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Due to Covid-19 I cancelled my trip to Africa more than four months before departure. Representative confirmed I would receive a full refund of $8455 less a $300 admin fee. The Company website, representative when I paid, and contract I signed all state 100% refund if cancellation is more than 90 days. NOW THE COMPANY IS REFUSING TO RETURN MY MONEY. THEY WILL ONLY GIVE ME A CREDIT. This is deceptive advertising and also deceptive a business practice.
After writing certify letters to GCT saying that I do not wanted a voucher but a refund. Additionally writing to BBB and General Attorney Office of MA with claims about GCT, my money was refunded.
Updated on 06/01/2020: After writing certify letters to Grand Circle Travel, the BBB of Massachusetts and the Office of the Attorney General of MA, GCT refunded my money. I cancelled the trip due to “stay home” orders, my age and some health issues. The company sent me statement saying that May 10 the money was going to be refunded that later on was changed to offering a voucher instead.
Original Review: I book a trip to Germany last year and paid in full. Date of departure was August 2020. Because I am a senior citizen with medical problems and we were in quarantine due to Coronavirus, in March 2020 I cancelled the trip. I received a document from them, saying that on May 10th I will receive a refund minus the $300 cancellation penalty. Now they are refusing to give a refund, offering a voucher instead. I do not won’t a voucher because I do not know when the pandemia will end. My loss is over $6000! I am a retired citizen! I did the honorable thing, paying on time. Grand Circle Travel is not an honorable company. Please be aware of how they treat their customers! Saying that they will give me a voucher. I do not want a voucher because we do not know when the pandemic will end to be able to travel safely.
As others have reported, Grand Circle canceled our May departure for a European river cruise, a pre-trip extension to Vienna and airfare. We paid them almost $10500 and all they have done is told us of the cancellation without any rebooking or voucher even though the contract they wrote calls for a full refund if they cancel and no alternate trip is acceptable. In addition, the contract says we ourselves can cancel with only a $600 penalty. They won’t even return a call despite the representative’s promise. Stay away.
I booked a trip to the Arctic that was cancelled by GCT because of the Coronavirus. They refused a refund and booked me for next year without asking. When I asked for a refund because I wasn’t available then, they said I could have a voucher. I find this unacceptable and when I called they “couldn’t find” a record of my previous call. I’ve requested a supervisor call but Never received a call bacK even though it was scheduled for a specific time. The phone agent was completely unhelpful. He even told me it was impossible to communicate with the owners of the company. When I asked for his refusal in writing he said they were told they cannot do that. I can’t say how outrageous I find this situation. I would not recommend this company because of its poor customer service and lack of concern about pleasing its customers. Does anyone know how we can get help getting the refund we are due?
I have taken numerous trip on OAT and previously been very satisfied. This June I had a cruise booked from France. Grand Circle canceled because of the virus. Initially they told me I could get a refund. When the time came they changed their policy and only give vouchers. They also rebooked me for 2021 without even contacting me! When I called several times they refused to offer a refund and will only give vouchers. I am very disappointed in this company and will never travel with them again. Nor will my travel club! Your greed is ruining your reputation!
I called Grand Circle Travel regarding a river cruise for March 30-April 11, 2020. I was told the trip was canceled and that I could get a refund. None came. On April 5, 2020 I sent a letter to Grand Circle requesting a refund of $5590 for the trip. No refund came. I emailed the owners of the travel agency, Alan and Harriet Lewis on April 11 and April 14, 2020 requesting a refund. I got no response from them. On April 22 Emily, a GCT representative, called me and told me that she would get the paperwork in order for a refund since Grand Circle canceled the trip. I called Vicky to follow up on April 29 and was told that Grand Circle rescinded all cash refunds and would only issue vouchers for a future trip through 2022. Their original information was deceptive and misleading as I cannot plan two years in advance because of my age and health problems.
