Keeping the Deposit

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Mar 17, 2020
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I booked an April trip to Europe with Gate1in January 2020.

In February 2020, I cancelled the tour which I was going to meet in Europe. Gate1 charged me a $200 cancellation fee. In March Gate1 cancelled all tours through 30 April. I called Gate 1 and asked for my cancellation fee returned since the tour was cancelled. Gate 1 told me they would not return the money because I cancelled the booking before they did. I said stop splitting hairs, you have canceled the tour; there is no tour.
i
Is Gate1 correct In keeping the cancellation fee?
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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Unfortunately- yes. You jumped the gun on canceling. We have been advising all our clients unless their trip is immediate to wait it out. If the airline, tour operator, cruise line cancels your booking, the usually have to give you a choice of a refund or a credit towards a new trip. You were given terms and conditions which state the cancellation terms that were in effect the day you canceled and they can adhere to them. If you read the terms there are also terms as to what happens if they are the ones who cancel, not you.

Have you asked if they would be willing to offer you a credit towards a trip next year? They might agree with that.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,248
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San Francisco
I booked an April trip to Europe with Gate1in January 2020.

In February 2020, I cancelled the tour which I was going to meet in Europe. Gate1 charged me a $200 cancellation fee. In March Gate1 cancelled all tours through 30 April. I called Gate 1 and asked for my cancellation fee returned since the tour was cancelled. Gate 1 told me they would not return the money because I cancelled the booking before they did. I said stop splitting hairs, you have canceled the tour; there is no tour.
i
Is Gate1 correct In keeping the cancellation fee?
Well, they're correct, but they're also dumb to not refund that fee. I wouldn't be booking another trip with a company that treated me like this ... yit's not as though you cancelled a year ago. You'd think they'd be smart enough to figure out what a bad customer service reputation they're generating for $200. However, phone agents have little to say except what their manual tells them to say. I would compose a polite, concise email and submit it to Customer Service asking that the $200 be credited to you for a future trip.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,572
21,567
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Well, they're correct, but they're also dumb to not refund that fee. I wouldn't be booking another trip with a company that treated me like this ... yit's not as though you cancelled a year ago. You'd think they'd be smart enough to figure out what a bad customer service reputation they're generating for $200. However, phone agents have little to say except what their manual tells them to say. I would compose a polite, concise email and submit it to Customer Service asking that the $200 be credited to you for a future trip.
A lot of these companies will go out of business if they don’t keep those fees. Already an OTA has temporarily “closed” (so they claim) because their refunds have outrun their bookings. But travelers that booked through them are arriving at their hotels and finding the hotels haven’t been paid. I’m not sure how a company can come back from that.

This is a very precarious time for everyone.
 
Dec 9, 2016
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Idaho
www.travelimages.com
Well, they're correct, but they're also dumb to not refund that fee. I wouldn't be booking another trip with a company that treated me like this ... yit's not as though you cancelled a year ago. You'd think they'd be smart enough to figure out what a bad customer service reputation they're generating for $200.
This exactly. Businesses that don't place the client first are building a poor reputation for themselves, and they gain nothing by keeping deposits.

We have a photo travel business, and whenever a client has cancelled late because of illness or whatever, we return as much of their entire fee as possible even though we're not obliged to.

Make the customer number 1!
 
Last edited:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,248
10,033
113
San Francisco
A lot of these companies will go out of business if they don’t keep those fees. Already an OTA has temporarily “closed” (so they claim) because their refunds have outrun their bookings. But travelers that booked through them are arriving at their hotels and finding the hotels haven’t been paid. I’m not sure how a company can come back from that.

