Re-booking Credit

edited January 27 in General

I may be a bit slow, I'm not the smartest financial advisor in the shed, but I know there are others out there like me because I've seen many posts on this topic. I think I have figured out the Re-booking "Credit." (you'll notice I used quotations marks around credit.

Many folks, like me couldn't understand why they were seeing less than the expected amount being brought forward from previously Tauck-cancelled tours and applied to an immediate re-booking (a third attempt) and why Tauck Reservation Sales Agents were saying you only get the re-booking credit once. It appeared as though Tauck was clawing back previous credits before applying funds from a cancelled tour to a re-booking.

Well, silly me, I thought the "credit" was like the credit I'm familiar with- one that is deposited to a bank account, credit account, etc.- once it is in your account it is yours. Not so in this case, because it isn't that type of credit. Tauck is applying the term "credit" to what is actually a discount on the cost of the tour, to encourage you to re-book immediately and leave your original payments (deposit and any subsequent payments) on account with them. As everyone knows the "credit" amount depends on whether you have made partial payments ($250 ea.) or are paid in full ($500). The only money carried forward and applied to your new booking, is what you actually paid for the previously cancelled tour. When you re-book the third try of the same tour, any previous "re-booking credit" no longer applies and is not cumulative from tour to tour. I'm not sure I agree with this policy, but at least now I understand it.

Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

Comments

  • AlanS - I think I agree with your assessment (it got confusing in the part when you got into, "When you re-book the third try of the same tour, any previous "credit" no longer applies and is not cumulative from tour to tour.")

    I spoke with Tauck yesterday and rebooked our cancelled (for October 2020) Egypt: Jewels of the Nile tour. We were on the Wish List for 2022. When we rebooked they used the amount paid we had in the Travel Wallet from our cancelled tour towards the new 2022 reservation. That amount didn't cover the entire reservation cost. We had to pay an additional $140 for the reservation. As you stated the $250/person 'Credit Available' in the Travel Wallet in reality is only a reduction in the final tour cost. So when Tauck publishes the costs for the 2022 tour the cost to us, per person, will be:

    Published list price

    • Reservation deposit (this excludes the Travel Protection portion of the Reservation payment)
    • $250 Travel Wallet Credit (tour price reduction)
      = Balance due

    The Travel Protection portion is a separate transaction.

    At least that's my understanding/interpretation.

  • edited January 28

    Yes, for a re-booked tour Travel Protection, Travel Wallet (-) (the new re-booking credit), Gift of Time (-), Journey and other fees (pre/post-stay hotel, etc.) show up as individual line items in the top section of the Summary of Purchase, but in the bottom section you only see, Total Package Cost, Deposit Paid (includes Travel Protection and is paid from amount carried forward), Other Payments (amount carried forward minus "Deposit"), and Total Payment. so it can be a bit confusing.

    I left out the word "Re-booking" from my post above- corrected.

    The point being the issue with the re-booking credit only starts when you are booking your third try for a particular tour- we are in that situation now with Jordan & Egypt and XMAS Mkts on the Rhine. We re-booked both. The previous re-booking credits don't apply, went away, didn't carry forward, but Tauck is still offering new ones, same amounts.

  • I had 2 tours cancelled. Got the $250 from the first cancellation applied to another tour. Second tour was cancelled. I asked about the $250 and was told they only give out 1 $250 person.

  • bucketlist - I assume you mean two different tours, not one tour cancelled twice. If it was the same tour cancelled twice then I understand Tauck's position. If it was two different tours then I'd call Tauck and check on that again.

    We had a tour to Iceland cancelled, which we had paid in full, and got $500/person. We had a tour to Egypt cancelled, which wasn't paid in full, and got $250/person.

  • Thanks I will do that since it was 2 different tours! Sicily 2020 and Greece 2021.

