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P&O Ferries £60 ticket amendment fee.


jb6981

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I booked a Dover-Calais crossing with P&O through the Camping & Caravanning Club; outward 6 July 2009, return 30 October 2009. The price was £125.00 for a 7.5m Hobby 725. We arrived back at Calais on 27 October and decide to return to England the next day (28th) rather than on our pre-booked crossing on the 30th.

 

We went the P&O office on Calais docks at about 9pm on the 27th, it was open with two staff on duty. I explained that we would like to travel the next day (morning) and presented our ticket voucher.

 

A phone call was then made by the clerk and he confirmed that there was availability and asked if we wanted to travel at 9.25am or 10.15am, we said 9.25am please and (still on the phone) he changed our booking. He then wrote 9.25am on our original ticket voucher in biro and gave it back to us. Then he charged us £60.00 (sixty) pounds. No extra tickets were printed, just a 2 minute phone call!! I was speechless.

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It seems to be totally pot luck on the day.

 

I booked directly with P@O for a return out on 14th Sept and return at 12.25pm Fri 13th November, the cost was £53.

We spent the 9 weeks travelling to Portugal and returned to Calais 2 days early.

On Wed 11th Nov at 3pm both myself and my friend went into P@Os office and asked if there was any chance of an earlier ferry for both of us.

 

A quick check on his computor and he tapped a few details in and said just go to the check in you will be on the 4.10pm ferry but im sorry its 20 mins late.

I asked any charge ?

No charge sir he said.

 

Result 2 very happy motorhomers

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JudgeMental - 2009-11-13 10:33 PM

 

Your mistake was going to the office and asking.....Always just turn up at gate and try and get on *-)

 

I have done that on the day perhaps 2 hours early and the Calais booking in staff wanted to charge some ridiculous money. We decided to wait in the car pary and little while later a P&O van toured the car park inviting people to depart earlier at no charge! I know why I use the Tunnel now.

 

David

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I have now e-mailed P&o customer services with all the details and then stated;

 

"How can you justify such a high charge for what was just a quick phone call? In my opinion this equates to an unfair penalty charge similar to the charges levied illegally by the banks and credit card companies on late payments or unauthorized overdrafts."

 

I have received an acknowledgement e-mail stating that some one will get back to me.

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We too were charged £60 by P&O for an early return passage in September.

I had booked and paid for a return crossing for approx 8 weeks, but after arriving in Portugal, I received a call that my elderly mother had died, so we had to drive back quickly, all the way to Calais, instead of at our usual "snails" pace.

We were advised that there was no option but to pay the £60, although the young lady at P&O made several attempts to find a cheaper price for us.

Our original return booking was only for £60 for a 6.86m motorhome.

The travel insurance would have covered us after the first £50, so I didn't bother to claim for just a tenner.

 

Freewheeler.

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If you book the ferry direct, yourself, you are offered three degrees of flexibility on the ticket, at differing prices.  Since the return is made of two singles, you can elect to have differing flexibilities for the outward, and return, tickets.  This is reasonably clear on the booking pages of the P&O website.  However, you booked through the C&CC, and I have no idea what type of ticket they supplied.  The conditions relating to change of date etc, should have been clearly stated on your voucher or elsewhere in the booking process.  You were in fact quite luck to get the booking changed, because you were not the booker, and had no contract with P&O.  Your contract was with the C&CC, who sold you the ticket.  When I last enquired about varying time or date of travel on tickets booked via the clubs, I was told you can't.

As an aside, I'd say you would have got better value, and more flexibility, booking direct.  The club discounts really only pay during the peak season: off peak direct bookings seem often to be cheaper and, as above, you get to choose your terms.

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On the same theme but different companies.

When booked with Sea France we have arrived at the booth a couple of hours early for our outward journey on two occasions and have been charged £10 on each occasion.

When I booked Sea France though the C&CC a couple of years ago the club told me that it was £10 to alter a booking. Might be worth talking to them as you booked through them.

Last month we travelled with Norfolk Line and arrived five days early at the booth for our return trip from Dunkerque - no charge.

We have never travelled with P&O, they always cost out more expensive.

Maybe Judgemental has a point - just turn up. Perhaps if you do it 'officially' they have to go through a set procedure. Don't really know.

But it does seem exorbitant.

Cattwg

 

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Brian Kirby - 2009-11-14 1:13 PM

As an aside, I'd say you would have got better value, and more flexibility, booking direct.  The club discounts really only pay during the peak season: off peak direct bookings seem often to be cheaper and, as above, you get to choose your terms.

