MSC doesn't honor discount

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Nov 22, 2017
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#1
On the 08/19/2017 MSC Divina sailing out of Miami, FL, I earned a 30% discount for my casino play. The discount was on the cruise fare and applied towards double occupancy. I am also a MSC Voyager Club "Black" Member which provides for a 5% discount on all bookings.

When booking the 05/12/2018 MSC Seaside sailing where the website showed a fare of $599 per person plus $108 per person government fees and taxes, I paid a deposit of $198 based on this. The booking department then transferred the booking to the casino department to apply my discount. They applied the 30% discount to $440 since they said that $159 is "non-commissionable fare". They did not apply my VC Black 5% discount since the casino department said they can't combine offers.

A review of MSC's "Terms and Conditions" for the "Voyager Club", "Carriage", and "Booking" does not define cruise fare nor exclude combining of discounts.

After sending an e-mail to the executive officers at their Fort Lauderdale, FL office, an adjustment was made. This adjustment does not reflect the full 35% discount.

The amount of the difference between what I believe I should be paying and what MSC is charging is minimal. However, when MSC's website says $599 per person, you would think that the discount would be applied towards that amount, not a bogus amount of $440 which can't be found anywhere on their website, only on the trip confirmation after payment of deposit and after the $599 fare was given from their booking department to the casino department.
 
Nov 22, 2017
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#3
No- the actual cruise fare that a discount is applied to is only the base fare. They cannot discount taxes and port fees- it’s illegal to discount taxes.

The amount you received the discount on is correct.
I am aware that you can't receive a discount of the taxes and I am not disputing that.

What I am disputing is that the website price was $599 per person, plus an additional $108 per person government fees and taxes. When the casino department went to apply my discount, they took the $599 website price and broke it down into two pieces, that being $440 cabin fare and $159 non-commissionable fare. The discount was taken on the $440 cabin fare.

No where within MSC's terms and conditions does it discuss cabin fare. What I believe is that the 35% discount (35% casino discount and 5% voyager club discount) should be applied against the $599 website price. That is not what MSC is doing.

In my opinion, right or wrong, this is false advertisement of their website price and consumer fraud.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#4
I understand. As an agent, they take those off of any commission we are paid when selling a cruise too. These are explained as port fees (the amount the cruise line pays per person for every person that gets off the shirt in each port you stop in). But I can’t recall a clear explanation of what these really are - we just know that we also don’t get commission on those fees.

We have company contacts at MSC:

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/msc-cruises/

Write the Customer Service and ask about this.
Ask them to point out where in their terms this is stated.

Give them a week to reply. If they don’t or you aren’t satisfied, move to the first e eco tube shown. Give him or her a week, continue up the chain if necessary. At the very least you should ask where this is disclosed in the terms of the program.

Let us know what they say.
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 22, 2017
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#6
I did find some wording in the Voyager Club terms and conditions:

The discount is understood to be applied to the stateroom cruise booking fare only. The discount cannot be applied to flights, transfers, port taxes, hotels and excursions.

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Assets/16740_34_Terms_conditions_USA_1.PDF
I have already written via e-mail to the executive officers of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc., located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I provided them with a week to prove me wrong. This was back on 11/01/2017. To date, I have not heard back from them.

I understand about the taxes and port fees, no discount. I don't have any related travel, transfers, hotels, excursions, since I live in the Fort Lauderdale area and I am dropped off and picked up at PortMiami.

My complaint is that the website showed a cruise fare of $599 PP plus $108 Government Fees and Taxes. My discount should only be on the $599 amount. Total discount should be 35% off of this price (30% casino offer plus 5% VC Black member), nothing else.

MSC's casino department took the $599 PP website price and said that it is $440 cabin fare and $159 non-commissionable fare. THIS IS WRONG! If MSC says that this is how it is, then it should be disclosed on their website. IT IS NOT! Nowhere within all of their Terms and Conditions on their website does it define cruise fare and/or cabin fare and/or non-commissionable fare.

Unless MSC can show otherwise, this is consumer fraud. This was addressed in my e-mail to MSC on 11/01/2017, and again, no response from MSC.
 
Nov 22, 2017
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#9
Well if you have written to the CEO of MSC and hear nothing, you might want to file a complaint with the Attorney General in your State.
I have already filed a complaint with the BBB out of the West Palm Beach office and they have accepted the complaint. If no results, then both the Broward County State Attorney's Office and the Federal Trade Commission will be my next steps.
 
Nov 22, 2017
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#10
Exactly how much money are we talking about? How far are you willing to go to recover it?
I am only talking about $109. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE MONEY since I will have done 10 cruises this year (2017). It is just the principle that MSC will reflect $599 PP as their website fare, yet only provide me a discount on a bogus number created by the casino department that is not disclosed anywhere within their website nor "Terms and Conditions". And YES, I am willing to walk away from this cruise since I already have 40 days booked on CCL for 2017 over 3 cruises, and may book more depending upon any offers I receive.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#11
I have already filed a complaint with the BBB out of the West Palm Beach office and they have accepted the complaint. If no results, then both the Broward County State Attorney's Office and the Federal Trade Commission will be my next steps.
The BBB is powerless to do anything. All they do is send a letter to MSC and wait for the reply.
They don’t go to bat for you.

