PCL COFFEE CARD PROGRAM

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Jul 14, 2019
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#1
Company you have a question or comment about: Princess

this is about the princess cruise line coffee card program,
a little back ground info my family and I are loyal princess travelers , i am an elite member but all but 1 of my cruises have been repositioning cruises as we live in Vancouver and try to take advantage of the 1 or 3 days trips to LA or another west coast city , we do try for 1 repositioning trip a year if our days off with work align, we did 1 this year and last , with the last one before was 2013 i believe,
so this is my issue , princess use to sell coffee cards to guest with these cards you had 15 specialty drinks and unlimited brewed coffee for the trip , all unused specialty drinks were allowed to be used on future cruises ( written right on the back of the card) i would normally buy a card per trip because i preferred there brewed coffee over the syrup coffer elsewhere, my wife would drink the specialty drinks but we can never finish off our cards because we have older cards that we were using first ,
so in April of 2018 we did a 3 day cruise and yes i bought a card , jump forward 13 month and in May of this year we were lucky enough to do another, first thing i did was go buy a card , but no card was given ,i was told to come back later to get it , on my return i ask for my card and was informed for the first time that the program has changed, no card will be given it will go on your cruise profile, i was like okay but how about the 15 specialty drinks as i will only be drinking brewed coffee as we are trying to use up the other cards first , i was told if u don't use them you lose them !!!
i was shocked, then i was told i had until August 31th of this year to use up any old cards as they will be invalid , i was blown away , knowing the the crew had nothing to do with this i waited until I got home, when i wrote to princess and received nothing at first ,then i wrote on their social media pages and received replies by phone with a very scripted response ( 3 times they called saying the same thing or along the same lines ,i finally ask them to stop calling with the same responses ), in all they said I'm out of luck too bad u have until the end of August, we gave everyone over a years notice, that is more then enough time to use them up( it feels like PCL thinks people can hop on & off these ships like a bus , i also was just going to show up at the port and ask for all my unfilled cards , hmm-mm PCL i can't can ? ) , i was floored, i argued left and right to no avail, saying i just found out the past may where do u see the 1 year notice there , they said we posted in our terms and conditions on the web pages in may 2018 , i said i haven't been on a cruise since then and do u honestly believe people will read your terms and conditions when they're not traveling and i doubt they will read the terms of the coffee program even if they are traveling because it's been like this for over a decade at least ! i talks with customer service, social media, i got nowhere, i even wrote to CEO ,president, the top 5 in CCL/PCL , they couldn't even care to reply , i am in disbelief the a major corporation would sell you a item take your money and not honor what they state!!! this is such a small amount for them and to have bad customer relations it's unbelievable, the amount they pay for there coffees is pennies, even if it takes me 50 years to use they will have made there money on these cards/programs ,
please help me ,i have tried every options i believe and i can only hope you will help me

What's your desired resolution? all i ask is the they honor the coffee cards that are out there, with no set date of expiration, i don't care that they changed the program, that is there choice , but having spent my money on these cards i would expect that they honor them until none show up ,! it's such a small request that they will not even notice. thanks you i believe i have 3 or 4 cards left value 35 usd each
we are heading on a Alaska cruise on Sept 14th and yes i will be taking my cards

ace

ps the platter photo is from this past Mays sailing , with over a year notice ,you would think this would be written correctly , back of card for the other
 

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Neil Maley

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#2
This has been in effect for over a year and the information is available online on Princesses website and the new policy says all old cards must be used by Aug. 31, 2019. Please note the information on the last line of this- that by purchasing the card you agree to these and all future terms. That was also on the information on the old card on the Princess website as well.

Princess and any cruise line have the right to change terms or any of their programs with notice. This notice was made a year ago.

I have used these coffee cards and understand exactly how they work but I’ve never seen anyone who does with them what you do. We always used ours up on two cruises and then purchased another.

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do since this has been in effect for more than a year.