Not disputing your post Brian, but my booking of £48 return through the CC for 8th Aug (Norfolk Line) which I had to cancel with the CC on 1st Aug due to Family problems, and got back £30.02p.

Would I have got anything back if I'd have booked direct?

I very much doubt it. 

Dave

  

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In reply to Brian Kirby's post in which he states "... The conditions relating to change of date etc, should have been clearly stated on your voucher or elsewhere in the booking process. You were in fact quite luck to get the booking changed, because you were not the booker, and had no contract with P&O. Your contract was with the C&CC, who sold you the ticket. When I last enquired about varying time or date of travel on tickets booked via the clubs, I was told you can't..."

 

I quote what it says on my C&CC ticket voucher; "...If you wish to travel on a different departure to that booked you may fall into a different tariff and be required to pay an excess amount at the port" [end quote].

 

In my view my contract was with P&O, the booking agent merely introduced the two parties; P&O then agreed to transport my van and two passengers on a particular sailing. I asked for the contract to be varied to allow travel two days early, the the point here is whether the amount charged to vary the contract was reasonable and proportionate.

the ticket price was £125 return, it is reasonable to assume that the return leg price was £62.50 therefore a charge of £60.00 to amend the ticket would be unreasonable and in effect charged me again for the return leg of the journey. P&O did not say that my journey fell into a different tariff and there was plenty of availability, I was offered 9.25 or 10.15am. On reading the replies to this post it seems that the £60 charge is their standard charge. The question is does it breach consumer law?

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jb6981 - 2009-11-14 3:05 PM I quote what it says on my C&CC ticket voucher; "...If you wish to travel on a different departure to that booked you may fall into a different tariff and be required to pay an excess amount at the port" 

Then it seems what I was told was incorrect, or has been changed.  Quite possible, as it was a while ago.  As a matter of interest, have you asked the club?

In my view my contract was with P&O, the booking agent merely introduced the two parties; P&O then agreed to transport my van and two passengers on a particular sailing. I asked for the contract to be varied to allow travel two days early, the the point here is whether the amount charged to vary the contract was reasonable and proportionate.

Who did you actually pay?  If you paid the club, then I think that is the party with whom you contracted.  I believe the clubs take discounted block allocations that they sell on at whatever price they choose.  For your reasoning to follow, you should surely have P&O for the ticket, and a booking fee to the club.  If that was the case I am sorry, but I have misunderstood.

 the ticket price was £125 return, it is reasonable to assume that the return leg price was £62.50 therefore a charge of £60.00 to amend the ticket would be unreasonable and in effect charged me again for the return leg of the journey. P&O did not say that my journey fell into a different tariff and there was plenty of availability, I was offered 9.25 or 10.15am. On reading the replies to this post it seems that the £60 charge is their standard charge. The question is does it breach consumer law?

I didn't comment on the price to change, which does seem high.  However, it seems you didn't ask whether there would be a charge, or whether the tariff would be different on the alternative sailings, before asking for the actual ticket.  You have queried the charge, and the reason for it, with P&O, so it will be interesting to see what they say when they respond.  However, I would still say check with the club, since it seems at least possible that your contractual relationship with them, and P&O, may not be quite as you assume.

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As the Judge says just go to the booth, a few years years ago I turned up 5 hours early with a caravan in tow, went to the booth the girl wanted to charge me £180 to go on an earlier crossing. I went away came back half hour later to a different booth got on the next ferry no extra charge.

 

 

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Guest JudgeMental
Booking through the clubs is well known to be problematic under these circumstances...We always book direct and it's probably cheaper as well *-)
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I have never had to pay for returning early, I was once asked to pay on Sea France & the girl said that as the ticket we had was a special offer she couldn't do anything on her terminal & offered to let me use the phone to talk to the UK office. The person I spoke to said they couldn't get me on the next ferry but I could go on the one after for no extra charge.

What we do now is just turn up at the check-in near the end of loading & have never failed to get on & never been asked for any extra payment. Another thing is we usually like to take a late night or early hours of the morning & the check in operators seem to be more obliging. Having worked nightshift for many years in the past, people on nights just want an easy life & just get on with the job.

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I have now received a reply to my e-mail to P&O asking them to justify the £60 I was charged to change my booking, this is their reply -

 

"I can confirm that any amendment made to a booking under our semi-flexible fare structure is subject to a £10.00 (€14.00) amendment fee, and an additional charge equivalent to the difference in price between the sailing originally booked and that of the new sailing.

