Toothless Watchdog is off-target

//Toothless Watchdog is off-target

Funny old programme, BBC TV’s Watchdog. It was back on our screens last night with its usual random collection of consumer complaints, but each item seemed to fizzle out without reaching any proper conclusion. And I’m still trying to erase the memory of Anne Robinson’s embarrassing flirting with newly-betrothed Chris Hollins. Eeuch!
There was an excellent investigation into a rogue valet parking outfit at Heathrow which uncovered some truly disturbing and undoubtedly illegal practices but then limped to a finish with presenter Matt Allwright cordially shaking hands with the evasive proprietor.
Furniture giant IKEA, which had dishonestly used Watchdog’s name to justify a pathetic compensation offer, was surprisingly allowed to wriggle off the hook, and a section on electricity and gas prices achieved nothing, despite Ms Robinson growing ever-more strident with a defenceless spokesperson.
Then there was resident grumpy person Rick Wakeman, who launched into a tirade against tipping which began by roasting high street restaurant chains and then inexplicably morphed into an attack on cruise companies – especially those which demand payment of gratuities before passengers have even begun their holidays.
A trio of dissatisfied customers was wheeled out to moan about having to shell out from £4 to £10 a day in tips. That’s three people out of the million-plus Brits who took cruises this year. And as Robinson pointed out, each of those who spoke to camera had complained while on board and had the offending payments reduced or removed from their bills entirely.
Try that in a restaurant !
The cruise operators got little or no on-screen time to explain or apologise; the Watchdog website contains fuller statements, but without detailing any of the individual complaints to which they refer. Odd.
Perhaps the BBC could also explain why the entry “is now closed for comments”, and has never, in fact, been open for comments.
Watchdog, where are your teeth?

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:01+00:00 2 September 2011|Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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