their refunds. And enable me skip ideal to the resolution for those people vacationers: File a dispute with your credit history card organization. Talk to your lender to just take the money back again.
But with this Vantage refund, I can comprehend the delay. It appears as if they were being really sincere in their intent, and they stayed in speak to with you (at the very least initially). But you have been a lot more than affected person and 100 days was a great deal of time for Vantage to get its act together.
I’m glad you described Vantage’s Tour Participation Settlement, the legal contract between you and the tour operator. It’s worthy of looking at the phrases and circumstances just before you reserve your tour, but if you are going through a cancellation, you surely have to know your rights. I examine the agreement the very same way you do if Vantage cancels, you get a whole refund.
Other tour operators changed their phrases and circumstances halfway through the pandemic so they would only have to provide a credit rating. Then they used the rules retroactively. To its credit rating, Vantage didn’t.
You can come across the names, quantities, and addresses of the Vantage professionals on my shopper advocacy web page www.elliott.org/business-contacts/vantage-deluxe-globe-journey/.
I contacted Vantage on your behalf, and you ongoing to go after your refund. Eventually, on Aug. 14 — 5 months after promising it — Vantage fully refunded your $12,959. Far better late than hardly ever.
So why am I writing about a situation that fixed practically five months ago? My shopper advocacy firm has a circumstance backlog, as well.
Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit business that allows consumers resolve their difficulties. Elliott’s most recent e-book is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (Nationwide Geographic). Contact him at elliott.org/enable or [email protected].