Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Michelle

Compensation payment for Fire on board boat

Recommended Posts

I was on board the crossing from Plymouth to Santander back in April in which a fire broke out resulting in passengers disembarking at Brest France, we were reassured we would be fully compensated for the additional cost of reaching Santander,  I monitored my fuel consumption, kept my receipts, toll payments and submitted the claim which came to nearly EUR 400 for the extra costs (10 hours driving 1000km), Britanny Ferries have come back with less than half the total costs being offered with no explanation of their calculation methodology.  Naturally I have reverted back outlining this is not acceptable but has anybody else had the same experience and managed to alter the outcome ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately, the response from this will be down to BF and you're best to keep discussing your case with them. Off-hand (and without seeing your breakdown of costs), 400 EUR seems like a lot for 10 hours driving?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using Mappy to do the calculations, Brest to the Spanish border in a medium-sized family car comes to €132 including tolls. If you add a generous €50 to that for extra fuel and Spanish tolls then €180 seems reasonable. What did BF offer exactly? If you tried to also submit restaurant receipts then I doubt they will accept them as you would have eaten on board too.

However, and I do have some sympathy with you, there is the additional wear and tear on the vehicle that Mappy and BF simply don't take into account. We have discussed this recently on another thread but if we take your 1,000km and multiply that by the rate I charge my boss for using a private car for business trips then the equivalent would be close to €600 for that trip plus the toll charges. Obviously that's a very generous amount but somewhere halfway between that and the price of your single, abandoned crossing (less and cabins or other extras) would perhaps be reasonable. However, given that you were awoken early in the morning to potentially abandon the vessel, I think you could be justified in claiming a night in a hotel to recover and allow you to drive safely to Santander. Perhaps you should simply ask them to refund that entire portion of the trip. Let us know what happens. Ed. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These requests for compensation on both sides of the channel due to first the fire and then the rudder problems and subsequent rerouting of PA seem to be multiplying, perhaps due to people judging BF's offer to be lacking in generosity. Over and above the loss of regular, previously satisfied, customers, the exposure on social media can't be doing the company image any good at all. Here's one example with three dissatisfied people in a single Twitter exchange, including one annoyed that Normandie has not yet moved to Le Havre. 

https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1145811740619431938?s=20

Ed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t think that communication is BF’s strong point, especially as they like to communicate in sequence to affected passengers. However the Normandie switch has been known for months and communicated ages ago, any passengers who don’t like the outcome should discuss it with BF who will make any reasonable changes like switching to Ouistreham. When I had a September Honfleur crossing switched to the Normandie, I had a deck 6 cabin allocated. A DM to BF got it switched to a decent deck very quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

These requests for compensation on both sides of the channel due to first the fire and then the rudder problems and subsequent rerouting of PA seem to be multiplying, perhaps due to people judging BF's offer to be lacking in generosity. Over and above the loss of regular, previously satisfied, customers, the exposure on social media can't be doing the company image any good at all. Here's one example with three dissatisfied people in a single Twitter exchange, including one annoyed that Normandie has not yet moved to Le Havre. 

https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1145811740619431938?s=20

Ed

The last comment said they should have cancelled the sailings whilst the ship was repaired, so she was happy to have no sailings for 3 months rather than drive to Plymouth.

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Using Mappy to do the calculations, Brest to the Spanish border in a medium-sized family car comes to €132 including tolls. If you add a generous €50 to that for extra fuel and Spanish tolls then €180 seems reasonable. What did BF offer exactly? If you tried to also submit restaurant receipts then I doubt they will accept them as you would have eaten on board too.

However, and I do have some sympathy with you, there is the additional wear and tear on the vehicle that Mappy and BF simply don't take into account. We have discussed this recently on another thread but if we take your 1,000km and multiply that by the rate I charge my boss for using a private car for business trips then the equivalent would be close to €600 for that trip plus the toll charges. Obviously that's a very generous amount but somewhere halfway between that and the price of your single, abandoned crossing (less and cabins or other extras) would perhaps be reasonable. However, given that you were awoken early in the morning to potentially abandon the vessel, I think you could be justified in claiming a night in a hotel to recover and allow you to drive safely to Santander. Perhaps you should simply ask them to refund that entire portion of the trip. Let us know what happens. Ed. 

