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Poor quality of service and customer care from Black Prince
Holidays at Stoke Prior.
1 week holiday 17th-27th September 05 , crew of 7...
Essentially, the boat had a leak in the drinking water system, which was reported to the company, first by phone, then confirmed in detail by email. The problem was not a 'show stopper' for 1/2 the crew who are used camping with limited water supplies, but it was obviously an inconvenience having to spend extra time filling the tank. (It was later found that it had been more of an issue for Daniel (with Asberger's) who had been quietly dealing with his anxiety to avoid disrupting the rest of us).
Obviously one can accept that there will occasionally be mechanical failures with boats in a large fleet, but the level of customer care we experienced does not seem to reflect the standards expected from a 'award winning' company and this was only compounded by the responses from the managing director when we wrote to him on the matter.
I must apologise in advance for the long rambling nature of the rest of the page, but to
get the full story you have to have all the detail!
Latest update 12/10/05 - Click here...
17th September. Collected boat from Stoke Prior.
On handover, we were told by Lorenzo that the water tank was full, and he
mentioned that the gauges were not that accurate - hence it only reading 8/10.
The boat was not as nice as our previous hire from Black Prince Holidays at Acton
Bridge as there was a bit of a musty unaired smell and a couple of small damp
bits of carpet. One by the radiator in the galley, that was found by the first
person to take their shoes off, and one by the steps in the rear cabin, that
looked like water had been trodden in from outside.
The patch by the galley dried, but overnight the rear cabin got worse...
18th September. Rang Black Prince about the damp carpet.
Jo was not entirely happy about getting out of bed onto a bit of damp carpet,
so rang up the Stoke Prior base.
She was told that the reason for the damp carpet was that we had not been
pumping the bilge out enough, so the water was hitting the bottom of the floor
and soaking into the carpet. (The info pack on the boat actually had an A4
photocopied picture of a boat that had sunk due to lack of bilge pumping and, I
think, a leaky weed hatch, so if you had not been on a boat before, you would
have to be daft to not be regularly pumping the bilge...)
As we had only travelled a couple of hours on Saturday their explanation
didn't seem that likely , so given their attitude on the phone that they were
not interested in the problem we decided to monitor the situation closely
Over the next day or so it became apparent that the boat was using a lot more
fresh water then we expected, and the water in the bilge seemed remarkably
clean... In fact pumping the bilge into a bucket revealed almost crystal clear
water, quite unlike the murky brown stuff that we scooped from the canal.
Conclusion... Drinking water was leaking from some part of the plumbing into
21st September. Emailed Black Prince.
Following the less than helpful response to our phone call, we decided that
an email was the best way of listing all the symptoms, without being interrupted
or fobbed off mid conversation. As up to this point any email correspondence
with the company had been answered within an hour or so, we felt that this would
receive the same swift attention. The email was sent at 8:21am, so would be
waiting for them when the office opened.
To: email@example.com ; BHolidays@aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2005 8:21 AM
Subject: Damp carpet - "Holly" - possibly water leak ?
Further to our phone call to you on Sunday regarding the damp carpet in the rear
cabin (which remains damp!), it appears that there is some sort of leak with the
drinking water system.
Hints in this direction are :-
When we collected the boat we were told that the tank was full, and that the
gauges were not that accurate hence it reading 8/10.
Overnight the water pump kicks in regularly for 10 or 15 secs at a time when
there is no water being used.
Water level drops very quickly for the level of use. Tank down to 2 from full
after a days cruising, with careful use and only 1 very quick shower.
After 2 hours in the pub with the pump turned off, the level dropped from 4 to
Bilge has been frequently pumped, as this was recommended as the most likely
cause of the damp carpet on our previous call.
Last night overnight (when the water level was very low) there was considerably
less water in the bilge in the morning.
At present we are coping with the inconvenience, as we are regularly topping up
the tank, ensuring the bilge is regularly pumped and keeping some water bottled
I would guess that you would not consider this an 'emergency' and as there is no
visible signs of leakage, may not be a quick 'canal side' fix, however I
thought I would bring this to your attention now as it will obviously need to be
addressed before the boat next goes out.
On board 'Holly'.
We received no
reply by email, or on the mobile number provided so continued to moor overnight
near water points so that we could fill in the evening and again in the morning
before setting off.
BW moorings in we had planned to use on Thursday night (Digilis basin in
Worcester) were not available, so decided to ring Black Prince Holidays for advice on
an alternative 'overnight with water'.
