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Old 02-02-2012, 10:56   #16
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

nice of sunsail to respond,even if it was corporate speak,perhaps if they did these deliveries at cost they would have more takers,after all they are on a hiding to nothing since the cost of moving the boat from location to location is allready paid for out of the owners management fee,and revenue gained from chartering the vessel................but as normal the little guy gets screwed in the corporate world.........................
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:21   #17
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Should have advertised on CF.com - would have been beating the punters off with sticks .
Hi David_Old_Jersey, thanks for the post and agree with you on all points in fact. It's just one of those things - live and learn - and definitely not such a big deal. Plan B is going to be great!

As you said that decision was certainly not made by the rep. My only real qualm with him was his original promise that the trip would definitely take place. In a way I can understand why he was tempted to give such a guarantee, since the whole thing was a bit of a confidence game and no bookings, no regatta - and I personally would probably not have booked and definitely would not have paid 100% up front without that assurance. But in business, giving firm promises on things one has absolutely has no idea if one can really deliver on, in order to get money out of people - well, there are words for it, but not very pretty words. And no one from Sunsail has yet addressed that aspect at all.

As far as Sunsail's response - safety in all honor. I am glad they prioritize safety, so that's very fair. But I'm not a bystander but a reasonably experienced sailor who was willing to sign up for a delivery as crew in the full knowledge of the risks associated with ocean sailing - and would have been happy to sign whatever waiver was required - so have to agree with you this was more likely about their profits and convenience - who knows though.

In any event, as I understand them they are now offering a whopping 1/3 reduction on their normal profit margin (30% being fairly standard markup) if I give them more money now. And only after I have written about this in public - not when the cancelation was originally made. How very, very generous. And all the more heartwarming when extended by their marketing manager, rather than an operative manager who might have had any involvement in the planning of the event or customer service issues.

On the other hand, maybe that's appropriate - since if their marketing for this event had worked better it might actually have gone forward. Like you wrote David a post here on CF probably should have drummed up a number of participants.

No, for my part I think I'll pass on this and all future offers from Sunsail. Thanks anyway!
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:25   #18
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Originally Posted by PatrickG View Post
Hi all, first question to post - exciting. I recently completed a RYA Day Skipper certificate and am looking for ways to increase my offshore experience. Am considering joining Sunsail for an extended offshore delivery trip as paid crew. It works out to roughly 1000 for three weeks and 2000 nm. My question is if anyone has any previous experience with Sunsail in this context - good or bad? Would be interesting to hear and also if this sounds like a dumb approach to gaining experience. Note I have a busy job with a not very flexible schedule and one advantage of this option is that it is confirmable and fairly tightly scheduled.

Thanks for any advice!

Cheers,
Patrick
Yeah, but tight schedules kill people at sea. Kudos to sunsail for not forcing the issue.
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Old 04-02-2012, 03:46   #19
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Yeah, but tight schedules kill people at sea. Kudos to sunsail for not forcing the issue.
Hi Xymotic, that's fair and something never, ever to forget. But no one from Sunsail has said that the delivery is canceled - just the public participation in the event due to lack of bookings. It all may be canceled as far as I know but as the rep originally pointed out the boats should have to get back to the Solent for the summer season. I'm definitely no expert on these subjects but they originally planned 22 or 23 days, with stopovers in Cadiz and La Rochelle and extra time for weather windows. So it sounded at least like a reasonably responsible schedule - and I'm pretty sure if weather had not permitted continuing a leg it would have been delayed further until it was safe or canceled outright.

As far as my own schedule being tight that's just the way my life is right now, but I subscribe wholly to the wisdom you put forward, and hope I never am dumb enough to allow schedule to force bad decisions on when or where to sail. On my own boat I far prefer to stay an extra day in harbor than to take my crew out in something nasty!
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:25   #20
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

I follow D.O.J. thoughts in this case but atoll' s remarks, who is an insider in the world of yachties that jockey around to deliver the toys of their principals, are a bit more gripping.

