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Cancelled sailings - vouchers


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As others have probably said treating it as two singles is diabolical. We could end up with the return crossing available (unlikely) with no way of getting to Spain to catch it. What planet are they on.

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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

On 01/04/2020 at 12:04, wortley said:

D2frs, Your voucher isn't worthless. The way it can be used has been explained, so has its period of validity,  and so has the way it can be eventually cashed in case it isn't used. So it's not worthless at all.  Please don't throw it away.

It is entirely worthless.

Could I pay my rent with it yesterday?   Nope.

The landlord wanted cash funnily enough because he, like me, has bills to pay as well.

Would Tesco allow me to buy up their entire supply of toilet paper with it, all 1 pack.   Nope.

They wanted a nice debit card attached to a bank account with cash in it.

Can I use it to travel on a ferry anytime soon?

Nope,  for some strange reason. 

Will I be in a position to use it after after June?

Unlikely in the current climate unless an organ transplant donor miraculously appears. 

So you see, it IS worthless.

I don't remember seeing anywhere in the terms and conditions when I booked the ferry that in the event of a woke plague my funds would be held hostage to prop up a foreign travel company.

Needless to say,  given the customer support attitude, the price increases in the new fare structure and, what I perceive as a slipping of standards, IF I get through to August, it's highly unlikely I'll be travelling with them again.

You see it all started to go wrong when they god rid of the triangle shaped rolls...

 

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A report on the lunchtime TF1 News programme has just confirmed that the 18-month deadline on vouchers is correct and if you are unable to book and travel after that period has expired you can apply for a full refund. The travel agents interviewed explained that if they were forced to issue refunds they would go bankrupt because their suppliers are not giving them any money back. Ed. 

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1 hour ago, Paully said:

Thats fine, only if they cancel and issue vouchers for the full amount, bearing in mind each leg of the journey is being treated as two singles not a return.If however you jump the gun and re book, as they suggested to me on Tuesday, then by my reckoning only one year from date of original booking applies. Its these anomalies that get up peoples noses and stretch the bond if not break it between the Company and its supporters.

Yeah funny that about them treating the tickets as two singles when it suits them.   Whenever I've had to amend the return portion of my "two single tickets" journey  I've been very quickly slapped with a 25 quid amendment fee as the outward portion had already been used...

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9 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

 The travel agents interviewed explained that if they were forced to issue refunds they would go bankrupt because their suppliers are not giving them any money back. Ed. 

Well if they p*** off enough of their customers they'll go broke anyway.

And if that were to happen, by the laws of Capitalism,  tough.

 

 

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2 hours ago, wortley said:

There are FAQs on the B/F website  explaining  that vouchers for sailings which have been cancelled are valid for two years. 

 

Wortley, have you got one of these vouchers?

This is what is stated on my voucher email:

I'm writing to you today to confirm we have had to cancel your upcoming reservation.The global Coronavirus pandemic has forced us to take this extraordinary action, which follows governmental guidance to limit potential health risks for passengers and crew. Please note the cost of this cancelled sailing will be refunded by voucher (details below). The voucher is valid for one year and may be redeemed against any future sailing or inclusive holiday with Brittany Ferries.

If you have another sailing similarly impacted we'll contact you under separate cover via email. Please do not call or reply to these emails, we are incredibly busy trying to ensure we make contact with the many thousands of passengers affected. You can find our latest updates at www.brittanyferries.com/coronavirus.
Again, I'm sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this mail may bring and trust that we may be able to welcome you back on board in happier, more settled times in the very near future.”

A voucher number and value and that was it. Nothing about can be redeemed for cash if not used, nothing about what my further options are. At that time, the FAQs stated a twelve month validity. I agree now the FAQs on the BF site says vouchers being issued currently are valid for twenty-four months, but nothing saying vouchers - like mine - that were previously issued for twelve months have now had their validity extended. My vouchers say twelve months, and until they are amended by BF either by emailing me or by a statement saying so on their website, that is what stands - see their email above.

Either way, I have rejected them and want a full refund, because they are worthless to me.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bob the Bunker, In that case I hope you can sort it out with the ferry company. I am not a member of staff and cannot issue refunds.

But the FAQs on the website are clear enough to me - vouchers for cancelled crossings are valid for two years, and crossings not yet cancelled can be extended on line to a future date. 

Good wishes 

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The FAQs on the website do not match the terms stated on the vouchers, and it is the latter that matters.  And there is nothing on the vouchers to indicate they can be extended, or are exchangeable for cash if not used, or are underwritten in the event of the company failing.

