P&O passengers criticise Price Promise offer

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P&O passengers criticise Price Promise offer

A P&O price promise, made to customers who book their cabins well in advance, has been criticised by passengers.

The P&O website explains how the guarantee, which was introduced last July, is designed to protect customers who prefer to make early bookings. It reads: "The Price Promise is designed to give you the confidence to secure your booking early, safe in the knowledge that if P&O cruises were to reduce the Vantage Fare for a holiday you have already booked, we will pass on the value of the reduction to you automatically in the form of a complimentary benefit such as on board spending money or a cabin upgrade."

However, some disgruntled passengers have complained that even though they have seen the same cabins selling for less than half the price they paid, P&O will not honour the Price Promise because Vantage Fares and last-minute, discounted 'Getaway' fares are not comparable.

BBC News reports that a number of listeners have complained to Radio 4's Money Box programme, including one couple who discovered that their holiday was being sold for £500 per person less, by the time they set sail.

Ray Blackmore and his wife Wendy, from Somerset, paid £949 per person for a cruise to the Norwegian fjords last October, and booked six months in advance. However Mr Blackmore later became concerned that he had paid more than necessary.

He told Money Box: "We suddenly saw the same cruise, the same cabin, being sold at reduced rates. It eventually went down until it was £500 cheaper. The price promise doesn't appear to happen."

When he wrote to P&O to request a refund, the company refused.

Money Box put the Blackmore's case to P&O, but a company spokesperson explained why they weren't entitled to a refund.

The spokesperson said: "We all appreciate how frustrating it is to make a purchase and then see a lower price, especially on a premium product such as a holiday.

"With Vantage fares, passengers pay a 15 per cent deposit, are able to choose the cabin type, location and number, and can choose from an additional benefit such as on board spending money or complimentary car parking.

"When bookings are made on a Getaway fare, passengers are not able to select the cabin type or location and there are no additional benefits.

"In our future advertising campaigns, we plan to promote Getaway fares alongside Vantage fares. This allows the customer to make an informed choice about the promotion and the associated benefits of each fare."

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