June 20, 2024


sights and trips

Can I reschedule my Africa tour, or will I drop my money?

Q. Almost two decades in the past, I booked an Africa journey via Vantage Journey, which was supposed to depart in June 2020. Vantage canceled the vacation since of COVID-19. The company re-registered me with the very same team, scheduled to depart in September of that calendar year. When I asked why Vantage did not give me any other choices or give a refund, a consultant informed me she assumed I would just go alongside with the group.

I asked for a refund, but Vantage said it was not giving refunds. I uncovered out afterwards that some customers did, in point, get refunds.

Vantage also canceled the September vacation. In November, I had cervical spine medical procedures and pretty perhaps will have to have added operation down the road. In March, I was involved in a horrendous automobile incident, induced by what the medical professionals feel was a heart attack. With this incident, I simply cannot go away North America, so a journey to Africa would be difficult.

I have questioned Vantage for a refund or a adjust to a North American trip, but I just cannot get as a result of to anybody. Can you aid me?

RICK KNEE, Davie, Fla.

A. I’m sorry to hear about your health problems. I consider Vantage should have presented you a complete refund just after canceling your initial journey to Africa. Most trustworthy tour operators presented comprehensive refunds when they had to terminate their outings. But you would have experienced a confined time to both take the tour or get rebooked on a potential tour. So when the consultant informed you that Vantage “assumed” you wished to go on the September tour, which is in all probability what occurred.

It is tough to ascertain the sequence of occasions, simply because your paper trail of correspondence with the enterprise is incomplete. It seems as if a ton of your communication transpired by cell phone. Companies hold recordings of these calls, but they aren’t obtainable to you without having a court purchase.

Soon after you settle for the credit rating — possibly right or indirectly by not responding to an offer you — you are caught with it. But even then, there are ways out. Under Massachusetts state law, a tour operator should supply a refund when it cancels a journey. You could have tried using to invoke that legislation just after Vantage frequently canceled your journey, because Vantage is a Massachusetts business.

I list the names, figures and electronic mail addresses of all the Vantage executives on my buyer advocacy internet site at www.elliott.org/corporation-contacts/vantage-deluxe-earth-travel/. I see you tried to send an e-mail to the CEO, but you may possibly have 1st experimented with to call a person at a decrease stage with a certain request for both a refund or an itinerary transform. It was hard to establish what you required, based mostly on the letter you despatched to Vantage. I proposed that you mail a much more focused e-mail to Vantage. Independently, I contacted Vantage on your behalf.

It turns out Vantage has a standard policy that friends can move their journey to possibly a distinctive departure date of the similar excursion or a different journey altogether up to 121 days ahead of their scheduled departure date without penalty. No special acceptance is required.

Vantage transformed your tour as you asked for, and you agreed to settle for its present.

Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit group that helps customers take care of their complications. Elliott’s most current e-book is “How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler” (National Geographic). Get in touch with him at elliott.org/help or [email protected].