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I’ve done a few posts about the P&O and Cunard Vantage Fares / Getaway Fares issues. Here’s a page which will lead you to them. I continue ti be unhappy about some things in the Vantage Fare / Getaway Fare distinction, and especially about the difference between what P&O said initially about Getaway fares (‘last minute offers) and the reality. This is that Getaway Fares have been and continue to be made available on cruises up to five months away. Five months away isn’t ‘last minute’; my belief is therefore that P&O will never lower the price of a Vantage fare, they’ll simply announce Getaway Fares for the relevant cruise, as far in advance as they feel like, and that the Price Promise is actually worthless.

On 24 April the Advertising Standards Authority delivered its verdict on a couple of complains against Fred Olsen Cruises. This line had advertised cruises using a headline that read “Book now and get the best deal – guaranteed!”. Subsequently Fred Olsen offered fares on the same cruise on a two-for-one basis that was cheaper per person than the “Best Deal – Guaranteed!” price. The ASA accepted that there was small print in the Fred Olsen offer that defined exceptions, modification, etc (not unlike the way P&O can offer Getaway Fares that are cheaper than the Vantage Fares but which don’t trigger the Vantage Fare Price Promise), but found for the complainants. They summarised:

We considered, however, that consumers were likely to interpret the claim “best deal – guaranteed” to mean the price they paid for their cruise would not be bettered. We understood the subsequent “Two For One” offer meant that the cruises could have been booked at a cheaper price. We therefore considered that the claim was likely to mislead consumers into believing they would always pay the best price.

Here’s a link to the page with the summary of the ASA decision.

2 Responses to “Fred Olsen falls foul of the Advertising Standards Authority”

  1. Mrs M Blackburn says:

    We too have fallen foul of the Fred Olsen ‘book early for best price’ ads. Just 1 week after booking a cruise to Casablanca and the Canaries on July17 2013, they reduced the price on our balcony suite by £440.each. The booking staff put pressure on you to book early by telling you there’s limited places. The best you get when you ring customer relations is that they’ll put you on a list for a complimentary upgrade. I was told that there may be further reductions coming soon, but they cannot pass these reductions on to people who have already booked.

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