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Old 20-03-2020, 09:25   #1
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Charter and Corona virus

Looking for opinions or advice from people in similar situation.
I was supposed to charter a monohull out of Guadeloupe for 2 weeks starting mid-May. I have paid deposit and the rest is due in a week. Most likely we won't be able to travel to Guadeloupe in May . As of now island is closed to any travel from outside. But I have received a letter from charter company asking to the rest of the payment. With all uncertainty around I was ready to give up on deposit and wait until things will get better. However charter company in their letter using words like :̈̈To benefit for the credit rating we must receive the balance of the booking. To me it sounds like they are treatening to report me to credit bureau if I don't pay in full for the charter which likely won't happend. Which sounds a bit strange. I am curious if anyone was in a position of not follow through with full payment and loose their deposit. With Corona virus going around, I am pretty sure there are must be cases like that. So hopefully this discussion will be useful to more people.
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Old 20-03-2020, 09:47   #2
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Read the agreement and then cancel.
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Old 20-03-2020, 10:07   #3
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

I have a charter scheduled out of St. Vincent in mid-April and have been communicating via email. The company is offering to change dates without a fee; however, I don't know if that would have been the case if I did not have open communications with them. The letter you received asking for payment may just be a standard practice. I suggest emailing or calling the charter company to see if there are flexibilities given the virus situation.
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Old 20-03-2020, 16:17   #4
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Who did you charter the boat from?
DYC offers to change dates/destinations.
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Old 20-03-2020, 16:42   #5
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_sauvage View Post
...To me it sounds like they are treatening to report me to credit bureau if I don't pay in full for the charter which likely won't happend...
Aside from the good advice others will give, I'd just add to imagine what consumer credit scores will actually mean or look like after a few months. That entire industry (consumer credit scoring) has another thing coming...
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Old 20-03-2020, 18:11   #6
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

A charter company in France has absolutely zero ability to put a negative credit report in on you in the U.S. credit reporting system. Heck, a U.S. company couldn't put in a negative credit incident on that because they never extended you credit. Clearly you'll lose your deposit, which sucks, but don't worry about any credit report impact. And please, name and shame the charter company. It's the only way we can get rid of bad actors like these folks clearly are.
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Old 20-03-2020, 18:46   #7
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by redneckrob View Post
A charter company in France has absolutely zero ability to put a negative credit report in on you in the U.S. credit reporting system. Heck, a U.S. company couldn't put in a negative credit incident on that because they never extended you credit. Clearly you'll lose your deposit, which sucks, but don't worry about any credit report impact. And please, name and shame the charter company. It's the only way we can get rid of bad actors like these folks clearly are.
Ditto

Send them a letter/email claiming force majeure and demand your deposit back. Tell them you will file official complaints with the local government.

It probably won’t do any good, but it might make you feel better about losing your drposit.
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Old 21-03-2020, 03:34   #8
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Most charter companies in the Med, including ourselves, are offering a rescheduling or postponing to 2021, without any fee or full payment if there is any travel ban imposed by their governments.
There are also some companies (much fewer in number) that require full payment if they want to reschedule or postpone to next year.

That's a complicated matter for everyone, charter companies have made their wintering, cleaned, prepared their boats, paid the marina and insurance fees and noone is making the balance payment. Taking into account that most charter companies are running on 8-18 % commission base, their cash flow must be in terrible shape. Charterers unerstandably don't want to pay in full and in advance for their next year charter that they don't even know if they can make it at all. And finally, boat owners are waiting some kind of return on their investment.
I think the ones who did a travel cancellation insurance could get away with it.

Cheers

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Old 21-03-2020, 09:23   #9
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Most charter companies in the Med, including ourselves, are offering a rescheduling or postponing to 2021, without any fee or full payment if there is any travel ban imposed by their governments.
There are also some companies (much fewer in number) that require full payment if they want to reschedule or postpone to next year.

