Sunday, December 11, 2011

Fullers apologises to its Waiheke customers

I found an A5-sized pamphlet on the ferry headed "Customer Announcement: An Apology to Our Waiheke Customers". I can't find it on their website to link to, so I'll paraphrase. It says they had a larger number than expected vessels out of service due to what they call "unplanned maintenance", a euphemism for engine breakdown. Planned maintenance on Adventurer had to be delayed due to the Rugby World Cup and its unusually busy period (didn't they know this event was coming?).

Then for some statistics: in the past 3 years, 13 out of 20 engines have been rebuilt or replaced (several boats have two engines, it's not as if Fullers have a secret fleet stashed away somewhere) at a cost of over $4 million. Regardless, the "unusually high breakdown rates" indicate to me either bad engineering skills or patch-up work to keep costs down in the short term (but of course not in the long term, as any business 101 course will tell you).
But happily we can look forward to the triumphant return of Superflyte on the 6:30pm ex-Auckland sailing (after a spate of sardine-like conditions lately), and Doug Hudson is looking forward to your comments. Leave your feedback here.

You really have to be stupid not to think that the point of catastrophic breakdown of the ferry system in Auckland, i.e. when there are simply not enough vessels to meet the demand, is not far off and that the company is derelict in its investment plans for new capacity. The tragedy is that there is simply no mechanism or regulation in place to ensure that Waiheke is not economically strangled by this private profiteering monopoly company.


Don said...

The Jet Raider was on the 5:00 pm Auckland-Waiheke sailing this evening and upon sitting down in the lower cabin I noticed a strong smell. Initially thinking it could be a passenger I realised that everyone was noticing the same stink. It seemed to be worse when sitting down. There was a couple of quick pass through visits by the crew who commented that the ventilation system was turned on. The stench persisted with no explanation or obvious attempt to find out what was the problem. Some passengers moved upstairs but as the boat was fairly full there would not have been any space for everyone in the lower cabin to evacuate. It seems that Fullers are operating this boat in a substandard state with an area of seating taped off (the area where they hit the wharf earlier this year?) and now this stink/gas leak???
Methinks a complaint to MSA is needed as this boat is clearly not fit for passenger service.
Needless to say no reason was given for the requirement for Jet Raider on this sailing.... Where was Superflyte.... Broken down again?
What is needed to get some action. It seems only a matter of time before something REALLY SERIOUS happens.

Cathy said...

Frankly I am amazed that they even bothered to apologise to their captive Waiheke commuters! Things must be REALLY bad if they are apologising. I do wonder how long they can go on running their fleet into the ground (sea?). Presumably all the boats will break down eventually and then they will demand public money to safeguard an essential service, even though they have been profiteering for years!