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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Without Prejudice


14 of us had a 3 day weekend planned with Plymdive Holidays in May. 2 x hard boats and accommodation. We advised we want to dive the wrecks JEL, Scylla etc.

Day before the weather was atrocious, GF 5/6 forcast for a couple of days. We spoke to the skipper he advised he could get us out in the harbour for a 10-15m dive. 5 hour drive down, so we decided against it, as we specifically wanted to do the wrecks.

Many other boats were cancelled that weekend on the south coast.

He offered mid week diving as replacement. 14 of us could not get 5 more days off at the same time, so we requested weekend only, as per original booking.

He has no free weekends this year.

We asked for a refund of some sort, including a cut for himself for inconvenience. 1 boat was paid in full, one had a deposit only.

The diver who booked the trip had signed for the booking, and the skipper will not even talk to the other divers in the group.

Final result mid week diving only as a replacement for the weekend. no refund. no negotiation.


This leaves us the option of individual small claims court.



These are the facts so far. We booked with plymdive and the dives were blown out, and now we he has about £1700 of our money for doing nothing.
 

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Go Big or Go Home
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this seem a little (a lot) harsh but i am unfamilar with dive boat operator protocols i would presume there are some terms and conditions?
As a building contractor i accept that i will lose some days each year due to weather and this is not passed on to client Fixed amount of work for a fixed amount of money type of thing But the rate for the job reflects this and we take the view that in the long run we win.
my view point is if i paid for a weekend divin i want a weekend divin ant the operators rate contains a profit margin and profit is the reward for risk
here the operator is takin the profit and not absorbing the risk
I bet he wishes for bad weather all the time
Without Predjudice
The above expresses the authors opinion and is based on information provided
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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I suspect the devil is in the detail. AIUI, from your post, the skipper did not cancel but you did?

Anyway, No 9 onwards:-

Webber Marine Services Terms and Conditions

I'm not sure who we dived with down Plymouth way but we were going out when every other dive boat was heading back because of the conditions.

I suppose that with the crap year for diving weather boat skippers are feeling the pinch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I suspect the devil is in the detail. AIUI, from your post, the skipper did not cancel but you did?

Anyway, No 9 onwards:-

Webber Marine Services Terms and Conditions

I'm not sure who we dived with down Plymouth way but we were going out when every other dive boat was heading back because of the conditions.

I suppose that with the crap year for diving weather boat skippers are feeling the pinch.

Finless, Yep I can see both sides. I think a partial refund would have been better for him financially in the long run. He won't get another booking from us nor anyone else in the local clubs.

The skippers that cancelled and partially refunded will.
 

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Finless: You couldn't invent him...
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Finless, Yep I can see both sides. I think a partial refund would have been better for him financially in the long run. He won't get another booking from us nor anyone else in the local clubs.

The skippers that cancelled and partially refunded will.
Has your 'booking diver' spoken to the Skipper or is the final result of "mid week diving only as a replacement for the weekend. no refund. no negotiation" just what has been offered to you?

In situations like this I think it is worth while phoning up again and speaking to the Skipper with all your points and amounts written down so you don't forget. It seems to me, from your posts, that you don't actually know why you are not being refunded your money?
 

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Just not enough dive time.
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I'd get a solicitor to quote

9. Bad Weather, etc. In the event that the skipper should judge the weather conditions unsuitable or if the skipper should for any reason cancel the booking, a full refund of the boat charge for that day shall be made, in full and final settlement of any claim the organiser or any member of the organiser’s group may have against the company or skipper.


of their T&C's and ask for a full refund (plus costs).

Matt
 

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R.I.P.
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I think it all comes down to his 'Terms and Conditions' on which you agreed at the time of the charter.

1. No-one can help the weather, so fair enough on that point.

2. You were offered an alternate dive site but chose not to accept this. Going by that alone, you effectively cancelled the trip which means no refund under the Terms and Conditions. However, it gets complicated because you chartered the boat to do specific wrecks which were unavailable. Most skippers have some form of caveat like Condition #26 here: terms and conditions but there isn't anything that covers that under the Terms and Conditions you signed up for.