Phoned to find moorings
We spoke with Pete
who suggested that we may be able to stop at the Viking yard, and OK'd it with
them for us (ringing back using the number from the email). He also asked if we
needed anyone to meet us there to look at the boat. As we had already been coping with the
situation for 5 days and only had 1 days cruising left from there, it didn't really seem
worth it. Pete didn't argue the point or recommend that a visit was necessary.
Many thanks to Viking
Afloat for the use of their moorings and water. And letting us clamber all
over one of their boats to see what they were like !
We returned the
boat at around 9 am, unloaded then updated the staff , again about the problems we'd experienced with the boat.
No apology, only a 'Thanks for
telling us, the people who had the boat before you didn't say anything.'
While unloading the
boat, our eldest crew member asked in the office if she could use a toilet and
received a fairly short reply about not having any public toilets, but after it
was pointed out that there was a water problem on the boat the staff toilets
were made available to her.
Later that day we
did get a nice an email saying that the boat's leak had been found and fixed and the boat was back in
service, so at least someone appreciated the detail we had provided !
Sent: Saturday, September 24, 2005 1:41 PM
Subject: Water leak
Thank you for your e.mail
I thought you might be interested to know the reason for the damp carpet on N B
After extensive investigation it was found to be a calorifier failure due to a
split seam. The unit has now been replaced and the boat is back in service. This
is a most unusual fault and has never happened before. The faulty unit has been
returned to the supplier for their comments. I hope it did not detract too much
from the enjoyment of your holiday and we look forward to seeing you again
John - Operations Manager
Letter of complaint regarding quality of service.
The email was sent
to the black-prince.com address which we assumed was their head office, and the
aol account which we thought to be the local base email address.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ; BHolidays@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:14 AM
Subject: Holiday Issues
I'm writing in connection with our recent week-long holiday (starting 17th
September) aboard the Black Prince narrowboat 'Holly' Booking Ref: 21459, hired
from your Stoke Prior base.
Over the first few days of the week, we became increasingly aware of a fault
with the fresh water system on the boat, which we deduced was caused by the
water tank discharging itself into the bilge. This meant that the tank required
constant filling and refilling and the bilge required emptying every hour - we
would fill the tank in the morning and that would be gone by the evening, even
with only very careful use of facilities as we were more than aware of the
problem with the water.
Because of the excess need for filling and refilling, we had to arrange to moor
only at points where water could be collected in the evening and morning,
thereby reducing each day of holiday by an hour or more for additional water
filling (assuming that we were able to find moorings with water points). The
number of locations we could visit over the holiday was restricted by the
requirement to moor close to a water filling point each evening.
The water leak caused extensive soaking to the carpet in the rear of the boat.
Two of our group had to step out of bed each morning onto a very damp floor and
all of us had to wear shoes at all times to minimalise the inconvenience caused
by the wetness in that area.
In addition to the damp, water shortages were occasionally acute and it meant
that toilets had to sometimes go unflushed or that members of the group had to
walk long distances, usually in the dark to locate the nearest public toilet.
Showers were few and far between for the same reason. Additional emergency
supplies of water were tapped and bottled up to use to wash hands and dishes and
to perform such mundane tasks as brushing teeth. One of the party members is
seventy-four years of age and another has Asperger's Syndrome - a mild form of
autism - and the stress and inconvenience throughout the week was at times
especially disruptive to them.
As soon as we were certain that there was a technical problem on the boat, we
contacted the base by email yet received no response. We were disappointed not
to receive any help from the Black Prince staff. We felt that we had acted very
fairly in providing detailed information to staff on our situation during our
holiday and attempting to cope with the inconvenience, rather than making a fuss
or demanding a replacement boat. The response from staff on our return was
simply: 'The previous people didn't tell us, thanks for identifying the
problem'. No apology has been made and we feel there has been a lack of concern
for the stress, disruption and inconvenience suffered.
We have used your company before, in 2003 on the Cheshire Ring from Acton
Bridge, when the preparation of our boat was superb and a major factor in our
decision to go again with Black Prince this year. However, following this
experience, it seems unlikely that we would consider booking with your company
for next year's holiday.
The £1162 we paid for the boat is not a trivial sum, especially considering
several members of our party are on low incomes or a pension.
We hope that the situation has only been mishandled by staff at the base and is
not symptomatic of a more general lack of customer care by the Black Prince
company. We look forward to hearing your resolution to our dissatisfaction.
