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Eglesbrech

Has your attitude to P&O changed?

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10 hours ago, No pager thank you said:

Yes, I tend to agree with the remarks so far.  Memories can be short lived, particularly when the carrot of a cheap deal is made available to make you put aside your doubts around quality, customer care, and even insurance / safety in current circumstances.

 

However, I do think that P&O will be hit harder because they are trying to entice new cruisers with brand repositioning; those who's previous experience of holidays may be traditional beach holidays / package deals etc.  With some notable exceptions, these providers are doing much better.  I even received one group email from a CEO of one such firm today saying that they were pushing ABTA to back the customer even beyond their own refunds; stretching the 14 day period not acceptable etc.

 

Non cruise lines treating their customers better in these times (no doubt offering the same price incentives (and no overbooking!)) may well dis-incentivise first time cruisers from choosing P&O in the future.  That will hurt P&O.

 

By trying the patience of even previously loyal customers (such as myself) they are going to pick up a sustained hit, of that I'm quite sure. 

 

Unless pricing changes completely then I doubt P&O will be hit harder than anyone else.  Their US competitors have been charging significantly more for a few years now, likewise Saga with its new ship(s) is a premium brand, and CMV and Fred charge at least as much to cruise on older inferior ships.

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11 hours ago, Son of Anarchy said:

Back when the cancellations first started, I was pretty fizzed off with PandOs attitude, and at that point none of our cruises had even been cancelled!

As time has moved on, PandOs stance has become even worse.  However, rather a lot of companies in the travel industry are behaving in a similar manner.  As someone has pointed out earlier, that doesn't make it right. It is however the reality.

Following the cancellation of two cruises by PandO, we chose to re-book.  I found the staff member to be very helpful.  The FCC hadn't been applied to our account, the lady calculated it and put that towards our re-booking and is shown on the invoice we received that day.

We accepted years ago that the shoreside operations could be better, but nonetheless tend to book direct these days (extra OBC due to occupation).  We check T & Cs, do a bit of research and don't usually have any questions.  The on-board experience has always been good and value for money.  The most "dramatic" issue we have had on board was last year when Ventura broke down in Tenerife, and our following back to back was cancelled.  The OBC for the break down could have been better (£25pp) but we got a 50% refund.  The cancelled b2b was fully refunded and a 20% FCC applied.  And we got to say on Ventura for the journey back to Southampton anyway.  So in effect, we still got our b2b, just not to Ijmuiden!  Both refunds were received within 14 days of the cancellation.  The previous year, we were on Oriana when she lost electrical power for over 2 hours, and propulsion for about 7 hours.  The staff did a fantastic job of rustling up lunch which was deck BBQ for hot food or cold stuff in the MDR. Oh and £100pp OBC because we missed a port.

 

So overall, the on-board side of things outweighs the shoreside stuff, apart from the current issues re refunds which I still find deplorable, but we probably would have been treated the same by other companies.  As has been said, just because others do it does not make it right, but it is the reality.

 

So yes my attitude towards PandO has changed, but not sufficiently to take my money to another cruise company.

Good points.

I remember the ship's crew and being made to feel welcome on board.

It is not the crews fault that their head office have took so long over refunds and lack of openness and why I will give the ships our custom in the future.

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13 hours ago, bee-ess said:

Not sure that people who have taken FCC's have been treated fairly well. 

Our July cruise has been cancelled and we have chosen an FCC which we immediately used against a 2022 cruise. Apart from the email telling us that the cruise had been cancelled we have heard nothing from either TA or P&O. We have no way of knowing how much we have as an FCC as TA cannot tell us for sure how much it is until P&O apply it to the cruise, at the moment our balance is the full cost. There is nowhere to look up how much the FCC is and no way of knowing when (or if) it will be applied. I would have expected some details of how much it is by now, but as the FCC's are being applied in date order of the new cruise I think it may be sometime never.

Did you book at launch? If you did based on the information you gave I can give you an idea of how to work it out.

