Serco, the multinational company currently charged with operating the Northern Isles Ferry Services franchise, has been accused of acting in bad faith after charging customers premium rates to claim a rebate following the introduction of the Road Equivalent Tariff (RET).
Passengers who booked their journeys prior to the new pricing structure coming into force were eligible to claim a rebate, however Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie has been contacted regarding passengers being charged substantial sums attempting to recoup their cash, via Serco’s premium rate telephone number.
Mr Finnie said:
“I welcome the introduction of RET which ensures Shetlanders will not be penalised for travelling by ferry.
“However, it’s extremely disappointing that passengers have been charged excessive rates to claim their rebate because they sensibly booked in advance.
“Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a disreputable company such as Serco seeks to exploit customers at every opportunity in their blind pursuit of profit, however, they should not get away with it on a Scottish Government contract.
“I’ve written to the new Cabinet Secretary for Transport asking him to address this matter urgently, and ensure that anyone who has fallen foul of this premium number will be recompensed immediately.”