Want to hold Carnival customer service accountable...

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Mar 10, 2015
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#1
Hello, I'm hoping I can get some help with this situation... I booked on a Carnival cruise through a travel agent several months ago. I was informed by the travel agent that my enhanced license was all I needed as it functions like a passport, as proof of citizenship and identity. The paperwork that I received said this - but it was written in a way that it could appear ambiguous.

The day before my flight I called Carnival customer service directly with a question, as my travel agent wasn't available over the weekend. The Carnival agent said at the end of the conversation, "make sure you have your birth certificate". I said, "Oh - I thought I didn't need that with an enhanced license, as discussed with my travel agent... she said, "Oh no, you need your birth certificate". I thought I had my birth certificate, but it turned out that I couldn't find it despite desperate searching for it. Because of this I dejectedly didn't go to the airport, as there was no point without my birth certificate. I looked at my paperwork again and with the ambiguity (enhanced license was listed in both places - in my frantic state and believing the Carnival reps I just didn't see it clearly). A couple of hours later that morning I had an epiphany where in I realized - wow, this is wrong, I don't need my birth certificate - don't ask me why it came to me then, I don't know why - but, for some reason at that time it was clear to me that the Carnival reps were wrong (I had talked to two by that point) and that I could have went after all. Frantic attempts to get another flight were unsuccessful. Of course I was humiliated and mad at myself but - at this point I'm pissed and want Carnival to take responsibility for giving erroneous information that caused me to pay a grand for nothing and miss my cruise. Travel insurance doesn't cover this.

Christopher, can you advise me on the best way to fight for my money back? I would really appreciate your expertise. Thank you.
 
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Grant Ritchie

Dependable adequacy :-)
Oct 1, 2014
1,592
1,020
113
#2
Hi Lynn,

The best way to fight for your money back, or at least request an accommodation, is to write to Carnival. I emphasize writing for the same reason that you'd be golden if you had a writing from whichever Carnival representative told you that you had to have your birth certificate. You'll have proof of what's said.

Absent that proof, you find yourself in the position of having to ask for a favor from Carnival, and Carnival is, unfortunately, not known for granting favors. If you'd still like to try, though, here's what you do.

First, complete and submit the "Email Us" form you'll find here:


Give them a week to get back to you. If they don't or you don't like what they have to say, escalate your appeal to, one by one with a week between each, the Primary Contact, both Secondary Contacts, and the Chief Executive you'll find listed here:


Save all your correspondence and if you don't receive satisfaction, feel free to complete and submit the Elliott.org "Help" form you'll find here:


Good luck!

Grant
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
I am sorry to hear this - it is too bad you didn't get the name of the Customer Service rep. who gave you the erroneous information. You could have tried to fly to the first port of call to join the ship. This is not the first time agents working with cruise lines have made mistakes - I find I can ask the same questions a few times and get different answers. But since you don't have it in writing, you will need to do what Grant stated and contact Carnival. I would request a future cruise credit, not cash back as they might be more apt to try and help out if you request that. Please let us know what happens.
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
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Dec 28, 2014
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#6
Lynn ... good luck with your contact with Carnival. I hope you're successful.

A couple of things: When you spoke with Carnival right before your cruise, if you gave them your reservation number, they MAY have noted on your reservation's history that you called and what was discussed. Just a possibility.

Also, Carnival has indeed changed their documentation requirements to allow Enhanced Drivers Licenses. The Customer Service Rep gave you bad information when she said it was not sufficient. The fine print from Carnival reads (under Required Documentation):

• Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – only acceptable at land and sea ports of entry. It cannot be used for air travel outside the U.S. The word ‘Enhanced’ must appear on the driver’s license. The following five states currently issue an EDL: Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington.

Since only a few states offer EDLs and it's a fairly new procedure, the agent may not have been familiar with the requirement .... but that's not an acceptable excuse on Carnival's end. Agent training is continual and it's critical that they be up to date.

Please let us know how it works out for you ....
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Sep 22, 2014
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#8
Lynn,

My heart goes out to you over this disastrous end to what should have been one the memorable high points of your vacation travels. All of my colleagues have given you great advice that should be followed to the letter without any shorcuts.

Not wanting to pour salt on your open wounds and make you feel worse, I won't repeat their sage comments and suggestions. But, please allow me to add an small addtional suggestion that may save the day in a very difficult situation.

One of the often quoted comments we see, on Elliott's Forum and in every day life, is to suggest that a person can not prove the conversation they had with some one on the phone because it boils down to "he said versus she said."

This observation is inaccurate at best and just plain wrong at worst. "He said-She said" makes proving the gist of the conversation more difficult but not impossible, if you have an objective and fair minded listener. To butress the truthfulness and accuracy of your statement, you should provide as many details surrounding the conversation as possible.