Beginning June 2, 2018, the New Grounds Coffee Card has been replaced by the New Grounds Coffee Package. To view the new coffee package please Click Here.
New Grounds Coffee Card

New Grounds Coffee Card can be pre-purchased on Cruise Personalizer, via online Gifts and Services or can be purchased onboard. The New Grounds Coffee Card allows guests to redeem coffee beverages throughout their voyage, in any location, where espresso/cappuccino service are offered.
  • Price for New Grounds Coffee Card is inclusive of gratuity.
  • Item #0482 US $36.58
  • This represents up to a 20% savings compared to purchasing these beverages individually.
  • Every time a guest requests a specialty coffee a hole-punch is made in the coffee card until all 15 slots have been used.
What is Included
  • The package includes the pre-purchase of a specified number of specialty coffees (numbers vary by itinerary) as well as complimentary brewed coffee and hot chocolate during the VOYAGE OF PURCHASE.
  • Guests may redeem the number of specialty coffees as noted on the coffee package card in locations where espresso is available. This will include select bar and dining areas and varies by ship and or itinerary.
  • Each punch is good for one specialty coffee, regardless of the cost of the specialty coffee.
  • Selections and service are limited to that venue's menu offerings and operating hours.
Package Details and Qualifications
  • The package may be pre-purchased up to 4 days prior to boarding the vessel.
  • The package is NOT available for pre-purchase within 3 days of sailing.
  • Coffee cards are valid until the expiration date printed on the card. If NO expiration date is printed on the card it is valid until August 31, 2019.
  • Unused punches may be used on subsequent voyages unless the card has expired
  • Free brewed coffee is available only on the voyage of issue.
  • Coffee cards cannot be sold, or otherwise transferred to any individual. Coffee package cards are only valid for use by the purchaser.
Exclusions and Limitations
  • Does NOT apply to bottled or ready to drink items such as canned coffee items etc.
  • Can NOT be redeemed when ordering Room Service or for Mini Bar Items in cabin.
Terms and Conditions
  • Each card must display the date of purchase to be valid
  • Cards without a date of purchase will have one added at the time of service by a crew member
  • Cards that have been purchased from secondary sources, other than Princess Cruises, altered, tampered with, photocopied or are expired will be retained by the vessel at their sole discretion and are considered void.
  • Princess Cruises may modify, amend or update the terms and conditions of our beverage packages / offers at any time with or without notice to guests. The terms and conditions as published on princess.com on the date of sailing will apply.
  • Not all exclusions or limitations can be foreseen or published here and may exist or be implemented with or without notice.
  • Pricing is subject to change without notice, and for vessels designated in a foreign currency packages purchased in advance may vary from onboard pricing due to timing and currency fluctuations. Guests will NOT incur additional charges, nor be issued any credits or refunds for such currency variances.
  • Unused punches have no cash value and are considered forfeit if the card is lost, stolen, irretrievably damaged or expired. The honoring of unused punches on future voyages are allowed up to the expiration date but may be discontinued at any time without notice or recourse.
  • By purchasing a coffee package card, you agree to these and all future terms and conditions.
 
Jul 14, 2019
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#4
please read what i wrote i said exactly what you put in there minus the fine print ( check my dates ) , again i really don't care that they changed the program , what i care about is that they honor the cards , it's like buying a gift card for whatever amount , you would hope that a major corporation would honor these , it's pennies to there cost but it's still 100 dollars to a consumer,
about the executives , 2 things i used the wrong email or I'm am being ignored , i would prefer to have used the wrong contact info
plus i don't have the resources to enjoy multi cruises per year without saving for years, or the time off to do it ,
 
Feb 12, 2019
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#5
If you search on cruise critic you'll find a lot of threads discussing this from when threy announced. Many were upset about the change, but I don't think there was any way around the program change.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#6
please read what i wrote i said exactly what you put in there minus the fine print ( check my dates ) , again i really don't care that they changed the program , what i care about is that they honor the cards , it's like buying a gift card for whatever amount , you would hope that a major corporation would honor these , it's pennies to there cost but it's still 100 dollars to a consumer,
about the executives , 2 things i used the wrong email or I'm am being ignored , i would prefer to have used the wrong contact info
plus i don't have the resources to enjoy multi cruises per year without saving for years, or the time off to do it ,
How old are these cards? How many “specialty”’coffees are there left?
 