I'd say it's a difficult one, but as has been said, probably comes down to the fine detail and i'm no lawyer!

Good luck,

Steve
 

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Mark Milburn
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This sort of thing really annoys me, luckily I haven't had it happened to me.

ASAIK all commercial insurances that are taken out by diveboats (any small boat carrying paying customers) state that they are not insured to start a voyage if a gale force 6 is forecast. It doesn't have to be current, just forecast. Therefore if a skipper insists on going out with a force 6 forecast, they are in blatant breach of their insurance and more than likely, the HSE. State this and see what they say.

I also feel sorry for skippers, they have had a bad year trough no fault of their own.

Personally I have dived in some serious conditions, I would have gone out and done my usual 1 hour dive.
 

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The smell of freshly turned delrin is more powerfu
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would a the wind have been a problem in the harbour ?

they are between a rock and a hard place I think ...

David
 

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Blown Out

Why Did You Pay Up Front, I Always Only Pay A Deposit That Way If You Say To The Skipper The Weather Is Not Acceptable We Are Not Coming The Most You Can Loose Is Your Deposit.
We Have Been Blown Out Twice On Trips This Year Both Times The Skippers Have Said Book For Next Year And Use The Deposit For That, That`s The Skippers We Dive With Each Year Because They Are Fair They Dont Leave The Harbour They Dont Get Paid
 

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We (UKRS) were diving out of Plymouth and the forecast was for a 7-9. I phoned up to ask if it was on. I was told that you can't trust the weather forecast and to come down. I set off from Essex and, 7 hours later, got down there. It was howling. The skipper wouldn't call the dive so we said that neither would we. That was some boat trip trying to get out of the harbour. It was only when the boat kept disappearing from under our feet that the skipper finally did the right thing.
Even then he wanted us to dive the harbour.

There are plenty of Weymouth skippers that will try to give you a day on the Countess, landing craft,etc when the weather is too bad to go out. It is one of the reasons that I will not dive out of Weymouth.
 

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Why Did You Pay Up Front, I Always Only Pay A Deposit That Way If You Say To The Skipper The Weather Is Not Acceptable We Are Not Coming The Most You Can Loose Is Your Deposit.
We Have Been Blown Out Twice On Trips This Year Both Times The Skippers Have Said Book For Next Year And Use The Deposit For That, That`s The Skippers We Dive With Each Year Because They Are Fair They Dont Leave The Harbour They Dont Get Paid
This depends on the conditions of booking. It may well be expected to pay all up front. All too easy for divers to pull out because they have not filled the trip or pull out on an iffy forecast with miles to drive.

Most skippers on the scene know what is possible in given conditions. Those 200 miles away probably don't have a clue. OK, they get it wrong from time to time, usually against the flow of the other skippers.

It really comes down to what was agreed in the original booking. On the face of it and looking at the booking conditions, it is the divers that have cancelled in this case.

Adrian
 

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Diving in a harbour doesn't really count as far as I am concerned - you could quote a dive off the boat in it's berth as an option!

I'm sure the skipper has it covered in the T&C, but if you choose the trade then you should look after your customers and treat them with a bit of respect - at least offer a decent partial refund! Name and shame, name and shame...

I wish there were more like Richard Tibbs at Exmouth!
 

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The only issue from the T&C's is the potential question over whether you cancelled or the skipper.

Now, obviously you decided not to dive. However, so long as you made it clear what you wanted to dive and they agreed, then the skipper effectively cancelled what you had asked for, and offered something else (the harbour) which you declined.

If you do take it as far as small claims or whatever I would imagine that you could rely on the laws designed to protect the consumer, specifically that they state that if you made clear at the time of purchase (in your case booking) that you wanted something to meet a specific need (wreck diving) then if what they give you doesn't meet that need then, even if it was fine in every other way (ie it's still diving), its not good enough. Therefore the skipper didn't deliver what you booked, so he cancelled, and you should be entitled to a refund.

All from my own vague memories of law as a student a few years ago though, so definitely seek advice!