 

This supplement is determined in accordance with changes in demand for the sailing specified and principally, the proximity to your sailing date and time that the amendment takes place.

 

In addition to covering the administrative cost involved in providing new documentation to our vessels, the additional fee also reflects the value of the space that you occupy, in terms of recovering part of the higher fare that applies for bookings made on the day of travel. Whilst the ship may have had ample space on it the demand for that amended sailing had risen sufficiently to increase the fare.

 

I can assure you the supplement paid is correct and that this is the fare applied to any new passengers making a reservation for the same dates and times you sailed on. By that I mean that if a passenger arrived at the port and made a new booking based on your travel details they would have paid that amount.

 

Whilst I regret your disappointment, this supplement policy does form part of our terms of business. And we must apply these policies evenly and fairly to all applicable bookings." [End quote] Any comments?

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We recently returned from a short trip to France and were a good few hours early. Turned up at the P&O booth as you do and told £60 please to go on the next ferry. No chance we said, whats the next sailing we can go on at no extra charge, "in two hours sir" came the reply. "See you in 2 hours then bye bye".

 

It appears as suggested that £60 is the going rate. Hell would freeze over first before they got my money.

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jb6981 - 2009-11-16 12:54 PM I have now received a reply to my e-mail to P&O asking them to justify the £60 I was charged to change my booking, this is their reply - "I can confirm that any amendment made to a booking under our semi-flexible fare structure is subject to a £10.00 (€14.00) amendment fee, and an additional charge equivalent to the difference in price between the sailing originally booked and that of the new sailing. This supplement is determined in accordance with changes in demand for the sailing specified and principally, the proximity to your sailing date and time that the amendment takes place. In addition to covering the administrative cost involved in providing new documentation to our vessels, the additional fee also reflects the value of the space that you occupy, in terms of recovering part of the higher fare that applies for bookings made on the day of travel. Whilst the ship may have had ample space on it the demand for that amended sailing had risen sufficiently to increase the fare. I can assure you the supplement paid is correct and that this is the fare applied to any new passengers making a reservation for the same dates and times you sailed on. By that I mean that if a passenger arrived at the port and made a new booking based on your travel details they would have paid that amount. Whilst I regret your disappointment, this supplement policy does form part of our terms of business. And we must apply these policies evenly and fairly to all applicable bookings." [End quote] Any comments?

They have not cited booking via an intermediary as the reason for the increase, so I assume that no longer counts.

The terms they cite are on the booking pages of their website so, had you booked direct, you would have been aware of what they say.

As you booked via the club, and as the club's booking was based upon those terms, the club should have passed on the full terms attaching to your ticket, so that you would know what you had bought.

I think your real argument is with the club, for not passing on the terms attaching to your ticket. 

However, the P&O operative at Calais should have advised you better regarding your liability for increased costs, and should have advised you if there were alternative sailings you could have taken to avoid the £50 surcharge.  I'd be a bit inclined to make those points back to P&O, but also to inform the club that they should pass on the full terms that the carrier will apply to their tickets.

My final point is that P&O's assertion that the ferry you changed to carried higher, demand related, fares than the one you had booked via the club, seems something of a "rogues charter".  First, how could one possibly know that, if not advised?  Second, how can they prove that?  Third, it is open to P&O to apply this logic to any request for an alternative crossing time.  I.e. your request for a place on the next ferry registers as increased demand at that point in time, and automatically bumps up the cost of a place.  If this is the case, I think a little conversation with Kent Trading Standards may be in order, as it sounds like a "heads we win, tails you lose" kind of arrangement that may, I think, constitute an unfair contract term.  However, you'd need to get clarification from P&O on how they actually operate their demand-led pricing regime.

Last time we crossed (October '09) we arrived at Calais early, and were merely directed to board a ferry, that turned out to be the one before our booked ferry, with no comment at all.  Mind, it was about 30% empty!

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I have just spoken to the CC&C who told me that if I had phoned them they would have amended the ticket for £10 plus any difference in the tariff. Which on a weekday, in low season, would be about £20 difference maximum or maybe the same price, so about £30.00 in all. They would have contacted P&O direct and I would probably have sailed with the same booking reference. They confirmed that my contract was with them and not P&O as I thought. There was no refund on the original ticket as it had not been booked through P&O and as the sailing date has passed the ticket was now 'lost'.

