Jump to content
bekkia

Scoot Ferries - The End?

Recommended Posts

I would question why Facebook, Twitter and Website pages were removed so quickly. Scoot could use them to communicate with customers but it looks more like an attempt to hide.

I honestly do wish Scoot well but with the future but trust in the brand has been damaged. People have lost money through season tickets and Scoot Club memberships and the honest, friendly company have left passengers stranded with no information (why no email or text regarding my booking on Sunday) and been shown to be passing used boats off as brand new purpose built boats. It takes months if not years to build a brand but moments to wreck it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would question why Facebook, Twitter and Website pages were removed so quickly. Scoot could use them to communicate with customers but it looks more like an attempt to hide.

Yes that was very odd. If nothing else I'd expect some sort of statement to stay on the website (for more than a few hours) giving details of the administrator for the creditors to contact. Does seem odd. I am not surprised they shut down their social media accounts, there was probably no one employed by then to answer them and they would just be left with lots of un-answred comments.

 

It seems the administrator has been speaking to onthewight and the statement that was put on the website was wrong anyway (maybe one reason why it went so quickly).

 

http://onthewight.com/2015/12/21/scoot-ferries-32-staff-made-redundant-large-monthly-costs-big-debts-revealed/

 

Reading that, I am not hopeful of a buyer coming forward. The boat (Scoot 1?) used on the Lymington to Yarmouth route was seized by the harbour master on Saturday morning for non payment of fees and fuel, which seems to have been the trigger.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think you need to add High Speed Ferries to that list - the ones planning to operate from Weymouth - Cherbourg. Don't see BF quaking in their boots yet, though....😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The scoot website is now being seen as a security threat by Chrome!

 

Not just Chrome, you will find it is all search engines set by google.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems the administrator has been speaking to onthewight and the statement that was put on the website was wrong anyway (maybe one reason why it went so quickly).

 

http://onthewight.com/2015/12/21/sco...ebts-revealed/

 

Reading that, I am not hopeful of a buyer coming forward. The boat (Scoot 1?) used on the Lymington to Yarmouth route was seized by the harbour master on Saturday morning for non payment of fees and fuel, which seems to have been the trigger.

 

If the fixed costs are as quoted on the link this would mean that taking one crossing each way on both routes each hour over a twelve hour day each crossing would have to take around £100 just to break even. Given the capacity of the vessels at the fares quoted at start-up (£9 single Lym/Yarmouth) this would leave a margin of £70 at full capacity - soon wiped out by any empty ones. Of course they had more crossings scheduled than this but to this outsider it looks as if the capacity of the vessels was too small to enable them to profit from the peak times of the day. Twelve seats is trivial really...

 

The scoot website is now being seen as a security threat by Chrome!

 

That's nothing - we were back last year!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree with other comments that it was never going to work - I can't believe that the owners would start a service which even if full could never make money. Even if they did, you would be highly unlikely to attract any investment! Perhaps it would have been wiser to concentrate on one route to begin with.

 

Absolutely true. Also worth the time to find a berth closer to the railway station because the camber requires going all the way round the fish market landing, whereas gunwharf is next door. Given the eagerness of the competition commission to stick their nose in to boats recently, perhaps suggesting that scoot should get some space on the wightlink/gosport ferry wharf might have some mileage.

 

To me starting a two boat service costing 40 odd grand a month in charter fees a month before Christmas seems mad. Anyone with true knowledge of the route would wait till at least Easter to get some cash in the bank to pay off fixed costs and build trade for the lower-capacity months.

 

Let's hope this episode doesn't damage any other (or a rebirth of scoot which seems somewhat unlikely in it's current form) operator because I think there really is a gap in the pax market here.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

At no point during Friday was there any indication of what would unfold at 07:15 on Saturday morning and the CEO had taken professional advice prior to all of this anyway. I can assure you there was no intention of her doing anything immoral, if you knew her like we do, you will know she is on the button regarding legal requirements for the business in this situation, and on Friday there was no reason to be concerned. It will all come out in the wash in the end, but can assure you that whilst things were slightly uncomfortable there was no cause for concern. She was faced with a situation on Saturday morning and decided to make the decision based on her duties as the CEO and the balance options she was now left with. There is no point scoring here, and we all just hope that Scoot comes out of this with real investors who really understand that it takes time and money to build a ferry service... it is not a get rich scheme in short time frame!!

