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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 11th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Caution: Mariner Club not what it was!

Great cruise but regrettable experience with the travel agent:

AMERICAN EXPRESS MARINER CLUB handled the arrangements poorly (I wound up correcting several things myself), failed to make a payment until I called them, and other matters.

The last insult was a discount of $1000+ which was to have been credited BACK to my credit card after I had made FULL payment for the cruise. Never happened. Sent them copies of all their OWN correspondence documenting the promise of the credit. Made it to the supervisory level where I've been stonewalled for months.

Tried the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. From their letter: "Unfortunately, the business has refused to cooperate . . ."

So, I consider myself defrauded, but the value does not justify cross-continent travel to file a small claims lawsuit.
All I can do is caution you about this travel agent.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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I looked into the name AMERICAN EXPRESS MARINER CLUB and it appears to be some kind of membership that is managed through a travel agent that offers it.

I would appreciate it if you were a littlemore specific about exactly who you are dealing with. Is it American Express, the company, or was it a travel agent who got you in the AMERICAN EXPRESS MARINER CLUB?

There just seems to be a difference. I know if I google AMERICAN EXPRESS MARINER CLUB I am not taken to americanexpress.com/travel which is the site the credit card company uses to book cruises. This seems like a different thing, and I am not sure what it is.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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I saw this info when I searched, and it seems there is a connection to Amex....In part, this is what it stated...

Your American Express Travel Professional is waiting to assist you in planning your cruise ..


American Express Mariner Club
What’s more, you’ll enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that you’re sailing with one of the most respected names in travel, with over 2,200 American Express Travel Services locations.

If you don't get satisfaction soon, why not try your tv consumer reporter. In our area, they get good results...
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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File a claim with the credit card the charge showed on. If you have documents and or correspondence, they should be able to help you. Good luck.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:29 PM
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Your credit card company will credit the money back to you if you tell them you have documentation that there should be a credit. They will want a copy of the document and will duke it out with the agency in question. Credit card payment is much better than debit card or cheque because if there is a dispute, the credit card people are on your side to get it back for you!
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Old June 11th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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All . . . thanks for your replies. Here's a bit more detail.

o The Mariner Club used to be a well-run west coast operation, offering a lot of discount cruises and hosted cruises. Maybe three years ago they were bought by American Express
o As best I can tell, the American Express Mariner Club is a sub-part of American Express Platinum Services. One of the agents once used the Platinum Services phone number as her call back. Voice mail and call tree is the same. Pretty sure both outfits are in the same facility at Miramar, FL

o Unfortunately, the credit card process won't work. I made my cruise payment (via the TA) to the Cruise Line itself. The TA then got their commission and as supposed to have issued me a credit FROM THE TA's ACCOUNT.
o They say they did that, but if they did, it did not post to my account. I requested the details of the transaction they allege occurred: posting date, transaction number, etc . . . but they have not even given me that information.

o This all started WAY back when they failed to make a required deposit payment with the cruise lines. Agent 1 swore up and down she had made it. I called the cruise line - no such payment received. I called my credit card company - no such payment made. When I called to cancel my TA arrangement with them, Agent 1 was removed and Agent 2 took over, a "senior agent". I got the "shame on us" speech and if I will not change agents, they will give me a discount of $1037 as compensation.

I should have done as I intended back then, dump AMEX Mariner Club and just let the cruise line handle my booking themselves. BTW, this was a $22,000 booking! . . . You'd think that kind of booking would buy you decent service, huh?
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Old June 12th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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From your description of the events, it sounds like your dispute is more with the travel agency than with American Express. If the credit card company doesn't show any transactions it implies the travel agent never processed them.

I see a lot of travel agents associate themselves with AMEX Mariner's Club. Which means they represent your transaction to the club. You say you tried to contact the AMEX club yourself but they didn't have a record of the transaction. That implies it was never done by the agent.

I would say most people have pretty good experiences with American Express as a credit card company.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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10-4 . . . other travel agents can sell a Mariner's Club cruise. In my case the TA WAS the Mariner's Club organization, which is owned and operated by American Express (I believe).

Anyway, correct, no gripe with the Credit Card division of American Express. My gripe is with the Platinum Services/Mariner's Club division of AMEX, which acted as my travel agent (again, assuming I understand the corporate structure correctly).
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