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SAILING UPDATES: 2020 Latest News


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2 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

Rules may be rules but rules can change if circumstances dictate it. Hopefully the existing systems will hold up, if necessary with Government backing but it is already very evident that companies and organisations are busting a gut to hang onto money they have already got and not give refunds if at all possible. They need the cash!

I have a couple of package holidays booked this year and it is evident that, between them, the operator, airline, travel insurers and Government are, by means of manipulating announcements, timings and terms and conditions ensuring that although it is clear that our first holiday will not go ahead there will be little if any opportunity to reclaim our deposit.

There are some very clever minds at work to reduce the opportunities for the customer to relaim monies already paid out.

You should, like me have booked with Jet2..We have a holiday cancelled with them in April.They are making cash refunds.No ifs no buts and complying with the law. As are Tui holidays and cruises. The smoke and mirrors is the preserve of Ryanair and private landlords.

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My son wanted to see the Pont Aven come in and we hung around for the Connemara too. The Pont Aven even gave a blast of the horn as he waved from the round tower. 

Can I just say that’s terrible news about your wife - I for one would like to pass on heartfelt thoughts to you both as I’m sure other Enthusiasts will as well.... Chris

When did they install that massive bird on the mast? Is that to scare the hell out of the seagulls and stop them from pooping on the poop deck?! 😉

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Our first holiday is due to start 30th May. Self catering apartment with Sunvil in Greece where all restaurants and archaeological sites are currently shut indefinitely (our main reasons for going). Balance of cost is due 5th April so unless it is cancelled a few days before that there is no way I'm going to pay that I'm afraid as I can't be sure ATOL will cover it. I don't blame Sunvil as they are doing their best but they have bills to pay of course and I'd hate to see them go out of business. Ideally I'd like to roll over to next year but that might not be possible. Flights were originally with Thomas Cook charter but were transferred to Easyjet scheduled but I doubt if the outbound flight will go ahead to a provincial Greek airport given thet Easyjet are talking of grounding their fleet alhtough the booking engine is still open for the outbound and return dates although the seat selection indicates that the planes are only around 25% full!

Jet2 and TUI don't cut it for us holidaywise I'm afraid.

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

Scarlton

You mention commercial considerations should take precedence over customer service.. indeed in that respect you may be right but you miss my main point. This is about obeying the law..nothing whatsoever to do with commercial instincts it's the law..

   I appreciate you may have a vested interest in connectivity to your property/vested interest et al but I am more interested in the rule of law. For if we abrigate our rights we diminish our advantages and in that process, we accelerate our ultimate losses..

    Fight the pirates!!

 

Nowhere did I suggest that commercial interests come above the law. I was giving an alternative angle on the wider commercial decisions hat have been made over the past few years.

 

I think it's clear that many unpopular decisions have been made over recent months. I think this year will be a make or break for BF and a lot of other companies too. Interesting times we find ourselves in. Unfortunately they're painting a lot of true colours as well.

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For me this is just another example in a long list of poor customer service over the last couple of years. 
 

1. Last year when they had problems with the Pont, they left it up to Irish customers to chase them for solutions. 
 

2. Changing my sailings from Cork to Rosslare just two days after taking a booking knowing full well the sailing wasn't going to run as sold. 
 

3. I have two return trips booked with BF this year. One in April and one in May , Both are paid in full at this stage. Who knows the hoops I am going to have to jump through to get my money refunded. 
 

None of this is BF fault. However, people have long memories when they are poorly treated. In my opinion only offering a voucher when people are entitled to a refund is very poor form.  

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3 minutes ago, scarlton said:

I think it's clear that many unpopular decisions have been made over recent months. I think this year will be a make or break for BF and a lot of other companies too. Interesting times we find ourselves in. Unfortunately they're painting a lot of true colours as well.

SC - a slightly enigmatic ending from you there. But important to stress, none of us bear any ill will to BF beyond insisting that they do right by customers who have entrusted their money to them.  I have now twice suggested a constructive way of doing this in a way that could suit all concerned, but that suggestion seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Right now I have no idea what the new norm will be when all this settles down, but I hope a thriving and successful BF is part of it.  Thriving is reputational as well as financial.

