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I missed the date for my holiday balance payment - should I pay now.

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I missed the date for my holiday balance payment - should I pay now.

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We had a family holiday package to Florida booked via Virgin Holidays.
I had paid a deposit of £725, and the balance of £11,075 was due on 11th May, but I did not pay at that time. Shortly before the balance was due i received a text saying they would need to either MOVE my flights to Heathrow (from gatwick) or cancel them, and said that I should not contact then and that they would be in contact within 2 weeks. I have heard nothing.
I am now in a position to pay the balance, but I am concerned about what happens if (as is likely) the holiday does not go ahead.
According to their terms there is a sliding scale of cancellation fees, provided you get confirmation of cancellation to them in writing. (That is not easy as there is no email on their site, and no contact details - I tried phoning but you cannot get through and they will only contact you if within 2 weeks of flying.)
If i had cancelled before the deposit was due, I'd have lost the deposit, I now seem to be in the first 'block' of cancellation where I have to pay 30% - I still have 10 or so days in this bracket IF I can get a cancellation to them in writing, though it does mean approx £3500 for a cancelled holiday - ouch !!
As I wait longer the percentage goes up.
If I cancel less than 24hrs before the trip i am liable for 100%
Question: If I pay the balance now (slightly late) and then the trip does not go ahead because of home office advice, or virgin being unable to fly or provide the full package, Am I covered under the ATOL scheme and would I get a refund  or does the fact I was late with the balance count against me and am i not eligible?

Many thanks for any help/guidance.

Replies

  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    I would assume their standard T&C would apply as it is you who has failed to make payment when due.  On that basis I suspect you no longer have a holiday booking and will have lost the deposit.  The only people who can tell you with certainty is Virgin.
  • CKhalvashiCKhalvashi Forumite
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    Under the terms, if you don't pay, you'll likely lose your deposit, where if you do and it doesn't go ahead, you can either reschedule (from Heathrow, Virgin are leaving Gatwick) or get your money back.

    I don't know specific Ts and Cs for Virgin, but these are reasonably standard conditions industry-wide.
    "I kada sanjamo san, nek bude hiljadu raznih boja" (L. Stamenkovic)

    Call me Remainer or Romaniac, but not Remoaner. It's insulting and I have the right to have my voice heard too.

    I can spell, my iPad can't.
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    Under the terms, if you don't pay, you'll likely lose your deposit, where if you do and it doesn't go ahead, you can either reschedule (from Heathrow, Virgin are leaving Gatwick) or get your money back.

    I don't know specific Ts and Cs for Virgin, but these are reasonably standard conditions industry-wide.
    The OP has said the balance wasn't paid by the due date, so they are basically in breach of contract.  It will be Virgin's decision whether to accept late payment or simply to cancel the booking and keep the deposit.

  • heatherw_01heatherw_01 Forumite, Board Guide
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    As above, you didn't pay on time so I would assume that the holiday would be cancelled and you lose your deposit.
    Have you tried contacting them via social media?
    I'm the Board Guide on Quick Grabbit, Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and the UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
  • Gorchard_2Gorchard_2 Forumite
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    Thanks for the replies. I have not tried social media as a method of contacting them.
    I can't seem to find anything, but if anyone has any details of a social media way to contact them, then please let me know here (Thanks)
    With regard to the 'cancellation' - it does say in the terms that if I fail to make payment, they CAN treat it as cancelled.
    If they do, and I lose the deposit, I am not too worried. What I do NOT want is for them to treat it as ongoing, and to charge fees in accordance with the schedule in Clause 9.

    EXTRACTS FROM T&Cs
    "6. Paying for your holiday

    6.1. We accept payment by credit card and debit card. In order to confirm your chosen arrangements, you must pay a non-refundable deposit, which may be higher than the standard deposit to secure specific types of airline tickets, tours, cruises etc, and this will be confirmed to you at time of booking. If booking within 12 weeks of departure full payment will be required by credit card or debit card. The balance of the cost of your arrangements (including any surcharge where applicable) is due not less than 12 weeks prior to departure. If we do not receive this balance in full and on time, we reserve the right to treat your booking as cancelled by you in which case the cancellation charges set out in clause 9 will become payable and we will retain the deposit paid.

