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About kgst

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    BFE Member
  • Birthday 23/04/49
  1. Complaint handling _BF

    I am wondering how other members find BF if they make a complaint - do they try to solve it or are they defensive. I use the Irish route on PA and on 3 trips this year have had issues with the pet handling. The most recent trip in October concerned the fact that the Door to the Kennel area was not working & was tied open and the 2 entrance doors were also wedged open. This allows anyone who wants to to wander into the kennel area and let dogs out if they have a mind to . On a quiet sailing whilst still unsafe it is not as bad as on a summer sailing where the ship is fully loaded and there are plenty of passengers wandering around deck 10. I made the suggestion to customer services that they should use the overflow kennel area where the kennel key does work and thus the area is secure but I got a very defensive reply telling me if the service on offer was not suitable or did not correspond to what i thought was acceptable then I could use another carrier... Bearing in mind the increased competition on the Irish route in 2018 I thought i might get a more constructive response to what was a genuine concern for pet & passenger safety . We have a friend who will never use BF again because their dog escaped from the kennel and was found wandering in the middle of the night on deck 9 - again was the access to the kennel area was open...
  2. BF deposit on the Irish site is 25% of the total booking so for a high season booking is in excess of €300 . There is also no club travel for Irish customers
  3. It will need to be delivered on schedule - IF are marketing very heavily the new sailings on W b Yeats in print & in digital formats They are offering 10% off for early booking & €100 deposit. A July 2018 return sailing with that pricing is €10 cheaper than BF
  4. I emailed them & it looks like the same arrangement as on OW 12 cabins of various sizes on Deck 7. They issued me the standard notes about visiting pets accompanied by a crew member but also said to bring your own water bowl etc. So there is no improvement which is very disappointing except the kennels are new and I don't know about an exercise area but if it is on a car deck I am sure there is not one worth talking about. They are charging more for pets as well
  5. Cork..end of season.

    I was on the 28th Oct sailing to France & back on the last sailing to Ireland on Friday 3rd. The Pont Aven was very lightly loaded both ways due in no small part to the effects of the previous weeks cancellation because of storm Brian. Looking at the vehicle registrations there was a high proportion of Cork registered cars and French vehicles with a smattering of UK & Northern Ireland as well. I would say that the French & people living around Cork would continue to use BF in preference to Irish Ferries but that the Northern Irish that travelled down to Cork would probably opt for the new Dublin -Cherbourg route as it cuts miles off their journey to the ferry. There maybe price competition that will have an effect with IF currently offering 10 % off 2018 prices but what I think will have a greater effect is the flexibility that IF can provide with daily sailings. BF 's one sailing a week is very inflexible and the timetable suits them rather than the customer with a very early arrival into Roscoff at 6:00 am. If you want a short break in France and use BF you only get 5 nights in France & if you wish to extend that to say 10 days you have to use another carrier for one leg of the journey and the danger is now that with a smart new ship they may find the IF offering more attractive & use them in the future. It has to be said that you cannot fault the BF offering in general with the dining in La Flora & they way they maintain the PA - we as pet owners have issues with them that they won't address. The Kennel card to open the door has not been working properly since the end of August so their solution is to leave the 2 doors to the kennels tied open which is not secure for the dogs & would on a busy sailing allow anyone who wanted to go in & let the animals loose. They also on the early morning arrival into Roscoff do not open the car deck 1 hour in advance to allow easy transfer of pets back to their vehicles and it causes stress on the pet owners & those customers who are trying to get down to the vehicle deck on the one lift that is available. They are not enforcing the Muzzle rule consistantly and someone or some child is going to get bitten by a nervous dog when they are packed into an overcrowded lift. 2018 will certainly be an interesting year .....
  6. Stowaways

    Access to the car decks on the Epsilon is allowed mid crossing [with a member of the crew] for pet owners to check their animals that are left in their vehicles- so maybe it was on one of these visits that either noise was heard or the stowaways made themselves know ?
  7. They probably wont use that as the new Irish Navy ship [2014 was name Le Samuel Beckett ...
  8. Was this not due in part to the Pont Aven being out of service for several rotations in that year. Missed sailings have an affect on passenger numbers and confidence on forward bookings on the Irish routes as there are limited alternatives. Stena Horizon has been out of service since last Sunday with technical difficulties and I know passengers who were left stranded in Cherbourg swear they will never use Stena again because of the lack of consideration/information given to them
  9. The route has to be very profitable based on the loadings certainly in the summer - maybe with Brexit it might become more important to them . Certainly this year there were more French & RoI cars on the Pont Aven with only a few NI cars. The exchange rate since the Brexit announcement has become less favourable & Uk visitors to Ireland generally are down 6 % .
  10. I think Chris has highlighted the inadequacy of the BF single sailing a week from Ireland. It suits BF's scheduling for the rest of the week but does not suit the Irish Customer that wants to spend more than 5 nights in France. Travelling on the Pont Aven you regularily come in contact with passengers that have used IF for the other leg of the journey so that they can extend the length of their stay in France beyond 5 nights. Usually they have travelled on the OW and comparisons are generally favourable but if now they have a brand new ferry operating out of Dublin then they might be tempted to use it both ways. Dublin is also more convienent to our Friend in Northern Ireland so they could be easily tempted away from BF in Cork unless they improve thier offering
  11. Disappointed Pont Aven

    Those surveys have been on the go for several years- they do say if you have specific complaints to contact Customer services and detail you complaints. I have had issues with pet handling on The Pont Aven from Cork for the last 2 years and have written to Customer services each time . I get a reply eventually but it is always very defensive . On the July crossing again this year we had problems but I have come to the conclusion that there is no point complaining as i think that they view it that passengers with animals is at most 40 and are not significant in the overall scheme of things..
  12. It does not surprise me - on the Pont Aven fine notices have appeared warning dog owners not to stray into passenger areas or cabins with the fine being £400 . However as there is little or no supervision from BF staff and no assistance in returning dogs from the kennels to the cars what do they expect. I saw dogs being exercised on the helipad and brought through the passenger areas to reach the car decks because they could not use the lift from deck 9. Bf need to be consistant in their dog handling procedures & then maybe dog owners will be more responsible in their behaviour but a lot of this is borne out of frustration and if a new passenger not knowing what is expected from them. PS I don't think I could spirit a 10 month old GSD down to the cabins or through the passenger areas I think someone would notice !!
  13. Did that exercise for a crossing in July 14th 2018 returning 27th July Cork Roscoff on Pont Aven 2 passengers large dog ,Suv, with roof load €1282 euro deposit €320.50 Same dates roughly 13th July 28th July Portsmouth Santander on Cap Finistere £1133 [ Euro Equivalent €1269] deposit £40 We are definitely not doing well comparison wise but in peak periods [certainly this year ] the Pont Aven is fully booked up in July & August so they don'y have to compete aggrssively with Stena & IF
  14. On the Irish Route [Cork Roscoff ] they take 25 % of the booking cost so £40 would seem very small in comparison ....