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11 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

Given that, at long last, there now appears to be a steady flow of refunds happening, a few things are crossing my mind. Firstly, could it be that another batch of cancellations are looming and they have realised that if they didn’t start to process the first few batches of refunds at pace they would be overwhelmed? Secondly, will this sudden flurry of refunds continue at this pace indefinitely or, when the first batches are completed, will they then slow down to a trickle again, making those requesting refunds from the next round of cancellations wait 60 days plus for their refunds?
 

Another thing that has crossed my mind is that in recent years all businesses of any decent size have to have contingency plans / major emergency plans / disaster recovery plans for situations where normal business operations are severely disrupted. This had completely slipped my mind as, when I was working and we used to do them, we had in mind situations such as a major fire rather than a pandemic. That being said, our plans assumed that our Head Office was out of action and how we would continue to operate with staff working remotely etc. Even if Paul Ludlow is to be believed (and personally I don’t believe him, as I have been convinced all along that the delays have been deliberate to aid cash flow and the kick start this week has been triggered by adverse PR) then the fact that it has taken them months to begin to deal with the situation at pace demonstrates that their disaster recovery plans were not fit for purpose. Whilst this situation is unprecedented, a lot of companies and organisations have really impressed me with their ability to operate during this pandemic and how efficient they have been, even with staff working from home. Sadly P&O does not appear in that list!

It is strange to read this post, we have just been discussing over breakfast whether P&O have suddenly started paying a lot of refunds because they know that they need to clear the backlog before the next lot of cancellations are announced.

 

Contingency plans hadn't crossed my mind but thinking back to my working days we always destruction tested systems and modelled the affect on the company if we had a major outage and as part of the system handover we had to include a plan of action should we have a complete unexpected shutdown.  I think that P&O either had no contingency plan which for a company that size in inconceivable or their plan was to delay payments of any type in order to keep the cash for as long as possible in their accounts and perhaps decided that annoying their customers was a risk worth taking because they have a strong customer base many of whom will have short memories once the crisis is over.  We also don't know if they have treated their suppliers in the same way by not paying them.

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If my way of working at home is anything to go by and we are a very small outfit, also my TA has furloughed all his staff except 2 of his family and they are working together, I think P&O were just caught out by having to work at home.  for instance, I can't do refunds from home and neither can any of our other staff.  We were getting countless emails a day to answer, people protesting about what they need to pay and what discount we were going to give.

 

So if you pro rata that up to the hundreds of thousands of P&O passengers, then I can see the problem from their eyes.  I don't think their communication is very good, or their IT, but I can sympathise.  No company could have an emergency plan that would factor in everyone working from home. 

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2 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

If my way of working at home is anything to go by and we are a very small outfit, also my TA has furloughed all his staff except 2 of his family and they are working together, I think P&O were just caught out by having to work at home.  for instance, I can't do refunds from home and neither can any of our other staff.  We were getting countless emails a day to answer, people protesting about what they need to pay and what discount we were going to give.

 

So if you pro rata that up to the hundreds of thousands of P&O passengers, then I can see the problem from their eyes.  I don't think their communication is very good, or their IT, but I can sympathise.  No company could have an emergency plan that would factor in everyone working from home. 

Stoke on Trents 's largest employer is a large online gambling company employing thousands in Stoke.  I know several people who work there and within 3 days of the lockdown being announced they were all working from home.  They had to go to the office to pick up the necessary equipment to ensure that they work securely from home and not adversely affect the business.  If P&O had any sort of contingency planning this would have been thought of.

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10 hours ago, grapau27 said:

We have been to Orlando 30 times since 1992 so 1 week is fine.

First time in 1992 we did 3 weeks and were absolutely shattered doing all the parks but now we only go for the shopping and sun.

 

I first went to Florida in 1980, so have lost count of the number of times I’ve crossed the pond. Taking into consideration when cruising from Florida we invariably spend time pre and post cruise there, so that’s at least 20 visits between 1980 and 2004 when we started this addiction 😄 plus separate land based visits. 

 

We have spent as little as 7 days there visiting friends.

As an aside my first visit was for 3 weeks in 1980 and the cost was £463.00 (I still have the receipt from Arrowsmith) and that included return flights with Laker, and 3 weeks accommodation in the Holiday Inn Hollywood Beach, I believe it’s now a DoubleTree by Hilton. 

