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Cancelled sailings - vouchers


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I have had a couple of sailings for next month cancelled and have been sent a voucher for the amount I paid with a validity of two years. We were going to a wedding anniversary celebration using the crossings and of course that will be past and can't reoccur.

I would much rather have a refund of my money and I know that if this were an EU airline I would be entitled to it without argument.

Does anyone know does the same right apply?

I guess I can ultimately ask for a charge back if BF refuse to refund the money.

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Makes you realise you don’t know what folk are going through or what their financial situation is , I’m as guilty as the next man for making assumptions, I don’t think or want to speak for the whole f

Morning All, Appreciating that the contents of this thread and the subject of discussion are entirely relevant, it's also come to my attention that the way some people are voicing their concerns

I am going to play devils advocate here. Are we all a bit ticked off because we cannot travel, yes of course we are. Are we ticked off because we are potentially going to miss out on our holiday/ trip

That's right. My first voucher is valid for one year, but subsequent vouchers are valid for two years. I am happy with that - and this increase in validity suggests that, even in these difficult times, they are listening. 

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On 26/03/2020 at 14:44, philduncan said:

I have had a couple of sailings for next month cancelled and have been sent a voucher for the amount I paid with a validity of two years. We were going to a wedding anniversary celebration using the crossings and of course that will be past and can't reoccur.

I would much rather have a refund of my money and I know that if this were an EU airline I would be entitled to it without argument.

Does anyone know does the same right apply?

I guess I can ultimately ask for a charge back if BF refuse to refund the money.

You will find that all Travel companies seem to be going down that option of issuing vouchers instead of a refund.

In UK for bookings made ABTA were attempting to get the Gov to amend the t&c for Vouchers for two years with a Refund after that time. However parliament has now off on Holiday so no new laws can be made at present time, however this has not stopped the Companies like British Airways, Carnival , (Cunard and P&O) and MSC   only offer vouchers. even though the t&c you agreed on paying monies to them stated that a refund on a cancellation by them would be done.

 

https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak

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Slightly off topic but another example of companies attitudes to their customers. Sky allowing you to pause payments for its Sports channels and still allowing you to view the current content.. BT not letting you pause payment. We have this via Sky who are apologetic about BT but cannot do anything about it

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Good for Sky.  I have to say, surprisingly so given their normal routine of trying to rip their customers off for all they can get. Sky is also giving Sky Go Extra free to all its customers during the crisis, so that families cooped up at home can watch on more than one screen.

The world will be a very different place when we’ve come out of all this.  Many companies and services will not survive - some due to the finances being unable to sustain the immediate crisis, and others a little further down the line because they have lost their customers and cannot get them back.  The ones that survive will be the ones that are well-run financially and that look after their customers well during the crisis.

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After having no response I finally managed to cancel our 25th April return sailing. As per T & C's 75% of value returned to the original payment method.

 

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1 minute ago, jonno said:

After having no response I finally managed to cancel our 25th April return sailing. As per T & C's 75% of value returned to the original payment method.

How did you manage that Jonno?  Did you get to speak to someone?  Or did you finally get a reply?

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Just now, Gareth said:

How did you manage that Jonno?  Did you get to speak to someone?  Or did you finally get a reply?

I just halted the booking on the website in the normal way thinking that if I did it before BF announced a further extension beyond the 22nd, the cancellation would be processed in the normal way.

We were lucky in that respect as the return on Bretagne was under the new cost scale so they were under two separate booking numbers.

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We were due to holiday in Brittany for Easter. We had booked our accommodation with Eurocamp. Without having to contact them we were contacted by email to say they were canceling the booking due to the current health crisis. They offered a voucher for 120% of our booking valid until December 2021 or a full refund. We opted for the refund and it was lodged back to our account within 2 days. 

Contrast this with the two Ferry companies were using for the trip. Our outbound sailing is still running with Irish Ferries for essential travel and as such will they only offer a voucher if we cancel, because as far as they are concerned the sailing is operating as normal!. And Brittany Ferries who canceled the crossing but have not contacted me to confirm this and will only offer a voucher when they eventually do. 

Out of these three companies guess which one will be guaranteed my business in the future!

