I am sure there is a clause in the contract whereby if the shipbuilder does not deliver the vessel on time there will be a financial penalty . I don't know if this is true or false but I remember hearing many moons ago the Isle of of inishmore was not delivered on time to Irish Ferries. By way of making up Van de Giesen Built the Glass bar which is now the club class lounge on the the top deck free of charge . True or False ??
Inishmore was involved in an incident during its launch when it went across the river and suffered minor damage, as a gesture shipyard fitted the glass bar on top to make up for delay and inconvenience.
If FSG have been smart, I would imagine there is no late delivery clause as it is quite a good value contract price compared to other orders placed since.
Surprised they did not deploy Epsilon in its place and transfer excess to Oscar Wilde, Horizon, would have been easier to manage, transfer bulk of Epsilon bookings to big U and excess to Stena or charter in freighter to provide cover.
I imagine EPSILON would have a lot more traffic booked on her over the course of 3 weeks though considering the number of round trips she does and the amount of freight moving across the central corridor. Does it make more sense to annoy customers who travel a couple of times a year in peak or customers who use your service year round with contracts to do so? Chartering a freighter wouldn't be a solution for time-sensitive accompanied traffic either. It has been reported that we are talking around 10,000 passengers and less than 3,000 total bookings over the 3 week period, which is hardly full loads. Who here would be happy if they had booked on "Cruise Ferry" WB YEATS and got shoved onto EPSILON or STENA HORIZON without a say in the matter instead?
Without a doubt this could have been handled a lot better from the passengers perspective. It was perhaps unwise to schedule her so intensively considering the brevity of the build and the fact she is a new design for a yard that has never built a similar vessel, but with delivery in the peak season it was perhaps seen as being worth the risk rather than losing out on the entire summer. If anything it's normal for new vessels to be delayed, even if only slightly. Saying that, this is a vessel that was originally meant to be delivered in May which now looks unlikely to appear until towards the end of July at the earliest!
Having worked in a managerial role in customer service, the only reason to give customers a voucher that can only be used on a future date is to try to ensure they return - perhaps it would have been better to offer a discount on the already booked (and moved) trip and/OR a goodwill voucher for future use? The "goodwill gesture" itself seems to have created a lot of fury given the additional costs people are incurring. On that, I believe it isn't actually even a voucher or code but an electronic discount added to the customers online account. The press have had a field day, no doubt, and there have even been suggestions in the press that IF may be bending/breaking EU rules on compensation (they are claiming "unforeseen circumstances", essentially the act of God clause to avoid paying out). Of course there are two sides to every story, but at the end of the day Irish Ferries need their customers more than customers need Irish Ferries!
Personally I feel for the customer service staff who have had to take a real battering from customers over the past few days through no fault of their own, and who's hands appear to be tied.
Last I saw share price was down 2.8% btw.