‘Fussy’ passengers

Inter- island shipping operators refute customer complaints. Picture: SUPPLIED

SOME passengers are just unrealistic.

These were the words of George Goundar, the managing director of Goundar Shipping Services, a company named by the Consumer Council of Fiji as one that showed lack of accountability when it came to dealing with maritime passengers.

Mr Goundar said there was never a time when passengers were not informed of any delays in any of its scheduled trips. He said claims by the council that passengers were not allowed to get off the vessel to buy food and forced them to buy the “expensive” food on board was also not true.

“The only time we do not allow passengers to get off the vessel is when loading is taking place. “If I leave here (Suva) at 6pm I still arrive at my destination on time. It doesn’t really affect anybody,” Mr Goundar said.

“We cannot make everyone happy. “There will always be some disgruntled or fussy customers; we’re here to serve everyone and not just the few who are always complaining.”

South Island Shipping Services operations manager Ben Vave echoed the sentiments of Mr Goundar, saying there will always be a group of people complaining about services.

Mr Vave said claims of overloading were untrue, for the reason that the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji would not allow a vessel to leave port if it saw it overloaded with cargo or passengers.

He said complaints of missing and damaged goods were addressed in the disclaimer of the company’s Bill of Landing where the company states it is not responsible for any damaged or lost goods.

“For delayed or cancelled trips, everyone should know we work according to the weather forecast. Some passengers are just too fussy, even when a hurricane is coming, they will still complain of not leaving,” Mr Vave said.

Patterson Brother’s Shipping Ltd financial controller Sanjay Prasad says one can only judge the services on board if they take a trip with the inter-island vessels.