Court: Norwegian Cruise Lines Must Pay In Sept. 11 Based Lawsuit

Sometimes a company takes a customer service stance that is just hard to understand, much less explain. We have all been on the receiving end of poor customer service, whether at a department store, at the movies, or even on vacation. Just a couple of days ago we reported on Royal Caribbean leaving over a hundred passengers behind in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The cruise had to leave early due to a security threat posed by hurricane Irene. It would seem like the cruise would automatically know to accommodate the stranded passengers in any way possible. But the cruise line refused to give any compensation to the passengers, until a week, and many angry letters, later. In the above instance Royal Caribbean was not alone. Carnival also left passengers in San Juan, but it didn’t take internet outrage for them to make it right by the passengers they had left. Carnival announced early that they would compensate the left-behind passengers for their trouble. This brings us to another story regarding a cruise line making what seems to be a bone-headed customer service decision. A Massachusetts court recently ruled that Norwegian Cruise Lines must compensate Mark and Tara Casavant, who cancelled a cruise with the company in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. You read right – this ruling has just come down – almost 10 years after the attacks. After a decade’s worth of court wrangling, the highest court in Massachusetts found on Thursday that Norwegian refused to give the couple a refund. The company said this was because the couple violated the company’s cancellation policy – which offered refunds on cancellations no less than two weeks before the sail date. The court found that Norwegian had failed to adequately disclose their refund policy, and therefore had inappropriately refused to refund the $2,132 cost of the trip. The court also found that Norwegian refused to reschedule. An earlier court decision had already been issued – awarding the couple a refund of their ticket price. The high court decision also awarded the plaintiffs a reimbursement of the legal fees incurred while fighting the company. This kind of case really does call into question the decision making of a company that would fight this sort of case in court for 10 years.