BF can publish rhetoric on its website all it likes, but until it bothers to contact customers and issue replacement vouchers with the correct terms on them, or at least tell them directly that the vouchers are offered on different terms to what is printed on them, everything it says is p*** in the wind.

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1 hour ago, Gareth said:

The FAQs on the website do not match the terms stated on the vouchers, and it is the latter that matters.  And there is nothing on the vouchers to indicate they can be extended, or are exchangeable for cash if not used, or are underwritten in the event of the company failing.

BF can publish rhetoric on its website all it likes, but until it bothers to contact customers and issue replacement vouchers with the correct terms on them, or at least tell them directly that the vouchers are offered on different terms to what is printed on them, everything it says is p*** in the wind.

 

Exactly.

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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, yes of course we are. Are BF dealing with this in the best manner, no they are not. Or are they? Bearing in mind that no-one knows when things will change enough to try and get back to normal. Neither do we know how long it will take to get back to normal, (and we all have a different view of what is normal). So BF, as with many other multi-national companies, are trying to put in place things which will ease the situation while protecting their company and, in the long run, their customers. I understand that these things will not appease everyone, nor suit everyone's situation, but as like any other company they are running with a skeleton staff and trying to do their best for all concerned. I believe that BF, when all this blows over and we are back to normal, will come up with better answers that will suit most people whether that be extending the validity of vouchers or giving a full refund, perhaps we just have to wait and see. As I say playing devils advocate and just my opinion.

John

 

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6 hours ago, John M said:

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, yes of course we are. Are BF dealing with this in the best manner, no they are not. Or are they? Bearing in mind that no-one knows when things will change enough to try and get back to normal. Neither do we know how long it will take to get back to normal, (and we all have a different view of what is normal). So BF, as with many other multi-national companies, are trying to put in place things which will ease the situation while protecting their company and, in the long run, their customers. I understand that these things will not appease everyone, nor suit everyone's situation, but as like any other company they are running with a skeleton staff and trying to do their best for all concerned. I believe that BF, when all this blows over and we are back to normal, will come up with better answers that will suit most people whether that be extending the validity of vouchers or giving a full refund, perhaps we just have to wait and see. As I say playing devils advocate and just my opinion.

John

 

I agree with most of this but closing the phone lines and not responding to emails is not the way to go. Answering the phone and replying to emails can be done from home in isolation.

Using under utilised management if necessary. If the reason to close the lines is to protect staff from abuse then we the public should be ashamed. If closing them is to avoid difficult encounters with the public because BF are not playing fair then they should be ashamed 

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7 hours ago, John M said:

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, yes of course we are. Are BF dealing with this in the best manner, no they are not. Or are they? Bearing in mind that no-one knows when things will change enough to try and get back to normal. Neither do we know how long it will take to get back to normal, (and we all have a different view of what is normal). So BF, as with many other multi-national companies, are trying to put in place things which will ease the situation while protecting their company and, in the long run, their customers. I understand that these things will not appease everyone, nor suit everyone's situation, but as like any other company they are running with a skeleton staff and trying to do their best for all concerned. I believe that BF, when all this blows over and we are back to normal, will come up with better answers that will suit most people whether that be extending the validity of vouchers or giving a full refund, perhaps we just have to wait and see. As I say playing devils advocate and just my opinion.

John

 

Well said John, and probably the opinion of quite a few others on this forum.

Chris

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I think John has got it right, hopefully BF will come out of this in one piece ready to serve us again.

Gareth, what exactly have you lost at the moment? You've lost a holiday you paid for, not BF's fault, if they refunded you today you couldn't rebook another holiday, they have given you the opportunity to travel in the next 12 or 24 months, if that is not possible then you can push for a refund. I don't know what work you do but I expect there are a lot on here who have bosses running around in circles not knowing what to do, BF are the same, they started in a panic with thousands of passengers to contact and the easiest thing was give vouchers for now and then sort things out later.

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The rights and wrongs between ourselves and our differing viewpoints are, small beer, in the scheme of things. Whether or not we, on this forum, travel or not with them again is not going to make a jot of difference either way. What will though, is the viewpoint of a lot of their customers. Whilst some are supportive, especially those who rely on them for a variety of reasons, social media is rather toxic towards them at the moment. Perhaps more worrying for them is the fact that quite a number have already issued `Letters before action`. If you`re not aware, you must issue one of these to a company/trader etc prior to taking action in the small claims court. Simon Calder will be having a field day. Whatever you think of him he is widely respected and listened to.