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I think it would be fair to observe that no travel company is probably set up to deal with the volume of cancellations being seen both in terms of logistically contacting customers and or the financial hit. We had a bunch of upcoming travels, as did some friends and family, and here's comparisons in approach.

 

Hungary - British Airways, AirBNB, Holiday Extras
Flights - These were done on frequent flyer points + money. We cancelled these which means we should be receiving back what we paid less a 35 quid admin fee. No response in two weeks since cancellation.

Accommodation - AirBNB were allowing complete refunds if you cancelled. Did this on a Sunday afternoon, money back in account Monday morning.

Airport Parking - Holiday Extras were waiving cancellation charges. No money received back since cancellation two weeks ago

 

Malta - Air Malta Holidays, Holiday Autos, BCP

Flight/Accommodation - Oddly, Air Malta Holidays is run by a Swedish Travel Agent, TripX. They have been clear that they are contacting people and providing full refunds, but processing these approximately 3 weeks ahead of when travel was expected. Therefore, we're expecting to get a refund in the next couple of weeks

Car Rental - Holiday Autos offered a refund with no cancellation fees, or a future credit of 120%. We've opted for the refund and they've been clear it may take a couple of weeks to process.

Airport Parking - BCP offering waived cancellation charges. No money received back since cancellation last week.

 

France - Brittany Ferries Holidays

Ferry/Accommodation - Not heard anything on this. Due to travel at the start of May so suspect it is not likely to happen. Awaiting to see the response, noting that travel in the subsequent twelve months could be quite a challenge given an upcoming change of family circumstances.

For friends and family...

Easyjet - offered rebooking to any other flight at a later date. A friend who had paid 220 return for flights to Cyprus was effectively offered new flights in 2021 that easyJet were selling for 110. Instead, they've opted not to change the original flights. As and when these are cancelled, easyJet are now providing credit notes but providing you call them in the next 12 months they will provide a refund

Love Holidays - Not contacted travellers, and only seem to be doing so within 7 days of travel. They're offering credit notes with a one year validity, which can be redeemed for cash after the expiry date. However, credit notes are only ATOL protected until 31/07/20.

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I just had the one holiday booked and got cash refunds promptly from DFDS,Novotel and Just park, September might be more interesting when that’s eventually cancelled.

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I have two vouchers valid now for just under twelve months. Given the latest increase in the lock down in France and the twelve week lockdown I am subjected to in UK, realistically how long will the available time to use them be? Six months, seven months?

I can understand BFs statement in Le Telegramme:-

https://www.letelegramme.fr/economie/brittany-ferries-les-traversees-suspendues-jusqu-au-22-avril-26-03-2020-12532164.php

  It is vitally important and necessary we keep sufficient funds to pay our suppliers and staff. 

But it is my money they have held on to for a service I have paid for that they are not going to provide. It is also vitally important that I have sufficient funds to pay my bills too.

To me it seems, Brittany Ferries have shafted me, their attitude is that I have “lent” them money for a decreasing time period after which I will not get it back.

 I want for a full refund in cash - as they are legally obliged to provide. So far I have had no reply to my request.

Bob.

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My situation is:  Due to be travelling in 6 days’ time for BF holiday (sailings plus accommodation).  Paid almost 4 figures.  Was phoned by BF 10 days ago to be offered 12 month vouchers.  Told them they would be useless to me, as cannot envisage being able to use them in that time frame.  Situation now totally stalled as BF customer services has yet to reply to me 10 days on.  Have had no indication  that the voucher offer has been extended to 24 months.  Zero communication from them in 10 days, with just 6 days to go until sailing date.  I’m probably about 24 hours away from raising a section 75 dispute with my credit card company.

I know it’s a tough time.  But this is a different BF customer service department from the one I have waxed so lyrically about on so many occasions over the years.  Either they are so swamped they cannot cope, or they are deliberately avoiding replying because they don’t know what to say.  Either way is not good.

