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Cancellation policies

Surrey England
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2,321 posts
85 reviews
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Cancellation policies

We are nowhere near to planning our itinerary and making bookings for our next visit to New Zealand.

However, I am keeping an eye on the forum and am checking out any accommodation which may be of future interest.

One place which has caught my attention is 'Adrift' in Golden Bay.We are hoping to spend two or three nights in the Abel Tasman area.

Now,Adrift asks for a minimum two night stay in high season which would be fine.They also ask for one night's payment upon booking and I know that some properties request this.

However,they say that if you cancel prior to 30 days from arrival you will be charged for this night.Cancel any later and you pay 100% of your booking.

Isn't this unusual for NZ? Looking back through my folder for our last trip I notice that no motel/hotel or apartment complex charged for cancellations more than at most 14 days away from arrival.

We like to book well ahead in order to get the property we want but I am rather put off by this.Things happen in life to cause one to have to cancel or modify a trip and we are talking here about $350-400 which is a considerable amount.

I know that some of you regulars on the forum are holiday property owners so would be interested to know your views on this.

Greymouth, New...
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for South Island
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1. Re: Cancellation policies

I agree with you, that cancellation policies need to be fare.

The issue you raise is one that they dont like making beds during high season and can fill fast, but secondly they want to screw you if you default from 30 days which contradicts the first policy.

Most organisation have a cancellation policy which in effect will reduce damages in terms of costs for credit card transaction fees and also lost opportunity when the notice period prohibits the reselling of the goods or service.

while it may be a sign of the times,with an international credit squeeze, but personaly I do not like it.

Auckland, New...
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2. Re: Cancellation policies


You raise three points:

2 night minimum stay

Deposit at time of booking

Cancellation Policy

all of which are potential disincentives for potential guests.

It is a case of balancing the interests of both the provider and guests in such a way that the provider is protected and the potential guests are not turned off.

Personally I would never stay anywhere that insisted on a minimum stay - unless of course it suited me rather than the provider. A deposit to confirm a booking is reasonable and cancellation policies need to be fair - I agree with you that 30 days is excessive and that 14 days or less would be the norm.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: Cancellation policies

Hi MG :)

The cancellation policy does seem excessive. However if you have good travel insurance this will protect you in case of last minute hiccups in your travel arrangements.

Wellington, New...
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744 posts
57 reviews
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4. Re: Cancellation policies

A 30 day cancellation does seem to be rather longer than usual but yes, your travel insurance would surely cover this. The proprieters obviously feel that 30 days covers any late cancellations that would leave them without guests.

I know you are not worried by this but a two night minimum booking is not unusual, especially because with a smaller establishment it is not economically viable to only have guests for one night. A one night deposit also is usual, not just in New Zealand, but world wide.

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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5. Re: Cancellation policies

Without knowing anything about the property you are refering to, I would just would just like to make a few points.

Many properties, including ours, have a high number of 'Walk In" guests. In this case it is not hard to fill a room at short notice, and a 12 or 24 hour cancellation is reasonable. Other properties, and I suspect the likes of Boutique hotels, and luxury lodges would come into this category, rely almost exclusively on advance bookings, and these are mostly made well in advance. In this case a cancellation 30 days out could well result in an empty room on the night. Consider also that the operator could well have had to turn down bookings for that period, and you can understand they would be rather unhappy.

I have just booked 2 weeks in Broadbeach (Surfers, Australia) for June. The property has a 14 day cancellation policy, and if it is cancelled within that period they charge for the whole period booked. I stay here quite often, and sometimes have had to forfiet(sp) a few nights accommodation if I decide to leave early. While I don't like this, I accept it, because the chances of them re-selling the room are not great, and because I had it booked they could not have sold it to anyone else.

I agree that cancellation policies must be fair, but they must be fair to both parties, and the accommodation providor should not have to incur a loss just because a guest changes their mind. Unfortunately it is a fact that some people will book a room to ensure they have somewhere to stay, and when they arive will look around for a cheaper or better room, and cancel the one they had reserved. I know no one on TA would be so unethical, but believe me, it happens.

Most accommodation providors have a fairly liberal policy toward cancellations, and if it is for a good reason, such as sickness, or an accident, will not charge.

We are selling one of the most perishable commodities in the world. It has good shelf life until today, but try selling yesterday's room today and see what sort of response you get :)

Surrey England
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6. Re: Cancellation policies

Thank you all for your comments.Sorry it took so long to reply but we have had computer problems.

I have no real problem with having to forfeit a night's stay for a cancellation about 14 or even 28 days before the date of arrival.It just seems a bit excessive to charge if you had to cancel say 4 months before.They do definitely state PRIOR to 30 days.If you cancelled at perhaps 20 days before you are charged for the whole booking.

I would never dream of travelling without insurance but some long standing medical conditions are not always covered by the policy.I have an elderly father in law who is on medication for various conditions and if he were to be taken ill prior to a trip abroad I doubt we'd be covered if we had to curtail our trip if they could prove it was down to one of these pre-exsisting conditions.

You all seem to basically agree though,that this cancellation clause is a tad unusual.

Anyway,as I said,I am not anywhere near to actually making bookings yet and may well change my mind about this place.There are plenty more lovely properties to choose from and new ones appearing too,from time to time.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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7. Re: Cancellation policies

What has come out of this thread is the necessity to have good Travel Insurance when travelling overseas to cover unforseen occurences. In the overall scheme of things it is not expensive. Some policies are not as good as others hence I emphasise good travel insurance.

You may recall the recent tragedy when two Australians died at Fox Glacier and were charged for the return of their rental car. Without getting into the merits of the Rental car company which has beemn done to death already good travel insurance would have sorted out the family's problem on the spot.

Medical costs are another item covered in good insurance policies and with the financial problems facing this country like many others international tourists will find we arent the soft touch we may have been in the past.

I can understand minimum stays and cancellation policies especially if they are published up front and one can then make "informed" decisions. Most of the reasons have already been covered

Queenstown, New...
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8. Re: Cancellation policies

I think vbc has covered this well.

Only recently we introduced a $25 booking fee, which is not collected or enforced unless we get those that simply are just changing thier minds and wasting my time.

A 30 cancellation policy is justified for the boutique end of the market for the reasons mentioned by vbc. But only for the peak periods, eg. Xmas to New Year.

I really do object to a large deposit request 4 - 6 months out.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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9. Re: Cancellation policies

Now here's another reason many places seem to be insisiting on upfront and cancellation fees earlier and earlier...

more travellers are using the last minute sites to book..but just in case they book accom in the location first...then if nohing comes up then they still have what they need..if something comes up, nor soemtimes up to 6 weeks ahead, then they cancel and make a new booking.

Mummygoats situation is not unique and I know of no company that will give adequate cover without paying an exorbitant premium, if there is a pre existing condition which may lead to cancellation..if anyone finds one let me know!

10. Re: Cancellation policies

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