Notices

Corona Virus Hell! What would you do???

Old 03-17-2020, 08:55 PM
  #1  
Formerly Propiedad Paradise Panama
Admirals Club  Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Isla Parida, Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 759
Received 124 Likes on 52 Posts
Default Corona Virus Hell! What would you do???

We are at the height of our sport fishing season at our lodge here in Panama. The country has just shut down entry for any foreigners for at least the next 15 days due to the Corona Virus scare. We have 3 groups scheduled to show up within the next 15 days that we have already contacted to reschedule, at no extra charge, and they are all okay with it. We do however have a couple of clients that have trips coming up soon that are adamantly demanding refunds even though our deposits are non-refundable.

We are hopeful that this will pass soon and things will go back to normal. I thought I would reach out to you guys, especially charter operators, to see what your thoughts and ideas were of how you may be handling your similar situation?

Thanks!

Popular Reply

03-18-2020, 06:39 AM
popeyeiii
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sienna Plantation, TX.
Posts: 3,505
Received 1,765 Likes on 841 Posts
Default

You should not be using deposits as part of your operating budget.
Old 03-17-2020, 09:01 PM
  #2  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Quepos Costa Rica
Posts: 3,817
Likes: 0
Received 362 Likes on 173 Posts
Default

I'd be honest with people. If you don't have the money to send back, let people know that you want to give them money back, but it's impossible when everybody cancels at once. Most things in Costa Rica is reschedule only. On my new vacation rental, we had 50K in cancellations on Thursday, but only 10K in reserve. So I told people that we can reschedule for free, sorry but nobody saw this coming. So far nobody has lynched me, the situation just really sucks. Panama and Costa Rica have NEVER shut their borders before, so this caught us all off guard.
Likes:
Old 03-17-2020, 09:45 PM
  #3  
Formerly Propiedad Paradise Panama
Admirals Club  Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Isla Parida, Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 759
Received 124 Likes on 52 Posts
Default

Good advice John. This is unprecedented to say the least. Honesty is always the best policy. Most people are reasonable and are fine with rescheduling. But as the panic sets in I expect some folks to get ornery. Best of luck to you brother!
Likes:
Old 03-17-2020, 09:53 PM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 979
Received 564 Likes on 304 Posts
Default

Your country just shut down. If it was me I would expect a full refund.
Likes:
alfnator, billfishnfool, Capt.George1, sunburnt77, SWF Pontoon Angler, tbaxl, the_gooch, Youngin19 and 3 others liked this post. (Show less...)
Old 03-17-2020, 11:38 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6,244
Received 1,431 Likes on 887 Posts
Default

I have given refunds for less, but I imagine things are going to get real tight for you guys if they arent already. If the deposits are clearly understood to be non refundable under any circumstances then I would explain that to them and say that while you have no liability for what is happening you are willing to recognise that deposit if they re book in the next x years and will send them a letter confirming this.
Old 03-18-2020, 05:05 AM
  #6  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Melbourne Beach
Posts: 425
Received 82 Likes on 58 Posts
Default

I believe most of us have never been in a situation like this before, but it is out of your client's control, the country won't let them in. I would expect a refund.
Old 03-18-2020, 05:20 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Kill Devil Hills
Posts: 944
Received 196 Likes on 126 Posts
Default

Be honest with people, explain the situation and if you can refund them it would look good on you, but I think most would understand. Most deposits are spent on seasonal startup costs which people don't know, so it may take some time.
Old 03-18-2020, 05:27 AM
  #8  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 3,654
Received 3,462 Likes on 1,575 Posts
Default

I had tickets to Paris in April. Air France is not issuing refunds, they are waving fees and allowing people to reschedule. If that is how a major company is handeling it you should be fine.
Likes:
Old 03-18-2020, 06:02 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: LBI NJ
Posts: 3,022
Received 963 Likes on 560 Posts
Default

A extremely well known well run Charter operation in NJ makes everyone sign a contract. There are NO REFUNDS. You must rebook if you get canceled.

Maybe they can see off their time to someone else??
Old 03-18-2020, 06:27 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 973
Received 238 Likes on 176 Posts
Default

good luck, do the best you can under the circumstances-everyone is stressed and, hopefully, understand that you are small businesses and not exceptionally well capitalized-we will get through this.
Old 03-18-2020, 06:31 AM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 7,798
Received 4,001 Likes on 2,080 Posts
Default

In the same boat as cancellations are coming in fast. Some have said keep the deposit for a later date. Some have requested a refund. Right now I am doing what they ask. It's not like they are pulling a no show as things are happening so fast people are scared. They are closing some boat ramps where most of the skiff guides launch from so I may be the one having to cancel. This is one of the inshore guides months that we count on. Lots of guides are gonna be hurting just like a lot of other people.