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1 minute ago, jeanlyon said:

I still say my TA has done his best for me.  Constant communication but he said P&O were less than helpful to him.  He has given me good advice though.

You are lucky Jean with your TA. For many years we always booked directly but for the last few years we got sucked into saving a few pounds by getting a discount from a TA but now I accept that there are some good TAs out there but don't think saving a few pounds is worth risking using one.

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1 minute ago, Josy1953 said:

You are lucky Jean with your TA. For many years we always booked directly but for the last few years we got sucked into saving a few pounds by getting a discount from a TA but now I accept that there are some good TAs out there but don't think saving a few pounds is worth risking using one.

Recommended by someone on here.  He always gets the cabins we want.  However, not sure it will be a problem for the foreseeable future.  No insurance is covering this virus.  so won't be going abroad until they do.

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1 hour ago, taylor1998 said:

Paid on 2 different cards however I have only received the deposit back on one card still waiting for the rest to go on the other card if not there tomorrow will phone them.

This was after phoning them last week and they agreed that it was over 60 days so escalated it 

 

I used 2 cards, the deposit on 1 and the balance on another (not sure why I used 2). The balance was back on 1 card slightly before the other so that's no doubt down to the processing cycle of the credit card company. I'm confident you will get the rest on your other card.

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13 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

If my way of working at home is anything to go by and we are a very small outfit, also my TA has furloughed all his staff except 2 of his family and they are working together, I think P&O were just caught out by having to work at home.  for instance, I can't do refunds from home and neither can any of our other staff.  We were getting countless emails a day to answer, people protesting about what they need to pay and what discount we were going to give.

 

So if you pro rata that up to the hundreds of thousands of P&O passengers, then I can see the problem from their eyes.  I don't think their communication is very good, or their IT, but I can sympathise.  No company could have an emergency plan that would factor in everyone working from home. 


Have to disagree on your last point Jean. Nowadays all big companies should have major incident plans that include the continuation of business with a complete closure of their head office. As I said in my previous post, pandemics weren’t necessarily envisaged in these scenarios, but a major fire is the usual example given when you do a major incident plan. If they don’t have a plan for that and they are audited by any of the major players in compliance, they would be seriously criticised. This crisis has highlighted those companies with robust major incident plans and, by contrast, those whose lack of major incident planning has caught them with their pants down!

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50 minutes ago, Selbourne said:

Another thing that has crossed my mind is that in recent years all businesses of any decent size have to have contingency plans / major emergency plans / disaster recovery plans for situations where normal business operations are severely disrupted. This had completely slipped my mind as, when I was working and we used to do them, we had in mind situations such as a major fire rather than a pandemic. That being said, our plans assumed that our Head Office was out of action and how we would continue to operate with staff working remotely etc. Even if Paul Ludlow is to be believed (and personally I don’t believe him, as I have been convinced all along that the delays have been deliberate to aid cash flow and the kick start this week has been triggered by adverse PR) then the fact that it has taken them months to begin to deal with the situation at pace demonstrates that their disaster recovery plans were not fit for purpose. Whilst this situation is unprecedented, a lot of companies and organisations have really impressed me with their ability to operate during this pandemic and how efficient they have been, even with staff working from home. Sadly P&O does not appear in that list!

I made this comment on another thread yesterday where someone was defending P&O due to the difficulties of relocating staff to work from home.

 

As a travel consultant in an office of around the same number of staff they used in their example (circa 100) I gave my experience of a company who dealt with the issues highlighted in support of P&O. 
 

Due to the virus and self isolation (primarily due to parents who children had been sent home) initially we experienced a reduction in staff of around 5%, not anywhere near 50% as the poster mentioned as an example of the reduction in workforce.
 

Secondly our IT team arranged for all staff to be capable of home working in around 5 days. 
 

In the week of 16th - 20th March (before lockdown announced) 100% of office based staff were in a position to work from home and were doing so.

 

Therefore, my position is that if a travel company like the one I work for can do it, why couldn’t P&O? Basic incompetence comes to mind and P&O is a company that obviously does not have a credible disaster recovery plan that every company should have which includes for more normal times contingency for the closure of an office building. Perhaps we were in a better position because of the fact that due to incidents in Manchester City centre over the years, and most recently 2017, regular plans are reviewed in order to ensure that if necessary, we can all work from an alternative venue, be that home or another building, each case requiring remote access.