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Posted (edited)

To answer the initial question......No, my attitude to P&O hasn't changed at all. I've always liked them and what they do.

Last night was testament to this as I took advantage of their Flexible Transfer Policy and swapped a Med Cruise booked for September '20, for another Med Cruise in May '21. I phoned from Australia, spoke with a lovely young lady who was thoroughly professional throughout the whole process, which went very smoothly. It took all of about 10 or 15 mins. P&O made the promise that they would do this and they kept that promise. This will be my 4th cruise with P&O UK, and unlike some other cruise lines I've encountered, I feel very comfortable with them. 

Cheers,

Edited by Sundowners

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Sundowners said:

To answer the initial question......No, my attitude to P&O hasn't changed at all. I've always liked them and what they do.

Last night was testament to this as I took advantage of their Flexible Transfer Policy and swapped a Med Cruise booked for September '20, for another Med Cruise in May '21. I phoned from Australia, spoke with a lovely young lady who was thoroughly professional throughout the whole process, which went very smoothly. It took all of about 10 or 15 mins. P&O made the promise that they would do this and they kept that promise. This will be my 4th cruise with P&O UK, and unlike some other cruise lines I've encountered, I feel very comfortable with them. 

Cheers,


The process for transferring bookings has been very straightforward, as it is in P&O’s interest to keep customers cash, even for cruises that are unlikely to go ahead, so they have put resources into that. Equally, as the conversion of payments into FCC is effectively automatic (as the default process) and, again, helps P&O by retaining cash, that has also been very easy, other than the fact that P&O’s pathetic IT systems currently don’t show that FCC anywhere to reassure people.
 

The main issue, and the motivation behind this thread, has principally been P&O’s slowness to cancel cruises that they knew full well weren’t going ahead and the even slower (almost non-existent) processing of refunds when, under UK law, this should be done within 14 days of the operator cancelling. Many of us consider it foolhardy to even consider going on a cruise until we are all vaccinated against Covid-19, as cruise ships seem to be about the highest risk environments possible and it only takes one passenger or crew member to board whilst in the incubation phase (which would be completely undetectable with any pre-boarding health screening) and you have an outbreak.
 

Whilst the vast majority of us consider that, given these unprecedented times, we are comfortable not holding P&O to the 14 day rule, they are deliberately holding on to customers cash for months, at a time when millions of people in the UK are suffering financially as a result of the lockdown and loss of some income (if they have been furloughed) or all income (if they have lost their jobs). P&O’s cavalier attitude to this and their disregard for the plight of many of their customers is what has caused many of their loyal customers to question whether their attitude to the company that they throw thousands of pounds at on a regular basis has changed. 

Edited by Selbourne

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To answer the question... no, my attitude hasn’t changed. They have not covered them selves in glory over the refund situation, but I can see that they have had tremendous unforeseen problems. I’m not sure I am in the camp that believe in the conspiracy theories! P&o have 2 major issues they need to address...their communications... dire over refunds, and their IT. But no doubt as they are governed by Carnival they will not heed the thoughts of the British Public.

Does that mean I will always cruise with them...? No, it doesn’t. I like their product, but there are other cruise lines out there that I like too...Cunard ( still Carnival) and CMV..we had an excellent cruise with them in 2019. And am interested in the new Saga ships too...hearing excellent reports. 
on the question of entertainment, I’m not sure P & O will ever really cater for me fully. I like the evening shows in principle, although standards have been variable, and a few of the main Theatre entertainers... but I will pick and choose. Maybe I am a traditional cruiser... I like having a drink in a bar with some background music.. but not the pub. I can happily spend my Sea days amusing myself, although I do like to listen to Guest speakers...if the subject suits! I can dip in and out of what’s on offer if I feel like it. I’m not a sunbather, that is the choice of my skin...not me...but happy to sit on my own balcony ( yes, always have a balcony cabin... except on a N Lights cruise where we didn’t bother!)  watching the ocean ...I’m afraid I can’t understand the obsession with sitting as near as possible to the pool! But each to their own.
I am not a boring old fart, but a holiday for me is a time to relax, visit new places, meet new people if I want to, and enjoy my own company ( or that of the hubster) if I prefer. We always have a larger table at evening meal, as personally I like to talk to others...some I might not chose to socialise with again, but some I might! We have made some good friends who we have met at a dining table in a cruise ship!