One issue there is whether your rate Cabin_Boy is including the higher insurance costs of using a private vehicle for commercial/business use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, des said:

One issue there is whether your rate Cabin_Boy is including the higher insurance costs of using a private vehicle for commercial/business use.

I don't believe so, no. It's the same rate which also applies when I do my tax declaration and calculate the rebate in entitled to for driving to work every day. But I accept it's too high for this situation. The point is, does the company want to finish the season with satisfied customers who will rebook next year despite the problems or loose them? We know it costs 5 times as much to acquire a customer as to keep an existing one so they should perhaps be more generous with their payments on a case-by-care basis. Ed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Solo said:

The last comment said they should have cancelled the sailings whilst the ship was repaired, so she was happy to have no sailings for 3 months rather than drive to Plymouth.

I don't know either where she lives or the date of travel but she says in other Tweets that she now has to drive double the distance (so I assume East Anglia or North Kent) and take an extra day off work and sleep somewhere overnight en route. So it's costing her and those she implies travelling with her a lot more. Given the choice, and the time needed to drive to Plymouth, if they had instead taken the Shuttle they could probably be well south of Paris on the road to Bordeaux by the time the ship leaves the UK. And don't forget, for most people this extra distance and expense is repeated at the end of the holiday coming back. Ed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say that some of those comments are ridiculous! To get a ship back to service after a fire and subsequent technical failure so quickly is admirable. On top of that they are compensating the inconvenience in various different manners. The person who said they would rather have no sailings for 3 months may forget that not only would that mean that a LARGE proportion of any person wishing to travel to Spain, Portugal and many other parts of the mid-continent with a vehicle would be unable to do so without driving an extra eight hours plus (and then the tolls) through France! Not to mention all the critical freight which needs to be transported! Plymouth - Portsmouth is not the worst drive in the world - let alone if you are being paid for it!

Edited by hf_uk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the years we have had a couple of ferry cancellations or departure port move where compensation was paid. I know this was sometime ago but in October 2012 following BF Strikes and our missed ferry from Santander to Portsmouth BF gave us a full refund for the ferry £255 and petrol compensation £200 for our drive (600 miles) to Northern France for a sailing and a further three month extension to our Club Membership. In October 2013 we had a further cancellation and we received similar compensation however BF do not cover any hotel accommodation - if necessary this has to be claimed through Travel Insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider yourself lucky.

No ferry company has to pay anyone a penny if the delay or cancellation is due to "extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances that hinder the sailing". Engine, steering, navigation plus bow and stern door failure proven to have been caused by anything other than poor maintenance falls into this category. The onus is well and truly on the travel insurance company you use to compensate you. 

 Since 2016 Trains, boats and planes have their own specific consumer rights. 

Keep a eye on the new weather amendments too, if you're sailing to Spain you have to be delayed twice as long at Portsmouth (6 hrs) than you do at Plymouth before you're entitled to 25% of your ticket price back from the carrier, this does not include your cabin either.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Just received  this from BF [ without requesting it] so maybe they are learning they need to improve their customer relations.in our case we cancelled one leg of the journey & booked on IF - had to go a day earlier but it did not cost us an extra money. Still it will encourage you back if you get a voucher to use their services again

 

 

 

 

I would like to personally apologise for the disruption caused to your recent travel plans following the breakdown of our flagship Pont-Aven.

 

The fault occurred shortly after another completely unrelated incident that required us to base the vessel in Plymouth for the rest of this year and modify the sailing schedules.

 

I'm delighted to let you know that Pont-Aven has now returned to service. But, I felt those customers who were caught up in this unfortunate period of disruption deserved an explanation.

 

The technical problem involved the starboard side steering gear. Our technical team originally hoped a repair might take between 7-10 days. However, as investigations continued it became clear some replacement parts needed to be manufactured. Unfortunately, the time to build, install and test those new parts took longer than expected, which led to further delays to the ship's return in to service.

 

While Pont-Aven was unable to operate, we did our utmost to prioritise customers who were most urgently requiring assistance, but fully acknowledge we may not have got this right. We do understand the frustration this undoubtedly caused, especially for anyone who wanted to speak to us in person, and we do regret that we may not have been able to respond to you as promptly as you would have liked.