Try to put yourself back in the moment of time you had these telephone converations and add the following details:
1. Date and time you placed the call.
2. Telephone number you called (including extension number).
3. Any automated prompts you had to make.
4. Length of time you were on hold.
5. Description of person on phone (name, gender, vocal tone, accent, etc)
6. As best you remember, the exact words you said to them and the exact words they said to you.
7. Report if they put you on hold to "check something" or "speak with a supervisor" etc.

Giving these extra details provides the decsion maker with greater ability to check your veracity and ascertain your accurate memory of events and conversation.

John
 
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Likes: Grant Ritchie
Mar 10, 2015
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#9
Thank you all very much for your replies, I really appreciate it!! I will tell people about this site.

Yes, I will start with getting my cell phone record that shows the calls I made.. unfortunately I don't have names but do remember exact phrases of what was said to me - which as you say should be added to my correspondence. I was advised by someone else in the travel industry to contact my travel agent as they could put pressure on Carnival to respond favorably - but I view that with cynicism, as the travel agent is a stranger in another state and he has his money so I'm not sure what the incentive would be for him to get involved. :( Other party advised that I call instead of write but I can't imagine getting anywhere with that, I'd just have to start with another customer service rep and I cannot control my feelings on this as I could with writing - it's potentially too volatile. Also I'm sure I'd just be put in a "someone will get back to you" ... blow off loop. I am surprised by that advice.

So, thank you very much again. I will take the steps advised on this site. I just wish there was some way I could verify that calls are recorded - but even if they do record calls it's probably just a sample of them and not every single one..so they can always say these weren't recorded. :( The second rep did ask for my booking number... actually, the first one looked it up too. I wonder if I could ask for my booking "record" or something? Or "reservation history" as cp556 said??
 
Sep 22, 2014
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#10
Thank you all very much for your replies, I really appreciate it!! I will tell people about this site.

Yes, I will start with getting my cell phone record that shows the calls I made.. unfortunately I don't have names but do remember exact phrases of what was said to me - which as you say should be added to my correspondence. I was advised by someone else in the travel industry to contact my travel agent as they could put pressure on Carnival to respond favorably - but I view that with cynicism, as the travel agent is a stranger in another state and he has his money so I'm not sure what the incentive would be for him to get involved. :( Other party advised that I call instead of write but I can't imagine getting anywhere with that, I'd just have to start with another customer service rep and I cannot control my feelings on this as I could with writing - it's potentially too volatile. Also I'm sure I'd just be put in a "someone will get back to you" ... blow off loop. I am surprised by that advice.

So, thank you very much again. I will take the steps advised on this site. I just wish there was some way I could verify that calls are recorded - but even if they do record calls it's probably just a sample of them and not every single one..so they can always say these weren't recorded. :( The second rep did ask for my booking number... actually, the first one looked it up too. I wonder if I could ask for my booking "record" or something? Or "reservation history" as cp556 said??
DO NOT PHONE. Put everything in writting to create a paper trail. You only reopen the original problem of he said, she said.
 

Carol Phillips

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
1,232
1,686
113
Coastal South Carolina
#12
Lynn ...

When a cruise line rep speaks to a guest about a reservation, they access the reservation by number on their computer system as you know. It's usually policy that they make notes about that call ... the who/what/when/where/why kind of information. I won't say it's done 100% of the time, but many times the reps write short notes about the conversation/questions in the "history" of the reservation.

This is what I was referring to in the earlier post. I would be hopeful that one of those reps noted the conversation about the EDL. And if so, that might help your case.

I'm pretty sure that the history notes are for internal use only, so you would not be able to get a copy. But it wouldn't hurt in your correspondence to mention that since the reps looked at your booking, you hope there were appropriate notes taken.
 
Likes: Grant Ritchie
Mar 10, 2015
5
2
3
50
#13
Ok, perfect - thank you very much for the clarification on that! That helps a lot as I need to be clear now, and also need to mention the right things in my correspondence to stand a chance of it being at all impactful.
 
#17
Hello, I'm hoping I can get some help with this situation... I booked on a Carnival cruise through a travel agent several months ago. I was informed by the travel agent that my enhanced license was all I needed as it functions like a passport, as proof of citizenship and identity. The paperwork that I received said this - but it was written in a way that it could appear ambiguous.

The day before my flight I called Carnival customer service directly with a question, as my travel agent wasn't available over the weekend. The Carnival agent said at the end of the conversation, "make sure you have your birth certificate". I said, "Oh - I thought I didn't need that with an enhanced license, as discussed with my travel agent... she said, "Oh no, you need your birth certificate". I thought I had my birth certificate, but it turned out that I couldn't find it despite desperate searching for it. Because of this I dejectedly didn't go to the airport, as there was no point without my birth certificate. I looked at my paperwork again and with the ambiguity (enhanced license was listed in both places - in my frantic state and believing the Carnival reps I just didn't see it clearly). A couple of hours later that morning I had an epiphany where in I realized - wow, this is wrong, I don't need my birth certificate - don't ask me why it came to me then, I don't know why - but, for some reason at that time it was clear to me that the Carnival reps were wrong (I had talked to two by that point) and that I could have went after all. Frantic attempts to get another flight were unsuccessful. Of course I was humiliated and mad at myself but - at this point I'm pissed and want Carnival to take responsibility for giving erroneous information that caused me to pay a grand for nothing and miss my cruise. Travel insurance doesn't cover this.