  • Their rules seem to be very fluid, we did not rebook one of the tours. The other one, we did not rebook for several months and not until September 2022. They would not accept any of the previous insurers credits and made us pay new insurance and deposit. Anyway, some of the money in whatever of the darned wallets they had for us were no longer there. At this point, I can’t remember how many of our tours they have cancelled because I’ve had them over and done with in my mind. Just waiting for the next two tours or be cancelled. Travel doesn’t look good now for any of this year, maybe the US ones, I don’t think much else.
    I think the agents are as confused as much as we are and once they adjust our records, the ‘correct’ info will be gone for ever.

  • British
    12:05PM
    Their rules seem to be very fluid . . . . I think the agents are as confused as much as we are and once they adjust our records, the ‘correct’ info will be gone for ever.

    Concur. My letter to Dan Mahar (cc: Arthur Tauck, Jr) should arrive at Wilton Woods today. It highlights my concerns over a number of topics, e.g. cancelling 2021 XMAS Mkts on the Rhine already and the report/rumor that the boats being are chartered to other groups, etc. lack of clear communications and transparency, e.g. the website still shows tours as active when we have been told by Tauck Reservation Sales Agents they have been cancelled, and confusing information, e.g. wishlist, waitlist, Tauck wallet, re-booking credit- lack of clear published definitions- what are they, what is the difference, and does one guarantee priority to those who have had tours cancelled and re-book immediately when the following year tours and departure dates have not been posted, etc., etc.

    Depending on whether I get a reply and what it says, I may decide to cancel all my bookings and ask for refunds. I don't want to cause a "run on the bank" as it were and don't want Tauck to fail, but I am really getting frustrated and worried.

  • As I have said to you privately Alan, we are getting more and more worried. The website...we have decided that they don’t have the people to update it properly, it was never that wonderful since they re-jigged it, well I don’t think so anyway, but things like changing the banner headline on updates that wasn’t changed the other day, even though the content has been changed, someone who was tech savvy would not have forgotten to do that. ..
    I’m not dissing Tauck as such because they are a wonderful company and have always been very generous to customers, but maybe they have gone too far trying to keep staff on and things like that to the point where they bo longer have the income or assets.

  • edited January 30

    My above message to you was written earlier, it did not go thru so I just resent.
    We have just come off her phone with Tauck because we had to change our Credit card number on file, our previous card has been used fraudulently. So we asked about our April 13th tour, it is still not cancelled. We told the agent we really think there is no way the tour will go, Israel is on a very strict lockdown and we are very unlikely to have had our vaccine by then and My husband is concerned about us being able to get back into the US etc....she remained hopeful it will go, as they have experience with people on the ground there and are watching things carefully. My husband has a project that is working with Israel right now, the people keep telling him how strict it is.
    There was a certain amount of pressure from the agent for us to book ourselves on the tour next year, we said we were on a waitlist, we gave her the date and she said that tour had not opened up yet, trying to suggest other dates, then she said yes it was but they have certainly added dates since we were put on a wait list, but we don’t want to put a deposit on the only other date we might go because that date is open. If what you say is true about only being able to move money once, I’m concerned.
    I’m also concerned that if lots of the major sites are closed, it will not be a good experience going all that ways to not see everything that you expect to.
    Having been in the situation last March of going all the way to Borneo when the company was happy that everything was fine Covid wise there, which it was, and then at six days of a three week vacation, being frightening to death after about day three that you may be marooned with the crazy people in your group for an Indefinite amount of time, where would you be quarantined in that country, would my essential BP meds and thyroid meds run out. I was even getting laundry done every day so we had plenty of clean clothes in a lockdown etc etc. All that way and a business class fare and then have an insurance company refuse compensation for interrupted tour without a fight and waiting months. I think a tour now in a country I am not confident in being stuck in, is frightening me. When I look back, I realize how frightened I was,, if I had known that we were going back to the US and not being collected and put in a quarantine hotel, that would have helped me. My goodness, this goes on and on, I should stop. We taking one walk in the cold today and about to take another. Otherwise we are stuck here until we get our Covid test results.

  • British, the main critique I have with Tauck is that they wait too long to cancel their tours when it is obvious that they will not happen. There are a myriad of other activities that go into a tour, s.a., flight reservations/credits/changes, side trips, arriving early or staying late, closed or limited tourist sites, possible plans at home. There isn't a chance you will be in Israel in April.