 

slightly uncomfortable?? did you not owe the harbor master in yarmouth the region of £10000 for fuel and berthing resulting in them seizing a boat? That's more than a bit uncomfortable. I do only have that by word of mouth so is this correct?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick glance at the figures, £155000 a month outgoings - charters fuel, marketing and staff.

 

This is roughly £5166.66 a day basic costs.

 

to break even with 12 crossings a day if each crossing was at 100% capacity would need an average fare of around £27 per person each for a single.

 

Also any berthing fees, anchorage, and servicing costs to add on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Scoot are finished and all their social media sites are shut down, was there not a press release saying check FB, Twitter etc for updates, which didn't last long, I wonder who the Scoot poster is on here, they seem to have quite a bit of information?.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cowes > Portsmouth service very much seemed to be single figures. Usually 3 or 4 onboard only. I believe we once heard 16 though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If Scoot are finished and all their social media sites are shut down, was there not a press release saying check FB, Twitter etc for updates, which didn't last long, I wonder who the Scoot poster is on here, they seem to have quite a bit of information?.

 

Yes, they made a post on Facebook giving a statement, and a Twitter post giving a link to the Facebook page. But as you say all taken off line within the matter of a couple of hours. I do find that very odd. Usually in insolvency the insolvency practioner will replace the website with a page giving a statement and contact details for creditors. This is normally left in place until the matter is resolved. If someone has booked a post-dated ticket or a season ticket for example how are they meant to even know who to contact to register as a creditor? Or even find out that they are no longer operating. Very odd.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Yes, they made a post on Facebook giving a statement, and a Twitter post giving a link to the Facebook page. But as you say all taken off line within the matter of a couple of hours. I do find that very odd. Usually in insolvency the insolvency practioner will replace the website with a page giving a statement and contact details for creditors. This is normally left in place until the matter is resolved. If someone has booked a post-dated ticket or a season ticket for example how are they meant to even know who to contact to register as a creditor? Or even find out that they are no longer operating. Very odd.

The statement they issued said that contact details would be published shortly. As they have removed the website, Twitter and Facebook pages it seems unlikely contact details will get published.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There should be very few creditors the administrator won't know about - whether the others will bother for a few percent of a few quid is a moot point. After all with a capacity of twelve on each boat there can't be many punters affected. Finding the address of the sole ex-director is easy but pointless now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There should be very few creditors the administrator won't know about - whether the others will bother for a few percent of a few quid is a moot point. After all with a capacity of twelve on each boat there can't be many punters affected. Finding the address of the sole ex-director is easy but pointless now.

 

Scoot 2 and 3 had capacities of 41 I think. I wonder how many people actually had season tickets or Scoot Club memberships?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The BBC is reporting there is still a "glimmer of hope" for the company and that the company that chartered the boats is taking them back. It also confirms that one vessel was imponded, another had a blown engine and another "some damage", presumably the result of the collision with the wall the company posted about here.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-35168391

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There should be very few creditors the administrator won't know about - whether the others will bother for a few percent of a few quid is a moot point.

 

 

It's quite understandable that not many bother to claim. In the 22 years before I retired I had nine companies go bust on my company owing in four cases, what was to me, substantial amounts of money. Out of the nine I only got one payout from a receiver of 17p in the pound. All the receivers sent accounts of money that they had managed to recover, usually twice a year, along with their own "charges to date". It made interesting reading. The work by the most junior secretary was charged at at least £30 an hour while the partners time was never less than £500 an hour and often considerably more. The good news is the receiver always gets paid first the bad news is there is rarely much for those further down the pecking order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IWCP reckon they have an interview with Zoe Ombler published today, telling "where it all went wrong" and "who she blames for the demise of the firm". http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/scoot-chief-tells-cp-why-it-all-went-wrong-93536.aspx

 

I am on the mainland so unlikely to see a copy but if anyone is an islander and can shed any info that would be appreciated.

 

Thanks. And a happy christmas to all.

 

Bex.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Finding the address of the sole ex-director is easy but pointless now.

 

Although the address given on the most recent company return is a holiday let in Cowes owned by Ms Ombler! Not sure about the intricacies of using a holiday let as a correspondence address!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw a copy of the IWCP today whilst in Tesco. Ms Ombler blames Yarmouth Harbour Commissioner for the demise of Scoot because they impounded Scoot 1. She doesn't seem to understand that over 10k of debts owed was reason enough to impound the boat. There is a small reference to Nick Davis but it basically says he's an entrepreneur and businesses will fail. Again, no reference to the wider situation.