    If someone had had the same vision, the cruise industry seem to have had, whilst in the same position, none of us would have reached this rather sad point in time. It is right that we all express our opinions as critical friends and hopefully we will not fall out over this. After all, they are just a trading company, useful from time to time. I like to think we on here are much more than that. Best wishes to ALL

   

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I would only add to what you’ve just said there, Paul, that whilst what we decide as individuals has no significant relevance to BF’s long term future, it is as a barometer of customer sentiment that we are relevant.  We are, by definition, a group of people that is naturally supportive of, and enthusiastic for, Brittany Ferries.  We have a deeper insight into how the ferry world works than most.  We have an understanding that a lot of criticism that has come BF’s way over the years has been unfair and have taken the trouble in those times to explain why.  So if BF has not managed to hang on to a significant number of us, in terms of our confidence in them, then that does not bode well for the wider public perception.

As for the earlier question about what I have lost, I’m afraid I am not even going to begin to answer that in a public forum.  Apart from the self-evident, which is all confidence in Brittany Ferries.

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5 minutes ago, wortley said:

Well I have lost nearly £50,000 so far..and yet some people on here are agitated about B/f carrying forward the cost of a ferry ticket they have paid for. 

I think you’ll find, if you bother to read what people actually post, that that is not the gist of why people are not happy with BF.

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1 minute ago, wortley said:

Well I have lost nearly £50,000 so far..and yet some people on here are agitated about B/f carrying forward the cost of a ferry ticket they have paid for. 

I think a lot on here can beat that if you are talking about investments / pensions. The vouchers are not a big issue to me and I will probably end up with nearly £2,000 worth. it is the attitude of BF that is concerning.If I cannot contact them I cannot tell them to use the vouchers for a crossing to Santander which is not going to happen  for another crossing booked for September to Bilbao. As an aside I should be travelling to Portsmouth today for the crossing to Santander:(

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The point is that this is a BF enthusiasts forum.  Plenty of us have plenty else going on in our lives, but it is the BF experience that is relevant to this discussion.  So it’s natural that that’s what we’re focussing on and that doesn’t imply anything about the importance that we attach to this issue relative to the other things that are going on.

Ian is spot on - it is the attitude of BF that is at the heart of this.  And that attitude has manifested itself in a number of ways that do the company no credit.

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https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2020/apr/02/can-i-get-a-refund-is-travels-biggest-issue-coronavirus-travel-questions-answered?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
 

As Bruce sees it, this is a test of loyalty – those companies that work with customers during this challenging time will be the ones that benefit in the long term.

“There are a lot of travel companies making rash decisions, and they may not come out of this looking too rosy at the end. This is about treating customers well so the terms know who to trust when this passes.” “

This sums up they way travel companies should be treating customers and BF aren’t.

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1 hour ago, wortley said:

Well I have lost nearly £50,000 so far..and yet some people on here are agitated about B/f carrying forward the cost of a ferry ticket they have paid for. 

How very rude. You have no idea of anybody's financial situation. If I was in a position to utilise my vouchers I may not be so “agitated” and possibly would accept them. But I am not and can ill afford to loose their value.

As Garth has said, read what people actually post.

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Trouble is BF as a business, like so many, simply does not make enough money to have any resilience at all. Refunds on any scale at all would I fear see them gone in just a few days unless they were bailed out.  Vouchers are probably a better solution for individuals just than taking your chances as a creditor in thousands of others in a CVA or administration.

Morally though it seems to me simple - if they break the contract they should pay.

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Indeed Millsy.  The problem is, they’ve mishandled it.  If they had made the right decisions from the outset, they could have avoided having to pay out large amounts of refunds but still done the morally and contractually right things and also still preserved their customer goodwill.  All they had to do was to offer refunds alongside a voucher offer that was on terms where people would choose that over the refund.  120% of the refund value plus a meal voucher in the restaurant would have done it I expect.  Along with an expiry date that would actually have been of use.

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6 hours ago, wortley said:

Well I have lost nearly £50,000 so far..and yet some people on here are agitated about B/f carrying forward the cost of a ferry ticket they have paid for. 

As it stands at the moment I have less than 3 months to live and seemingly with little hope of ever getting my funds back from BF.   So yeah,  I feel for your £50k loss.

Whatever struggles and financial issues Brittany-ferries are facing, some of that down to their own poor decision making,  that is really not my concern.

They are a commercial company, not a charity and it is not the role of their passengers to bankroll them through their troubles by providing interest free loans.   

We paid for a service.

We didn't get a service. 

Whatever the cause.

They should refund the customers who want their funds back without arguement.

Lest we forget,  given the way BF is set up,  if the part of the company that is holding our money hostage goes bust,  because the ships and other assets are owned by different groups,  its only us,  the punters who will lose out.

BF would re-appear in a slightly different form and carry on much as before.

 

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