Wightlink responds to criticism of their new pricing model

There are the official words from Wightlink in response to criticisms about price hikes to van charges.

Wightlink ferries from Spinnaker Tower by Auntie P

Wightlink sent us this in response to our queries prior to the publishing of our “Wightlink’s new pricing labelled ‘Outrageous’“. As it is so long, we’re give it its own space. We’re still awaiting answers to our specific questions – Ed

Wightlink’s new booking system, CarRes, was introduced just three days ago, and our new fairer and simpler pricing structure was brought in at the same time. It was an extremely complex system changeover which involved hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment, six months of planning and an extensive staff training programme. We were pleased that the changeover went smoothly overall and appreciate the hard work of our staff and patience of our customers as things settle in. We’ve already had lots of positive comments about our new ‘car+7’ fares and the removal of amendment fees in particular.

As we advised in advance, the new pricing structure is revenue neutral for Wightlink – that is, it will not see Wightlink increasing its overall income. However, as a result of making pricing simpler and fairer, inevitably whilst some customers will pay less, some will pay more. We have been working to keep any increases to a minimum and have helped dozens of customers already this week.

Fares are now based on the amount of space a vehicle takes up on board and the demand for each sailing. So, whilst, as you’d expect, particularly popular services are more expensive, there are plenty of sailings throughout the day that will be very good value. For example, when we wrote this statement, it was possible to choose from over a dozen sailings for a return trip to stay on the mainland this weekend for a car plus 7 passengers – for £50.

Inevitably we experienced a few glitches as the system came online but our staff have worked extremely hard to address any anomalies and, crucially, we made sure that customer travel was unaffected.

We know that a small number of customers have contacted the media concerned that the prices they’ve been quoted higher prices over recent days. There could be many reasons for this, such as the level of demand for a particular sailing, the new pricing structure or a possible anomaly. We’d encourage customers to contact us directly so that we can sort things out for them as it’s impossible for us to comment without the full information.

Our call centre has been extremely busy this week and we’re sorry that some customers have had to wait for a long time to speak to our staff. We’d encourage customers to try out our new on-line booking system which is much simpler to use and gives access to a wide range of sailings and fares.

Image: © Used with the kind permission of Auntie P

Thursday, 28th November, 2013 2:41pm


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9 Comments on "Wightlink responds to criticism of their new pricing model"

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How is the restructuring ‘Revenue Neutral’ when Wightlink insist that the thousands of callers that ring them (and are left waiting) use an 0871 revenue-generating number? I wonder if they are happy to publish the revenue that number has made for them? Even if Wightlink are stupid enough to have commissioned the number on a dodgy contract that prevents the revenue going directly to them it is… Read more »

We used Wightlink a lot but the prices are crazy based on one of the shortest ferry crossings in Europe (yar-lym) Although we go over soton via Redfunnel I feel sorry for commuters who don’t have the option

“Wightlink’s new booking system, CarRes, was introduced just three days ago… It was an extremely complex system changeover which involved HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS (sic) of investment, six months of planning and an extensive staff training programme.” I just tried to link to Wightlink’s Car-Res webpage only to see the message “Ooops! We’re sorry – we can’t find that page you asked for.” Hundreds of thousands… Read more »
Michael John Hobday

My son & family live on the IOW and are able to get cheaper discounted fares as a consequence. Why should I
have to pay significantly more when traveling from Portsmouth where I live. ??

Michael John Hobday

Awaiting reply.


Wightlink are discontinuing single journey discounts for Islanders. That the reply you wanted?

Why not ask your son if he is happy to pay more to visit you.

Happy Daze
Tried to use the super new system for my multi link tickets yesterday and failed twice. Watched the blurry video on how to do it tono avail. Reverted to the phone but all calls were dropped after a few rings. Tried again this morning and got through after three calls only to take the charming operator some five minutes to book me a single journey! Red Funnel… Read more »
All in a spin
Revenue Neutral? If the new fares are revenue neutral as Wightlink claim, then why did Wightlink post this following explanation on their Facebook page? It’s all spin. The changes are NOT revenue neutral. wightlink themselves say they include an inflationary increase. Do wightlink think Island residents are so thick that we believe the spin? Wightlink Ferries Hi Ayden and Sue we recognise that any increase is difficult… Read more »
@WL on FB “such as fuel, are rising well above inflation.”- Untrue current prices and oil futures are declining! “had to introduce an inflationary increase in our prices”- using the higher RPI rate while their costs fall into the lower CPI rate.” “we have managed to keep price increases for Island products at below inflation.” -Untrue as comments on this blog have demonstrated! WL’s PR statements can… Read more »