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