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-   -   Morocco keeping deposits...blame it on the King (https://www.fodors.com/community/africa-and-the-middle-east/morocco-keeping-deposits-blame-it-on-the-king-1681815/)

barefootbeach Jul 8th, 2020 05:55 AM

Morocco keeping deposits...blame it on the King
 
In again cancelling my travel plans for the trip I had over-optimistically re-booked for October, (original trip was March/April) I'm now being informed that no one will refund deposits paid (despite meeting their cancellation policies) but instead must accept a voucher good for 1 year. Here's the wording I got from one accommodation:
"Due to Corona Virus the Moroccan Government has now informed us that they have changed the laws and unfortunately we are now not allowed to provide foreign currency refunds. We have been advised that the Moroccan government instead requires us to provide a voucher for use in the following year. "
Since I do not think that I will be able to safely travel in the next 12 months, these vouchers are worthless. I understand that many of these riads, etc. are small and hurting terribly from the pandemic. Yet, I also do not want to be out of this money for something I didn't get.
I have learned a lesson here...don't stay at places that demand you pay up-front (Kasbah Bab Ourika) or charge a large deposit (Riad Noir d'Ivoire)
I am just fortunate that I didn't book with Air Maroc but rather TAP Air Portugal. It took effort and three months but I eventually got refunded $3000 for our airfares.
Anyone else having these issues?

MmePerdu Jul 8th, 2020 09:18 AM

If a government regulation is the reason for their inability to refund your deposits, there are no doubt currency facts in play. Tourism is among Morocco's largest industries and their currency is closed so, as I understand it, they depend on foreign currency reserves to function in the outside world. So, since a pandemic is neither in your, nor the riads' control, maybe the best you can do is negotiate the terms of the credits. Borders are currently closed, commercial flights suspended, so you might ask to peg the validity of the vouchers to the government allowing tourists from your country of residence to return rather than a currently arbitrary 1 year. It may make a difference.

barefootbeach Jul 9th, 2020 04:23 AM

Thanks Mme Perdue. That is a good idea to ask for a longer time period because it certainly wonít be within a year. Iím also exploring if disputing the charge on my credit card will work for those paid by credit card.

barefootbeach Jul 28th, 2020 03:20 PM

As an update, I contacted Riad Noir d"Ivoire in Marrakech, also requesting a deposit refund, expecting them to decline and site the King as Kasbah Bab Ourika did. To my surprise, I got an immediate "of course" and they credited my credit card. Kudos to them!

I also disputed the charge for Kasbah bab Ourika to my credit card company and they are investigating , but also immediately credited the amount while checking into this. So, $1200 that I thought was lost has been found.

jacketwatch Aug 1st, 2020 07:42 AM

Very good. Good luck with a permanent solution in your favor.

xyz99 Aug 29th, 2020 12:07 PM

Glad to hear this was resolved. In my opinion, based on the terms of your contract with them, if you had booked (and pre-paid) for a refundable room they have to refund your money, if the cancelation is done more than x number of days, whatever their cancelation policy is. You respected your contract, they must too. It's unsettling to read that such contracts/agreements can change without notice, but good to hear that some establishments honor their word. Riad Noir d'Ivoire deserve a good review just for this.
On a separate note, I don't want to hijack this post, but I would like to know more about your dealings with TAP, I will PM you about that.


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