That's a complicated matter for everyone, charter companies have made their wintering, cleaned, prepared their boats, paid the marina and insurance fees and noone is making the balance payment. Taking into account that most charter companies are running on 8-18 % commission base, their cash flow must be in terrible shape. Charterers unerstandably don't want to pay in full and in advance for their next year charter that they don't even know if they can make it at all. And finally, boat owners are waiting some kind of return on their investment.
I think the ones who did a travel cancellation insurance could get away with it.

Cheers

Yeloya
I feel for you all and think that allowing postponment is very generous of you. Just to be clear, the charter company in question here would be well within their rights to keep the deposit and you all are going above and beyond to allow free postponment. The threat to put in a negative credit event if the remainder wasn't paid in full is what is egregious.
Best of luck to you and your company in these hard times, hopefully you'll be able to salvage at least the second half of the Med summer season.
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Old 21-03-2020, 09:33   #10
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Sounds like very idiosyncratic approaches by different companies, not surprising considering the messy industry and the COVID economic fallout about to change the industry in many ways.
We struggled trying to negotiate credit and rescheduling for our Bahamas charter scheduled for last week!
Took many phone calls and emails with some responses quite bureacratic, cold and heartless.
Logic finally set in and the broker pleaded our case with the boat owner (we think, we'll never know who was being hard-nosed or not) so we can reschedule later this year (we hope!).
Sad times for the charter business for sure, and much more.
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Old 21-03-2020, 09:46   #11
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Why not just call them and ask to reschedule? They know if immigration will not let you enter the country.
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Old 21-03-2020, 09:52   #12
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

We are in the middle of the same issue. We bought insurance.

First - read your contract.

Second - did you buy insurance? If so speak with your insurer to find out what your options are.

We decided not to postpone. Our charter company stated that this is a force majeure and offered to reschedule ur trip when and where we liked with no time limits. We would however have to pay any differences in the cost, and we get no interest or protection on them having our money. We felt that it’s too risky as we don't know when this will be over and when it is over we expect that many of these charter companies will be out business. It is better for us to have control over our money and what we need it for in a year from now.
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Old 21-03-2020, 10:31   #13
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_sauvage View Post
Looking for opinions or advice from people in similar situation.
I was supposed to charter a monohull out of Guadeloupe for 2 weeks starting mid-May. I have paid deposit and the rest is due in a week. Most likely we won't be able to travel to Guadeloupe in May . As of now island is closed to any travel from outside. But I have received a letter from charter company asking to the rest of the payment. With all uncertainty around I was ready to give up on deposit and wait until things will get better. However charter company in their letter using words like :̈̈To benefit for the credit rating we must receive the balance of the booking. To me it sounds like they are treatening to report me to credit bureau if I don't pay in full for the charter which likely won't happend. Which sounds a bit strange. I am curious if anyone was in a position of not follow through with full payment and loose their deposit. With Corona virus going around, I am pretty sure there are must be cases like that. So hopefully this discussion will be useful to more people.



I think you don't send more money, but ask to reschedule for after the current international health emergency.
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Old 21-03-2020, 11:49   #14
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Firstly, thank you everyone for your help. Really appreciate it and that's why I like this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagman101 View Post
Who did you charter the boat from?
DYC offers to change dates/destinations.
Flagman, in our case they only offered to issue a credit note valid in 2020 and 2021, but only if we pay the reminder of money right away. While I might simpatise with their situation, for me it is looks like throwing good money after the bad ones. Do you by any chance have a link to their offer to change dates/destinations?

Vasco and everyone else: thank you for the advice - I did check the contract (should have done before ) and there seems to be an option to cancel with the loss of money paid. I guess I was too shocked by charter company approach immideatly mentioning credit rating. I will try to negociate with them change of dates without additional payment
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Old 22-03-2020, 03:57   #15
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Re: Charter and Corona virus

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Sgallinger, and ncohen.
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