Which received a
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:20 AM
Subject: Re: Holiday Issues
Dear Mr. Mitchell,
I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your letter and this has been passed to
Mr. Tim Parker, Director, for investigation. He will contact you in due
I would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know of the problems you
experienced during your holiday. We at Black Prince always strive to
provide the best possible boats and service to our holiday makers.
Then later in the
day we receive a reply from the managing director.
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: Holiday Issues
Neil Mitchell -
Thank you for your e.mail concerning your recent holiday with us from Stoke
Prior. I am sorry that you were less than completely happy with your boat and
have spent some time in investigating the situation. Having done so, I have to
say that I too am also far from happy with the situation.
In the manual that is with you at all times when you are on holiday, it asks
quite clearly for you to ring us with any problems. This you failed to do.
Instead you sent an advisory e.mail on Wednesday stating that there appeared to
be a water leak which would need to be addressed before the boat went out again.
On the Friday you rang to ask us to get permission for you to moor at Viking in
Lowesmoor. When Pete suggested that he come out to investigate, you again said
that it was not necessary.
We have now discovered that far from it being a small water leak the calorifyer
had split, which John advised you on Saturday. This can happen for two reasons,
being either a manufacturing fault, or due to the boat running out of water. We
have sent it back to the manufacturer to await his report.
The nett result is that if this had been attended to promptly, there would have
been no problem. However as a result of your actions, or more accurately
inactions, we have had to withdraw the boat from service, replace the carpet and
quite possible also the floor at the back of the boat. Fortunately we have been
able to switch customers onto other boats so they have not lost their holiday as
well. Nevertheless we have been landed with a bill of several hundred pounds as
a result of your actions.
When you hire a boat, you owe a duty of care to us to look after the boat as it
is totally your responsibility. I am sorry but I feel that you have totally
failed to do this, and as a result of this and other factors, I am not willing
to make any offer of compensation. Indeed, if anything, you should be paying us
for the unnecessary damage done to our boat.
T J N Parker
Quite an amazing
level of customer care went into his letter, which directly contradicts the
email from the ops manager regarding the status of the boat!
Needless to say, we
hade to take a few deep breaths to maintain composure before starting the reply.
Sent: Tuesday, September 27, 2005 9:15 PM
Subject: Re: Holiday Issues
Dear Mr Parker,
Thank you for your reply, and thank you for the first apology for the fault from
anyone in your company, but I think there are a few points in your letter which
> Thank you for your e.mail concerning your recent holiday with us from Stoke
Prior. I am sorry that you
> were less than completely happy with your boat and have spent some time in
investigating the situation.
> Having done so, I have to say that I too am also far from happy with the
> In the manual that is with you at all times when you are on holiday, it
asks quite clearly for you to ring us
> with any problems. This you failed to do.
This is not true in any conventional sense of the word. As soon as we were aware
of the damp carpet in the rear cabin (Sunday morning), we rang Black Prince to
report the problem and were firmly told that this was most likely to have been
caused by excess water in the bilge because we had not been pumping it out.
> Instead you sent an advisory e.mail on Wednesday stating that there
appeared to be a water leak which
> would need to be addressed before the boat went out again.
The email was not sent 'instead' of a telephone call, but 'in addition' to it,
providing you with as much detailed information as we had gathered on our own
Following the implication in Sunday's phone call that the damp carpet was our
fault, it was felt that an email was the most appropriate method of
communicating the full list of symptoms as concisely as possible without
interruption or misinterpretation by the person on the phone. In all of our
previous email dealings with your company we have received a response in less
than an hour, so we felt sure that this would get a similar level of prompt
It was our guess that a full investigation of the concealed plumbing system was
not likely to be a particularly swift task, hence the last paragraph in the
email. A mobile phone number was included in the email
to allow your staff to contact us to discuss the issues further if you felt it
> On the Friday you rang to ask us to get permission for you to moor at
Viking in Lowesmoor.
Not strictly true. On Friday we rang to ask advice about what overnight moorings
would be available near a water point, as the visitor moorings in Digilis were
not in use. We were advised that Viking would probably be a suitable stop and
Pete would phone them to check it would be OK. This he did, and later rang us
back on the mobile number from the email to confirm
> When Pete suggested that he come out to investigate, you again said that it
was not necessary.
I object to the use of 'again', as at no point had we said a visit was not
necessary. In the context of the phone call with Pete we suggested that by that
stage (1 days travel left from Viking to base with another water stop at Stoke
Works) that is probably was not worth it as we had been coping to that point
> We have now discovered that far from it being a small water leak the
calorifyer had split, which John
> advised you on Saturday. This can happen for two reasons, being either a
manufacturing fault, or due to
> the boat running out of water. We have sent it back to the manufacturer to
await his report.
