Drink Package Pricing Glitch Creates Backlash for Royal Caribbean

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Some Royal Caribbean guests discovered yesterday that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is following a drink package pricing glitch. After receiving an e-mail saying that drink packages could be purchased for the incredibly low price of $18 per person per day, guests quickly jumped at the opportunity. The package normally runs around $55 per person, per day.

Unfortunately, they soon discovered that the promotion wasn’t a great deal but a big mistake!

READ UPDATE: Happy Ending For Royal Caribbean Drink Package Guests

A Great Drink Package Deal

When the “deal” appeared on Royal Caribbean’s page, people began snapping it up… and telling their fellow cruisers to do the same. “We just booked the Deluxe Beverage Package for $18/day per person,” one person excitedly posted on Facebook. “Less than $300 for 2 of us!”

Where The Backlash Started

Soon after, Royal Caribbean used its official Twitter feed to break the bad news. “I’m very sorry for any disappointment,” they explained. “A glitch in our system listed the incorrect price for the Deluxe beverage package. I’m very sorry for any frustration. Despite this, I’m confident you’ll still have an amazing time onboard.”

While many who jumped at the price reduction took the news in stride, others weren’t happy about the events. Some tried insisting that Royal Caribbean was obligated to honor the accidental pricing for those who’d booked it. Still, this exact scenario is among many possibilities covered by the cruise line’s digital terms of use and end-user license agreement.

Royal caribbean message

It reads, in part:

We reserve the right to refuse or cancel any order prior to delivery.  Some situations that may result in your order being canceled include system or typographical errors, inaccuracies in product or pricing information or product availability, fairness among customers where supplies are limited, or problems identified by our credit or fraud departments.  We also may require additional verification or information before accepting an order. We will contact you if any portion of your order is canceled or if additional information is required to accept your order. 

Similar clauses protect most major cruise lines from pricing errors that might appear online, whether for a drink package or even the cost of a cruise.

The blog associated with Elliot Advocacy recently addressed this very topic. In that case, a cruiser who’d booked a high-end suite for a rock-bottom price was unhappy when the line refused to honor the price. However, a passage in the cruise contract (which every passenger “signs” when purchasing passage on a ship) made it clear that the line was within its rights to refuse to honor the price glitch.

Ultimately, the story had a semi-happy ending: Royal Caribbean eventually took to their Twitter feed to apologize for the error again, adding that as a consolation, they would be knocking 30% off the drink package price.

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