 

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With regard to the original topic I am glad to see more refunds are arriving, I just wish those of you still waiting from the early days of submitting a claim had been refunded as there does not seem to be any reasoning to the way P&O are processing them.

 

This alone deters me from booking with them again as their total organisation appears in chaos and makes me question their ability to run a business in a professional manner.

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2 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


Have to disagree on your last point Jean. Nowadays all big companies should have major incident plans that include the continuation of business with a complete closure of their head office. As I said in my previous post, pandemics weren’t necessarily envisaged in these scenarios, but a major fire is the usual example given when you do a major incident plan. If they don’t have a plan for that and they are audited by any of the major players in compliance, they would be seriously criticised. This crisis has highlighted those companies with robust major incident plans and, by contrast, those whose lack of major incident planning has caught them with their pants down!

Even my set up has to have some sort of major incident plan, it is a condition of our insurance. 

Andy 

 

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3 minutes ago, peteukmcr said:

With regard to the original topic I am glad to see more refunds are arriving, I just wish those of you still waiting from the early days of submitting a claim had been refunded as there does not seem to be any reasoning to the way P&O are processing them.

 

This alone deters me from booking with them again as their total organisation appears in chaos and makes me question their ability to run a business in a professional manner.

We claimed very early, way over 60 days for the first one and still getting fobbed off. 

I am a P&O fan and defend the offer, but even I am fed up. 

I really didn't mind waiting but I appreciate transparency which we haven't received... 

Andy 

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4 minutes ago, AndyMichelle said:

We claimed very early, way over 60 days for the first one and still getting fobbed off. 

I am a P&O fan and defend the offer, but even I am fed up. 

I really didn't mind waiting but I appreciate transparency which we haven't received... 

Andy 


I am feeling quietly confident that you and grapau27 will both receive your refunds within the next few days Andy. The flood gates appear at last to have opened (or it may be that the water is simply flowing over the top!) and you have both been waiting a ridiculously long time and have shown great patience. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for both of you. 

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Just now, Selbourne said:


I am feeling quietly confident that you and grapau27 will both receive your refunds within the next few days Andy. The flood gates appear at last to have opened (or it may be that the water is simply flowing over the top!) and you have both been waiting a ridiculously long time and have shown great patience. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for both of you. 

Hope your right, but me thinks the water is being somewhat muddied!

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2 hours ago, wowzz said:

I used to nip over to NY for  two days for business - screwed my body clock up for a week afterwards! 

Nowadays we like a month in Sarasota around February time. Plenty of time to adjust to the Floridian life style.


We were going to Venice beach and Sarasota on 31st. Also Anna Maria island on 26th. Never been to those only Clearwater but hear lovely things. 
 

I think I might book a villa at the beach for a week next time if we get to go back. 

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I have rung them a few times, last time last Thursday. All the lady would confirm was that we were due a refund. Would not  discuss time frame, just it would arrive by cheque. She refused my request to speak to management or give me a direct email address of a manager.

 

Day 64.

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22 minutes ago, jeanlyon said:

Give them a ring Andy, it's the only way.  I used the 0345 number, went for option one I think, got through in 5 minutes.

We have done it countless times Jean as well as email, contact on fb etc, just get fobbed off, although we haven't tried the last week or so, just got fed up of being lied to. 

Andy 

 

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Bob phone again, ask for it to be escalated, tell them it's Day 64 or whatever.  Ask to give your bank details.  Much quicker than a cheque.  Don't knowo about you but cheques are a pain for us.  We are 18 miles from the nearest bank and I certainly wouldn't want to post it - can you imagine?

 

Or email helen.lamb@carnivalukgroup.com  She sorted out mine.

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1 minute ago, AndyMichelle said:

We have done it countless times Jean as well as email, contact on fb etc, just get fobbed off, although we haven't tried the last week or so, just got fed up of being lied to. 

Andy 

 

 

Andy try Helen Lamb.  helen.lamb@carnivalukgroup.com  Tell her how many days it is.  Cruise ref, DOB, address etc.

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