> The nett result is that if this had been attended to promptly, there would
have been no problem.
On collection of the boat we were told by Lorenzo that the water tank had been
filled and that the gauge read 8 not 10 because it was faulty. On a subsequent
filling of the tank, the gauge correctly read
10. This seems to show that water was leaking between your filling and our
The symptoms of the leak were not particularly apparent to us until Sunday
morning, when our phone call seemed to get short shrift. In light of the
unsympathetic response to our call we collected detailed evidence
and provided it in writing as soon as we were certain there was a leak.
Had your staff on Sunday advised us to monitor the situation and ring back as
further detail emerged then we would have happily obliged.
> However as a result of your actions, or more accurately inactions, we have
had to withdraw the boat from
> service, replace the carpet and quite possible also the floor at the back
of the boat. Fortunately we have
> been able to switch customers onto other boats so they have not lost their
holiday as well.
This seems a little strange as on Saturday at 13:41 John, your operations
manager emailed us to say 'Thank you for your email, The unit has now been
replaced and the boat is back in service'
If you open the access hatches to the storage space beneath the forward lounge
seats, I think the smell will suggest that there has been a problem with damp in
this boat for a prolonged period of time.
With hindsight, the small damp patches on the carpet by the galley radiator and
the rear cabin steps, along with a musty smell when we first boarded the boat
should have been warning signs. But, after 4
hours driving with 3 families crammed into 2 cars, judgment may have been
clouded by wanting to get on with the whole 'relaxing on a boat' thing. We had
assumed that the boat may not have been used for a few
weeks - hence the musty smell, and the damp near the radiator probably due to a
spill while bleeding the system in preparation for our hire. Unless of course
the spill by the galley was as a result of a previous
attempt at a repair to the pump which sounded like it was in close proximity to
> Nevertheless we have been landed with a bill of several hundred pounds as a
result of your actions.
> When you hire a boat, you owe a duty of care to us to look after the boat
as it is totally your
> responsibility. I am sorry but I feel that you have totally failed to do
this, and as a result of this and other
> factors, I am not willing to make any offer of compensation. Indeed, if
anything, you should be paying us
> for the unnecessary damage done to our boat.
As on our previous canal holidays, this boat was treated with good level of
care, however, we can not be held responsible for any pre existing hidden
defects, failed repair or faulty components.
Nor can we be held responsible when our first attempt to report a problem is
discounted by a member of your staff as us just not pumping the bilge out.
After this response we continued compiling detailed diagnostic information until
we were certain that there was a fault, we then sent you this information (which
you chose not to follow up).
If we had made no attempt to contact you regarding the problem, or had just
returned the boat at the end of the week saying 'it uses a lot of water' then I
could understand your attitude.
We genuinely tried to be as helpful as possible and not be antagonistic as some
people can be when dealing with problems, but seem to have been treated with an
unsympathetic response at almost every turn. Indeed, when the most elderly
member (Mrs Moore, 74) of our party asked at your reception if she could use a
toilet she was a bit upset to be told it was not a public toilet and she should
use the one on the boat. Mrs Moore then had to point out that there was a water
problem on the boat before she could use your lavatory.
Again our complaint is not specifically that the boat had a problem. With such a
large fleet it is understandable that things can fail from time to time.
However, we do feel that the level of understanding and service from the staff
seems to have been somewhat disappointing which resulted in the considerable
stress and disruption and inconvenience as detailed in our previous email.
I have attached a copy of our original email and the reply from John regarding
the operational status of the boat to assist with your investigations.
3rd October. Mr
Parker replies again.
considerable wait of 6 days, we had a reply. No less caring or
confrontational than the last. But this time he had asked the opinion of a
friend in an unconnected trade for an opinion.
Sent: Monday, October 03, 2005 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: Holiday Issues
Dear Mr Mitchell,
Thank you for your further letter concerning your recent holiday with us. You
still do not seem to understand what you have done. When the carpet layer came
to refit the carpet on the Saturday, it was found that the floor was very wet,
and so the boat had to be withdrawn from service. We now know that the floor
will have to be replaced. The total cost of repairs is between £1,750 and £2,500.
May I give you a similar situation. You hire a car, which develops a slow
puncture. You advise the Hire Company on the Sunday of a possible problem, then
e.mail them on the Wednesday, advising them that the tyre needs looking at on
the return. You then contact them on the Friday and refuse a call out. On the
Saturday it transpires that not only have you wrecked the tyre, but also the
wheel and the drive train. What do you think would happen to you ?