Incidentally, I usually book last-minute recently, given the weather. However, when someone does ask for money up-front I now always ask what happens in the event that the dive is cancelled due to bad weather. And i'll never book a boat in Portland anymore without knowing the weather will be good, because they're far too keen to say no and just dump you in the harbour somewhere.

David
 

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I provide much-needed sarcasm.
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We (UKRS) were diving out of Plymouth and the forecast was for a 7-9. I phoned up to ask if it was on. I was told that you can't trust the weather forecast and to come down. I set off from Essex and, 7 hours later, got down there. It was howling. The skipper wouldn't call the dive so we said that neither would we. That was some boat trip trying to get out of the harbour. It was only when the boat kept disappearing from under our feet that the skipper finally did the right thing.
Even then he wanted us to dive the harbour.
And we never used his again, did we? Over the years, we did build up a list of skippers we would use and those that we wouldn't use. You might like to speculate why out of several UKRS trips on various boats down there, we never used this particular skipper. I did ring his dive shop once enquiring about nitrox fills and was told that they didn't recommend nitrox because of the big tides. This was in the days before Deep Blue, so we had to go across to QAB to get fills.

These days Wrighty or Glen, (if you can put up with his jokes) get my business down in Plymouth.

There are plenty of Weymouth skippers that will try to give you a day on the Countess, landing craft,etc when the weather is too bad to go out. It is one of the reasons that I will not dive out of Weymouth.
Well I can guarantee my Weymouth trip will not be going in the harbour. I don't think Woody has even got a license to dive it anymore.

Jason
 

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The only issue from the T&C's is the potential question over whether you cancelled or the skipper.

Now, obviously you decided not to dive. However, so long as you made it clear what you wanted to dive and they agreed, then the skipper effectively cancelled what you had asked for, and offered something else (the harbour) which you declined.

If you do take it as far as small claims or whatever I would imagine that you could rely on the laws designed to protect the consumer, specifically that they state that if you made clear at the time of purchase (in your case booking) that you wanted something to meet a specific need (wreck diving) then if what they give you doesn't meet that need then, even if it was fine in every other way (ie it's still diving), its not good enough. Therefore the skipper didn't deliver what you booked, so he cancelled, and you should be entitled to a refund.

All from my own vague memories of law as a student a few years ago though, so definitely seek advice!

Incidentally, I usually book last-minute recently, given the weather. However, when someone does ask for money up-front I now always ask what happens in the event that the dive is cancelled due to bad weather. And i'll never book a boat in Portland anymore without knowing the weather will be good, because they're far too keen to say no and just dump you in the harbour somewhere.

David
I remember a lawyer friend of mine telling me about `small print' and that effectively `unfair' or `unreasonable' small print (such as within T&C) is not enforceable at court and that the courts look to protect the consumer. Obviously each case is viewed on it's own merits...
 

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Diving in a harbour doesn't really count as far as I am concerned - you could quote a dive off the boat in it's berth as an option!

I'm sure the skipper has it covered in the T&C, but if you choose the trade then you should look after your customers and treat them with a bit of respect - at least offer a decent partial refund! Name and shame, name and shame...

I wish there were more like Richard Tibbs at Exmouth!
Agreed re Mr Tibbs.

As to diving in a harbour, Plymouth Sound does have some reasonable dives, but I can understand not wanting to come a long way to do them.

Adrian
 

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Member - that's what they tell me!
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There are plenty of Weymouth skippers that will try to give you a day on the Countess, landing craft,etc when the weather is too bad to go out. It is one of the reasons that I will not dive out of Weymouth.
Hmmm…that’s the exact dives we did on Monday!:frown:
To be fair to the skipper we were all in favour of doing these dives. It was either harbour dives or spend all day on land moping about feeling sorry for ourselves. We had driven down the M5 over the weekend suffered horrendous traffic jams :frown: and we wanted to get wet.
I can understand, with our first hand experience, the disappointment suffered when things don’t go to plan but if we put to many specific demands on the skippers they may refuse to take our bookings or go bust.
Tuesday was much better diving.:)
 
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