Use our company contacts for the Executives- that’s who need to hear about this.

This is all part of transparency on the part of not only airlines but cruise lines too. If you really want to make a difference- write to your government officials and tell them you want pricing transparency.
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 27, 2017
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#12
Hi, I can actually answer the question. MSC actually gave you the right discount off the cruise fare. So you would take the advertise price of $599 - $159 to find out what the cruise fare is and that is what is discounted. Neil is correct, the $159 is non commissionable. The $159 is what is call the port charges part of the port charges and tax. When the cruise lines issue their pricing, they issue it to include the port charges with the advertise rate and in a separate line item, the taxes (which are the state, local, govt taxes).

The port charges are the per amount per a person the cruise lines carry to an port. For example, Grand Caymans may charge $XX for every cruise line passenger it carries to them. Every port has a port charge, and in your case, Big Moe, it is $159, which is not discountable.

Here is the definition of port charges and an example:

The tax and port charge is an additional $167 per person, or about 12 percent. A seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise in September, aboard Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas, has fares beginning at $489 per person. Additional fees are $71, about a 15 percent add-on.

I hope this helps.
 
Likes: jsn55
Nov 27, 2017
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#13
Hi, I can actually answer the question. MSC actually gave you the right discount off the cruise fare. So you would take the advertise price of $599 - $159 to find out what the cruise fare is and that is what is discounted. Neil is correct, the $159 is non commissionable. The $159 is what is call the port charges part of the port charges and tax. When the cruise lines issue their pricing, they issue it to include the port charges with the advertise rate and in a separate line item, the taxes (which are the state, local, govt taxes).

The port charges are the per amount per a person the cruise lines carry to an port. For example, Grand Caymans may charge $XX for every cruise line passenger it carries to them. Every port has a port charge, and in your case, Big Moe, it is $159, which is not discountable.

Here is the definition of port charges and an example:

The tax and port charge is an additional $167 per person, or about 12 percent. A seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise in September, aboard Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas, has fares beginning at $489 per person. Additional fees are $71, about a 15 percent add-on.

I hope this helps.
Sorry, I meant $109; not $159.
 
Nov 22, 2017
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#14
I have already written via e-mail to the executive officers of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc., located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. I provided them with a week to prove me wrong. This was back on 11/01/2017. To date, I have not heard back from them.

I understand about the taxes and port fees, no discount. I don't have any related travel, transfers, hotels, excursions, since I live in the Fort Lauderdale area and I am dropped off and picked up at PortMiami.

My complaint is that the website showed a cruise fare of $599 PP plus $108 Government Fees and Taxes. My discount should only be on the $599 amount. Total discount should be 35% off of this price (30% casino offer plus 5% VC Black member), nothing else.

MSC's casino department took the $599 PP website price and said that it is $440 cabin fare and $159 non-commissionable fare. THIS IS WRONG! If MSC says that this is how it is, then it should be disclosed on their website. IT IS NOT! Nowhere within all of their Terms and Conditions on their website does it define cruise fare and/or cabin fare and/or non-commissionable fare.

Unless MSC can show otherwise, this is consumer fraud. This was addressed in my e-mail to MSC on 11/01/2017, and again, no response from MSC.
GREAT NEWS! MSC finally saw it my way.

First, they gave me my 30% discount on the $599 fare. Then, after that discount, MSC gave me my VC 5% discount. Overall, it comes out to a 33.5% discount. Not the 35% discount that I believe I should receive, but I'm not going to complain about $19 dollars.

Now all I need to know from MSC is if I get complementary cocktails while playing in the casino since my confirmation states "Casino Top Clients".
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#15
Hi, I can actually answer the question. MSC actually gave you the right discount off the cruise fare. So you would take the advertise price of $599 - $159 to find out what the cruise fare is and that is what is discounted. Neil is correct, the $159 is non commissionable. The $159 is what is call the port charges part of the port charges and tax. When the cruise lines issue their pricing, they issue it to include the port charges with the advertise rate and in a separate line item, the taxes (which are the state, local, govt taxes).

The port charges are the per amount per a person the cruise lines carry to an port. For example, Grand Caymans may charge $XX for every cruise line passenger it carries to them. Every port has a port charge, and in your case, Big Moe, it is $159, which is not discountable.

Here is the definition of port charges and an example:

The tax and port charge is an additional $167 per person, or about 12 percent. A seven-day Southern Caribbean cruise in September, aboard Royal Caribbean International's Jewel of the Seas, has fares beginning at $489 per person. Additional fees are $71, about a 15 percent add-on.

I hope this helps.
Thank you, Ginny! "non-commmissionable" didn't mean much to me.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,608
11,973
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
GREAT NEWS! MSC finally saw it my way.

First, they gave me my 30% discount on the $599 fare. Then, after that discount, MSC gave me my VC 5% discount. Overall, it comes out to a 33.5% discount. Not the 35% discount that I believe I should receive, but I'm not going to complain about $19 dollars.

Now all I need to know from MSC is if I get complementary cocktails while playing in the casino since my confirmation states "Casino Top Clients".
I am glad that it worked out. They should clarify this in their terms and conditions.