are the Ferry companies being honest with us? - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 15:32 Thread Starter
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are the Ferry companies being honest with us?

The last couple of ferry crossings I have taken I have had a text message the day before saying something to the effect “We are heavily booked on this crossing, please turn up early for check in” I have also experienced announcements on board similar to “We are sorry but owing to unusual currents/tides/wind we will be late docking and disembarking”

IF a ferry sailing is delayed by more than one hour on a four hour or less crossing passengers are entitled to a 25% of their ticket price as compensation. For longer crossings the delays have to be longer.

The cynical part of my brain wonders if the ferry operators are using these announcements as a matter of course so, in the event of any delay (for whatever reason) they can subsequently claim it’s caused by circumstances beyond their control AND you were told about it in advance

I appreciate that I am a cynic by nature, but do I have a point?

Your views???

Andy
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 15:43
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We sailed on the BF St Malo to Portsmouth sailing in December - the initial loading was delayed by nearly 2 hours (we were told due to exceptional tides....) then when we came into Portsmouth (on time!) the doors would not open so after a further hour we all had to leave the cars and g back up onto the main decks as the ship had to turn around so we could be offloaded "in reverse".

So we went for a (very) mini-cruise until we were docked and then try again....

The mental images of everyone having to reverse off were superb (something the French seem particularly adept at NOT doing) but only the lowest deck faced that problem with about 20 vehicles being off loaded using reverse gear to create enough space for others to turn round in.

All in all we were 3 1/2 hours late getting off (great going through Passport Control though as it was deserted they had all left.....).

By e-mail the following day we were told we would get a 25% refund which was duly given.

So they do work on that principle and we did get free drinks and snacks on the mini-cruise.....

Thinking of; Mavis, Ray, Sandra and Albert at this time.

Any comments above are only MY OPINION and should be read as that.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 15:49
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Yes you have a good point! The travelling public are far more savvy these days and claims for compensation due to delays are more likely. The ferry companies are trying to anticipate this with lots of arse covering.l live on the Isle of Wight and last year signed up for text alerts from one of the ferry companies, Wightlink that I use fairly regularly. I couldn't believe the number of texts that I was getting alerting me to delays on their Portsmouth-Fishbourne service. The most common reason for a delay was "harbour movements"!!!!!!! Followed by " an unusually high number of passengers" and " medical emergency". They seem to have a medical emergency every other day, due possibly to passengers having a heart attack when told how much a sandwich and a cup of tea is going to cost them!!!!

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 15:56 Thread Starter
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The thing that gets me is the “Unusual tides” claim.

Tide times AND heights are published over a year in advance so to claim the delay is due to a very low/high tide does seem to be trying it on a bit.

Unusual number of passengers?? The ships are restricyed to a very certain amount, so don’t the ferry companies schedule everything on the assumption that every trip the ship will be full?

Oh dear, that’s the cynical part of my brain kicking in again, bad me!!

Andy

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 17:02
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We are seeing the same everywhere. Trains and bus timetables are being altered to extend the journey times so its less likely they will be technically late. (early isn't considered an issue)
Its just business adapting to changes designed to improve the service.

Pat

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 17:21
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Originally Posted by Pat-H View Post
We are seeing the same everywhere. Trains and bus timetables are being altered to extend the journey times so its less likely they will be technically late. (early isn't considered an issue)
Its just business adapting to changes designed to improve the service.

Ryanair are masters at this.


They publish timetables which I as a pilot know are 'generous', and because on most routes cannot be compared with other airlines, because they fly to out-of-the-way airports.


Also airline schedules are gate to gate. Ryanair have a 'Trumpeting' announcement on the aircraft PA if they land before the gate time, even when at some airports it can take at least 5 mins. to taxy to the gate.


I can spot liars when I hear one.


Geoff
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 21:32
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The answer to the question will be ''No''

We laugh when going down the M6 and the signs come saying the alternative route has heavy traffic with delays, just trying to get you to pay the expensive toll. When we take no notice and go the alternative toll free route it is quiet as anything. Utter lies.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 22:55
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On balance I think I'm probably with the transport companies on this. Rightly they have often been criticised in the past for lack of information regarding delays so I think there's been a great push to be as informative as possible. Often though there can be several reasons for a delay, sometimes nothing to do with each other but the person sending out the messages has to attribute it to something. Hence the nonsensical explanations on occasion.

I've sometimes had advance emails from Easyjet when flying back from Geneva in the winter and they've correctly anticipated that the airport will be utter chaos with check-in and security taking an age. It does help though in getting the passengers there earlier - or maybe just extending the queues!

Peter
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 08:35
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Brittany Ferries have the monopoly on the 'western' crossings and do just what they like. From charging excessive rates in school holidays to docking at terrible times for travellers.
Regularly they are packed solid through the 'high' season and almost ghost ships at other times. Surely it could be possible to add more crossings when booked solid and reduce sailings when not.?

Ray.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 03-09-2018, 09:48
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Originally Posted by raynipper View Post
Brittany Ferries have the monopoly on the 'western' crossings and do just what they like. From charging excessive rates in school holidays to docking at terrible times for travellers.
Regularly they are packed solid through the 'high' season and almost ghost ships at other times. Surely it could be possible to add more crossings when booked solid and reduce sailings when not.?

Ray.

I had the majority of the Channel ferry companies as clients when working, and they normally work the ships to the maximum. There is a correlation between fuel consumption and crossing time, but I know of no route where fuel could be sacrificed in order to squeeze in an additional RETURN crossing. Don't forget that freight is a major source of income for ferries, so a 'ghost' ship could be on a profitable crossing with most freight drivers asleep downstairs.


Also there are many and varied reasons for ferry delays, congestion in ports like Dover and Portsmouth being one of the most common.




Malcolm


ps These days when I have tom pay for crossings I only use the tunnel!
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