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“All quiet on the western front June 2013”

Written on: 28/09/2013 by Clay65 (1 review written)

We would like to comment on our Silver service WW1 trip. The feeder coach pick up was satisfactory.The overall holiday experience was satisfactory with good drivers and service. The expert guide was good. The hotel was fine. Everything was fine until we boarded our return coach at Calais. Suddenly everything changed, our new driver was only interested in getting on the shuttle before everyone else. During the journey we were not offered drinks. So anyhow we did think that we might be able to have time when we reached the Thurrock services where we were due to meet our final feeder vehicle. When we arrived at Thurrock there was only a battered old transit bus.I thought surely that is not our transport. Well it was, there were 15 passengers on a 16 seat vehicle. My wife and another lady said " We need to use the toilets ok? " The driver said "Not really, I want to get going I have only got another three and a half hours". His customer service training manual must have been written by Basil Fawlty, grumpy, miserable and unhelpful. "I must get going" he said The ladies said that they had to go and rushed off. Meanwhile the driver was moaning about the weight of the cases that he was loading so I actually loaded our cases myself as did other people. I got onto the minibus with our hand baggage but of course they were not going to fit in the rack so they were jammed down by my feet. I sat in this uncomfortable position for the next 4 hours. When it was loaded we set off. I then noticed that the seats, floor and sides of the bus were dirty and it was raining and water was coming into the vehicle round a window and spraying the passengers who were seated in front of us.
There was no communication from the driver about what he was doing and after a while I found it was getting very stuffy there was no ventilation. We saw that we were heading towards Southend which was completely in the wrong direction from where most of the passengers lived. There was very heavy traffic on the roads it was Friday afternoon. Other passengers began to complain about the heat and lack of air. Two passengers left at Southend and the bus set off again. I then began to feel very short off breath and in desperation I shouted "Can you please put some air on as there is nothing coming out of these vents" low and behold he switched the fan on and this was met by a loud sigh of relief by all the passengers.
All this time the rain was coming in and it was running along the dirty floor. The driver was taking calls on his hands free phone. But there was no communication with us. When we eventually arrived at at our drop off in Stowmarket we had been in this old bus for over four hours. Now remember he said when we were at Thurrock that he wanted to get on because he had only "Three and a half hours of driving left".Yet he had still to drop off passengers for Norwich and Lowestoft!
The final experience was the driver opening the boot looking at the cases and then looking at me. I had to move several cases to get to mine and then I had to put them back again. Silver service? I complained to Leger
they said they were sorry,and they said that they had taken up my comments with the Shuttle bus company. They did not mention the hours of the driver. They did not offer any refund, There attitude was it was not there fault. They completely ignore the fact that he was there agent on a silver service holiday. We will not go with them again.

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