  • Yes, I know that Bob, but no one else seems to think that. I don’t think any tours will go this year, maybe, maybe, a few in the US.
    My hubby says I should stop worrying about whether we have had the vaccine or not because nothing we like to do, theatre, movies, meeting friends for dinner, Tauck vacation, hugging children and grandchildren, having grandchildren spend the night, are going to be possible for months...and by that time, we will hopefully have gotten the vaccine and maybe...we might get one that has been modified to be highly effective against the South Africa strain, and since going back to S A is high on our wish list, in fact any sub Saharan African country, we might be better off than those who were first vaccinated.....trying to be hopeful like my hubby.

  • edited January 30

    British
    4:14PM
    . . . . .If what you say is true about only being able to move money once, I’m concerned.

    Only the re-booking credit ($250/$500) can't be moved and isn't carried forward. It is a discount to the cost of the tour not a credit. If you re-book a second time (for your third attempt to go on a specific tour that has been cancelled twice- last year and this year) the re-booking credit ($250/$500) previously applied does not transfer, but, at least for now, you will get another credit (discount) for re-booking.

  • We all have different opinions and expectations about travel and travel companies. I prefer to focus on what Tauck has done right. They have been, in my opinion, very forthright with their customers by keeping them apprised of their tour cancelations. They have modified their policies pertaining to final payment due dates and customer initiated cancelations. They have offered a modest reimbursement when they initiate a cancelation (the $250/$500 per person) gift. Yes, it is a gift, in my opinion. It dismays me when I read complaints about restrictions being placed on the free money. My $250 gift forfeiture represents less than seven tenths of one percent of my total tour price. We are in a global pandemic. Of course we miss traveling, but please try to keep things in perspective. We have our health, most of you have children and grandchildren to cherish. Focus on that, not a measly $250.00. Stay safe and well.

  • Kfn.....of course I realize we are in a privileged position. (Though in our case, we have worked very hard over our lifetime to reach to that elevated position, nothing has been handed to me on a plate) You may have had one tour cancelled. Others have had 3 . 4, 5, had the same tour cancelled, now more than three times. Yes, Tauck have been generous, but, yes their travel credits, wallets, Dream saver etc etc, have been very confusing, you can speak to one agent who says one thing and another the very next day who says another. That is what is confusing.
    Not everyone who travels with Tauck has endless funds and $250 could be the difference between being able to rebook a tour or not. Tauck has been more generous than at least two major competitors I can think of right off the bat, who have refused to return fully paid up tour money to their customers.
    What some people are asking for are clear, written explanations and consistency about policies and cancelations.

  • edited February 1

    kfnknfzk
    9:58PM
    They have offered a modest reimbursement when they initiate a cancellation (the $250/$500 per person) gift. Yes, it is a gift, in my opinion. It dismays me when I read complaints about restrictions being placed on the free money. My $250 gift forfeiture represents less than seven tenths of one percent of my total tour price. We are in a global pandemic. . . . . . We have our health, most of you have children and grandchildren to cherish. Focus on that, not a measly $250.00. Stay safe and well.

    Without knowledge it is impossible to manage expectations. This is not "opinion"- the $250/$500 is a good deal for sure, but, be dismayed all you want, because it is not "free money," not a "gift," not a "reimbursement," and not "money" at all. It is a discount on the cost of a follow-on tour, and just an enticement, for travelers to re-book immediately and leave their money with Tauck after Tauck has canceled their tour. You lose it if you can't use it if Tauck subsequently cancels the follow-on tour. At least for now, Tauck is offering a new discount, but the original credit (discount) is gone. I know because I'm in this situation with two bookings.

    In the overall scheme of things the amount isn't much to me and most Tauck travelers, but, depending on the amount paid so far, may barely cover the lost interest you would have received if you had chosen a refund and deposited it in the bank. It rarely, if ever, covers the inevitable increase in the price of a tour.

