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Luxury Escapes - beware!

blackcat20

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Our cancelled booking is a bit weird. We booked peak season, so we paid a higher amount than the base price of the package. The package has been converted to pay now book later, and the additional amount is straight LE credit in my account.
 

rechoboam

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Not sure how or why but I've just received an email letting me know that LE has agreed to refund back to original form of payment (credit card) for our holiday that didn't happen back at Easter.
Weird they chose you - how hard were you pushing? I've definitely heard people are being quietly refunded. I'm just waiting to hear back from TI, and if they refuse I'm filing a claim in small claims in NSW immediately. Not sure why this hasn't been raised as an option here at all. The contract states if the hotel is closed they will refund, and my hotel have told me they will still be closed in August when my booking is for. I've emailed them a couple of times to say I'm suing them and they didn't even bother to respond.
 

glasszon

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Weird they chose you - how hard were you pushing? I've definitely heard people are being quietly refunded. I'm just waiting to hear back from TI, and if they refuse I'm filing a claim in small claims in NSW immediately. Not sure why this hasn't been raised as an option here at all. The contract states if the hotel is closed they will refund, and my hotel have told me they will still be closed in August when my booking is for. I've emailed them a couple of times to say I'm suing them and they didn't even bother to respond.
I am not sure about NSW, but in VIC it would cost over $200 to lodge a claim at VCAT for claims above $5000, and it's something you can't recover even if you win the case.

On the other hand, credit card chargebacks (and travel insurance, subject to excess) are free, and doesn't involve a legal procedure.
 

Flashback

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I am not sure about NSW, but in VIC it would cost over $200 to lodge a claim at VCAT for claims above $5000, and it's something you can't recover even if you win the case.

On the other hand, credit card chargebacks (and travel insurance, subject to excess) are free, and doesn't involve a legal procedure.
Although reports here seem to be chargeback fails if the vendor is offering a voucher, which LE is doing because that's a "suitable alternative" in their view. Obviously not ours.....
 

bpeteb

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Weird they chose you - how hard were you pushing? I've definitely heard people are being quietly refunded. I'm just waiting to hear back from TI, and if they refuse I'm filing a claim in small claims in NSW immediately. Not sure why this hasn't been raised as an option here at all. The contract states if the hotel is closed they will refund, and my hotel have told me they will still be closed in August when my booking is for. I've emailed them a couple of times to say I'm suing them and they didn't even bother to respond.
Me either. One call and then a polite email saying we’d prefer a refund.
 

glasszon

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Although reports here seem to be chargeback fails if the vendor is offering a voucher, which LE is doing because that's a "suitable alternative" in their view. Obviously not ours.....
Doing a chargeback is akin to lodging an insurance claim: there's no "one-size fits all" approach and it all comes down to the exact scenario and the card scheme rules/insurance policy.

For example, visa made is very clear that under the card scheme rules, a refund must be provided if the service hasn't been provided due to closure/cancellation as long as it is not caused by a government restriction, else the customer can initiate a chargeback if the vendor refuses to provide the refund.

On the other hand, you cannot seek a chargeback if you decide not to continue the trip due to covid-19, so each individual is best to seek advice based on their own circumstances.
 

drron

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However if a hotel is paid on a CBA Mastercard they basically are only accepting a chargeback if it is in Australia.Saying that it is a government action that has stopped our trip-border closed- even though the hotel closed.But that is said by them to be caused by a government action- lockdown in UK.
Guess from now on any hotel etc that doesn't accept Amex will be avoided.
 

bpeteb

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Received another email yesterday afternoon from one of the LE Team Leaders confirming that our escape had been cancelled and refund would be back in my Amex in three to five days. I hope it happens. We still have an escape booked, in Canberra, in November.
 

Flashback

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My folks had one booked (via Scoopon) and they said while cancellation isn't allowed, they're going to request as a once off via the hotel. Will be interesting to see how that goes, the hotel is still open but obviously Indonesia's borders are shut. The agent did note that it they had been staying at the Pullman, it would have been a hard no.
No luck, voucher with 18 months validity offered. I told the folks to push back but don't think they really want to push it any further. Oh well!
 

Hamclan23

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tldr: Luxury Escape refused to provide a refund even though the hotel is closed and the hotel is happy to issue a refund.

