Friday, December 2, 2011

Summertime snafus starting early

The afternoon started ominously with a txt message from Fullers advising that the 17:00 and 18:30 ex-Auckland would be run by Jet Raider. My last experience on that boat didn't end well so I was dreading the worst for getting home in any reasonable amount of time. And again, Fullers didn't disappoint in that department. Superflyte was doing the normal Quickcat services, as Quickcat was chartered for a party on the harbour cruise: the seats were piled high on the wharf to make way for dancing punters. Fullers, being a fully private company unbeholden to its daily paying customers, has the right to take boats out of commuting service when it has the chance of making far more per charter passenger than from those pesky, complaining commuters.

At 18:00 came another txt advising that the 17:40 ex-Waiheke was cancelled (JR came back from Waiheke late and empty). The girl on the wharf tannoy tried to keep our spirits up by announcing the ferry was "about 10 minutes late". Of course Fullers time has no link to real time and we left 20mins late.

Of course, this being Friday and Summertime, the 18:30 sailing has to go via Devonport, come what may, being late or not, having crashed into the Devonport wharf before or not, Fullers' internal infernal route and timetabling has to be obeyed, and off we chugged to Waiheke.
Jet Raider was going suspiciously slow and we arrived about 19:45 at Matiatia, shortly followed by the 19:15 Superflyte. Again, Jet Raider left Waiheke empty. I innocently asked a staff member behind the bar why the boat went at half speed and she was offended by the suggestion that I noticed something like that. She was adamant the boat went full speed but was delayed by the number of passengers.
It's a sign capitalism is based on fear when you can get your employees on the minimum wage to lie and do your PR for you.
It doesn't bode well for the rest of the Summer, but we know our place and the live sheep shipments will blithely continue.

But a good thing that happened and kept the frustrated waiting punters' spirits up on Matiatia wharf was a flash mob carol singalong by V12 and Sister Shout:


Jason said...

Standing at the Ferry Terminal on Waiheke Island at 5:35pm and we hear this "Ladies and Gentleman, we can't see the inbound boat on the horizon, so we are guessing that the 5:40pm sailing is going to be delayed" Nek minnut the boat arrives 25 minutes late and we hear this "Sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, as the boat is running late, we will not be allowing anyone to board this boat as we want to get it back to Auckland as soon as possible, please catch the next sailing in 40 minutes"

Don said...

The stacking of seats in the waiting area is not allowed. I have referred this to ARTA in the past with the result that this practice was stopped.

Anonymous said...

Fuller's receives subsidies from Auckland Transport. You should really correct your original post as I think that it is pretty critical that people understand that rate's payer dollars go to Fuller's and they still pull these kind of stunts.

I'd say that more of us should be making calls to Auckland Transport to lodge a complaint. You can call or do it online here:

Hans Versluys said...

Fullers only receives AT subsidies for ferry routes other than the Waiheke one (and it gets about $300,000 a year for the Waiheke Bus Company). Fullers doesn't really want Waiheke route subsidies as theycome with strings attached such as tendering and opening the door for competition (and we all know what fun that was when the Half Moon Bay route was re-tendered)