Questions of Cash: Stagecoach bus stopped short of pole position
Saturday 25 August 2012
Q. I bought my son tickets, costing £120 each, for the Saturday and Sunday of the British Grand Prix in July as an 18th birthday present. On the Saturday, the organisers asked people not to drive to the event. My son and his friend caught the train and bought tickets for the Stagecoach bus service to Silverstone at £15 each.
But the bus left my son and other passengers nearly four miles from the circuit. The driver said this was a drop-off point, but there was no advance warning of this. The passengers had to make their way to Silverstone by foot, without any map, while walking on the hard shoulder of a major road. Clearly this was not really a proper drop-off point as 17 other Stagecoach buses drove past.
My son and his friend arrived nearly two hours after the correct time and missed much of the action. The return bus left early and my son had to pay for a taxi to Northampton. He contacted Stagecoach to complain and was promised a reply within seven days, but has not heard anything. YV, London.
A. After we reminded them several times, Stagecoach wrote to your son and issued us with a statement saying: "Stagecoach ran 450 buses to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone over the weekend. We are aware of one particular journey where customers were dropped off in an incorrect location some considerable distance from the circuit. Customers affected by this issue have received an apology and been provided with a full refund. We have also considered any claims for additional costs. We are sorry the service we provided for these passengers did not meet the normal high standards of our Silverstone operation and that the customer in this case did not receive a prompt response. We have sent a letter of apology to the customer as well as a cheque for £90. This reflects the refund of the two bus tickets and a proportion of the costs of the Saturday Grand Prix tickets. We have also offered complimentary bus tickets for a future Grand Prix at Silverstone. Our GPS records confirm that the return journey departed at its correct time of 7pm."
Q. We have booked through AA Getaways to travel to Paris on the Eurostar in November. AA Getaways informed us that if we showed the travel confirmation to the booking office at our local rail station, we could get reduced tickets for our journey to St. Pancras. But the station's booking office tells us that we can only get reduced price tickets if we show them the actual tickets. But we cannot get the Eurostar tickets until we arrive at St. Pancras. VD, Surrey.
A. AA Getaways tells us that it has agreements with some train operators to directly purchase discounted fares on behalf of customers for journeys connecting with the Eurostar. However, it does not have such an arrangement with your local train operator, South West Trains. We asked Stagecoach, which runs South West Trains, whether it would sell the tickets to you at a discounted price on production of a confirmation of your onward travel via Eurostar. It refuses to do this on the grounds that such a confirmation could be falsified. AA Getaways tells us that it did previously offer to arrange to have the Eurostar tickets printed in advance and posted to you by special delivery at a cost of £5, but you declined this on the grounds of cost. In order to resolve your problem, AA Getaways has now agreed to print the tickets and post them to you by special delivery at no charge to yourselves. You have agreed to this solution.
Q. I have been frustrated by my experience with Alamo Rent a Car. I checked-in at Heathrow Airport after booking a car online with Alamo. I accepted an "inclusive" offer online, paying £420.28. However, at Heathrow, I was instructed that I would have to pay more than £800 for a small saloon car. I was told the "inclusive" package was not actually fully inclusive and did not include the necessary insurance cover. I was also told that this was the going rate, but when I checked online I found similar cars from other companies are £400 to £500, including third-party insurance. When I complained, I was instead offered a car from a more expensive grade at £513.32. I found this very stressful after arriving on a long flight from the Far East. I had a similar experience with Alamo at Heathrow five years ago. ML, by email.
A. Alamo Rent a Car has provided us with a long statement and says that it is "very sorry" with your experience renting a car from them. "Alamo has fully investigated [the reader's] claim and can confirm that the cost quoted online of £420.28 included a rate for third-party insurance only." It regrets that you were confused by other insurance options mentioned in the confirmation email, which were intended to explain that you could have selected these instead. It adds: "In order to comply with Alamo's UK insurance policy, renters from outside the UK are required to have full damage cover."
This requirement was specified, says Alamo, in the terms and conditions displayed on its website, as well as being explained to you at Heathrow. It argues that its insurance costs are competitive with operator rental car providers. You tell us that you remain dissatisfied with this response. We can understand your unhappiness. The website enabled you to book an "inclusive" package at a price which the company's terms and conditions – should you read them in full – make clear is not available to you because you do not live in the UK and do not already have full cover in place through other insurance policies. This does not seem to us to provide fully transparent trading conditions.
Simon Read: Frozen in time - the expat British pensioners who deserve a better deal
Bargain Hunter: From The Outsider to 1984, catch a cut-price classic, read it in the rye
Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone
Energy switching app Voltz allows users to switch with just a few taps
Money Insider: Smart alternatives to the pensioner bond
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village