On the other hand, it is not really an easy task to keep a company floating in the present economic situation.
This however, requires an fair treatment of clients, and not a half/half reaction when criticism on corporate matters is found in an open to public forum, especially a sailer' s forum.
The participants should have been informed with a small clause called "subject to numbers participants" or wording of similar value.
Not immediately returning the pre-paid amount for the trip is another minor point.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:54   #21
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Not immediately returning the pre-paid amount for the trip is another minor point.
Just want to be clear so I don't misrepresent anything for my part: Sunsail made a full refund as soon as I asked, after they informed me that the trip was canceled. AND after they had held on to 100% of the funds for a couple of months of course. But they did not delay the refund when asked at least.
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:11   #22
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Just want to be clear so I don't misrepresent anything for my part: Sunsail made a full refund as soon as I asked, after they informed me that the trip was canceled. AND after they had held on to 100% of the funds for a couple of months of course. But they did not delay the refund when asked at least.
The fact that it took months and that you have had to asked for it proves my point.
It should have done promptly after the final cancellation. At the moment a party doesnot deliver goods and or services which had been paid for in advance they (the supplier i.c. Sunsail) is a non-deliverer and the money been paid is unrightfully indebted at the moment of cancellation. Holding it without further notice is a very bad attitude/habit.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:37   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG

The fact that it took months and that you have had to asked for it proves my point.
It should have done promptly after the final cancellation. At the moment a party doesnot deliver goods and or services which had been paid for in advance they (the supplier i.c. Sunsail) is a non-deliverer and the money been paid is unrightfully indebted at the moment of cancellation. Holding it without further notice is a very bad attitude/habit.
It didn't take months for him to get a refund.

As soon as the trip was cancelled he asked for his money back and got it. Sunsail has other options - so his money could have been applied to another trip - so when he decided that he just wanted the money back he got it

You are reading his post wrong.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:50   #24
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

You should quote Patrick G and definitely not me.

This is what he wrote:

AND after they had held on to 100% of the funds for a couple of months of course. But they did not delay the refund when asked at least.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:33   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
You should quote Patrick G and definitely not me.

This is what he wrote:

AND after they had held on to 100% of the funds for a couple of months of course. But they did not delay the refund when asked at least.
When he booked the trip he paid for it. I think he is talking about from the time he booked it to when it was officially cancelled.

Then after it was cancelled he asked for his money back and got it.

OP please clarify!

Like the thousands of people that booked the next cruise on the Costa Concordia - they all paid 100% of their trip when they booked the trip (some probably a year in advance) the cruise company holds those funds until the actual trip.

Then since the boat sank, they all got refunds. It's no different.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:01   #26
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Like the thousands of people that booked the next cruise on the Costa Concordia - they all paid 100% of their trip when they booked the trip (some probably a year in advance) the cruise company holds those funds until the actual trip.

Then since the boat sank, they all got refunds. It's no different.
unquote

How do you know this? It might possible - or not, that depends on actual information. The booking is mostly done via agents and it is their task to refund the pax.
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:04   #27
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Originally Posted by Sailagain View Post
When he booked the trip he paid for it. I think he is talking about from the time he booked it to when it was officially cancelled.

Then after it was cancelled he asked for his money back and got it.

OP please clarify!

Like the thousands of people that booked the next cruise on the Costa Concordia - they all paid 100% of their trip when they booked the trip (some probably a year in advance) the cruise company holds those funds until the actual trip.

Then since the boat sank, they all got refunds. It's no different.
I read it much the same.

Sunsail probably suspected that the trip would be cancelled well before they told OP it had been - but IMO not improper for them to hold onto the funds until they knew for sure (and no point contacting folks / customers with ifs, buts and maybes beforehand).

With a "proper" company like Sunsail would not have been a decision lightly made.........for the exact (and justifiable!) reaction that OP has had!
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:14   #28
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Re: Sailing with Sunsail Offshore

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Originally Posted by Sailagain View Post
When he booked the trip he paid for it. I think he is talking about from the time he booked it to when it was officially cancelled.

Then after it was cancelled he asked for his money back and got it.

OP please clarify!

Like the thousands of people that booked the next cruise on the Costa Concordia - they all paid 100% of their trip when they booked the trip (some probably a year in advance) the cruise company holds those funds until the actual trip.