I am posting this as a PSA and to highlight their behaviour, it was really awful and I can't emphasise enough to steer clear of them.

I have a luxury escapes package in April, and I received an email from the hotel on Friday saying they will be closed from April to June and I can either change the dates with no charge or they are happy to refund via luxury escapes.

I then called Luxury Escapes today, and without even looking up my record (he didn't ask anything from me beyond that I told him I have a package next month and the hotel say they are closed during that time), insist regardless of what the hotel says, all bookings are non-refundable under any circumstances and the most I can get is a deferral of travel to that exact hotel at a later time, even though the hotel cancelled on me because they are closed during April.

Based on this I assume they have a blanket policy to never allow a refund in the current situation even if the hotel itself is closed, I am sure I will end up spending hours trying to claim back the money from my travel insurance.
I have booked Bali in August and after several weeks I had a reply asking me if I still needed assistance with my refund enquiry. Should I wait until my hotel cancels my booking or try to get a refund from my Qantas credit card now ? I also booked business class fares with Qantas which has a $600 each cancelation charge so again I’m wondering if I should wait until they cancel our flights then chase a refund.
I will certainly not be using LE again.
 

Flashback

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No luck, voucher with 18 months validity offered. I told the folks to push back but don't think they really want to push it any further. Oh well!
I lie! They did push back, requesting a refund again but it was denied.

Yes, I understand this is your preference. However, your booking is not eligible for a cash refund as the hotel will not be temporarily closed across your original booking dates and will be operating business as usual. Upon escalation, your cash refund request has been declined and a credit offering has been approved.

So it seems if the hotel was closed, then a refund may actually have been forthcoming.
 

blackcat20

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I lie! They did push back, requesting a refund again but it was denied.

Yes, I understand this is your preference. However, your booking is not eligible for a cash refund as the hotel will not be temporarily closed across your original booking dates and will be operating business as usual. Upon escalation, your cash refund request has been declined and a credit offering has been approved.

So it seems if the hotel was closed, then a refund may actually have been forthcoming.
Hmmm I’m pretty sure our hotel is closed. I’d actually like to use the package though.
 

Flashback

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Hmmm I’m pretty sure our hotel is closed. I’d actually like to use the package though.
In which case you'd want a date rebook rather than a voucher as otherwise you're on the hook for any possible additional price I'd say.
 

glennp

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Had a LE booking in mid-March and emailed them asking about my options as international travel was quickly becoming very uncertain. Checked directly with the hotel and decided to proceed with travel plans. Dodged a Covid bullet no thanks to LE who replied to my email six weeks later asking whether I still needed their assistance. Think I will avoid LE in future.
 

blackcat20

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In which case you'd want a date rebook rather than a voucher as otherwise you're on the hook for any possible additional price I'd say.
We already paid for the peak season surcharge. All the dates available now are at the base price so we’re fine. But they only have dates for this year so far. If we aren’t allowed to travel this year and they don’t have dates for next year, we’ll push harder.

Edit: just checked and they’ve added dates for all of next year. Same prices (including peak surcharge).
 

drron

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We have been able to push a couple of our LE bookings into 2021.This was about 2 weeks ago
 

bpeteb

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Call us foolish but we bought another escape - five nights at The Reef House at Palm Cove. Instead of camping in Botswana in seven weeks we'll be lazing by the pool in Palm Cove then venturing up to the Daintree and cape Tribulation.
 

blackcat20

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Call us foolish but we bought another escape - five nights at The Reef House at Palm Cove. Instead of camping in Botswana in seven weeks we'll be lazing by the pool in Palm Cove then venturing up to the Daintree and cape Tribulation.
I'm eyeing this one off. We bought it for my mum earlier this year and she really liked it. Just waiting for QLD to open the border :rolleyes:
 

bpeteb

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I'm eyeing this one off. We bought it for my mum earlier this year and she really liked it. Just waiting for QLD to open the border :rolleyes:
We stayed a couple of easters ago (edited - last easter, just found the photos) and loved it. We kept saying we’d go back and this fell into our email as we started planning our trip. This is a good deal.

You just stay away from my Qld ;)

uh oh, drron will be on to me next :)
 
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