Couple 'treated like criminals' by ferry staff in Holland after passports and belongings were stolen
A COUPLE claim they were treated like criminals by P&O Ferries when they were left stranded in Holland after their passports and all their belongings were stolen.
Abi Jackson and Mark Brown were devastated to discover their full suitcases had been stolen from their hotel just hours before they were due to set sail from Rotterdam to Hull.
Unable to travel back without passports, the couple were advised by P&O Ferries to visit the British Consulate the next day to secure temporary passports to travel home with.
The couple hoped they could transfer the journey they missed on the ferry from the Sunday to the Monday, however they were told by P&O that by amending the date of travel, there would be an additional £175 charge.
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Abi, 35, said: "We were disgusted to discover a company would attempt to profit from our misfortune by charging us again.
"We explained on the phone we did not have the money on us to pay so were told an invoice would be sent to our home address once we returned.
"But when we got to the ferry terminal, we were informed that we could not travel as the fare had not been pre-paid.
"After a lot of messing about, they allowed us to board the ferry, on the condition we surrendered our temporary passports to the Ships Officer.
"We were then not allowed back into the country until payment was made back in the UK."
While on the ferry, the couple were able to make a phone call to get a friend to go to their house to pay with another card over the phone.
Miss Jackson said: "We were treated like criminals, having our passports confiscated in front of other passengers.
"They could have charged us a small admin fee to alter the booking, but refused saying the original booking had been cancelled.
"We were shocked and disappointed that at no time were we shown any sympathy or compassion."
The couple complained in writing to P&O Ferries once they got home but were told they would not be getting a refund.
However, after the Mail contacted P&O Ferries on the couple's behalf, the company has apologised and offered a full refund.
Christopher Laming, of P&O, said: "Having investigated this, I could see immediately that our standards of customer care fell short on this occasion.
"I am very concerned that, in applying our rules, we did not exercise more care and compassion.
"We apologise to Miss Jackson and Mr Brown and we will refund the £175. We will also refund the cost of the original trip.
"Clearly, we do need to have rules but rules should be made to be broken depending on the circumstances. We are very sorry that, on this occasion, our customer care missed the mark."
Miss Jackson said: "Thanks to the Mail for picking up the story which ensured our refund.
"The £450 has definitely helped and will be put to good use for our wedding in May."