Then since the boat sank, they all got refunds. It's no different.
Hi Sailagain, yes, that's right regarding me at least! Timeline:

- November 17: booked trip, paid in full. According to trip plan was supposed to join boat at Lanzarote Feb 10.

- January 20: got contacted by Sunsail saying the trip was canceled. Luckily I hadn't yet booked flights (was waiting for a last minute charter deal . In that call they offered full refunding as an alternative. The woman detailed to call me said there were likely other sailing opportunities with Sunsail but was not able to answer questions about those. She forwarded me to a sales department, but no one was there to take the call at that point.

- Jan 21: Instead of calling hit-and-miss to the sales department I emailed the rep I had originally booked through (a Sunsail 'Account Executive') to ask about alternatives.

- Jan 24: After two business days of radio silence I wrote to him again to ask if he could respond.

- Jan 25: He wrote back and the alternatives he offered were milebuilders out of the Solent in early March, BRRR! I decided to pass and asked for a refund. Same day they processed the refund and a few days later I had the funds back in my account (I live in another country so this would be normal).

Gawd! Sorry for the excruciating detail on this microscopic event!! But you asked

Anyway, again, to clear up this aspect: I can't fault them on the time it took to refund. My gripe is with promising things you don't know if you can deliver in the first place, and taking full payment up front rather than a deposit or such.

Hope that clears that up!
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:22   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacG
Quote
Like the thousands of people that booked the next cruise on the Costa Concordia - they all paid 100% of their trip when they booked the trip (some probably a year in advance) the cruise company holds those funds until the actual trip.

Then since the boat sank, they all got refunds. It's no different.
unquote

How do you know this? It might possible - or not, that depends on actual information. The booking is mostly done via agents and it is their task to refund the pax.
I have taken several cruises you always pay in advance. The agent doesn't keep the money - they pay the cruise company. I don't know of a cruise company that would book all their rooms and then "hope" the passengers show up as promised - and THEN collect the money.

Agents act as an agent to get your refund - but they don't have your money
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:31   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickG

Hi Sailagain, yes, that's right regarding me at least! Timeline:

- November 17: booked trip, paid in full. According to trip plan was supposed to join boat at Lanzarote Feb 10.

- January 20: got contacted by Sunsail saying the trip was canceled. Luckily I hadn't yet booked flights (was waiting for a last minute charter deal . In that call they offered full refunding as an alternative. The woman detailed to call me said there were likely other sailing opportunities with Sunsail but was not able to answer questions about those. She forwarded me to a sales department, but no one was there to take the call at that point.

- Jan 21: Instead of calling hit-and-miss to the sales department I emailed the rep I had originally booked through (a Sunsail 'Account Executive') to ask about alternatives.

- Jan 24: After two business days of radio silence I wrote to him again to ask if he could respond.

- Jan 25: He wrote back and the alternatives he offered were milebuilders out of the Solent in early March, BRRR! I decided to pass and asked for a refund. Same day they processed the refund and a few days later I had the funds back in my account (I live in another country so this would be normal).

Gawd! Sorry for the excruciating detail on this microscopic event!! But you asked

Anyway, again, to clear up this aspect: I can't fault them on the time it took to refund. My gripe is with promising things you don't know if you can deliver in the first place, and taking full payment up front rather than a deposit or such.

Hope that clears that up!
Thanks Patrick. That's was I was thinking. I couldn't imagine Sunsail would keep your money for months before refunding. They have a reputation to uphold - that's very important.

I think if they only took a deposit - people would be more apt not to show up. Also let's say that like 5 people had booked the trip (and paid in full) but didn't show up - that might still allow the trip to proceed for everyone else (if it wasn't dependent on a minimum number of people like yours)

But if they only paid a deposit - the company might not make any money or lose money if they still wanted to complete the trip for everyone else.

Sorry your trip got cancelled!! Did they offer a discount on a future trip? That would seem a way to recoup at least some of the aggravation. I am sure they truly wanted to uphold their commitment. After all it's how they make money to stay in business
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