 

no idea what 2021 will bring...will we or won’t we be cruising! Who knows. We have 2 booked, with P&O , one of them as a result of the current situation. I prefer smaller ships...but we have booked Britannia as our replacement cruise....swore I wouldn’t go on her... how times change! 

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On 5/12/2020 at 10:22 PM, Eglesbrech said:

The recent cancellations and the way they have been handled have really annoyed some pax. While those opting for FCCs seem to have been treated fairly well, those requesting a refund have not going by the number of complaints on here and elsewhere.

 

Broken promises about refund timescales, lack of communication and a general refusal to answer perfectly reasonable questions eg which date have refunds be made up to.

 

So will this impact future booking or will people huff and puff for a it - then book again next year?

 

Nope. 

 

I stuck with them in the good times and have had some wonderful experiences so I'll stick with them during the bad times when they are struggling through an unprecedented period.

 

I was particularly impressed with the letter from Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises President...

 

**IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING REFUNDS**

From P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow

I wanted to take this opportunity to address the issue of refunds as I am very aware of how imperative it is that those of you who opted for a refund, instead of an enhanced Future Cruise Credit, receive your money back as swiftly as possible.  

The first thing for me to stress is that the refund process is underway. We are proud to be a travel company which is able to offer refunds but the impact of Covid-19 upon our business, your businesses, and all of our lives has been devastating, and therefore the complexity and scale of this task has been unprecedented for us.

At P&O Cruises, we have had to adapt our ways of working very quickly as we set up new systems and all our colleagues began working from home.

I understand that some of you see us as a big business “holding on to your money” as some of our guests have been commenting publicly, but I assure you I am very aware of the financial constraints everyone is under at the moment and we are not delaying this intentionally.

The first cruises were cancelled due to Covid-19 in the middle of March and whilst we expected to process the first refunds sooner, we revised that to ‘up to 60 days’ when we realised the impact the pandemic was having on our wider business and teams. 

I know that “up to 60 days” is not ideal and it is certainly not the service you would normally expect from us but sadly “normal” has taken on a new meaning. In the past few weeks, despite the challenges, we have been able to put new technology and systems and also additional resource in place which will result in more refunds being processed more quickly and I hope this will improve the situation daily. We will also be contacting all of you who have requested a refund.

For those of you who opted for an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit I want to highlight that we are amending our systems so that the FCCs will soon be able to be redeemed online without the need to call us. More details on that coming at the end of the month.

To give you maximum flexibility, I’m also pleased to announce that you now have until the end of December 2021 to put your FCC against a booking for any holiday on sale during that period, which should help with your planning if you already have future holidays booked with us.

Also do remember that FCCs may now be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any booking in 2021 or 2022 (holiday departure period currently on sale) and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option too will apply to further out departures as and when they go on sale, until as stated above, the end of December 2021.

I never underestimate the feeling and affection that many of you have for our ships and for our business as a whole. It is a huge privilege to have so many very loyal guests who holiday with us time and time again. 

Thank you so much for your understanding and forbearance as we work our way through these difficult circumstances, it really is very much appreciated. I’d also like to thank once again the many of you who have sent messages of support, whether it be to myself, or to the thousands of our team members, ship and shore, during these difficult times. We look forward to sailing again soon and welcoming you back on board.

 

And if one cares to look over on that 'Refund' thread there are many reports of refunds being received.

 

107294612_FeaturedImage3.thumb.jpg.3c98a3fab71d5f65eeb02f384d6bce40.jpg

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1 hour ago, Mysticalmother said:

To answer the question... no, my attitude hasn’t changed. They have not covered them selves in glory over the refund situation, but I can see that they have had tremendous unforeseen problems. I’m not sure I am in the camp that believe in the conspiracy theories! P&o have 2 major issues they need to address...their communications... dire over refunds, and their IT. But no doubt as they are governed by Carnival they will not heed the thoughts of the British Public.

