I made a booking to travel from Belfast to Glasgow with my parents using a rail and sail package off

I made a booking to travel from Belfast to Glasgow with my parents using a rail and sail package offered by a ferry company.  I booked this package as I thought it would be the quickest and easiest way for my family to get to Glasgow. 

However, after I had made the booking and received my confirmation, I discovered that we would have to change trains during the journey and then get a bus to our destination because the train times were not aligned with the ferry times.  This is something that the ferry company did not inform me of during the booking process.

The arrangement for the rail and sail package which I was sold would require me and my companions to leave Glasgow early in the morning and then wait for over three hours in the terminal before our scheduled ferry home.  For a party of three adults all over 55 years of age with health problems and a small child, this was not convenient. I cancelled the booking with the ferry company and received a 50 per cent refund in line with the company’s terms and conditions.

I wrote to the ferry company to complain about this as I felt that I should have been entitled to a full refund on the grounds that I wasn’t informed during the booking process of the need to check train times separately.  However the ferry company has refused to give me a full refund.

I would really appreciate your help with this matter.

Yours sincerely

Resolution

How the Consumer Council investigated this complaint

 

The consumer contacted the ferry company in the first instance to resolve the matter. The company however refused to offer a full refund explaining the 50 per cent refund offered was in line with its terms and conditions.

The Consumer Council carried out an investigation into this complaint;

- We wrote to the ferry company requesting clarification on the information provided to customers about the train timetables during the booking process for the rail and sail option.

- We also requested information about the consumer’s particular journey and the delays they would have faced.

- The ferry company responded explaining that on the day in question, engineering works were being carried out on the railway.  This necessitated the use of buses and in turn considerably lengthened the normal journey time. 

- The ferry company also explained that if they are given notice by the rail company in advance about possible delays, they do endeavour to contact customers directly to notify them accordingly.

- As a result the ferry company acknowledged the inconvenience and agreed to provide a full refund. The consumer was satisfied with this outcome.