 

I can assure you our customer contact teams were operating at full capacity during the extended delay. However, if you've written to us and haven't heard back from us yet, please be assured you will. We are working through the backlog of correspondence and endeavouring to answer personally and comprehensively.

 

We're immensely proud of our reputation for service, safety, technical expertise and outstanding customer experience. We are profoundly aware that we are nothing without the support of our customers. This situation has shown there is always room for improvement and that all our efforts must be constantly focused on maintaining and improving the standard of service you expect from us.

 

You are a valued customer and, as a gesture of goodwill, and in recognition of your inconvenience, I would like to offer you a credit of 25% of the value of the affected leg you were originally booked on, to be used on a future booking of yours. This is valid for two years and can be redeemed when you make a new booking with us either online or over the phone.

 

Once again, please do accept my sincere apologies and I hope to welcome you back on board one of our ships once again soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Christophe Mathieu

Chief Executive Officer

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, jonno said:

Consider yourself lucky.

No ferry company has to pay anyone a penny if the delay or cancellation is due to "extraordinary and unavoidable circumstances that hinder the sailing". Engine, steering, navigation plus bow and stern door failure proven to have been caused by anything other than poor maintenance falls into this category. The onus is well and truly on the travel insurance company you use to compensate you. 

 Since 2016 Trains, boats and planes have their own specific consumer rights. 

Keep a eye on the new weather amendments too, if you're sailing to Spain you have to be delayed twice as long at Portsmouth (6 hrs) than you do at Plymouth before you're entitled to 25% of your ticket price back from the carrier, this does not include your cabin either.

 

Well BF obviously have a caring nature to their customers? I don't feel lucky as BF offered the compensation and amended travel arrangements which I have found most companies do. I would be quite happy to claim on personal Travel Insurance but did not find it necessary - well done BF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Manxscorpio said:

Well BF obviously have a caring nature to their customers? I don't feel lucky as BF offered the compensation and amended travel arrangements which I have found most companies do. I would be quite happy to claim on personal Travel Insurance but did not find it necessary - well done BF

Sorry @Manxscorpio my post wasn't in direct response to yours, it just seems to read that way. As usual I spent too long typing the thing - too many distractions.

I agree. I've always found BF and most other companies, particularly service providers very responsive. Another example, we were initially due to sail on Honfleur next Monday, BF's customer service worked hard to tick all of our boxes when switching back to Normandie which made me a very happy camper. I've always found this to be the case.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

25%, AND not having to trudge up and down the channel at about 9 knots on either end of your journey. 

Bonus :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, penguin said:

Does travel insurance not cover this kind of scenario?

It might do - but in a lot of cases it doesn't cover issues where operators are liable to sort things out, as opposed to the insured party missing departure for some reason.

Which? has some useful information over at https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/ferry-delay-your-rights

An airline example - our SAS flights home from Japan were cancelled due to a strike, so the airline was obliged to provide new flights. Because of this the travel insurance explicitly stated that they wouldn't cover new tickets. Likewise, the airline T&Cs stated that they would provide flights, and only if these weren't within 24 hours of the original departure time could we book our own replacement flights and charge them back. 23h40 later it was...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BF can provide you with a letter to help you claim too. I did this once - they verified the situation to my travel co. paid up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly there is still a backlog of people to contact as this Twitter exchange shows.

https://twitter.com/BrittanyFerries/status/1146409161120464896?s=20

I understand that they didn't want to send out a mass mailshot on day one as the call centre would be swamped but we are now into July and if people do need to make alternative arrangements for hotels, kennels (as in this case), days of etc it's getting late. Ed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a reference I've dug out the policies we have with the company BF use. We have their black level multi trip with a couple of add on's. What they describe as (1), extended cancellation or curtailment, (2), abandonment or additional expenses or (3) accommodation costs all have a max of £10,000 with a £25 excess.

I have no clue if this is good, bad or indifferent nor do I know if the premium is OTT or not, I do know that it's always looked after us when required.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was affected by the Pont Aven cancellation on 26th May Plymouth - Santander and only by the heads up from this site knew before BF officially announced the extension to the delays. I was able to sort a Poole crossing and then had three overnights on the way down to Santander. I used Ibis hotels to keep the cost down and submitted a claim for £223.48 which I thought was not unreasonable.