Does that mean I will always cruise with them...? No, it doesn’t. I like their product, but there are other cruise lines out there that I like too...Cunard ( still Carnival) and CMV..we had an excellent cruise with them in 2019. And am interested in the new Saga ships too...hearing excellent reports. 
on the question of entertainment, I’m not sure P & O will ever really cater for me fully. I like the evening shows in principle, although standards have been variable, and a few of the main Theatre entertainers... but I will pick and choose. Maybe I am a traditional cruiser... I like having a drink in a bar with some background music.. but not the pub. I can happily spend my Sea days amusing myself, although I do like to listen to Guest speakers...if the subject suits! I can dip in and out of what’s on offer if I feel like it. I’m not a sunbather, that is the choice of my skin...not me...but happy to sit on my own balcony ( yes, always have a balcony cabin... except on a N Lights cruise where we didn’t bother!)  watching the ocean ...I’m afraid I can’t understand the obsession with sitting as near as possible to the pool! But each to their own.
I am not a boring old fart, but a holiday for me is a time to relax, visit new places, meet new people if I want to, and enjoy my own company ( or that of the hubster) if I prefer. We always have a larger table at evening meal, as personally I like to talk to others...some I might not chose to socialise with again, but some I might! We have made some good friends who we have met at a dining table in a cruise ship!

 

no idea what 2021 will bring...will we or won’t we be cruising! Who knows. We have 2 booked, with P&O , one of them as a result of the current situation. I prefer smaller ships...but we have booked Britannia as our replacement cruise....swore I wouldn’t go on her... how times change! 


You sound almost exactly like us regarding what you enjoy and what you don’t. If you ever do a Northern Lights cruise again I can thoroughly recommend a balcony. Like you we always book one, not for sunbathing, but for the views. We found that the scenery on the Northern Lights cruise, passing the Lofoten Islands, cruising down the narrow Alta Fjord accompanied by pilot whales and in and out of the other ports was absolutely spectacular and all from the warmth and comfort of our sofa or bed, rather than fighting for the limited good indoor viewing areas. We had spectacular views of the Northern Lights for several days (none at all the second time we did the cruise!) but one of the best views happened to be in the early hours of the morning when we heard a lot of commotion and woke up to see the classic shimmering greenish curtains from the warmth and comfort of our bed (as we usually sleep with the curtains open). We heard loads of people during the cruise commenting that they hadn’t bothered with a balcony cabin as it was a cold weather cruise, but we found it to be even more beneficial than almost any other cruise we had been on! 

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On 5/13/2020 at 6:24 AM, PandNo Refund said:

Carnival are going to have to yet answer questions about the 700 cases and 22 deaths onboard The Ruby Princess. Apparently there was a lot of due diligence missed.... I hope for my money back before the house of cards collapses

 

Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?

 

😁😀

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6 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

 

Nope. 

 

I stuck with them in the good times and have had some wonderful experiences so I'll stick with them during the bad times when they are struggling through an unprecedented period.

 

I was particularly impressed with the letter from Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises President...

 

**IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING REFUNDS**

From P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow

I wanted to take this opportunity to address the issue of refunds as I am very aware of how imperative it is that those of you who opted for a refund, instead of an enhanced Future Cruise Credit, receive your money back as swiftly as possible.  

The first thing for me to stress is that the refund process is underway. We are proud to be a travel company which is able to offer refunds but the impact of Covid-19 upon our business, your businesses, and all of our lives has been devastating, and therefore the complexity and scale of this task has been unprecedented for us.

At P&O Cruises, we have had to adapt our ways of working very quickly as we set up new systems and all our colleagues began working from home.

I understand that some of you see us as a big business “holding on to your money” as some of our guests have been commenting publicly, but I assure you I am very aware of the financial constraints everyone is under at the moment and we are not delaying this intentionally.

