Empty apology

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My husband, three small children (all four and under) and myself had a fantastic trip to Newfoundland this summer.

 Unfortunately, due to problems with the Blue Puttees, our return trip had to be rescheduled and we lost almost two days of our family time.

That was sad, but knowing the reputation of Marine Atlantic, it was not unexpected.

My problem lies in the complimentary travel voucher that was provided as an apology.

Empty gesture

A very nice gesture, but completely useless to those who do not travel to Newfoundland every year. The vouchers we received are non-transferable and expire within one year.

Unfortunately, we live in Ontario and have small children, so making use of the Marine Atlantic travel voucher before its expiry is just not possible.

When I called to see if there was anything they could do, I was told that all they can do is email me the information regarding the regulations for travel vouchers.

Since they will not change the expiry date or transfer the voucher, to me this voucher is good only for the fire.

For me, it is more insulting to receive an apology token that is impossible to use and that Marine Atlantic refuses to be accommodating.

It sounds like they openly send out vouchers with the hopes that most people will not be able to use them anyways.

In the future, I’ll consider all other options before I book with Marine Atlantic again.

Sarah Meunier

Kitchener, Ont.

Organizations: Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Petertwo
    October 22, 2013 - 09:02

    The ferry is definitely needed from a utilitarian, practical use for transport of good etc.., but it is obviously not ideal for the tourism business being weather dependent. Perhaps an airline could set up some sort of fly/drive deal with a car rental outfit for tourists coming here? For east, central ,west and Labrador parts of the province?

  • George Penney
    October 21, 2013 - 20:38

    Come on Marine Atlantic and show some real responsibility to the people who patronize the service. It would not be a big deal if MA allowed the 'transfer' of free trip vouchers to another person so that the owner would gain some compensation for the loss encountered. Even at a 10% discount it would still be an honourable attempt at compensation. Try it for a two year period and see the extent of loss that MA will suffer. If the cost is too high then improve the service to the point that compensation chits are not necessary. THAT'S THE WAY TO SAVE MONEY, and NOT by being mean spirited.

  • Connie Power
    October 21, 2013 - 13:29

    I totally agree with Sarah's comments. Our family also received three vouchers which are totally useless to us as we do not travel to Nfld every year. The vouchers are definitely an empty and useless gesture for all our inconvenience but not surprising considering Marine Atlantic's lousy reputation. Shame on your Marine Atlantic!

  • Dolf
    October 21, 2013 - 10:43

    Same as airline vouchers. Useless for a lot of people.

    • david
      October 23, 2013 - 09:47

      Wrong. In utility, value and perception airline vouchers are a completely valid form of apology/compensation.

  • Gerard Hayes
    October 21, 2013 - 09:04

    My family has had the same horrible experience with Marine Atlantic every single time we have travelled by car to the mainland. These driving vacations are supposed to be "pleasure" trips. Not on Marine Atlantic they aren't!! We finally decided this year to do something different. Instead of driving to New England, we flew to Montreal, rented a car and drove from there. What a fantastic vacation we had!! While staying at a hotel in New Hampshire, we checked the Telegram website, only to find out that there were more problems with the ferry - problems that would again have affected our travel. We did the math at the end of our trip. We figured that flying and renting a car cost us maybe $700 more. For that, we got a worry-free vacation and two extra days of real holiday time. Well worth the extra money.

  • carogers
    October 21, 2013 - 07:47

    Good for you. The only thing these decision makers understand is the almighty dollar bill. Until more vacationers refuse to participate in the "game" of like it or lump it travel accommodations to NL ; nothing will change.

  • JJ
    October 21, 2013 - 06:36

    Unfortunately, your experience with Marine Atlantic is one of many bad experiences that have turned people off from returning to the island portion of this province. This Crown corporation is yet another example of a government entity that does not have people who consider customer service to be important. Marine Atlantic is not a private business and as such does not have the same concerns as a private business. Maybe it's time to contract out this service (ie. on a five year basis for) to a private concern that would have a vested interest in providing good service or risk losing the contract. Allowing a non-union organization run it would be a plus as well.