The following rules must be applied in case of cancellation of a tour by a client.
As of today forward, we will enforce our contract at all times. (October 2015)
Rules of refunds:
Read with Cancellation Costs above
- Under no circumstances will we pay back any more money than what our contract requires us to do, whether the cancelling party is replaced by someone else or not.
- If it seems parents cannot afford the tour and they want to pay a conditional deposit, they must hold onto their money till they are sure they can afford the tour, or sees chance to forfeit money.
- If a tour does not go on because critical mass in terms of numbers is not reached (the rules of how many children the group needs to go ahead must be in writing in the absence of which we will use 1 teacher and 10 kids as critical mass), we will refund deposits – R 1 000 handling fee. At second payment the contract will be used.
- If a learner cancels one tour of ours to go on another tour during deposit stage, the deposit will be transferrable (- R 1000 handling fee) to another tour. If the switch takes place after second payment, the whole amount paid minus R 1000 handling fee and real costs incurred will be transferred to the new tour.
Our contract reads:
- CANCELLATION COSTS
In the event of cancellation of the booking and or tour by the client or individual members, or in the event of the tour being cancelled because of reasons beyond the control of the company the company will be entitled to:
a. retain the deposit
b. claim 50% (Fifty Percent) of the total tour cost if the tour is cancelled 20 (twenty) weeks to 16 (sixteen) weeks prior to the date that the tour was supposed to commence;
c. claim 75% (Seventy Five Percent) of the total costs for the tour if the tour is cancelled 15 (fifteen) to 6 (six) weeks prior to the date that the tour was supposed to commence.
d. claim 100% (One Hundred Percent) of the total costs if the tour is cancelled within 5 (five) weeks prior to the date upon which the tour was supposed to commence.
This has to be read in conjunction with the Consumer act and I quote from it: (English available athttp://www.thenct.org.za/NCTDocs/founding-legislation/f8d6f6aa-994d-4305-b3d0-ea056416bbd0.pdf or in the Contracts between school and Travel and Sport on Dropbox)
Consumer’s right to cancel advance reservation, booking or order
- (1) This section does not apply to a franchise agreement, or in respect of any
(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), a consumer has the right to cancel any advance
booking, reservation or order for any goods or services to be supplied.
(3) A supplier who makes a commitment or accepts a reservation to supply goods or
services on a later date may—
(a) require payment of a reasonable deposit in advance; and
(b) impose a reasonable charge for cancellation of the order or reservation,
subject to subsection (5).
(4) For the purposes of this section, a charge is unreasonable if it exceeds a fair
amount in the circumstances, having regard to—
(a) the nature of the goods or services that were reserved or booked;
(b) the length of notice of cancellation provided by the consumer;
(c) the reasonable potential for the service provider, acting diligently, to find an
alternative consumer between the time of receiving the cancellation notice
and the time of the cancelled reservation; and
(d) the general practice of the relevant industry.
(5) A supplier may not impose any cancellation fee in respect of a booking,
reservation or order if the consumer is unable to honour the booking, reservation or
order because of the death or hospitalisation of the person for whom, or for whose
benefit the booking, reservation or order was made.
The most important reference as guideline to quantifying any of above is given in 4(d) above.
The industry general practice is 50% to 100% deposit, forfeitable in many cases (Surevest Travel, hotels, airlines etc. are points in case)
The keywords are:
Reasonable deposit – our deposit at around 20% is much more reasonable than the industry – 50% to 100% is the norm.
Reasonable cost for cancellation – Our +- 20% (being the deposit) is a very reasonable cost for cancellation of a booking, compared to our industry.
Both terms, reasonable cost and reasonable deposit, are open for interpretation, which places the burden on the consumer to prove what reasonable is and the task on us to defend our interpretation of reasonability.
It is our ethical and moral duty to operate within the boundaries of the law. If we assume that the law was written especially to make the playing field fair, and we operate more lenient than the law, we are being kind and generous to our clients, doesn’t matter what their opinion is. (somebody that loses money due to the outcome of a personal decision always feel cheated and will have long sad stories or threaten legal action)
Paragraph (5) is covered by our insurance and when a client has a legal claim, the claim has to be processed and paid to the client before we make any concessions/payments.
Make sure your teachers understand the rules. It is the obligation of the client to read the contract he signs, so don’t lift this out in presentations etc.
Tours sold under the previous grey rules will be honoured in line with your undertakings with the clients, subject to you writing a mail before Friday 23 October informing us of special agreements you have in place so we can determine our risk in advance. If you do not inform us of these tours, cancellations will default to the new ruling.