The first cruises were cancelled due to Covid-19 in the middle of March and whilst we expected to process the first refunds sooner, we revised that to ‘up to 60 days’ when we realised the impact the pandemic was having on our wider business and teams. 

I know that “up to 60 days” is not ideal and it is certainly not the service you would normally expect from us but sadly “normal” has taken on a new meaning. In the past few weeks, despite the challenges, we have been able to put new technology and systems and also additional resource in place which will result in more refunds being processed more quickly and I hope this will improve the situation daily. We will also be contacting all of you who have requested a refund.

For those of you who opted for an enhanced 125% Future Cruise Credit I want to highlight that we are amending our systems so that the FCCs will soon be able to be redeemed online without the need to call us. More details on that coming at the end of the month.

To give you maximum flexibility, I’m also pleased to announce that you now have until the end of December 2021 to put your FCC against a booking for any holiday on sale during that period, which should help with your planning if you already have future holidays booked with us.

Also do remember that FCCs may now be used to upgrade or for a second cabin for any booking in 2021 or 2022 (holiday departure period currently on sale) and also may be gifted or transferred to someone else. This option too will apply to further out departures as and when they go on sale, until as stated above, the end of December 2021.

I never underestimate the feeling and affection that many of you have for our ships and for our business as a whole. It is a huge privilege to have so many very loyal guests who holiday with us time and time again. 

Thank you so much for your understanding and forbearance as we work our way through these difficult circumstances, it really is very much appreciated. I’d also like to thank once again the many of you who have sent messages of support, whether it be to myself, or to the thousands of our team members, ship and shore, during these difficult times. We look forward to sailing again soon and welcoming you back on board.

 

And if one cares to look over on that 'Refund' thread there are many reports of refunds being received.

 

107294612_FeaturedImage3.thumb.jpg.3c98a3fab71d5f65eeb02f384d6bce40.jpg


I think that you are in a small minority to have been ‘impressed’ with that email Richard. Some unconvincing excuses masking the fact that it’s been deliberate and issued many weeks too late. As for ‘many’ reports of refunds being received, they are finally starting to come though in the last few days for a small percentage of passengers (most of whom have been chasing multiple times). It’s no coincidence whatsoever that most will receive their money right at the end of the ever increasing refund window, or just after. It’s great for P&O that many people have such blind faith in them, but the way they have handled the refund debacle (through choice) will undoubtedly have caused them additional damage, on top of what was already a disastrous situation that was not of their making. 

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3 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


I think that you are in a small minority to have been ‘impressed’ with that email Richard. Some unconvincing excuses masking the fact that it’s been deliberate and issued many weeks too late. As for ‘many’ reports of refunds being received, they are finally starting to come though in the last few days for a small percentage of passengers (most of whom have been chasing multiple times). It’s no coincidence whatsoever that most will receive their money right at the end of the ever increasing refund window, or just after. It’s great for P&O that many people have such blind faith in them, but the way they have handled the refund debacle (through choice) will undoubtedly have caused them additional damage, on top of what was already a disastrous situation that was not of their making. 

Well I guess we shall have to agree to disagree on that then Selbourne.

 

There are always reasons why certain actions don't follow a 'normal' pattern when things go wrong and on this issue, and in view of the contents of Paul Ludlow's letter, I'm prepared to give P&O the benefit of the doubt.

 

Lets also not forget, that many amongst the vociferous haven't 'lost' their money. It was budgeted and presumably 'paid'.

 

It will be returned and all this 'faux' outrage is just that.

 

😈 😈 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

 

And if one cares to look over on that 'Refund' thread there are many reports of refunds being received.

Yes I’m really glad to see that some are beginning to receive their refunds however I am not one of them. I have not chased them (other than one enquiry at day 46) so I will be interested to see how long it takes for those who us who have not phoned and emailed numerous times.

 

In my opinion Mr Ludlows communication yesterday was too little and far, far too late. He should have put out a statement when they changed the 45 days which they had promised customers in writing, to 60 days.