A friend and I signed up for a trip called The Riviera's: Italy, France and the Isles leaving April 13, 2020. On March 6, 2020 we received emails stating they canceled the trip due to coronavirus. We were given 3 options. The 3rd option was a full refund, including air and insurance. Shortly after this they changed their policy and we were informed we would not get a refund as promised. We were told we could reschedule a trip during the next few years. I am a senior citizen and cannot know if I'll be able to travel 1-2 years from now. I have called and spoken with 3 separate people expressing my displeasure only to be told they had changed their policy and nothing could be done about a refund. I have written an email to one of the owners and to their Quality Management Department with no reply. I honestly don't know what has happened to this company. They had a good reputation.
I want my money returned as promised. I think what they've done is unprincipled and probably fraudulent. They should not be able to hold and use my money for the next 2 years or more! On this trip alone they are probably holding approximately $160,000 or more as I estimate there were about 20 people with each person paying about $8,000. Do the right thing Grand Circle Travel and OAT.
We have made 14 trips with OAT/GCT and were about to take our 15th trip in March when COVID 19 interfered. We expected Grand Circle to cancel this trip to Italy, but as the departure drew near they continued to assure us it was safe, but since we are well past the age considered most in danger from the virus, we made the decision to cancel. They did cancel later. We were assured that the insurance was for any cancellation and Grand Circle advised us to file a claim with the insurance company and we would hear from them quickly. We did file and requested a refund check then waited to hear. Filed on Feb. 29 and Travel Insurance Company replied on March 8 that they had reviewed and approved our claim and we should hear from GCT about payment.
We finally received a Travel Voucher on 3/20/2020 that was issued 3/10/2020 which expires 3/10/2021 and cannot be extended. Since then we have contacted them several times and gotten mixed messages and always advised to call the insurance company. Back and forth we go. As I said we have traveled numerous times with this company and been very satisfied in the past, however we had never had to cancel or had any claims on the insurance that we purchased through them. Is this how they treat their loyal customers?
Here is my main complaint: no one knows when or if it will be safe to travel again, we do not know if we will be able on a personal level to make another trip in the future, and what do they do with all the money collected for various trips in the meantime? There were 40 people on our tour and each paid approximately $3500 plus insurance. If my math is correct that is $140,000. they collected for just this trip and we know they had to cancel dozens if not hundred of trips. If the insurance company reimbursed them that is a lot of money in their coffers and even after overhead expense they must have a large amount that may or may not ever be used.
I imagine they were able to cancel airline tickets and get a refund which they did not passed on. I sympathize with the seriousness of their situation, but they are certainly not being proactive for their travelers. We truly hope that we will be able to use this voucher before the expiration date and that they do not go out of business before we do, but will not travel with them again otherwise.
Critical: Professionalism. This used to be a good company. We have been happy with many trips over the years. However, this pandemic has hurt them financially, and it appears that their new policy is to pass this financial strain onto their customers!! We booked trips for FOUR of our family members. They had to cancel them because of the worldwide crisis. However, they now refuse to refund any of the funds, for trip, travel, insurance, and then -- without our permission - they have rebooked all of us on different trips!! Every phone call is a 90 minute exercise in frustration and stress... And they are using deceptive practices to keep the money (almost $40,000) and are completely refusing to provide the required refunds.
We now have to hire an attorney to take legal action and force them to do what they should have done. We have traveled with Grand Circle for TEN YEARS, but with this, they have ruined their reputation and lost our business forever. They do not understand that this attempt at deception and greed has cost them much more in reputation and repeat business. THIS ONCE GOOD COMPANY HAS RUINED THEIR REPUTATION BECAUSE THEY DON'T SEEM TO HAVE A LONG TERM VIEW.
This was my first river cruise. I like it so much better than an ocean cruise. All the employees were exceptional. The rooms were more than adequate with a balcony to sit outside.. The guides were open to suggestion, so we did activities over and above what was contracted for. We were able to cruise a low water Danube when other companies could not. I love that GCT always has a visit with locals in all their tours.
Grand Circle Travel Company Information
- Company Name:
- Grand Circle Travel
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