Last week I received an envelope from BF with no correspondence but had a cheque for £81 inside. I rang customer services and they explained that was my payoff for my claim stating it was a maximum of 80 euro per person for one nights accommodation and as the most expensive nights stay was 91.85 euro that was all they were paying for! I explained that I was on a BF holiday and not a straight ferry crossing as I had mentioned in my earlier claim so couldn't arrive until the 27th May. The Poole crossing was on Fri 24th May. 

They had paid the contribution for extra travel directly into my bank account within 5 days so that was a help. I was very polite and expressed my displeasure at their failure to cover my I thought very reasonable costs but the rep was adamant that was all I would get but suggested a further letter of complaint. I sat down and began researching compensation for cancellation of ferries/holidays etc and was just about to send my additional claim and like @kgst an email arrived with the same apology but with mine a voucher for £200 was attached. So my faith in BF is restored. 

How have other people affected by the cancellations faired with their compensation claims ?

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whilst I have some sympathy for the re-routed customers I still believe sailing from Plymouth has got to be better than not sailing at all.

However I cannot believe somebody has complained about Normandie not being on the Le Havre route yet. If they did their research before they booked they'd have noticed that on some occasions the price for Le Havre and Caen routes are the same but on average the Le Havre route is still cheaper than Caen regardless of the ship operating it. So they'd either have got a Cruise Ferry at a better price than normal or ended up on the economy vessel for the economy price so its not really like theyve been short changed??

It's too easy to hide behind your phone/keyboard on twitter and rant its makes you feel invincible like giving someone a v-sign from your car. Whereas a politely and calmly worded email to customer services or a telephone call would surely achieve a better response.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, chid679 said:

Whilst I have some sympathy for the re-routed customers I still believe sailing from Plymouth has got to be better than not sailing at all.

However I cannot believe somebody has complained about Normandie not being on the Le Havre route yet. If they did their research before they booked they'd have noticed that on some occasions the price for Le Havre and Caen routes are the same but on average the Le Havre route is still cheaper than Caen regardless of the ship operating it. So they'd either have got a Cruise Ferry at a better price than normal or ended up on the economy vessel for the economy price so its not really like theyve been short changed??

It's too easy to hide behind your phone/keyboard on twitter and rant its makes you feel invincible like giving someone a v-sign from your car. Whereas a politely and calmly worded email to customer services or a telephone call would surely achieve a better response.

Couldn’t agree more chid679, I’ve been meaning to post along similar lines but too busy - well said!

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Bisnick said:

I was affected by the Pont Aven cancellation on 26th May Plymouth - Santander and only by the heads up from this site knew before BF officially announced the extension to the delays. I was able to sort a Poole crossing and then had three overnights on the way down to Santander. I used Ibis hotels to keep the cost down and submitted a claim for £223.48 which I thought was not unreasonable.

Last week I received an envelope from BF with no correspondence but had a cheque for £81 inside. I rang customer services and they explained that was my payoff for my claim stating it was a maximum of 80 euro per person for one nights accommodation and as the most expensive nights stay was 91.85 euro that was all they were paying for! I explained that I was on a BF holiday and not a straight ferry crossing as I had mentioned in my earlier claim so couldn't arrive until the 27th May. The Poole crossing was on Fri 24th May. 

They had paid the contribution for extra travel directly into my bank account within 5 days so that was a help. I was very polite and expressed my displeasure at their failure to cover my I thought very reasonable costs but the rep was adamant that was all I would get but suggested a further letter of complaint. I sat down and began researching compensation for cancellation of ferries/holidays etc and was just about to send my additional claim and like @kgst an email arrived with the same apology but with mine a voucher for £200 was attached. So my faith in BF is restored. 

How have other people affected by the cancellations faired with their compensation claims ?

Couldn't BF fit you on to either the CF sailing on the Friday or the BDS sailing on the Saturday morning from Portsmouth, afterall they've been crying about how much their business has been depressed by the political uncertainty?

Edited by jonno

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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...