 

His statement would also have more credibility if people actually did receive their refund in “up to 60 days” which many have not, including me. If a leader puts out such a statement they need to be absolutely sure that they can meet the deadline particularly when it is the second one they have missed. 
 

It is however always good to hear other views and perspectives to give a more rounded picture of how customers have reacted to this situation. 

 

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

Well I guess we shall have to agree to disagree on that then Selbourne.

 

There are always reasons why certain actions don't follow a 'normal' pattern when things go wrong and on this issue, and in view of the contents of Paul Ludlow's letter, I'm prepared to give P&O the benefit of the doubt.

 

Lets also not forget, that many amongst the vociferous haven't 'lost' their money. It was budgeted and presumably 'paid'.

 

It will be returned and all this 'faux' outrage is just that.

 

😈 😈 

 

 


I completely agree that things are not normal and few right minded people will have created a song and dance over not getting their refunds in 14 days, even though the law dictates it. I also accept that reconfiguring their operation towards refunds would have been problematic for them. However, anyone with a knowledge of what happens to a business in crisis knows that cash flow is the biggest issue and the overriding reason for P&O sitting on customers cash for months on end is just that. The majority of people understandably don’t appreciate that as they’ve never run a business and, IMO, P&O has abused that fact and hidden behind other factors that sound more convincing to people. As for faux outrage, I am fortunate that I am in no desperate need of the £5k that P&O owes me, as I am retired with a good pension, have not been furloughed on reduced pay, am not worrying sick that I might lose my job (or already have) and do not have the worry of paying a mortgage etc. For all of these reasons, I have not been chasing P&O as my need is not as great as others (and also, I am curious to see how long it will take). I am sure, however, that there are a large number of customers who are not in my position and are worrying sick at present and can not afford for their cash flow to be used to shore up P&O’s. Money that they could afford for a holiday when they booked it a year or more ago is probably now desperately needed. Very few of them will be posting on here. For them I’m sure that it’s a very real situation and I feel very sorry and, yes, angry, for them. 

Edited by Selbourne

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40 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

Well I guess we shall have to agree to disagree on that then Selbourne.

 

There are always reasons why certain actions don't follow a 'normal' pattern when things go wrong and on this issue, and in view of the contents of Paul Ludlow's letter, I'm prepared to give P&O the benefit of the doubt.

 

Lets also not forget, that many amongst the vociferous haven't 'lost' their money. It was budgeted and presumably 'paid'.

 

It will be returned and all this 'faux' outrage is just that.

 

😈 😈 

 

 

You believed all that guff from Ludlow, despite all the evidence against what he said, and the previous failed refund promises?  And yet you see the BBC as somehow untrustworthy?

 

Strange world you live in.

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For many years and contrary to popular belief its easy to blame Carnival but P&O have always been run like 2 different companies where onboard for what is paid you cannot fault what you get but head office and customers services have always been very poor and think people are kidding themselves blaming Carnival when senior management at P&O have failed in their responsibilities going back many years.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

For many years and contrary to popular belief its easy to blame Carnival but P&O have always been run like 2 different companies where onboard for what is paid you cannot fault what you get but head office and customers services have always been very poor and think people are kidding themselves blaming Carnival when senior management at P&O have failed in their responsibilities going back many years.

I would agree with this totally - this is our 20th year of sailing with P&O and to me they have never changed. Great product on board, but if you have a problem involving Customer Services they are appalling , they don't reply to emails and 3 people will give 3 different answers etc, always found them very arrogant. The IT systems are not even worthy of comment, although I think Carnival should take their fair share of the blame for that. But the product is still good value for money and we will continue to cruise with them. Having said that we are not waiting for a refund.

Edited by bee-ess

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21 minutes ago, Harry Peterson said:

You believed all that guff from Ludlow, despite all the evidence against what he said, and the previous failed refund promises?  And yet you see the BBC as somehow untrustworthy?

 

Strange world you live in.

Well yes, and now I've seen your avatar I can understand your defence of the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation.

