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Old 04-16-2007, 11:09 AM
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Has anyone ever had to submit any documentation to get a "cash" refund from Carnival. If so, I would like to know your experiences and how long it took.

I was on the 02/10/07 Fantasy cruise which was cancelled b/c a barge hit the ship. Carnival promised to reimburse each passenger up to $200 for added travel expenses. I have had a dickens of a time attempting to get my reimbursement and it has been over two months. From everything I have read on the Internet at other boards, no one has received a cash refund. This is so bizarre b/c many of these passengers are livid and are vowing not to patronize Carnival again.

This is strange because it is in such contrast to the Carnival mentality you find on the ships. I am wondering if this dragging of their feet for a simply $200 payment is their normal M.O. or is it indicative of a gloomy financial situation for the company as a whole. $200 is nothing but, generally, when a company inexplicably does not live up to its obligations, it is usually a sign of dire straits.

I hope not b/c I like cruising Carnival but it appears that Carnival is not behaving in the most honorable fashion. Therefore, I would like to know . . .

Has anyone ever had to submit paperwork in order to be refunded or reimbursed in cash from Carnival.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:20 AM
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Sorry I can't help you with your situation but...
I read on another forum this morning that Carnival had just increased their share holder dividend (again) and have also increased their stock buy-back program. That doesn't sound like they're having financial difficulties.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 5String:
Sorry I can't help you with your situation but...
I read on another forum this morning that Carnival had just increased their share holder dividend (again) and have also increased their stock buy-back program. That doesn't sound like they're having financial difficulties.
O.K. That is good to know b/c I have two cruises booked and do not have insurance against "financial failure".

Then maybe Carnival "on land" customer service is just God awful. I will wait and see if anyone else posts any comments. BBB has them listed as "unsatisfactory".

Could just be growing pains.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:25 PM
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IBCRUZIN, unless they gave you a date as to when to expect the refund, I'm sure it will be forthcoming. It could take awhile to process all the paperwork, documentation, information to port authorities, insurance companies etc. Hopefully, they will keep you posted on where they are in the process. I'm sure you won't be stiffed by Carnival though.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:48 PM
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You know . . .

That is the way I thought for the first couple of months. However, their Guest Relations Dept is so rude, so combative and so uncooperative that I wonder whether or not this is a purposeful effect to delay/stall the disbursement of the checks.

If they offered to reimbursement a certain amount of money, they know how many people were on the ship, these people submit paperwork, I am not sure what takes two months.

It is less about the money, and more about the guest relations horrible attitude. They very much have a "the heck with you" attitude. Not just one, but you get this from just about all of the representatives that talk on the hone.

I am just now posting inquiries about other people's experience. What I have read on several of the other boards re: Carnival refund/reimbursement departments should be a cause for major concern by the powers that be. I have not yet vowed never to cruise on Carnival again but most of the people posting on the boards have decided never again for Carnival and that is all customer service (guest relations) related.
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:06 PM
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Well, Carnival has a lot at risk with you, considering your prior and current bookings. You seem to be a loyal customer....might want to remind them. Good luck to you on this!
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:21 PM
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I'm in the industry and your experience is unfortunately typical. Even for a simple cancellation of a booking outside of penalty, getting a refund is a very time consuming process. When you book the money is in their account before you hang up the phone. When you cancel or are waiting for a refund of any kind it normally take at least two CC billing cycles to be put back on your card. They hold all refunds and process them all on the same day, the last day of their fiscal month. Then your CC company does the same. If there is a lapse in the processing anywhere in between it can take even longer.

It's not Carnival specifically, they all do pretty much the same thing. Sometimes it gets processed more quickly for whatever reason but the typical process is what I describe above. Talking to Guest Relations or anyone at Carnival, Princess, HAL or any of the companies in the Carnival family is frustrating. They do indeed do a much better job on the ships than they do at the Corporate level. The trunover is high and the quality of their staff in these Depts is poor. Think about being paid very little to handle nothing but complaints that because of your corporate bureaucracy (spelling?) you can't resolve for people in a timely manner. Not a job I want! You'll get it, remember patience is a virtue.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TrvlPro:
I'm in the industry and your experience is unfortunately typical. Even for a simple cancellation of a booking outside of penalty, getting a refund is a very time consuming process. When you book the money is in their account before you hang up the phone. When you cancel or are waiting for a refund of any kind it normally take at least two CC billing cycles to be put back on your card. They hold all refunds and process them all on the same day, the last day of their fiscal month. Then your CC company does the same. If there is a lapse in the processing anywhere in between it can take even longer.

It's not Carnival specifically, they all do pretty much the same thing. Sometimes it gets processed more quickly for whatever reason but the typical process is what I describe above. Talking to Guest Relations or anyone at Carnival, Princess, HAL or any of the companies in the Carnival family is frustrating. They do indeed do a much better job on the ships than they do at the Corporate level. The trunover is high and the quality of their staff in these Depts is poor. Think about being paid very little to handle nothing but complaints that because of your corporate bureaucracy (spelling?) you can't resolve for people in a timely manner. Not a job I want! You'll get it, remember patience is a virtue.

Cheers, Neil
Excellent post!!!! It has given me a good viewpoint.

O.K. I will hold down my wrath and give them one or two more billing cycle.

However, concerning the circumstances of this reimbursement, Carnival should have seen that these passengers were reimbursed the travel expense money asap.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:03 PM
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Carnival in dire straits? Carnival having financial problems? Not hardly. They have 22 ships. With that many ships I can't imagine the number of complaints they deal with on a weekly basis. (valid complaints or not). Have you ever sent in a refund coupon? They tell you 6-8 weeks just for that. It's been two months. I would give it a little longer before I started jumping on the bandwagon.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:16 PM
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Not that this is being passed off for facts for this situation, but Carnival is a huge company. Big companies tend to have long delays on accounts payable.. at ours it is 90 days! Factor that in along with CCL trying to get money from insurance companies and the barge owners insurance companies and things could get ugly. And who knows.. maybe some lawyer is claiming that if they make the payments it indicates some form of liability or something... There are many reasons why it could be taking so long (maybe they are holding off until the end of the fiscal quarter so the money doesn't hit for this period??? It doesn't excuse them for not paying though. They should at least give you a date when you can expect payment.

As far as the customer relations department goes, I have nothing good to say about them. Note that they are not called "customer service". Probably because they have never served a customer in their existence. When Katrina messed up or cruise, it was no end of frustration trying to talk with someone at CCL. That is the ONLY complaint I have on Carnival... so please do not let that spoil your attitude towards the rest of the company. However, if by some reason someone in authority at CCL is reading this forum, please do something about the customer relations department! I'm sure there are a lot of people complaining just trying to get something out of Carnival, but there is a lot of room for improvement there.
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