I happen to know someone very well in the Hire Car industry, and showed them the
paperwork on your booking. They confirm that they would pursue you for all costs
as a matter of course.
We know that the boat was fine when you collected it, as there was no wet
carpet. This has been confirmed by the turn round staff, the boat inspector and
the cleaner. The problems happened on your watch and whilst it is unfortunate
that the calorifyer developed a leak, all the damage was caused by you not
acting with a duty of care.
There are a number of odd comments in your e.mail that I will comment on.
You seem to think that it would be difficult to locate a water leak. Actually a
water leak is the easiest problem to locate ; you simply follow the leak back.
It takes minutes. The actual repair took less than an hour from start to finish
(on the calorifyer)
Why would a boat not have been out for 'a few weeks' in high season. In
fact the boat had been out every week since May 21st continuously, with no
problems whatsoever (this is hardly surprising since the boat is only one year
If there had been damp in the front of the boat, as you suggest, the boat would
have been in considerable problems. Due to the trimming of the boat, there would
have been between 6 and 9 inches of water in the rear of the boat. If the
lockers had become damp, then the carpet all around the seating would also have
You are not correct on your comments regarding Mrs Moore. As the BW toilets are
not yet open, Margaret offered Mrs Moore the use of the staff toilets (which are
not open to the public). She suggested that Mrs Moore might be more comfortable
on the boat rather than on the wharf.
T J N Parker
Again, there seems
to be a hint of a confrontational nature to the letter, and the car hire
analogy is a bit off the mark, so another detailed reply was put together.
I have to admit,
there is an error in the detail that was not spotted earlier... Our phone call
about moorings with water was made on Thursday, not Friday... I don't know how
we will live with the shame!
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2005 4:32 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Holiday Issues
Dear Mr Parker,
Thank you for your further reply regarding the poor level of care we have
received following a fault with your boat. Unfortunately, Mr Mitchell is unable
to reply at this time, so I am responding on his behalf as another member of the
> Thank you for your further letter concerning your recent holiday with us.
You still do not seem to understand what you have done.
> When the carpet layer came to refit the carpet on the Saturday, it
was found that the floor was very wet, and so the boat had to be
> withdrawn from service.
What I do not understand is the unsympathetic level of customer service we have
received since first phoning to report the problem on Sunday.
Nor do I understand why the polite and courteous email from John, your
operations manager stating that the boat was repaired and back in service is
The confrontational nature of your correspondence only seems to highlight the
generally poor level of customer care that we have been complaining about and
does not serve as a very good PR exercise for your company.
From this it seems that you are not interested in any reconciliation of our
complaint, so I assume the matter is closed with yourselves. I would however ask
that your staff try to be more proactive when faults are reported in future.
Should you be interested in a full response to your email then for clarity
detailed answers to your points are included below.
> We now know that the floor will have to be replaced. The total cost
of repairs is between £1,750 and £2,500.
I assume that you are including the price of the leaky calorifier in this as the
cost of enough 8'x4' sheets of marine ply and support timber for the rear cabin
should not be quite this high. Actually, I am quite surprised that suitable boat
flooring should be so adversely affected by water running over it for 6 days.
> May I give you a similar situation.
As long as I am able to clarify a few discrepancies.
> You hire a car, which develops a slow puncture.
Which has a slow puncture when supplied.
> You advise the Hire Company on the Sunday of a possible problem,
The company gives the impression that the symptoms are trivial and not a real
> then e.mail them on the Wednesday, advising them that the tyre needs
looking at on the return.
The email also contained additional detailed symptoms including the rate of loss
and a referred to the amount of time being spent on refilling to avoid an
> You then contact them on the Friday
To find a suitable overnight location where refilling can occur.
> and refuse a call out.
The symptoms were being managed with regular filling and the level remained
above 2/10. So one final day to another filling location appeared equally
manageable. (If required the date, time, duration and location of all our water
stops can be provided).
> On the Saturday it transpires that not only have you wrecked the tyre, but
also the wheel and the drive train.
In this situation it is clearly visible that there is significant damage being
caused to the wheel, along with serious vibration, noise and a dangerous loss of
steering and braking so it should be obvious to the layman that continuing 'as
is' would be a bad thing.
However, the potential dangers from drinking water leaking into the bilge from a
faulty item of plumbing seem to be a little less intuitive. We provided you, the
experts with all the information we could collect, but no warnings were given
regarding potential outcomes.