 

You could produce  show this 'evidence' you boldly mention, I'd be more than interested to view it.

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25 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

For many years and contrary to popular belief its easy to blame Carnival but P&O have always been run like 2 different companies where onboard for what is paid you cannot fault what you get but head office and customers services have always been very poor and think people are kidding themselves blaming Carnival when senior management at P&O have failed in their responsibilities going back many years.

 

Take an 'uptick' Sir. 

 

If these folk think they're hard done by they should take a look at the HQ Services that MSC passengers are moaning about.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Solent Richard said:

 

I was particularly impressed with the letter from Paul Ludlow, P&O Cruises President...

If he had written that letter right at the start I might have agreed with you.

Interesting that he was forced to issue the letter due to thousands of replies on FB when a Friday night P&O quiz was announced. He was told in a few choice words by the vast majority of posters to get the refunds sorted out, rather than mucking about with a pointless exercise.

The man has no shame!

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32 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


I completely agree that things are not normal and few right minded people will have created a song and dance over not getting their refunds in 14 days, even though the law dictates it. I also accept that reconfiguring their operation towards refunds would have been problematic for them. However, anyone with a knowledge of what happens to a business in crisis knows that cash flow is the biggest issue and the overriding reason for P&O sitting on customers cash for months on end is just that. The majority of people understandably don’t appreciate that as they’ve never run a business and, IMO, P&O has abused that fact and hidden behind other factors that sound more convincing to people. As for faux outrage, I am fortunate that I am in no desperate need of the £5k that P&O owes me, as I am retired with a good pension, have not been furloughed on reduced pay, am not worrying sick that I might lose my job (or already have) and do not have the worry of paying a mortgage etc. For all of these reasons, I have not been chasing P&O as my need is not as great as others (and also, I am curious to see how long it will take). I am sure, however, that there are a large number of customers who are not in my position and are worrying sick at present and can not afford for their cash flow to be used to shore up P&O’s. Money that they could afford for a holiday when they booked it a year or more ago is probably now desperately needed. Very few of them will be posting on here. For them I’m sure that it’s a very real situation and I feel very sorry and, yes, angry, for them. 

 

Good afternoon Selbourne.

 

As I stated earlier, we will have to agree to disagree though may I make it clear I do admire your ability to elucidate  a fair case free from emotion and wild speculation.

 

If only........

 

Richard

 

PS. I can imagine you and I  having a decent, robust and enjoyable couple of evening discussions on a P&O cruise dinner table.

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Posted (edited)

I remain a P&O gal although they often seem to shoot themselves in the foot despite the best intentions.  I have always happily booked direct with them too and have always found them to be fair and decent in the event of any 'issues', not that there have been many.

I agree that the refunds process has dragged on and been very frustrating and there have been many issues of communication etc, but they are not the only business who have struggled with dealings with all these covid-19 refunds and they have been massively affected.

I certainly do not subscribe to the conspiracy theory re P&O.  I am still waiting for refunds from EasyJet from back in March and also an insurance claim for my villa holiday cancelled in Lanzarote back in March through Spain's lockdown - and also products ordered that didn't arrive for months.

Anyway, refunds do seem to have been made now - I got my first one last night and await my second one in due course. Someone has said they'll have done them all by the end of next week, so fingers crossed for us all.
I have 'dabbled' in 3 other cruise lines - the prize for the most appalling pre- and post -cruise  shore admin and communication  difficulties must go to TUI - but feel most comfortable with P&O and we like the P&O product  best  - and those who sail with her. We have made some lovely friends in the P&O cruising community. We prefer the more traditional, smaller (not too small)  to medium sized ships and aren't at all  tempted by Iona or ships of her ilk, so as long as P&O continue to cater for our preferences, we will be here as well - providing of course that there eventually comes a time when we will feel safe to cruise again.

 

 

Edited by Scriv

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3 minutes ago, Scriv said:

I remain a P&O gal although they often seem to shoot themselves in the foot despite the best intentions.  I have always happily booked direct with them too and have always found them to be fair and decent in the event of any 'issues'.

