- Legal pages seem borrowed from a takeaway food site
- And the ferry timetable is missing in (in)action
The country took a collective sigh of disbelief after learning Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has awarded the no-deal Brexit ferry contract to a company that doesn’t own any ferries. And, as we learn more, it’s getting worse.
The company, Seaborne Freight, is one of the three companies awarded a £108 million contract to lay on additional crossings to ease the pressure on Dover when Britain pulls out of the EU.
But the freightless freight company has been caught off-guard after the public turned to their website to find out a little bit more about their dealings.
This is what we’ve found out so far.
1. Their terms and conditions have been taken from a food delivery service website
The slog of typing out legalese must be just as boring as reading it, but life is hard and unfair – and if you have a £108 million contract to carry out a service, you might just have to put on a stiff upper lip and get on with it.
But the website creator at Seaborne Freight seems to have been distracted by a procrastination takeaway while typing out their terms and conditions, and the new ferry company’s T’s and C’s have been borrowed from a fast food delivery website.
“Thoroughly check the supplied goods before agreeing to pay for any meal/order,” Seaborne Freight’s website demands.
“You must always provide a valid contact number and email when ordering online.”
Let’s just state this again. Seaborne Freight, the company given the contract to run ferry services from Ramsgate, post-Brexit, appears to have website terms and conditions copied from a fast food delivery site. pic.twitter.com/xY557Rqsgn
— Jon (@ormondroyd) January 2, 2019
After checking that ferries do not have a cuisine clause, it appears clear that someone in the back slipped up.
2. And some were taken from an online clothing boutique
But that’s not all.
When the boredom set in and the small print of the takeaway got a bit too boring to handle, the company decided to turn its eye to Birdhouse Jewellery, a boutique shop in Ulverston, Cumbria.
“It is the responsibility of the customer to ensure delivery address details are correct and detailed enough for the delivery driver to locate the address in adequate time. You must always provide a valid contact number and email when ordering online,” both pages read.
Seaborne Freight seems to have copied terms from a company selling jewellery online: https://t.co/I2JZJH2sxb
— Lars Dybdahl (@ldybdahl) January 3, 2019
Whether the company had an agreement beforehand, or it was all words between friends, the boutique have a stern warning at the bottom of their website:
“We try very hard to make our website original and appealing, so please do not copy what we have worked so hard to achieve. Please note that unauthorised use or reproduction of any or all of the materials published on this website may give rise to a claim for damages and may also be a criminal offence,” they wrote.
3. Their timetable is defunct
Seaborne Freight will be running a service between Ramsgate and Ostend when they find a ferry that will fit into the Ramsgate’s narrow port berths.
Sure, the company might not have had any trading history, but what’s a missing timetable between a large Conservative party donor and the needs of the general public?
As the screenshot indicates, the timetable is currently blank.
Here’s hoping that the Latin will be removed from the page by 29 March.
4) They posted their internal admin credentials
Like company, like website, Seaborne Freight’s online presence is in its developing stages.
On Monday, Welsh computer security service Cyber Cymru noticed that the company’s admin details to edit the website were in full display.
5) … but you can’t log in
But in spite of their login credentials being on display – and the fact that it would be very, very illegal – no-one would be able to log into the website anyways.
If you hover over the hazy login panel image, it takes you to one of two destinations: the website’s timetable page or google.
And as Twitter user @gossithedog notes, it’s the second part of the website that redirects to the search engine – making it pretty difficult for both company owner and the general public alike to use it.
— Kevin Beaumont (I think) (@GossiTheDog) January 2, 2019
6. Their privacy page skimps on the details
As you might have guessed by this stage, Seabourne Freight’s privacy page takes a similarly botched mould.
“[Business name] reserves the right to remove from our website any material deemed threatening,” the company warns.
“You have the right to request a copy of the personal information that [Business Name] holds about you and to have any inaccuracies corrected.”
— Jon (@ormondroyd) January 2, 2019
As Twitter user @ormondroyd states: “You literally couldn’t make this shit up.”
The Department for Transport has defended its decision to use the new company as a shipping provider, stating that the department “carefully vetted the company’s commercial, technical and financial position before making the award.”
A DfT spokesperson said: “This contract was awarded in the full knowledge that Seaborne Freight is a new shipping provider, and that the extra capacity and vessels would be provided as part of its first services.”
Seaborne Freight has not yet responded to a request for comment.