Road Scholar Refund

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Jan 26, 2018
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#1
I placed a $250 deposit on October 25, 2018 for a trip that begins July 13, 2019. I was told that I had two weeks to purchase trip cancellation insurance that waives restrictions on pre-existing conditions. Prior to the two-week grace period, I received medical results that indicate that I have extensive coronary artery disease that puts me at high risk of a heart attack and I requested a refund of my deposit.

A consumer advocate at Elliott Advocacy pointed out that the contract that Road Scholar sent to me after receiving the deposit states if you cancel after the date of enrollment up to 67 days before the trip you are charged $250. I do not recall this information presented to me prior to making the deposit. In any case, the advocate suggested that I write to the company and request an exception to the Road Scholar refund policy as a goodwill gesture. The advocate said that if I post my case on the help forum, the advocates in the help forum can explain the best way to accomplish this. Does anyone have any advice on how to effectively request an exception to the Road Scholar refund policy as a goodwill gesture?

Thanks for your help.
 
Oct 13, 2015
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#2
It sounds like the 2 week grace period is to buy trip insurance. If that's the case, it has nothing to do with your request for a refund. What does your confirmation say about refunds from the company?
 
Feb 16, 2018
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#3
You would email the company and explain that due to medical reasons your are unable to take the trip. You will admit that you were in the wrong for failing to buy insurance when you placed the deposit on the trip. You should tell them that you are disappointed that you are unable to travel at this time, and would ask for a waiver of the policy of the $250 charge. In the future make sure you buy insurance when you put any money down.
 
Jan 26, 2018
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#5
After I paid the deposit, Road Scholar sent me a contract with the following information:
Road Scholar Transfer and Cancellation Policies
...
Cancel up to 67 days prior to program start date
Applies from Date of Enrollment
Fee per Person $250.00


I do not recall receiving this information at the time of making the deposit. I do recall being told that I have two weeks to purchase insurance that waives restrictions on preexisting conditions. When I called prior to the end of two-week grace period I was told that the cancellation fee applies unless their recording of our telephone transaction reveals that the agent stated that the cancellation fee is $250.
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#6
I don't understand your statement " I was told the that the cancellation fee applies unless their recording of our telephone transaction reveals that the agent stated that the cancellation fee is $250".

Most tour companies have an administrative cancellation fee. We have been caught by such a fee, only it was $250 per person so it cost us $500. We cancelled due to a family event that we did not know about prior to booking so even if we had insurance we would not have been covered. Ouch.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,684
13,751
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Did you buy the insurance? You have to buy the insurance in order to cancel and your cancellation must be due a covered reason.

It doesn’t sound like you actually purchased the insurance but perhaps mistakenly thought you could get a refund within the two weeks?
 
Jan 26, 2018
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#8
I don't understand your statement " I was told the that the cancellation fee applies unless their recording of our telephone transaction reveals that the agent stated that the cancellation fee is $250".

Most tour companies have an administrative cancellation fee. We have been caught by such a fee, only it was $250 per person so it cost us $500. We cancelled due to a family event that we did not know about prior to booking so even if we had insurance we would not have been covered. Ouch.
I spoke with an agent on November 6 (two days prior to the deadline for purchasing trip protection that waives preexisting conditions). I told the agent that I did not know there was a cancellation fee of $250 that goes into effect when the deposit is placed. The agent said that Road Scholar records telephone conversations and that if the recording showed that the agent mentioned that the cancellation fee is effective as soon as the deposit is placed, they will not refund the $250. If the agent did not mention the cancellation fee, they will refund the $250.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,684
13,751
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Have you followed up with them?

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/road-scholar/

Start emailing. Their terms when you book do show the deposit is nonrefundable.

Your complaint really had nothing to do with the insurance since you didn’t buy it. It ha me to do with your claim they didn’t tell you the depoditveas nonrefundable so in your letter- that’s what you need to state- the rep. in the phone didn’t tell you the deposit was nonrefundable.

If you have the name of the person you spoke to that says they would review the call- add that to your letter.
 
Jan 26, 2018
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#10
Did you buy the insurance? You have to buy the insurance in order to cancel and your cancellation must be due a covered reason.

It doesn’t sound like you actually purchased the insurance but perhaps mistakenly thought you could get a refund within the two weeks?
I did not buy the insurance. I thought I had a two-week grace period to purchase the insurance. When I spoke to an agent prior to the expiration of the two-weeks, the agent said that the deposit is non-refundable.
 
Jan 26, 2018
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#11
Have you followed up with them?

https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/road-scholar/

Start emailing. Their terms when you book do show the deposit is nonrefundable.

Your complaint really had nothing to do with the insurance since you didn’t buy it. It ha me to do with your claim they didn’t tell you the depoditveas nonrefundable so in your letter- that’s what you need to state- the rep. in the phone didn’t tell you the deposit was nonrefundable.

If you have the name of the person you spoke to that says they would review the call- add that to your letter.
Thanks. I will send an email to the customer service department. The name of the agent was Susan. The last time I spoke with them they said that they record telephone conversations and can determine whether Susan told me that the deposit was non-refundable. I do not recall Susan telling me about the non-refundable deposit.
 
Feb 17, 2018
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#13
Thanks. I will send an email to the customer service department. The name of the agent was Susan. The last time I spoke with them they said that they record telephone conversations and can determine whether Susan told me that the deposit was non-refundable. I do not recall Susan telling me about the non-refundable deposit.
Something to consider is that when you purchase or contract for something, it should always be assumed that anything you pay is going to be non-refundable unless otherwise specified - as long as the product is provided or contract is being honored by the other party. As you are breaking the contract and there appears to be no provision provided for being refunded the deposit, then you probably have little right to demand a refund.

Your best path will be to write a short and polite appeal to the company to request a goodwill exception for a refund using the contacts on this website. Sometimes providing medical documentation as part of your appeal may help.
 
Likes: jsn55

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
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#14
So my thought is that if you HAD purchased the insurance it may have protected you against this $250 cancellation fee. But the insurance premium itself is usually non-refundable, and it's likely the insurance premium would have been greater than $250 ... so you might have lost more if you had insurance.

I do agree with the others who suggested that you contact the company to request an exception to their "no refund" rule.

Sending best wishes that your doctors are able to treat your condition successfully.
 
Likes: jsn55
Jan 26, 2018
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#15
So my thought is that if you HAD purchased the insurance it may have protected you against this $250 cancellation fee. But the insurance premium itself is usually non-refundable, and it's likely the insurance premium would have been greater than $250 ... so you might have lost more if you had insurance.

I do agree with the others who suggested that you contact the company to request an exception to their "no refund" rule.

Sending best wishes that your doctors are able to treat your condition successfully.
Thank you for this suggestion and the good wish. Yes, the insurance premium is $371.