I agree that the refunds process has dragged on and been very frustrating and there have been many issues of communication etc, but they are not the only business who have struggled with dealings with all these refunds and they have been massively affected. I certainly do not subscribe to the conspiracy theory re P&O.  I am still waiting for refunds from EasyJet from back in March and also an insurance claim for my villa holiday cancelled in Lanzarote back in March through Spain's lockdown - and also products ordered that didn't arrive for months.

Anyway, refunds do seem to have been made now - I got my first one last night and await my second one in due course. Someone has said they'll have done them all by the end of next week, so fingers crossed for us all.
I have 'dabbled' in 3 other cruise lines, but feel most comfortable with P&O and we like the P&O product  best  - and those who sail with her. We have made some lovely friends in the P&O cruising community. We prefer the more traditional, smaller (not too small)  to medium sized ships and aren't at all  tempted by Iona or ships of her ilk, so as long as P&O continue to cater for our preferences, we will be here as well - providing of course that there eventually comes a time when we will feel safe to cruise again.

 

 

Nice measured response Scriv.

 

I have one P&O cruise booked which is currently outside the current cancellation period and am comfortable waiting and watching developments.

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45 minutes ago, Solent Richard said:

Well yes, and now I've seen your avatar I can understand your defence of the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation.

 

You could produce  show this 'evidence' you boldly mention, I'd be more than interested to view it.

Evidence?  How about this, just for starters:

 

https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/05/po-cruises-tells-passengers-owed-thousands-to-wait-three-months-for-cancelled-cruise-refunds/

 

Do you have any evidence to justify your: "Is that true or did you hear it on the BBC?"

Or the Brussels jibe?  Factual reporting may not always seem factual when you're used to seeing your news filtered through a blue lens.

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40 minutes ago, wowzz said:

If he had written that letter right at the start I might have agreed with you.

Interesting that he was forced to issue the letter due to thousands of replies on FB when a Friday night P&O quiz was announced. He was told in a few choice words by the vast majority of posters to get the refunds sorted out, rather than mucking about with a pointless exercise.

The man has no shame!

Exactly, they were reactive rather than proactive.

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I agree that it is a defendable position to be satisfied with the latest explanation for the delay from P&O, as much as it is to level your investment in to the issue of any refund due based on the extent to which you need the money returned.  Personally I am not, but this is not to say that I don't see this opposing viewpoint; there are indeed hundreds of likes on the P&O fan club posts on FB as one example.

 

I also agree that the majority of customers did allow the extension from the 14 days, up to and including 45 days without sentiment changing.  Reviewing the FB page closely as an example, the volume and anger within the comments has built from that point, not helped by the posts about cocktails and quizzes which appear, at least to some, to be in poor taste.

 

What I would say is there appears to be a broader consensus emerging that any future decision to travel P&O is about the on board experience.  Views on shore side customer service are (for most, if not all) either neutral or adverse.  The strength of the on board experience is what is shielding P&O from some of the most negative impacts from their (arguably) worsening customer service.  Notably, and as I have suggested elsewhere, MSC and CMV are worse and that is a fair point also. However, some see little solace in championing the cause of mediocrity, particularly where other competitors are genuinely doing better.

 

What I would also say is that whilst the tipping point of red herrings, 60 day+ waits, hours on the phone will still not be bad enough customer service for some people to see their perception of P&O change to a negative, most passengers will have a tipping point, even those typically older, traditionally more loyal, passengers who prefer to avoid conflict and are more forgiving of P&Os foibles and shortcomings.  What it is remains to be seen.

 

This crisis has a long time to go and whether or not the on board experience changes or recovers, and the customer service does improve also remains to be seen.  My personal view is the situation with FCCs, refunds and badly administered cancellations will get worse before it gets any better.  Steady decline has set in.

 

It flows that eventual sentiment towards P&O will probably, if not certainly, be worse than is perhaps indicated here at this time.  Just an opinion.

 

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