Prepaid but Refundable Rate

Old Oct 8, 19, 9:49 am
  #1  
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Prepaid but Refundable Rate

Iíve been noticing a trend over the past few months where a rate is advertised as prepaid/non refundable but under the cancellation policy it states that you can cancel x days prior to arrival without any charge.

This reads like an oxymoron to me and Iím not sure if these rates are refundable or not.

For example, Sheraton TriBeCa New York, 11-12 January 2020.

Iíve seen this for hotels in a number of countries and is very frustrating. I wish the terms would be clear and simple as it seems like the user is trying to be tripped up.

Any ideas / experiences?

Thanks
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Old Oct 8, 19, 10:21 am
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Iíve seen a trend of cancellable/refundable rates that require a partial or full prepayment, especially at resorts.

Iím just not in the mood of advancing $6k or $7k for a reservation months ahead, mostly because Iím pretty sure that in the event I do end up cancelling getting the deposit back would be a major hassle.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 10:38 am
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Iíve seen those too but the rate Iím referring to says prepayment/non refundable but then says you can cancel without any charge.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by MePlatPremier View Post
Iíve seen a trend of cancellable/refundable rates that require a partial or full prepayment, especially at resorts.

Iím just not in the mood of advancing $6k or $7k for a reservation months ahead, mostly because Iím pretty sure that in the event I do end up cancelling getting the deposit back would be a major hassle.
Iíve seen some resorts that take a deposit on all paid rates. I assume itís just to curtail speculative booking.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 12:36 pm
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These rates are becoming more common. My only experiences with them are having BRGs denied because the lowest rate is this kind of prepaid but refundable rate which has no equivalent on OTAs.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 4:50 pm
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
Iíve seen some resorts that take a deposit on all paid rates. I assume itís just to curtail speculative booking.
when they do that with all their public cash rates, properties are allowed to (and often do) require full prepayment (of the cancellation penalty) on award bookings as well.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by MaxFlyer View Post
the rate Iím referring to says prepayment/non refundable but then says you can cancel without any charge.
I would run away from any property that can't get its terms straight, but one of the basic tenets of contract law is that any ambiguity resolves in favour of the party that didn't draft the contract. Based on that, it would be refundable.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by escapefromphl View Post
I’ve seen some resorts that take a deposit on all paid rates. I assume it’s just to curtail speculative booking.
This is becoming more common. I hate it though because if I cancel it then means I have to make sure the the refund has been processed back to my credit card, which is a hassle.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I would run away from any property that can't get its terms straight, but one of the basic tenets of contract law is that any ambiguity resolves in favour of the party that didn't draft the contract. Based on that, it would be refundable.
Well it looks like Iíll have to give this a go as one of my hotels which I cancelled has charged me. Customer Service has reached out to the hotel for a response. If it goes nowhere then Iíll ask my credit card company to dispute it.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 8:49 am
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I'm with the OP on this - last three bookings have all had exactly the same conflicting terms. I think the reason is that they only have a limited number of "headers" for the rate categories - Standard, Deals & Package and Pre-Pay & Save - and that within that last category are rates that are both refundable and non-refundable depending on the specific property, dates etc. This was the language that seems to be at the heart of the issue from a dummy booking I just did and this seems to be where the confusion is - the first and second bullet points seem to be at odds with each other.

Cancelling Your Reservation

  • Changes to your reservation are not permitted. Please note that you may cancel your reservation for no charge until October 10, 2019.
  • Please note that your prepayment for this special rate is non-refundable
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Old Oct 9, 19, 10:52 am
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Originally Posted by thetaxman View Post
I'm with the OP on this - last three bookings have all had exactly the same conflicting terms. I think the reason is that they only have a limited number of "headers" for the rate categories - Standard, Deals & Package and Pre-Pay & Save - and that within that last category are rates that are both refundable and non-refundable depending on the specific property, dates etc. This was the language that seems to be at the heart of the issue from a dummy booking I just did and this seems to be where the confusion is - the first and second bullet points seem to be at odds with each other.

Cancelling Your Reservation

  • Changes to your reservation are not permitted. Please note that you may cancel your reservation for no charge until October 10, 2019.
  • Please note that your prepayment for this special rate is non-refundable
It seems like there are two separate things here. One is cancellation, meaning there is no charge to back out of your reservation. The second is that your prepayment is non-refundable. In other words, you won't be charged any additional fees to back out of your reservation at the time you cancel, but you will forfeit any prepayment.

I don't think that these are conflicting terms. I would view these terms as fully non-refundable.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 1:50 pm
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Here's an interesting variation of the above which I came across last night:

Rate Details

AAA Advance Purchase Rate, AAA card required required, see Rate details




Holding Your Reservation

  • We will need a credit card number to reserve your room.

Cancelling Your Reservation

  • You may cancel your reservation for no charge until November 25, 2019 (2 day[s] before arrival).
  • Please note that we will assess a fee of 94.50 USD if you must cancel after this deadline. If you have made a prepayment, we will retain all or part of your prepayment. If not, we will charge your credit card.

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Old Oct 9, 19, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by KRSW View Post
Here's an interesting variation of the above which I came across last night:


Rate Details

AAA Advance Purchase Rate, AAA card required required, see Rate details



Holding Your Reservation

  • We will need a credit card number to reserve your room.

Cancelling Your Reservation

  • You may cancel your reservation for no charge until November 25, 2019 (2 day[s] before arrival).
  • Please note that we will assess a fee of 94.50 USD if you must cancel after this deadline. If you have made a prepayment, we will retain all or part of your prepayment. If not, we will charge your credit card.
I see this a lot and itís how Iíve just been tripped up and charged for a cancellation.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by JohnneeO View Post
It seems like there are two separate things here. One is cancellation, meaning there is no charge to back out of your reservation. The second is that your prepayment is non-refundable. In other words, you won't be charged any additional fees to back out of your reservation at the time you cancel, but you will forfeit any prepayment.

I don't think that these are conflicting terms. I would view these terms as fully non-refundable.
Yep. I can see that as well. Totally valid point and having just spoken with Marriott this is how they see it. No complaints if I make a mistake now.
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Old Oct 12, 19, 1:15 pm
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Non-refundable AND free cancellation?

Currently looking at some options for a trip in January, and am running across some very strange rates. Here are the terms and conditions for one of them.

On the main page, it says:

Member Rate Advance Purchase, prepay in full, non-refundable if cancelled less than 1 day before arrival, no changes, see Rate details
The rate details add:

Holding Your Reservation
We will need a credit card prepayment to reserve your room. To ensure that you receive this special rate, we will charge your credit card a prepayment of 1160.67 USD when you make your reservation.

Cancelling Your Reservation
Changes to your reservation are not permitted. Please note that you may cancel your reservation for no charge until January 4, 2020.
Please note that your prepayment for this special rate is non-refundable.
($1160.67 is the total for the stay, and 1/4 is the day before check-in.)

Not clear to me how you can simultaneously "cancel...for no charge" and have the full prepayment be non-refundable? Who writes this stuff?
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