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We booked our gites, for this year, through the BF`s own Holiday France Direct company. Using them you get a 20% reduction in base fares. After much thought and no refunds, we have decided, in conjunction with our flexible hirers, to kick the can down the road to September and re book albeit using different routes but wondered if our discount would `follow us` or not..Asked BF over a week ago and still no reply..grrr. I then left a message on the answerphone at Holiday Direct over the weekend and got a call from a lovely lady just after 9am..Not only answering my queries but supplying the discount code again to assist the re book.

  The moral is, some parts of BF are working as well and as good as always. One suspects the bits with poor systems and management are close to collapse. 

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Is anybody in a similar situation to us. If so any opinion would be appreciated. Originally due to travel to Santander on Friday. We moved this out a month three weeks ago to May. It cost about £75.00 more as we had booked this last August and prices had increased. It is now unlikely to happen. I don't want to move it again as we already have a crossing booked for the 3/09/2020. I believe I can use the vouchers for the May crossing to pay the balance for September. Will BF do this automatically or will I have to tell them to do this and how practical will it be to get in touch with them.

 

 

Ian

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I put P&O on notice that we no longer want our P&O Iona Norweigen cruise for June 2020. If I actually cancel now I lose the whole cost which I fully paid as they have not (as yet) cancelled the cruise. The offer is another advanced cruise for next year with 125% free increase however I refused this because I don't know what the situation will be in 2021. So like most others we just have to wait. I cannot see an end to Covid19 and without a vaccination who wants to chance it? I am sure P&O will not be able to guarantee our safety if the cruise goes ahead and Norway may not allow cruise ship passengers to step foot in their country anyway.

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1 hour ago, IanN said:

Is anybody in a similar situation to us. If so any opinion would be appreciated. Originally due to travel to Santander on Friday. We moved this out a month three weeks ago to May. It cost about £75.00 more as we had booked this last August and prices had increased. It is now unlikely to happen. I don't want to move it again as we already have a crossing booked for the 3/09/2020. I believe I can use the vouchers for the May crossing to pay the balance for September. Will BF do this automatically or will I have to tell them to do this and how practical will it be to get in touch with them.

 

 

Ian

I very much doubt BF will do this automatically as they'll want the balance as a cash payment... cash flow or lack thereof is what the voucher scheme is all about, they like all business' will want to grab it where they can. You will need to instruct them.

Such is the fluidity of the pandemic that I'm not considering our July sailings until the end of June. 

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I booked to go to Bilbao and back at the end of May and to come back the same way in June.  But using the économie.   But to me it is highly unlikely I will be going.  Even though they were going to bill me for the final balance on Wednesday.   But I am in the same boat as you as I had already paid the deposit some mouths ago.  But I was trying to contact Brittany Ferries to cancel  the trip.  But to no avail.   This deposit I had paid £209a flew months back.   But to me instead of given me a refund  I would had been happy for them to say to me, if I could forward that for me to use to rebook in future. Instead of give people a load of  vouchers.

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I think the harsh reality is, if BF did what they usually do and refund, there would be no more BF. These are unprecedented times, for businesses it's a challenge of a generation. We may get our refunds, but is it worth losing a ferry service we all use and generally enjoy?

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No need for everyone to insist on refunds.   Anybody for whom the 12 month voucher offer works has no reason not to take them.  But those of us for whom 12 months doesn’t work have no option but to push for a refund.  The alternative is we lose our money.

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14 minutes ago, ollie@portsmouth said:

I think the harsh reality is, if BF did what they usually do and refund, there would be no more BF. These are unprecedented times, for businesses it's a challenge of a generation. We may get our refunds, but is it worth losing a ferry service we all use and generally enjoy?

But the harsh reality, for a lot of people, is that their jobs have gone. Many companies will not survive this onslaught. For those whose jobs remain they will have to spend time repairing shattered finances with the spectre of unemployment looming, where it was not before. To these people getting a refund is more important than the outlook for a foreign company who will be backed by state aid.

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Perfectly in order for BF to offer vouchers (which they’ve done) and perfectly in order for them to provide an incentive for customers to accept those vouchers in preference to asking for a refund (which they have chosen not to do).  But customers who are not willing to accept the vouchers (which in the absence of an incentive to take them will be higher in number than BF could have been facing if they had approached this issue sensibly) are entitled to ask for, and receive, a refund.  For BF to refuse to provide one is, frankly, theft.

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