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Luxury Escapes - beware!

Pushka

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Does this apply for hotels as well? I am supposed to stay at a hotel in Maldives this month, but the hotel is closed from April to June, citing the flight cancellations and the covid-19 situation and Luxury Escapes won't give me a refund. From what I gathered, the Maldives government didn't order the hotel to shutdown, but the hotel decided to close as I assume the occupancy rate doesn't make it worthwhile for them to continue operating.
Can you get some evidence that the hotel is closed then either do a charge back or claim on travel insurance. Either would be relevant.
 

glasszon

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Can you get some evidence that the hotel is closed then either do a charge back or claim on travel insurance. Either would be relevant.
The travel insurance declined my claim, they say as long as the hotel allows me to rebook for a future date, then they consider that to be a "refund" and hence I won't be covered....
 

Pushka

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The travel insurance declined my claim, they say as long as the hotel allows me to rebook for a future date, then they consider that to be a "refund" and hence I won't be covered....
Yes, TI have said that will be taken into account. The openings we were given to rebook on LE were ridiculous - April - June 2020, then nothing until late November and only for 2 weeks. We could have argued with the TI that these were unreasonable and think they would accept that but didn't try as the Hotel gave us the first December. LE were peeved I'd gone direct then argued we needed to pay a surcharge. Bollocks to that. We didn't. But if December fails then we can still claim on Insurance or Amex charge back.
 
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Not what many will want to hear in this thread of the many threads about flight cancellations, but companies are not legally required to provide a refund if border closures prevent them providing the service.

Morally is another debate entirely.

The ACCC deputy commissioner Delia Rickard was interviewed on ABC Radio Brisbane this morning and confirmed that if an airline (or other travel provider) can not provide the service due to Government imposed restrictions (closed borders) then normal Consumer Rights and Guarantees under consumer law do not apply.

She further confirmed that vouchers or credit for future travel is generally the best you can hope for.

Other key points include:
- if the provider goes bust you join the list of creditors, a long way down the list. Effectively your money will be gone.

- ACCC has no power over post-COVID pricing. If supply and demand means the cost of the flight is double, the consumer has no option but to pay the higher price.

- companies are required to waive change fees.

- Companies can not retrospectively change the terms of a contract, so in some circumstances you may be better off paying a small penalty to cancel under the contract, rather than having the provider cancel. YMMV

If you'd like to hear it yourself there's some talkback calls raising concerns about airline flights, followed by the Rickard interview here:ABC Radio Brisbane Skip through to at 1:07.00
The ACCC was providing general advice which is not applicable to all airlines. Qantas for example specifically states in their conditions of carriage that you can get a refund for any reason if the airline cancels your flight. There is NO get out clause for 'government restriction' or 'event beyond our control'.

The ACCC even states as much on their website - that while ACL might not apply, you may be entitled to a refund under you contract.
 

Captain Halliday

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Does this apply for hotels as well? I am supposed to stay at a hotel in Maldives this month, but the hotel is closed from April to June, citing the flight cancellations and the covid-19 situation and Luxury Escapes won't give me a refund. From what I gathered, the Maldives government didn't order the hotel to shutdown, but the hotel decided to close as I assume the occupancy rate doesn't make it worthwhile for them to continue operating.
Generally yes. But for the Maldives, Australian Law wouldn’t apply.
 

Captain Halliday

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The ACCC was providing general advice which is not applicable to all airlines. Qantas for example specifically states in their conditions of carriage that you can get a refund for any reason if the airline cancels your flight. There is NO get out clause for 'government restriction' or 'event beyond our control'.
Sure, but that’s QF going beyond the minimum required in Australian Consumer Law. The law is the same regardless of whether it’s QF or another company.

Also, do you have a link to that CoC as I have a QF booking (via Amex travel) and it is starting to look like I’ll have to fight for my money.
 
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Sure, but that’s QF going beyond the minimum required in Australian Consumer Law. The law is the same regardless of whether it’s QF or another company.

Also, do you have a link to that CoC as I have a QF booking (via Amex travel) and it is starting to look like I’ll have to fight for my money.

There's another thread on AFF regarding QF and covid refunds. If QF has cancelled, they are giving cash refunds to everyone who asks, no questions, You just have to call them (which is the main issue). There is also another thread if you have booked using an AMEX voucher.

In a way QF is going above the minimum required under ACL, but they would have had very carefully considered the commercial advantages of that. It makes sense that if an airline cancels, you should get a full refund! You'd lose business if you advertised differently.
 

Flashback

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I think this is going to be a fun one......... my mother can't find the booking e-mail, all they can find is payment (via PayPal) for $1.6k but no booking confirmation e-mail. If we go into My Escape on both Luxury Escapes and Scoopon Travel both are empty. The description on the PayPal transaction is blank. Something looks to have gone seriously wrong here......
 

Pushka

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I think this is going to be a fun one......... my mother can't find the booking e-mail, all they can find is payment (via PayPal) for $1.6k but no booking confirmation e-mail. If we go into My Escape on both Luxury Escapes and Scoopon Travel both are empty. The description on the PayPal transaction is blank. Something looks to have gone seriously wrong here......
Maybe used a different email address? PayPal records are historical so must show in the PayPal account?
 

Flashback

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Maybe used a different email address? PayPal records are historical so must show in the PayPal account?
Yep, e-mail used is the same as that registered with the LE and Scoopon account.... so a mystery. Have e-mailed them (including the fast track Bali address you had), will see if they respond and if nothing in a week then a phone call to them.

PayPal has the transaction, but description there is also blank.
 

glasszon

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Then definitely try a CC chargeback on the card you paid LE.
I am really upset right now. I filed a chargeback with Amex but Amex ruled against me because they said the merchant has responded to them saying the merchant is willing to defer my stay until 2021.

On Monday I will lodge a complaint with Amex, and if that doesn't work I will go to AFCA.

I cannot believe that both the credit card company and the insurance company say as long as Luxury Escapes is willing to let me change the travel date, then LE isn't bound to refund my money. So this means I can start selling $2k Maldives packages, and just before people's stay, I can go tell them I can only let them change the date to the year 3000 and keep all the money?

Edit: Or in other words, why do I pay using a credit card? Surely if the merchant cancel on me, then the terms of the card means I should get my money back due to service not provided?
 
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kcoulson

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Who is your insurance company? Yes - the situation is very tough, since you booked based on your availability for certain dates. Was it a domestic or international LE package?
 

glasszon

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Who is your insurance company? Yes - the situation is very tough, since you booked based on your availability for certain dates. Was it a domestic or international LE package?
Chubb. LE package to Maldives.
 

Flashback

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Yep, e-mail used is the same as that registered with the LE and Scoopon account.... so a mystery. Have e-mailed them (including the fast track Bali address you had), will see if they respond and if nothing in a week then a phone call to them.

PayPal has the transaction, but description there is also blank.
Mystery solved, the actual booking e-mail went to another family's e-mail address.

Who is your insurance company? Yes - the situation is very tough, since you booked based on your availability for certain dates. Was it a domestic or international LE package?
Pretty much every insurance policy I've looked at seems to say TI won't pay out if a coupon/voucher is issued, even if you can't make use of it. Will be an interesting use case to try and get around that.....
 

Pushka

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Mystery solved, the actual booking e-mail went to another family's e-mail address.



Pretty much every insurance policy I've looked at seems to say TI won't pay out if a coupon/voucher is issued, even if you can't make use of it. Will be an interesting use case to try and get around that.....
Dare I say it was a different email address? 😀
 

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