 

A very poorly written piece.

Edited by bekkia
Typo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I saw a copy of the IWCP today whilst in Tesco. Ms Ombler blames Yarmouth Harbour Commissioner for the demise of Scoot because they impounded Scoot 1. She doesn't seem to understand that over 10k of debts owed was reason enough to impound the boat. There is a small reference to Nick Davis but it basically says he's an entrepreneur and businesses will fail. Again, no reference to the wider situation.

 

A very poorly written piece.

 

The whole thing stinks. She seems to have a habit of blaming other people for misfortune including the "alleged" incident with the Wightlink ferry. The whole "its not my fault" mentality that seemed to pervade this company is entirely unprofessional. I feel for the poor staff who were excellent but sadly this was an enterprise that given its cost structure was never likely to succeed. The Zoe Ombler /Nick Davies duo also have a pretty sketchy background in business...yes I know Nick wasn't a Director but he was involved with Zoe in letterbox.com which also failed. Yarmouth Harbour were very patient (or naïve) in waiting for the bill to get to £10000 before seizing the vessel. They too have staff to pay!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The whole thing stinks. She seems to have a habit of blaming other people for misfortune including the "alleged" incident with the Wightlink ferry. The whole "its not my fault" mentality that seemed to pervade this company is entirely unprofessional. I feel for the poor staff who were excellent but sadly this was an enterprise that given its cost structure was never likely to succeed. The Zoe Ombler /Nick Davies duo also have a pretty sketchy background in business...yes I know Nick wasn't a Director but he was involved with Zoe in letterbox.com which also failed. Yarmouth Harbour were very patient (or naïve) in waiting for the bill to get to £10000 before seizing the vessel. They too have staff to pay!

 

Yes I agree Robbie but the plain fact is that most start-ups are under-capitalised, it's why most fail. They just fail less publicly than a ferry business. (Of itself Letterbox wasn't a bad idea - pity Amazon/MyHermes and the others realised at the same time that the local greengrocer/postmaster/newsagent might just like the business!) Many members know that I am a B2B journo as part of my business and I think I have written fifteen features on support for businesses over the last ten years often interviewing professionals involved. Invariably I am told the same thing - those doing business planning with a view to starting up always hang on to the most hopeful projections for dear life while the more pessimistic (I nearly said realistic) are binned. Truth is though without such niaive human nature most of the successful businesses we now have wouldn't be here. After all in its own way BF was even more of an arrow shot at adventure than Scoot ever was... I think Ms Ombler would have been better off saying nothing - hard though that is - leaving the creditors to do what creditors have to do and the local press to contemplate their ever falling sales.

Edited by Millsy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Yes I agree Robbie but the plain fact is that most start-ups are under-capitalised, it's why most fail. They just fail less publicly than a ferry business. (Of itself Letterbox wasn't a bad idea - pity Amazon/MyHermes and the others realised at the same time that the local greengrocer/postmaster/newsagent might just like the business!) Many members know that I am a B2B journo as part of my business and I think I have written fifteen features on support for businesses over the last ten years often interviewing professionals involved. Invariably I am told the same thing - those doing business planning with a view to starting up always hang on to the most hopeful projections for dear life while the more pessimistic (I nearly said realistic) are binned. Truth is though without such niaive human nature most of the successful businesses we now have wouldn't be here. After all in its own way BF was even more of an arrow shot at adventure than Scoot ever was... I think Ms Ombler would have been better off saying nothing - hard though that is - leaving the creditors to do what creditors have to do and the local press to contemplate their ever falling sales.

 

I totally agree. I also understand the risks taken by anybody starting a business..i have started two businesses and risked my house on both so I always have admiration for those prepared to take a punt. I think what I object to is that person then seeking to blame others when it fails..particularly when its not the first time this has happened. A business failure not only affects the immediate business but normally,through no fault of their own, a wide range of creditors many of whom can't afford not to be paid. Of course no one really know the full details however the reputation of Ombler and Davies would appear to be a bit dodgy and as you say really they should just be quiet rather than seek to blame all and sundry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The whole thing stinks. She seems to have a habit of blaming other people for misfortune including the "alleged" incident with the Wightlink ferry.

 

And despite the Scoot poster saying the MAIB being informed about the "incident", no record of it on the MAIB's website about it being investigated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...