Feb 16, 2018
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#7
Since Princess reserves the right to change it's terms and conditions at any time, and since your social media posts show several interactions with them, I think you will not get them to change their mind on his matter. They have responded to you several times, just not with the answer you wanted.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#9
please read what i wrote i said exactly what you put in there minus the fine print ( check my dates ) , again i really don't care that they changed the program , what i care about is that they honor the cards , it's like buying a gift card for whatever amount , you would hope that a major corporation would honor these , it's pennies to there cost but it's still 100 dollars to a consumer,
about the executives , 2 things i used the wrong email or I'm am being ignored , i would prefer to have used the wrong contact info
plus i don't have the resources to enjoy multi cruises per year without saving for years, or the time off to do it ,
From what I saw on your image, it said you could use them on your "next" cruise, to me that doesn't mean carry over infinitely. So the maximum loss would be the drinks on one card, not several cards. Your usage of this program seems a bit unusual.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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#10
From what I saw on your image, it said you could use them on your "next" cruise, to me that doesn't mean carry over infinitely. So the maximum loss would be the drinks on one card, not several cards. Your usage of this program seems a bit unusual.
From the cruise critic threads, it seems the spreading of use over several cruises was a wide spread practice. Also certain loyalty levels could get the cards for free and a lot ended up on Ebay as it was more than they could use. I recall several people saying they had several unused cards that would now expire. All that combined is probably why Princess changed the terms of the program.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
From the cruise critic threads, it seems the spreading of use over several cruises was a wide spread practice. Also certain loyalty levels could get the cards for free and a lot ended up on Ebay as it was more than they could use. I recall several people saying they had several unused cards that would now expire. All that combined is probably why Princess changed the terms of the program.
I am betting that’s exactly why and it’s the few bad apples that pull this that can ruin it for everyone.

The OP has no case against Princess on this. They are allowed to change any promotional terms at any time and they cover themselves with the statement that you accept that buying the card.

Whether you sail every month or every five years, the rules apply. You have already written to the top executives who have told you that they aren’t going to make an exception so not certain what you think we can do for you.

The legalese about the program allow them to make changes.
 
May 30, 2019
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#12
I had a similar issue with AA club lounge passes that explicitly stated "No expiration date". I saved them for 6 years to eventually use on our honeymoon, only to discover at the airport that AA changed the policy and they expired. It was still a fantastic honeymoon.

@acave Given all your prior contacts, you may want to just write off the ~$140 cost of the cards, especially if you want to travel Princess in the future. There is a point where it could be perceived that you are a belligerent passenger, which could trigger being put on their DNC (Do Not Cruise) or similar list. Alternatively, if you still have the proof of purchase, consider a polite request for a refund or for the original cost to be applied as a credit towards on-board expenses.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
17,142
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#13
I had a similar issue with AA club lounge passes that explicitly stated "No expiration date". I saved them for 6 years to eventually use on our honeymoon, only to discover at the airport that AA changed the policy and they expired. It was still a fantastic honeymoon.

@acave Given all your prior contacts, you may want to just write off the ~$140 cost of the cards, especially if you want to travel Princess in the future. There is a point where it could be perceived that you are a belligerent passenger, which could trigger being put on their DNC (Do Not Cruise) or similar list. Alternatively, if you still have the proof of purchase, consider a polite request for a refund or for the original cost to be applied as a credit towards on-board expenses.
Love the suggestion of asking politely for an OBC.
 
Likes: SierraRose49
Jul 14, 2019
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#14
From what I saw on your image, it said you could use them on your "next" cruise, to me that doesn't mean carry over infinitely. So the maximum loss would be the drinks on one card, not several cards. Your usage of this program seems a bit unusual.
how long does it mean ? my dad has been on 1 cruise 25 years ago , there should be no expiration date period ,
[
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,927
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#15
Unfortunately the world doesn’t always work the way we want it. Princesses website has always said the terms are subject to change. I still can’t wrap my head around buying so many cards when you haven’t finished one. What was the motivation? Did you read the original information about the possibility of terms changing on Princesses website?

You have received the definitive answer from the executives at Princess- we can’t do anything else.
 
Jul 14, 2019
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#16
From the cruise critic threads, it seems the spreading of use over several cruises was a wide spread practice. Also certain loyalty levels could get the cards for free and a lot ended up on Ebay as it was more than they could use. I recall several people saying they had several unused cards that would now expire. All that combined is probably why Princess changed the terms of the program.
Unfortunately the world doesn’t always work the way we want it. Princesses website has always said the terms are subject to change. I still can’t wrap my head around buying so many cards when you haven’t finished one. What was the motivation? Did you read the original information about the possibility of terms changing on Princesses website?