    The issue, however, is communications and the number of people who do not understand how it works. A quick look at the forums will reveal many travelers don't. When they re-book a second time (which is happening more and more now as many are dealing with a second round of cancellations) and do the math, they are shocked to learn they only get one credit (discount) p/p and the previous one is no more. And, how may folks are learning via the grapevine and shocked to learn their tours will be or have been cancelled without their knowledge or a heads up call from Tauck?? I personally know of over 10 and I'll bet there are many more.

    As to health, you need to speak for yourself- there are many who don't have your level of health or if they do, are rapidly approaching an age where international travel is no longer possible (they are literally running out of time.) There is nothing that Tauck can do about that, but they can keep us better informed by contacting everyone in a more timely manner and keeping the website (COVID Updates and tour information) up-to-date.

  • AlanS - I’m in the situation of your last paragraph. My mom and I are booked for Switzerland for August 29th. We were originally booked to go in 2019, but had to cancel a week before we were leaving due to illness in the family. Then 2020 was canceled due to COVID and if this years trip is canceled, we’ll be asking for our money back. My mother will be 81 in October and she’s not sure she’d be up for Switzerland 2022 and I don’t blame her.

    I’m still hopeful or this year, but also realistic. On a good note, she’s scheduled for her first Pfizer vaccine dose on February 9th and second on March 2nd.

  • edited January 30

    After I wrote my last post, I realized that one of the things I am concerned about is Tauck folding. And in fact, for us, it’s not $250 each, without looking at our paperwork to check exact figures, it’s about $8000 that Tauck has of our money...and we actually asked for our deposits back on the tours we have had cancelled, but we still have three more tours booked and money in the various wallets, credits and dream savers in addition to that. That is why we have not booked any more tours because it is possibly throwing good money after bad. We didn’t get to be able to afford traveling with Tauck so much by accident, we have done it by being cautious and careful budgeting. And, unlike most people here, we can’t seem to get our hands on a vaccine appointment.

  • $250 on an $8000 is 3%.
    Can you get a better return on your money than that?
    What are the risks of Tauck holding your money? Though they've been around 100 years and weathered several storms, who knows about their survival this time.

    My educated guesses on those questions caused me to request full refunds on my trips and forego their $250. I think it worked out well, as the Dow was at about 26K when I got my money back and now it's ~30K. That's a 15% return. Just think - if you invested your trip money in Gamestop, you could buy a small country now :)

  • BKMD, This is why I’m confused. We were told we would get $250 if we requested our deposit back and $500 if we left our deposit with Tauck. We got our deposits back.
    Meanwhile, on a happier note for us, we both tested negative for Covid. We were both tested within about fifteen minutes of each other. I got my text last night at 6pm, two and a half days after the test. My husband got his at 8-10am, just about three days later. I’m not sure how we would get tested and know we could get on a plane and know we had negative tests to show if it’s going to be like this. We are so relieved we did not get Covid, we have been extremely careful all this time.

  • British - I believe the offer Tauck made was $250/person tour credit (tour price reduced by this amount) for any tour that you left your money with them that wasn't a fully paid for tour. If the tour was fully paid for and you left the money then you would get $500/person tour credit (tour price reduced by this amount).

    NOTE: If a tour is cancelled and you rebook it and it is cancelled again you don't get the $250 or $500 with each cancellation. You only get the tour credit, either $250 or $500, once for any given tour, no matter how many times it is cancelled and rebooked.

    NOTE: These tour credits (tour price reductions) some times did not cover the tour cost increase from the cancelled tour to the tour that was rebooked. As an example of this, our Iceland tour cancelled in 2020 increased in cost (for the same room, number of people, etc, etc) by 18%. This was much more than the credit that Tauck offered. Not all rooms on the Iceland tour increased by the 18%. Different room categories increased by different amounts. Our cancelled Egypt tour in 2020 has been rebooked for 2022. The 2022 prices are not yet known, but I believe it is highly likely that it will increase by more than the $250 tour credit provided.

    All of the above is the price of doing business (touring).

  • AlanS
    Any update on a response to your letters?
    I am probably one of many that monitor the forum but do not post often. Interested in the responses to your questions/concerns.
    Thanks for any update.

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