Our overnight stay in St Malo was one we’d rather forget

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From Roger Sparks.

AT 7.30 pm on Friday 16 January we travelled to St Malo with our car on Condor Ferries for an overnight stay, to return at 6.30 pm on Saturday 17 January.

At breakfast in France on the second day, Condor told us that our return sailing was cancelled and they would not be able to return us until the following Thursday. Thus a 24-hour trip became five extra days. I suggested getting the car to Portsmouth, but they could not guarantee a sailing due to weather until Tuesday, and we would have had to pay extra to get the car on their ferry. Nearby French airports could not return us until Monday at the earliest.

In the end we left the car in St Malo for Condor to return at there leisure and we used the TGV to Paris to stay the night at the airport, then flew to Heathrow, took a bus to Gatwick and returned home on the Sunday evening.

Our time in France was wasted as we spent most of it trying to arrange to travel home. Condor were no help because they told us after the morning sailing had gone. The cancellation was made on a weather forecast, but they could have sailed because, as it happened, the wind did not get strong until late evening, so they could have brought the sailing forward a couple of hours.

We sent their customer services a letter asking the following questions:

• Before we left Jersey I could see the Saturday forecast was not good but, if I had said at the check-in that I don’t think they would be able to get us home, would they have given me my money back?

• On a 24-hour trip, how long can customers be expected to wait if the return trip is delayed?

To these questions I received an automated reply basically saying: ‘Thanks for your customer feedback’. We only have one car to use at home so we had to make alternative arrangements until our car was returned. How much longer will the argument go on about whether we need competition on the St Malo route with this barbaric treatment?

If HD Ferries are not allowed back until they offer a year-round service, why has Condor’s winter schedule got more holes in it than Swiss cheese?

La Belle du Monnyi,

Grande Route de St Pierre,

St Peter.

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