You have received the definitive answer from the executives at Princess- we can’t do anything else.
"a definitive answer from the executives at Princess " has not been given , it was replied from someone who works in corporation does not mean executive , if anyone who works in a corporation would know that most have many many managers, , my GUESS is that this was done by some medium level management group to try and save a penny,

please i know about the TERMS & CONDITIONS !!

i came on here to try an get CCL/PCL to open a line a communication ,not have others trying to figure out why i buy these cards on short trips how much coffee i drink blah blah blah .... , i bought all my cards through PCL and i am sure they have my signature for each one , i not here to defend myself either , i don't ask anyone here on why you do things differently , i am not judging you if you have been on 3000 cruises or 1 , it's like asking someone why word you watch a movie while you could have gone to a show! it's your trip do as you please i won't judge you as long as you are having a good time , that's all that should matter . because you most likely paid for it !!

with all the credit they give and people suing for everything because the weather or some other out of control thing , it's baffling why a little thing like the coffee card is making them go hardcore

it's the principle of a corporation selling you a product that cost them next to nothing and taking away what you paid for , PCL can add my cards to my account and keep my cards ,but again just honored what was paid for,

i have no clue where you folks live but here and in most parts we have what's called consumer protection ( look at the airlines )
i personally feel that PCL should to honor the specialty drinks on anyone cards that will show up in time , change the program i don't care , if you work with the general public in customer service or relations , you know where I'm going with this ,
not everyone can go cruises , I've been fortunate to do what i have , but by no means do i have anything on people who live near a 365 day cruise port , nor do i have the money to do this

what baffles me is how fast people who want to defend cruise line that make Billions , over consumers that just want what they paid for . believe me it's easy to bash and criticize , i would love to start a chat with Ms Swartz and hear why PCL went this route ,

as well as i'm quite sure any of you would do the same for something you believe in , as it's most likely the people reading this are regular cruises , i just came across this site the day i posted as my goal was to try and communicat with some from PCL who has a higher racking then mid tier managers president or ceo would be preferred , after all IT SHOULD BE ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE !!
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#18
Acave the problem is one of others abusing the system —right now there are numerous cards available on eBay.

The reason why people were asking why you kept buying the cards is because many have seen how programs change or get discontinued and people lose out in the end —

You mention consumer protection laws in Canada — do any of them cover this? If not all you can do is write to the company and politely ask. But they may not make an exception for you given all the cards out there.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 3, 2019
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#19
If I understand your frustration correctly, you bought the cards in good faith on each cruise so you could enjoy unlimited brewed coffee on that trip, with the expectation your wife would have an unlimited number of cruises on which to use the specialty coffee credits. (I understand other travelers have split and savied up the benefits like this, too.) She has not yet used all the specialty coffee credits, so you want Princess to make you whole now that your cards will all be invalidated in August.

You state you have 3 or 4 cards left, with a value of $35 each. That may be what you paid, but that is not their current value, as you have already taken advantage of the brewed coffee benefits on each trip. It's unclear exactly how you proceeded with your original correspondence, but your preferred resolution - that Princess essentially allow you indefinite redemption of all your remaining 45+ specialty drinks with no expiration date - is not reasonable.

As long as the Terms and Conditions of the old program allow these changes, Princess is in no way bound to provide the remaining specialty coffees on your schedule. Given the reduced value of each card, the wholesale change to the prepaid coffee system, and the fact that you were asking Princess to make an exception to its policies for you, a more reasonable request may have been something like a credit to cover the cost of the new coffee program on your next cruise.

Unfortunately, as you have already approached the very highest levels at Princess, it appears you may have exhausted the options and advice available from this forum.
If you have written to the CEO and the top five executives and gone on social media I suspect that you have no recourse.
Since Princess reserves the right to change it's terms and conditions at any time, and since your social media posts show several interactions with them, I think you will not get them to change their mind on his matter. They have responded to you several times, just not with the answer you wanted.
 
Nov 27, 2017
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#20
Acave, I've worked in customer service my whole life and I get to see both sides of the issues. On one hand, you have honest customers like you who just saw a great deal and wanted to take advantage of it. Then on the other hand, you have customers who want to take advantage of the system. It is hard to weed out the bad without taking out the good guys also. All they can do is give notice to help elevate the pain or the good guys, but ultimately end or modify the programs. It is wrong to say that a company makes billions and should help all. You do not know the other operational issues that they may have that have a cost. In this case, PCL did give notice. I love the idea of starting over and asking them nicely for a onboard credit. They may be more willing to do this rather than honoring a program that has expired. Please keep in mind that you are asking for an exception to the rule. If you want to start over, please post your letter here and we can help.