Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Raw deal for British Waterways mooring customers

Most of you will realise that the I take some interest in the issue of Moorings. I'm quite unashamed about giving BW a hard time when they don't perform, especially when like me you are paying a premium rate for what I say is too often a poor service.

I always have a close read of the Waterways Ombudsman's annual report so was pleased this year to see that Ms Bainbridge has again highlighted two areas of longstanding concern to me. Lack of independent scrutiny of the charges we pay and more worryingly what I characterise as BW's persistent unwillingness to be clear about we mooring customers get for out money.

In her formal report Ms Bainbridge among other things says:

Another issue which can arise for any moorers but which is probably more keenly felt by residential boaters, relates to the level and type of services provided at a mooring. This arose in Case No 495 this year, but it is not the first time I have raised the concerns in this area. In my 2006-07 annual report I raised my concern that the lack of clear information for moorers about what services will be provided in their mooring contract. It appears that the situation has not improved since then.

For me this goes to the heart of many boaters' dissatisfaction with BW. You take our money, fritter it away on in the BW property casino and reward Directors who have persistently failed to manage BW's finances effectively with outrageous salaries, bonuses and pension pots all with my hard-earned cash and public money. In return you won't even tell me what I can reasonably expect for my £5000+ per year mooring fees.

Still, given we live in a country where bankers can bankrupt the nation with apparent impunity, I suppose it should not come as a surprise that the BW Board allow the Directors to get away with what they get away with?

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