Ferry company left us all at sea

Q: My wife and I suffered a cancellation by LD Lines on the August Bank Holiday weekend – we were due to sail from Bologne to Dover.

Our sailing was cancelled at 5pm. We were offered another one at 1am from Le Havre, but as we had to work the next day we were forced to take the P&O ferry from Calais instead. We didn’t receive any notice; we were simply told when we turned up that there was no ferry.

Despite repeated attempts to contact LD Lines by phone and email, I’ve been unable to get a reply. I received an email saying the ferry was cancelled due to "technical difficulties" – and that was it.

We’re now out of pocket to the tune of £240 (the LD Lines tickets plus the P&O tickets). What will LD Lines do to cover this?

Moneywise says...

A: In its terms and conditions LD Lines states that in the event of a crossing being cancelled due to reasons "outside the company’s control," such as weather conditions, port closure or accidents, it will "endeavour to arrange a suitable alternative crossing". The Mitchells were offered an alternative – but it was far from suitable.

LD Lines then adds that if it is still unable to provide an alternative due to operational reasons, the total fare will be refunded. Given this information, we contacted the LD Lines customer service to find out why the Mitchells hadn’t yet been refunded.

Joni Wilkins from LD Lines apologised for not contacting them before they reached the port and acknowledged the disruption they had faced.

Although the company doesn’t accept claims for out-of-pocket expenses, as a goodwill gesture the Mitchells will receive a £187.50 refund for the additional tickets booked with P&O.

LD Lines is also offering a £75.50 voucher, equivalent to the cost of their cancelled ticket, to use on a future LD Lines crossing within the next 12 months.

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