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April 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 30, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Donít Count on Getting That Dive Trip Deposit Back

from the April, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

It's an annoying thing that gnaws at the heart of a diver who has to cancel a trip: not getting your deposit back, even if you cancelled far in advance of the start date. It hurts even worse when the dive operator gets full fare from someone else who took your vacated spot.

Subscriber Ralph Bishop (Ithaca, NY) wrote us to complain about Big Fish Expeditions, a dive trip outfitter based in British Columbia. He had booked a trip to Scotland to dive with basking sharks, but had to cancel due to unforeseen retirement. Even though Bishop canceled more than six months in advance, Big Fish did not return his $500 deposit. "This despite the fact that the trip is sold out already, and doubtless they will sell my place," he says.

Unfortunately, Ralph, I checked the Big Fish website and in its FAQ page, it says the deposit is nonrefundable and non-transferable. Truth is, I myself hate these kind of rules, but they are everywhere in the industry, and regardless of whether they resell your spot, the rules are clear. I think it's a black mark on the industry, but that's what we as travelers face. It stinks and we're stuck.

However, for the rest of you, Big Fish has one spot left on its July 12-18 Scotland trip to see basking sharks. Big Fish won't say whether that's Bishop's old spot, but it's now up for grabs. Try not to cancel.

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