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Old October 15th, 2007, 06:21 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UK
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Default £903 charge to cancel 18 hours after phone booking!

I saw an Xmas Caribbean cruise on Cunard’s QM2, using Virgin for U.S.A. hotels & flights. This was advertised by Fasttrack Holidays in The Daily Mail on 18 August 07. At the time of booking, I specifically asked at the time of booking what my liability was, however I was misled into believing that I would only lose my deposit if I cancelled near to the date of sailing. I booked by phone and paid £750 deposit. However, had I been correctly advised that I would immediately loose all my deposit, plus a further £153, I would not have made the booking.

Later that day I went online to see further details and discovered hidden costs not given at the time of booking, plus some scathing reviews, therefore the next morning (18 hours after booking) I tried to cancel my booking (by fax & e-mail, followed up by letter).

Fasttrack confirmation details state that Virgin Holidays are the Principal for this contract and Virgin terms state “your monies will be returned in full?. Trading Standards agree.

Despite the above Fasttrack refused to cancel my booking and, unless I paid a further £153 to make up their calculated total cost of cancellation (£903), they WOULD NOT CANCEL my booking. They also tried to blackmail me by stating that if I did not pay the additional £153 my costs would increase as the cruise date approached, potentially costing the whole value of the holiday at £ 9,707.

Only after I have issued a 14-day letter threatening action through the County Court, have they waived the Fasttrack and Virgin cancellation fees of £153 & £360 respectively. However they are now attempting to use Cunard’s UK terms (the US terms differ & say “full refund?!) to insist I pay their cancellation charge of £357. Apart from an acknowledgement of my letter, I have received no response from Virgin and nothing at all from Cunard.

I am now forced to take Fasttrack, Virgin & Cunard to the County Court so that a judge can identify whose, if any, of terms apply to my booking, or indeed any such telephone bookings, of which there must be thousands.

I consider this to be a carefully constructed method of selling, designed specifically to muddy waters by relying upon many different terms& conditions to manipulate the law & to confuse and obstruct members of the public, unless they are prepared to take court action.

Luckily, I am an experienced traveller and can look after myself in Court –what about the little people who can’t take this on?
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