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We had a Cruise booked with MSC next month which was cancelled by them and they will no refund  and only  will give a voucher.

they all seem to think they all do not need to stick to the law.

Edited by Macc2010
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10 hours ago, GardenofEngland said:

We finally had an email today. One to my husband with a voucher for our cancelled crossing. Then another to my emailaddress after my rant re their lack of communication. The outcome ...the voucher was credited against our new booking Bilbao to Portsmouth on 16 April. So we will be credited our money back to our card for that booking, but as we were booked on the Connemara on the 29 March and now coming back on the Cap Finistere (must say out of them all this is my favourite ferry..you can keep the Pont Aven!) They are charging the same so crediting the extra payment for the cruise. Difficult times but as long as the April ferry sails we are satisfied.

I am not an expert but have you accepted the voucher? and it is to be used for your new crossing. Then in effect if that crossing does not take place they can issue you with another voucher as that crossing was paid for by a voucher 

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13 minutes ago, ross brown said:

Hi Guys. 

Does anybody know which ships will be sailing for freight emergency only? 

Thanks. 

 

Ross. 

Yes.  MSM Portsmouth - Caen.  Connemara Portsmouth - Cherbourg.  Cap Finistere Portsmouth - Spain.  Kerry Rosslare - Spain.  Everything else is laid up.

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2 hours ago, cvabishop said:

Rather tends to back up what I said earlier.

It’s catch 22 for BF.  They cannot survive with both their finances and their reputation intact.  They’re clearly prioritising the former, which they probably have no choice but to do.  The problem is, unlike other companies, their finances were already trashed before this virus situation.  Personally I think they’re using this situation to get customers to bail them out for their chronic financial mismanagement over the last few years.

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24 minutes ago, Gareth said:

It’s catch 22 for BF.  They cannot survive with both their finances and their reputation intact.  Personally I think they’re using this situation to get customers to bail them out for their chronic financial mismanagement over the last few years.

They will probably fail on both, that is why vouchers are not a good idea !

At least the next operator (Stena ?) will have some nice ships to use !

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22 minutes ago, David Williams said:

They will probably fail on both, that is why vouchers are not a good idea !

At least the next operator (Stena ?) will have some nice ships to use !

I think that, if they had offered the vouchers on attractive terms alongside a cash refund, they could have come through with both.  As it is, I agree, the reputation is already gone and the finances may not survive either.  That is why it is very risky to accept the vouchers.  And, once they’ve been accepted, there can be no further redress through travel insurance or credit card company.

if they had done the honourable thing, and offered the full cash refund upfront alongside a non-expiring voucher for, say, 125% of the cash refund value, then their reputation for doing the right thing by customers would be intact and enough “regulars” would have opted for the vouchers to ensure the financial survival of the company.  Their mismanagement of this situation has, sadly, put everything in peril.  But I’m afraid it’s just the latest gaff in a long list from a management totally out of touch with what the BF brand stands for and with what it’s customers expect from it.

It gives me no pleasure to write that, and I am very sad about the situation they have got themselves into.

 

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I talked to my credit card company and they said that there is no formal section 75 procedure, one just has to do a dispute transaction and give a reason, I will be going down that route in a few days after the BF response to my recent mail.

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5 minutes ago, David Williams said:

I talked to my credit card company and they said that there is no formal section 75 procedure, one just has to do a dispute transaction and give a reason, I will be going down that route in a few days after the BF response to my recent mail.

Thanks David.  Can I clarify?  Is it the position of the card company that BF’s offer of a “full refund by voucher” does not honour their liability and therefore it constitutes legitimate grounds for a dispute claim with them?

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51 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Thanks David.  Can I clarify?  Is it the position of the card company that BF’s offer of a “full refund by voucher” does not honour their liability and therefore it constitutes legitimate grounds for a dispute claim with them?

They haven’t got a view at present, I was just trying to work out whether a section 75 dispute had different forms and for Amex they don’t. The argument about liability comes later !