    Booking through Virgin Holidays Retail Stores and Call Centre

    6.2. If you make a booking with us through our dedicated retail stores or call centre rather than booking online, a non-refundable booking fee will be charged."

    ****************************************************
    Clause 9, shown below lays out the scale of charges 
    ******************

    9. If You Cancel Your Holiday

    9.1. You, or any named member of your party, may cancel your travel arrangements at any time prior to departure. Written notification by post or email from the ‘lead name’ on the booking must be received at our offices as soon as possible. Since we incur costs in cancelling your travel arrangements, you will be required to pay the applicable cancellation charges (with the exception below). For more information see below.

    Please note: If the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges from your insurance company. Your insurance premium is non-refundable by us.

    9.2. You can cancel your booking without paying cancellation charges if the performance of your package, or the carriage of passengers to your destination, is significantly affected by unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances. In such circumstances, we will arrange for your booking to be terminated and for you to receive a full refund. We will observe advice provided by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

    Period before departure within which notice of cancellation is receive by us in writing

    % of total booking price*

     More than 84 days

    Loss of deposit

    57-84 days

    30%

    37-56 days

    50%

    22-36 days

    70%

    7-21 days

    90%

    Less than 7 days

    100%

    *In some cases the deposit may be a higher amount to secure your arrangements, this will be non-refundable and the charges will be added to the cancellation charges above. In cases where cancellation charges made by our suppliers are higher than the cost of the deposit, we may pass the charge on to you. Please ask for full details and we will notify you of the specific charges applicable to your booking.

     

    9.3. Our cancellation charges are a percentage of the total holiday cost together with the other factors set out in this section. The total holiday cost does not include your insurance premium. These charges are based on how many days before your departure we receive your cancellation notice and not when your correspondence was sent to us. Please note that any amendment charges are non-refundable. For insurance premiums, you should refer to your insurance provider’s cancellation policy.

    Please note: If you have booked a cruise, any cancellation will incur additional cancellation charges including those in line with the relevant cruise line’s charges.

    Please note: In the case of cancellation after receipt of documents, no refund will be given unless unused tickets are returned to us.

    Please note: If only some members of your party cancel, in addition to incurring the applicable cancellation charges, we will recalculate the holiday cost for the remaining travellers. You may have to pay extra room charges e.g. single room supplements.

    9.4. After departure no refund will be made on any part-used components of your holiday (e.g. unused flights, unused car hire or as a result of early check-out). You will be charged 100% of the price of all part-used components. Any voluntary changes made by you when on holiday will incur additional charges.

    9.5. All cancellation charges become payable by you immediately upon confirmation of the cancellation.

    Please note: Certain arrangements may not be cancelled after they have been confirmed and any cancellation could incur a cancellation charge of up to 100% of that part of the arrangements.*








  • Gorchard_2Gorchard_2 Forumite
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    PS, I did post a letter to their offices in Crawley, but have received nothing back. (understandable maybe with the current situation)
    As it has been more than a couple of weeks since it was sent, I intend to send another (recorded delivery) asking them to confirm receipt of the first letter. Hopefully non-payment of the balance counts as cancellation, rather than them treating the holiday as 'ongoing'. If I lose the deposit it is unfortunate, but not a disaster; If I have to pay 30 or 50% of the holiday, that would be much harder to bear.
  • Gorchard_2Gorchard_2 Forumite
    32 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    In essence:
    I don't mind losing the deposit - I accept that.
    I do not want to be liable for 100% of the holiday.

  • WestinWestin Forumite
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    In essence:
    I don't mind losing the deposit - I accept that.
    I do not want to be liable for 100% of the holiday.

    You would not be liable for anything greater than the deposit amount.
  • leonardodavinchiiileonardodavinchiii Forumite
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    MoneySaving Newbie
    I have already read an example of this in a Persian-language blog. If I find the article, I will definitely send it to you
  • edited 1 June at 10:56AM
    NoodleDoodleManNoodleDoodleMan Forumite
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    edited 1 June at 10:56AM
    This might be worthwhile for CEO email address.
    It has worked for me with another well known travel organisation - nothing to lose by trying.


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