This is a very precarious time for everyone.
I agree ... life will not rebound from this for years. While it would be a blessing if all the online booking services disappeared, today's traveller can probably pay the hotel on arrival and dispute the charge from the OBS. Travel companies that TRY, ie issue a credit towards a future trip instead of just telling the customer "too bad", should find recovery a little easier. Unless your pockets are deep and your management superb, however, the next twelve months are going to be just awful. I'm grateful that my French river cruise was on Avalon Waterways; they're part of the huge travel provider Globus. I'm confident that my credit will be worth something when I'm ready to rebook. I have complimentary trip insurance with my Chase CC, so it behooves me to get rebooked as soon as possible ... so I have something to insure. Lots and lots of things to ponder and consider for a traveller going forward.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,572
21,567
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I agree ... life will not rebound from this for years. While it would be a blessing if all the online booking services disappeared, today's traveller can probably pay the hotel on arrival and dispute the charge from the OBS. Travel companies that TRY, ie issue a credit towards a future trip instead of just telling the customer "too bad", should find recovery a little easier. Unless your pockets are deep and your management superb, however, the next twelve months are going to be just awful. I'm grateful that my French river cruise was on Avalon Waterways; they're part of the huge travel provider Globus. I'm confident that my credit will be worth something when I'm ready to rebook. I have complimentary trip insurance with my Chase CC, so it behooves me to get rebooked as soon as possible ... so I have something to insure. Lots and lots of things to ponder and consider for a traveller going forward.
It’s not quite that easy if they paid a year ago.
 
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Apr 1, 2018
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I took a tour with Gate1 and I loved it. But before I booked, I checked reviews of Gate1 on various websites. It was really interesting - everyone loved them or hated them and about 90% of those who hated them were upset over refund and/or cancellation issues. All of this to say that it doesn't surprise me that they won't refund the deposit.
 
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Oct 14, 2015
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This exactly. Businesses that don't place the client first are building a poor reputation for themselves, and they gain nothing by keeping deposits.

We have a photo travel business, and whenever a client has cancelled late because of illness or whatever, we return as much of their entire fee as possible even though we're not obliged to.

Make the customer number 1!
no travel operator should refund for any reason whatsoever right now. Many won't survive the next month or 2, but refunding $200 x thousands might be the difference between losing their house & not.

Big deal $200. Get over it.
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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We have a photo travel business, and whenever a client has cancelled late because of illness or whatever, we return as much of their entire fee as possible even though we're not obliged to.
I think the key statement here is "as much ..... as possible." Which implies that at times it is NOT in fact the entirety of the fee. For some of these travel companies, perhaps what they are returning is "as much as possible" at this time? This is an unprecedented circumstance for passengers and travel agencies and the tourism and travel industry as a whole. While I think that it would be *nice* for the company to return the deposit, the customer jumped the gun and cancelled on their own, instead of waiting for the company to do it, and as such, accepted the conditions of that cancellation. A polite letter, asking one more time, is warranted and then, if denied, let it go. IMHO, of course. Yours may vary...
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
21,572
21,567
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
We spoke to an attorney about this. He told us that if the supplier
I booked an April trip to Europe with Gate1in January 2020.

In February 2020, I cancelled the tour which I was going to meet in Europe. Gate1 charged me a $200 cancellation fee. In March Gate1 cancelled all tours through 30 April. I called Gate 1 and asked for my cancellation fee returned since the tour was cancelled. Gate 1 told me they would not return the money because I cancelled the booking before they did. I said stop splitting hairs, you have canceled the tour; there is no tour.
i
Is Gate1 correct In keeping the cancellation fee?
We spoke to an attorney about this today. Yes, Gate 1 is entitled to keep the cancellation fee. It was in the contract you agreed to when booking and when you chose to cancel.

Interestingly enough, he also said a credit credit chargeback would also most likely be lost if a consumer filed one. First - it would be a fraudulent chargeback since you knew the policy at the time you canceled. And second-if the supplier gave you a document with the cancellation fees listed- it’s a valid charge. Just because you don’t like the fee isn’t a reason to grant a credit card dispute.
 
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Oct 14, 2015
231
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We spoke to an attorney about this. He told us that if the supplier

We spoke to an attorney about this today. Yes, Gate 1 is entitled to keep the cancellation fee. It was in the contract you agreed to when booking and when you chose to cancel.

Interestingly enough, he also said a credit credit chargeback would also most likely be lost if a consumer filed one. First - it would be a fraudulent chargeback since you knew the policy at the time you canceled. And second-if the supplier gave you a document with the cancellation fees listed- it’s a valid charge. Just because you don’t like the fee isn’t a reason to grant a credit card dispute.
banks must be swamped with credit card chargeback requests right now, so are probably more likely to refuse even looking at some, than usual.