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17 minutes ago, David Williams said:

They haven’t got a view at present, I was just trying to work out whether a section 75 dispute had different forms and for Amex they don’t. The argument about liability comes later !

Thanks David.  It’s a tricky decision then.  To trigger a cc dispute, the voucher offer presumably has to be rejected.  But there is still a chance that the cc company will rule that the voucher offer fulfilled the BF liability and therefore the dispute is rejected.

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BF's terms and conditions for bookings made before 22nd April 2020 say that cancellations between 6 - 46 days before departure will be refunded with a voucher. Under normal circumstances they would usually deduct the deposit, amendment fee and service charge.

The French government cancelled the bookings, not BF nor the U.K.

It's not the fault of the carrier that the ships won't sail and no transport company is duty bound to give a refund if the action is due to a natural disaster, terrorism etc, the terms used are "often" and "goodwill"

Section 75. If the company uses a 3rd party for processing the payment much if not all of the protection is void and not even the FOS is clear and doesn't say which payments are covered and which aren't.

After the 22nd April BF's terms and conditions change again.

No one paying for travel using the economy tariff is entitled to a refund.

Those paying the standard tariff won't receive a refund if it's within 15 days of travel and will only receive 50% by voucher if it's between 15-59 days.

Those paying the Flexi Tariff will receive a 75% refund if travel is between 0 - 59 days.

These cancellations are unprecedented and global. You can't on one hand say that we need to be sensible and self distance that we must listen and adhere to what the medical experts are saying then on the other hand scream foul when a company or companies who are in the dark just as much as everyone else doesn't give you want you want when you want it.

No travel company has the staff to deal with the volume, the Financial Ombudsman doesn't have the staff to deal with the volume either and also bear in mind that most are now deemed non essential so won't be in work in the foreseeable future to deal with any problem anyway.

We are all going to take a hit on this whether we have a package holiday, cruise, flight or ferry.

 

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Jonno are you looking at the same T&Cs as me?  The ones I am looking at make no mention of a voucher (assuming we are talking about bookings cancelled by BF).

Would very much appreciate a link to what you are looking at if you can send one?  Thanks.

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4 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Jonno are you looking at the same T&Cs as me?  The ones I am looking at make no mention of a voucher (assuming we are talking about bookings cancelled by BF).

Would very much appreciate a link to what you are looking at if you can send one?  Thanks.

Looks like those are for cancellation by the passenger.

2 hours ago, Gareth said:

It gives me no pleasure to write that, and I am very sad about the situation they have got themselves into.

 

I think that says a lot. Members are BF's biggest fans but also their biggest critics. Always interesting to see the consensus on here. Most of us are informed about the industry and shipping, so can make a somewhat sensible judgement of the situation.

3 hours ago, Gareth said:

 Personally I think they’re using this situation to get customers to bail them out for their chronic financial mismanagement over the last few years.

I think a lot of steps are being taken to change that and increase cash flow, but those are always the unpopular decisions. Understandably. Everything is different than say 6 years ago. Personally, I think you can see the difference from when someone departed.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

Thanks David.  It’s a tricky decision then.  To trigger a cc dispute, the voucher offer presumably has to be rejected.  But there is still a chance that the cc company will rule that the voucher offer fulfilled the BF liability and therefore the dispute is rejected.

I guess that if the response from BF is to reject a request for a refund then the voucher remains valid until after the credit card decides what to do. Let’s see, especially as BF told Paul Clifton that those cancelled on the 14th will get it refunded . 

 

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38 minutes ago, Gareth said:

Jonno are you looking at the same T&Cs as me?  The ones I am looking at make no mention of a voucher (assuming we are talking about bookings cancelled by BF).

Would very much appreciate a link to what you are looking at if you can send one?  Thanks.

Brittany Ferries haven't cancelled the bookings under the terms usually associated with such things and even the likes of ABTA and ATOL are saying that under the terms for natural disasters travel companies aren't obligated to give refunds although it's often done in goodwill. Pandemics and epidemics are natural disasters.

These are the ones I was looking at and relate more to travellers... but again, BF would and are still willing to carry passengers, they are not at fault for the reason they can't.

https://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/information/terms/general-ferry-booking-terms

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