I also have to think about my own health. Rubbing shoulders on a flats boat for 8 hours with a guy that just traveled from god knows where may not be such a great idea either.
Old 03-18-2020, 06:39 AM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Sienna Plantation, TX.
Posts: 3,505
Received 1,765 Likes on 841 Posts
Default

You should not be using deposits as part of your operating budget.
Old 03-18-2020, 06:39 AM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Morehead City, NC
Posts: 1,526
Received 119 Likes on 71 Posts
Default

Are you are you explaining that it's not only in the contract no refunds but tell them the reason you can't refund the money even if you wanted to. Maybe people would be a little more understanding. If this is the time of year that they wanted to fish let them reschedule for March of 2021 without penalty. SailFishQuepos did a excellent job of explaining the situation. If your customer doesn't understand that there's isn't much else you can say or do.
Old 03-18-2020, 07:43 AM
  #14  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 2,793
Received 304 Likes on 185 Posts
Default

People knew going in that there were no refunds. BUT, the business does not want to be so stern as to make the customer sure they will never come back. Being able to re-schedule at no extra charge seems fair, just don't make it within the next 4 months. Not sure where the timeline should fall. You guys will surely need these customers when things finally settle down. These will be trying times for most everyone.
Old 03-18-2020, 12:26 PM
  #15  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 381
Received 117 Likes on 74 Posts
Default

I am surprised at all the "full refund" posts. I have seen all sorts of cases related to cancellations in the past few days (including one of my coworkers wedding that was already paid in full) and it seems to be pretty consistent across the board that places are allowing a no-fee reschedule but no refunds.
Old 03-18-2020, 01:11 PM
  #16  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1,075
Received 391 Likes on 194 Posts
Default

I’ve got a trip planned in May. They said if the government suggests no travel at that time then they’ll send the money back. If the travel restrictions are eased up they expect I come. If I were your client I would expect a full refund because it’s not their fault and you haven’t lost anything on them yet. If you treat them right then they’ll be back
Likes:
Old 03-18-2020, 01:17 PM
  #17  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North Texas
Posts: 763
Received 232 Likes on 89 Posts
Default

Just rescheduled a dove hunt from April 2020 to 2021 in Argentina, didn't ask for any refunds, just asked for new dates. Personally, I wouldn't ask for a refund in a situation like that because it would be no different than if I caught the flu 5 days before my trip. However, if people cancel with advanced notice it will definitely depend on what your refund/cancellation policy is otherwise you will likely face charge back requests from credit card companies if you took deposits that way.

If financially able it's always good to do the right thing but in this case rescheduling seems like the right thing to me.

Good luck!



Old 03-18-2020, 01:26 PM
  #18  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 979
Received 564 Likes on 304 Posts
Default

I guess if it was Cabo I would just ask to move my charter to a later date (might really have to do that).

But Panama not a short flight down for me so it could be a once in a lifetime shot. Not something to easily rebook
Old 03-18-2020, 02:54 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 615
Likes: 0
Received 299 Likes on 161 Posts
Default

I think given the situation, I would refund the full amount because as someone mentioned earlier it wasn't the clients fault. I would first try to reschedule with them but in the end I would do what 20Biminitwist is doing.
Old 03-18-2020, 02:54 PM
  #20  
Formerly Propiedad Paradise Panama
Admirals Club  Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Isla Parida, Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama
Posts: 759
Received 124 Likes on 52 Posts
Default

I really appreciate everyone's input! FYI...our policy posted on our website is:

Cancellation Policy: Due to our limited size, cancellations affect us greatly. Therefore, we adhere to a strict cancellation policy. Payments made for your trip are refundable for cancellations received in writing at least 150 days prior to your arrival date at SFPIL, less a $650 per person cancellation fee. If you cancel your trip for whatever reason....150 days or less prior to your arrival date all payments made on your trip are non-refundable, and are non-transferable.

We highly recommend getting trip insurance through our partners at Global Rescue. For more info go to...https://ss.globalrescue.com/partner/sportfishpanama/


Of course we intend on rescheduling all clients affected by this to future dates at no additional cost. We hope that everyone accepts this considering the circumstances. We work hard to do what it takes to try and please all our clients but sometimes you can't please them all.

Best of luck to all you operators in the same boat!

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.