Consumer fraud law firm Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. has filed a class action lawsuit against Balearia Caribbean Ltd., Corp. (f/k/a Bahamas Express) (“Baleària”) for failing to refund customers for ferry services that the company cancelled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Baleària provides a ferry service between Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the Bahamas. The lawsuit accuses Baleària of, among other things, violating its own contract and Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
Baleària Promised Refunds for Cancelled Ferry Service
During the time in question, the terms and conditions on Baleària’s website for its ferry services provided that if the ferry for which a ticket had been purchased did not carry out the stipulated journey, the customer would be entitled to be reimbursed for the ticket. That is, in exchange for purchasing tickets from Baleària for ferry service on dates and times certain, customers were supposed to receive ferry services on the ticketed dates and times. And if Baleària failed to provide that ferry service, it promised to reimburse the cost of the tickets to its customers.
Baleària Cancelled Ferry Services
On March 17, 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Baleària cancelled its passenger ferry services, effective March 23, 2020. Yet, notwithstanding that it had collected money from customers for ferry services that it then cancelled, Baleària has refused to reimburse customers for tickets they had purchased. Instead, Baleària has kept the money, in violation of the terms and conditions of its own contract with its customers.
Baleària Altered the Terms on its Website and Denied Refunds
Shortly after announcing that it discontinued its ferry service, Baleària altered its website to reflect different terms and conditions. Rather than promising refunds for cancelled ferry services, Baleària now offered a “New Flexible Pricing Policy,” which included replacing cancelled ferry tickets with a ticket for ferry service on a later date. So, rather than honor its commitment to reimburse its customers, Baleària kept its customers’ money and instead offered the opportunity to apply funds to ferry service on different dates and times than the customers had selected.
Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A believes that when Baleària unilaterally changed the deal to benefit itself at the expense of its customers Baleària not only violated its own terms and conditions, but also acted in a deceptive, unfair, and unjust manner -- particularly in this challenging economic environment.
Customers Potentially Affected by this Lawsuit
DKR’s class action lawsuit seeks damages for all individuals and entities that purchased tickets from Baleària prior to March 16, 2020 for ferry services scheduled to depart on March 23, 2020 or later at a date and time certain, but which ferry services were not provided on the agreed-upon date and time. If class certification is granted, DKR expects there to be thousands of potential class members. Class certification would allow customers to whom Baleària has refused to provide refunds to benefit from DKR’s lawsuit and avoid the time and cost of pursuing their own individual lawsuits.
Stay tuned for regular updates. We will continue to post here as the case progresses.
Contact a Class Action Attorney Today
If Baleària cancelled your ferry service and has refused to reimburse you for the ticket that you purchased, contact Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. to discuss your rights.