 

They said that what P&O did was treat the original ticket as a 'no show' and charged me £60.00 for a new ticket. Funny how they talk about different tariffs, demand led pricing and the price rising the the nearer you get to the sailing date yet everyone is charged the same price, £60.

 

Apparently a few years ago you would be put on the next ferry available at no extra cost but now it seems it is all about maximizing profits (greed) which is fine for them in the short term but when you are enraging your customers they tend to vote with their feet, and there is plenty of competition out there.

 

So if you book through one of the clubs, contact them direct if you need to amend your ticket, otherwise its £60.00! or maybe even more in high season. You have been warned.

 

 

 

 

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Last year when returning we turned up a day earlier than booked and said nowt when presenting our ticket.

The guy in the booth said that there would be a £20 charge for being a different day and time so we said no thank you - at which point he said that he could waive the charge if we still wanted to go on the next ferry - so we duly thanked him, did just that, and paid no extra!

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jb6981 - 2009-11-16 5:27 PM I have just spoken to the CC&C who told me that if I had phoned them they would have amended the ticket for £10 plus any difference in the tariff. Which on a weekday, in low season, would be about £20 difference maximum or maybe the same price, so about £30.00 in all. They would have contacted P&O direct and I would probably have sailed with the same booking reference. They confirmed that my contract was with them and not P&O as I thought. There was no refund on the original ticket as it had not been booked through P&O and as the sailing date has passed the ticket was now 'lost'. They said that what P&O did was treat the original ticket as a 'no show' and charged me £60.00 for a new ticket. Funny how they talk about different tariffs, demand led pricing and the price rising the the nearer you get to the sailing date yet everyone is charged the same price, £60. Apparently a few years ago you would be put on the next ferry available at no extra cost but now it seems it is all about maximizing profits (greed) which is fine for them in the short term but when you are enraging your customers they tend to vote with their feet, and there is plenty of competition out there. So if you book through one of the clubs, contact them direct if you need to amend your ticket, otherwise its £60.00! or maybe even more in high season. You have been warned.

Only the club, or P&O, can be right!  In their e-mail which you reproduce above, P&O say they amended your ticket, not that they cancelled it as a "no show" and then issued you with another ticket at full price.

If the club can confirm what they have told you, I think P&O should be asked for a full refund as they a) did not respond on the day as you requested, namely to change the time/date of your booked sailing, and b) they subsequently misled you in their e-mail as to what they had, actually, done.

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Hi Jb6981 - welcome to the mad house. :-D

 

jb6981 - 2009-11-16 5:27 PM

 

I have just spoken to the CC&C who told me that if I had phoned them they would have amended the ticket for £10 plus any difference in the tariff. Which on a weekday, in low season, would be about £20 difference maximum or maybe the same price, so about £30.00 in all. They would have contacted P&O direct and I would probably have sailed with the same booking reference. They confirmed that my contract was with them and not P&O as I thought. There was no refund on the original ticket as it had not been booked through P&O and as the sailing date has passed the ticket was now 'lost'.

 

They said that what P&O did was treat the original ticket as a 'no show' and charged me £60.00 for a new ticket. Funny how they talk about different tariffs, demand led pricing and the price rising the the nearer you get to the sailing date yet everyone is charged the same price, £60.

 

Apparently a few years ago you would be put on the next ferry available at no extra cost but now it seems it is all about maximizing profits (greed) which is fine for them in the short term but when you are enraging your customers they tend to vote with their feet, and there is plenty of competition out there.

 

So if you book through one of the clubs, contact them direct if you need to amend your ticket, otherwise its £60.00! or maybe even more in high season. You have been warned.

 

Not in our experience! 8-)

 

2 years ago we had to return a day early due to us having severe sunburn ... don't ask! I went to the Tourist Info office at Boulogne Sur Mer who let me use their phone to ring P&O France. The original tickets were obtained through the C&C and normally you can only change them through them, but the nice chap was willing to allow me to change the tickets direct due to our problems and let me pay the difference (I think it was around £45). Unfortunately I hadn't taken my credit cards with me so had to return to the 'van. By the time I'd done that the TO had closed so I rang my mum in England and told her, she then rang the C&C in the UK to do the change through them for me. When I rang her back a little while later she told me they'd charged her £5 as their 'admin' fee on top of the P&O cost, a total of £50!!! Fuming was the 'mild' version of the word I felt like using!!!!

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