Christopher, can you advise me on the best way to fight for my money back? I would really appreciate your expertise. Thank you.
Hello Lynn,

I am a Staff Travel Advocate here on the Elliott.Org Forums and wanted to apologize for your issue that you had with Carnival Cruise Lines. I am very sorry to say that its the responsibility of the travellers to have the proper documentation for travel and in your case unfortunately you were misinformend. Please note that the agents over at Carnival including your Travel Agent is not a Government Official who can decide for you if you have proper documentation. There is a clause that states on your Cruise Ticket Documents and Travel Agency agreement that says"It is the passnger's responsibility to have all proper Government IDs, Visas, Immunizations and to meet the requirements of each country that they will be visiting". You cannot hold Carnival Cruise Lines responsible for the denial of your boarding due to not meeting these requirements. it is also your responsibility to ensure that all Passports are valid for between 3 and six months after the date of your return depending on the rules of the countries you are visiting".

I recommend people to get Passports as these are accepted for internaitional air, cruise, rail and car travel. While an Enhanced Drivers License and Birth Certificate may be good its best to have a Passport and if necessary a Visa. In your situaiton you may have been denied boarding if you were flying to an international destination. Passports must be valid between three and six months depending on the country from your return date.

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news but in your situation you are not entitled to any refund except for your Port Fees and Taxes No Travel Insurance policy will cover for a flight missed due to Government issues such as yours.

Thank you again for contacting us here on the Elliott.Org Forums and please feel free to reach out to us again if you have any further questions or any other issues with other vendors.

Wishing you all the best.
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
12,738
12,720
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Hello Lynn,

I am a Staff Travel Advocate here on the Elliott.Org Forums and wanted to apologize for your issue that you had with Carnival Cruise Lines. I am very sorry to say that its the responsibility of the travellers to have the proper documentation for travel and in your case unfortunately you were misinformend. Please note that the agents over at Carnival including your Travel Agent is not a Government Official who can decide for you if you have proper documentation. There is a clause that states on your Cruise Ticket Documents and Travel Agency agreement that says"It is the passnger's responsibility to have all proper Government IDs, Visas, Immunizations and to meet the requirements of each country that they will be visiting". You cannot hold Carnival Cruise Lines responsible for the denial of your boarding due to not meeting these requirements. it is also your responsibility to ensure that all Passports are valid for between 3 and six months after the date of your return depending on the rules of the countries you are visiting".

I recommend people to get Passports as these are accepted for internaitional air, cruise, rail and car travel. While an Enhanced Drivers License and Birth Certificate may be good its best to have a Passport and if necessary a Visa. In your situaiton you may have been denied boarding if you were flying to an international destination. Passports must be valid between three and six months depending on the country from your return date.

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news but in your situation you are not entitled to any refund except for your Port Fees and Taxes No Travel Insurance policy will cover for a flight missed due to Government issues such as yours.

Thank you again for contacting us here on the Elliott.Org Forums and please feel free to reach out to us again if you have any further questions or any other issues with other vendors.

Wishing you all the best.
TravelPlus, please check your private mail on top of the pages.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,650
6,644
113
San Francisco
#19
Hello Lynn,

I am a Staff Travel Advocate here on the Elliott.Org Forums and wanted to apologize for your issue that you had with Carnival Cruise Lines. I am very sorry to say that its the responsibility of the travellers to have the proper documentation for travel and in your case unfortunately you were misinformend. Please note that the agents over at Carnival including your Travel Agent is not a Government Official who can decide for you if you have proper documentation. There is a clause that states on your Cruise Ticket Documents and Travel Agency agreement that says"It is the passnger's responsibility to have all proper Government IDs, Visas, Immunizations and to meet the requirements of each country that they will be visiting". You cannot hold Carnival Cruise Lines responsible for the denial of your boarding due to not meeting these requirements. it is also your responsibility to ensure that all Passports are valid for between 3 and six months after the date of your return depending on the rules of the countries you are visiting".

I recommend people to get Passports as these are accepted for internaitional air, cruise, rail and car travel. While an Enhanced Drivers License and Birth Certificate may be good its best to have a Passport and if necessary a Visa. In your situaiton you may have been denied boarding if you were flying to an international destination. Passports must be valid between three and six months depending on the country from your return date.

I do not want to be the bearer of bad news but in your situation you are not entitled to any refund except for your Port Fees and Taxes No Travel Insurance policy will cover for a flight missed due to Government issues such as yours.

Thank you again for contacting us here on the Elliott.Org Forums and please feel free to reach out to us again if you have any further questions or any other issues with other vendors.

Wishing you all the best.
This thread is a YEAR old. I don't understand why you're not reading the threads before you post, Daniel.