> What do you think would happen to you ?
After initial feelings of disappoint at the poor level of customer care, any
future business would be switched to another company, on the basis that our
reporting of problems had not been taken seriously enough to begin with.
Having had leased cars for 6+ years I am used to a certain level of service.
Reporting a slow puncture will result in a mobile tyre fitter (ATS) visiting the
car, either same or next day, with no need to follow up the call some days later
in writing when further evidence of the leak has been compiled.
> I happen to know someone very well in the Hire Car industry, and showed
them the paperwork on your booking.
> They confirm that they would pursue you for all costs as a matter of
Did he agree that you were right to not take our first phone call on Sunday
seriously, and not to follow up the email on Wednesday ?
As you have made our complaint available to an unrelated individual, you will
have no objection to us making it available to any other third parties.
> We know that the boat was fine when you collected it, as there was no wet
> This has been confirmed by the turn round staff, the boat inspector and the
On Saturday to be fair, the damp patch near the galley radiator was not visible
and we only spotted it by feel when passing with no shoes on. This soon dried
out, and may well have just been a spillage while cleaning etc. The damp patch
by the rear steps again was not that large initially looked like water may just
have been walked in from outside.
Did Lorenzo recall the conversation regarding the 'full' tank and the
discrepancy of the water gauge, as this seems to be the first indicator that the
level had dropped since your filling.
> The problems happened on your watch and whilst it is unfortunate that the
calorifyer developed a leak, all the
> damage was caused by you not acting with a duty of care.
We were very mindful of our responsibilities and first rang you on Sunday as
soon as a problem had been discovered. The problem was not considered to be
serious by your staff at that time. Due to this attitude we emailed you
additional details which you again chose not to act on.
When you, the experts, give us the belief that a problem is not serious, then we
have to rely on your experience and judgment in the matter.
It is disappointing that you do not accept responsibility for the decisions that
you took on Sunday/Wednesday regarding this problem
> There are a number of odd comments in your e.mail that I will comment on.
> You seem to think that it would be difficult to locate a water leak.
Actually a water leak is the easiest
> problem to locate ; you simply follow the leak back. It takes minutes.
> The actual repair took less than an hour from start to finish (on the
It was our guess that a full investigation of the concealed plumbing system was
not likely to be a particularly swift task, but if you thought it to be this
easy then why not respond to us immediately on Wednesday to sort out the
> Why would a boat not have been out for 'a few weeks' in high season. In
fact the boat had been out
> every week since May 21st continuously, with no problems whatsoever (this
is hardly surprising
> since the boat is only one year old).
> If there had been damp in the front of the boat, as you suggest, the boat
would have been in considerable problems.
> Due to the trimming of the boat, there would have been between 6 and 9
inches of water in the rear of the boat.
> If the lockers had become damp, then the carpet all around the seating
would also have become damp.
The only reason for the comment about the boat possibly being out of use was the
the musty, slightly damp smell at the front of the boat as if it
had not been very well aired for a time.
As the boat has been in service for this period of time, then there must be
another reason for the damp smell in the lockers. I did not say thatt he carpet
in the lockers was actually wet, there was just a damp smell.We stored a couple
of empty rucksacks in the lockers during the holiday, these required a day or so
on the line at home to air them of the smell.
> You are not correct on your comments regarding Mrs Moore. As the BW toilets
are not yet open,
> Margaret offered Mrs Moore the use of the staff toilets (which are not open
to the public).
> She suggested that Mrs Moore might be more comfortable on the boat
rather than on the wharf.
It is always possible that my mother's assessment of the situation was not
totally objective as she is a septuagenarian with a hearing problem, and a
dislike of getting out of bed onto a wet floor
> T J N Parker
> Black Prince Holidays Ltd. Stoke Prior, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4LA
> Telephone (0)1527 575115
> Fax (0)1527 575116
> Web site www.black-prince.com
> Enjoy an award winning canal holiday from one of our 6 sites across the UK.
Interestingly, I have only been able to find "Hire Craft Operator of the
Year in the Heart of England Excellence in Tourism Awards of 2002." -
then, I wonder why...
We await a further reply...
As of 12th October, no response
to us personally from Black Prince, however , Mr Parker did respond (via a 3rd
party) to the ongoing discussion on uk.rec.waterways
(see message dated 8th October by Robin Smithett). Interestingly, in a public
forum his tone is somewhat more measured !
Again, many thanks to Viking
Afloat for the use of their moorings and water.