Well colour me surprised!To be fair to them, and I try to make the point in the article (thanks for the share btw), she could still make it within the up to 2 weeks they said in their statement. However at the moment it looks as though it will be the 24th (as already posted on FB by the same person who posted the 17th which turned out to be true) or even later. I imagine some sort of sea trials will need to take place, then there’s the trip back to Dublin. We are probably looking at the 25th or 26th for back in service I would have thought.
I genuinely feel for the Irish Ferries staff who are having to take the brunt of people’s frustration and anger. It can’t be easy given they are really down by two vessels for much of July!
So much of the frustration and anger that people feel would be eliminated if Irish Ferries management cared about its customers and understood how to communicate with them. I have found out information from 3 sources;
1) Here and NI Ferries, both excellent resources, thanks!
2) The Irish Stock Exchange (as a plc they must report significant issues)
3) Reports here of information provided to Irish Ferries trucking customers, via their own channels.
NONE of this has been targeted to me, as a car / tourist customer, or even to the broader public who may be customers in the past future - or who have an interest in a large Irish brand.
The one thing, communication, that is entirely within Irish Ferries' control, they have failed at totally and utterly. That is what is so unacceptable. A golden opportunity existed here to make customers warn to Irish Ferries, has been lost. We understand that new ships might not be built to schedule and we understand that existing ships break. We feel very upset and concerned when these things coincide, especially at peak season. But when the operator hides in a corner and refuses to deal with it customers - that's utterly inexcusable.
Irish Ferries should have their engineers, in conjunction with Harland & Wolff telling us what is going on with the ship. It would be interesting for those of us with a technical bent. Regardless of your technical skill, information is always good. Information helps calm people and it would definitely give the sense that all effort that can be brought to be bear is being put into the Ulysses work. A simple blog site - updated daily - explain the issue, explain to people who don't know what dry docking is. Information, information, information, you cannot have too much! A YouTube channel. An engineering Twitter account
No one was available from Irish ferries to appear on Six-One, the radio or anywhere else. I haven't seen a single bit of footage of anyone!. Compare this to the opening of Terminal 5 in London Heathrow. An absolute balls up of monumental proportions - people separated from their luggage, at times for weeks. The BA CEO at time, Willie Walsh literally camped in T5 and jumped in front of any and every TV camera he could find. By day 3 you could actually see the man was haggard and looked like he hadn't slept at all. Guess what? He looked like he cared - like BA cared and that no how bad things were - he was there, doing everything he could. It wasn't pretty, people still moaned - but people like Willie Walsh stood there - and said "I'm to blame" and took it.
Irish Ferries management could learn a lot - but I genuinely must believe at this stage that they don't give a toss about customers. They certainly don't care for their staff. Anger festers, lack of information makes people feel powerless and that just leads to frustration - and it boils over. The management should be out front and centre. Not leaving their staff, who appear to be equally uninformed, doing the dirty work.
Go n-éirí an bóthar leat!