Recent news about staff redundancies and disruption to ferry journeys on P&O ferries may have left consumers (and staff) with questions about what it means for them.
On Thursday 17th March 2022, P&O ferries released a statement that all UK sailings had been suspended, pending a major announcement.
The announcement was made that 800 crew members had been made redundant with immediate effect, with new agency workers in place to handle operations moving forward. Many workers who were terminated are now disputing the redundancy process used with P&O, with trade unions now involved.
If you have been affected by redundancy and have questions or concerns about the process, advice.scot can help. They offer free, practical, and impartial advice and information on a range of matters, including employment.
Additionally, it was announced that all P&O ferry services have been suspended, with potential disruptions lasting to the end of next week.
So, what does this mean for consumers? What are our rights if journeys are delayed or cancelled, and how can we go about getting a refund? consumeradvice.scot are on hand with the answers.
Consumer Rights – Travel by Ferry
If your ferry journey is delayed by more than 90 mins then depending on the length of the delay you may be entitled to snacks, refreshments, and meals.
If you will be delayed overnight, then you may be entitled to be put up in accommodation but only if the delay is not weather related. Some operators may ask that you arrange your own accommodation, and they will then reimburse you.
Delays – You may also be entitled to additional compensation for a delay.
Cancellations – If the ferry is cancelled, then you are entitled to a replacement journey if available or a full refund.
You should raise your initial complaint with the operator and follow their complaints procedure fully. If you are unhappy with the operator’s response, then you may be able to escalate the matter further. The individual operator will be able to signpost you to the correct body to do this.
You can also make a claim against an operator under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This states that any service being provided by a trader should be provided with the reasonable care and skill expected of a trader within their profession. If you are unhappy with the service that a transport operator has provided then you’re entitled to a replacement journey, or refund of an appropriate amount.
There are alternative ways of seeking refunds should there be any issues doing this through the operator directly.
Section 75 Claims
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 that states that a credit card company is jointly and severally liable for breach of contract or misrepresentation by a trader.
This means that a claim can be made against the credit card provider if a purchase was made with a trader that misrepresents the goods/services or breaches contract (in this case cancelled travel).
The following applies to Section 75 claims:
- Claims can only be made for credit cards and cannot be used for debit card purchases.
- Claims can only be made for payments that are over £100 but under £30,000.
- Claims cannot be made against a trader if they use a third party to accept payment.
You should contact the credit card provider, preferably in writing, explaining the situation and telling them that you wish to make a section 75 claim. You should ask for the full amount that you paid and any compensation (if required – this must be less than the amount paid).
Chargeback claims can be made in situations where payment has been made to a trader and the transaction has been fraudulent or disputed. Unlike section 75, it can be used for credit and debit cards, however, only for credit card purchases that were under £100.
A claim for chargeback can be made by contacting the card provider, preferably in writing, telling them that you want to initiate a claim. You should ask for the full amount that you paid and compensation if required (this must be less than the amount paid).
The trader may challenge the refund from their account. It is advisable to keep the money if the challenge is successful, and a repayment is made. If the trader’s challenge is successful, you can use the appeal process of the card provider to contest it.
If you would like advice or guidance on rights in relation to cancelled or disrupted travel, or any other consumer matter, you can contact consumeradvice.scot on 0808 164 6000. We are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday.