Coach Companies who offer Cross-Border Shopping trips **GROAN and DESPAIR**

l don't know about you but when a coach company advertises Cross-Border shopping trips l would expect them to know the regs regarding such trips. What you dont expect is for them to give you information that is uitterly wrong and put you at risk of losing your goods.

Take this company, Ross Travel, for instance. Firstly they say, in big letters KNOW YOUR ALLOWANCE Well, there is NO allowance, there is NO such thing! 'Allowance' would mean that you are allowed to bring in this amount with no hinderance from UKBA. Best of luck with that! lmagine saying to the UKBA officers that have just stopped you 'l'm allowed to bring this in' ... after they've stopped laughing your goods are probably gone! UKBA work on guidelines only for EU shopping ... NOT allowances. They can and do confiscate amounts below the guidelines so this company isn't doing their customers any favours by giving them a false sense of security by saying they have 'allowances'! They are in fact putting them at risk of their goods being confiscated.

The company then goes on to list your 'allowances' ! /facepalm

Then the company goes onto more detail and states 'duty free allowances' !!! There is NO DUTY FREE!! ... let alone 'allowances' /facepalm.

Next we have the company saying that their driver will use his discretion (based on what? allowances?) to decline passengers entry onto the coach if they knowingly abuse the limits (knowingly? :)  limits? what limits? whose limits?) to excess. (One assumes therefore you can exceed the 'limits' but what the excess is, they don't say) /facepalm.

Next we have the company saying if you are stopped by customs (UKBA)for excessively exceeding allowances (it hurt even writing that) ... they'll leave you stranded! One wonders how the company's driver knows you've 'excessively exceeded allowances' (groan) when you've been stopped by UKBA and then interviewed. Does he come into the room where you are being interviewed and ask the UKBA? What if you haven't 'excessively exceed allowances' but UKBA are still giving you a hard time? Will the driver then not leave you stranded? Ah, the company's next paragraph looks like it addresses that.

The company says they have a duty of care to all the other passengers to continue on without you. No duty of care for the poor soul who's already having a hard time with UKBA then? He's now got the added pressure of fighting for his goods or being left stranded! /facepalm

One wonders what will be 'excessively exceeding allowances' (groan) when the new guidelines come in of 1kg tobacco and 800 cigarettes?

I'm beginning to think that these coach trips are operated by the UKBA!


  1. Theyre gonna love you SH! lol

  2. They should contract yours and Zaphods services to look after their customers interests. Companies like this need to get their act together.

  3. @SH, "I'm beginning to think that these coach trips are operated by the UKBA!"

    There is no other plausible explanation! Nobody else could be so utterly incompetent, dishonest, negligent, and stupid.

  4. OUCH! there goes Ross Travel

  5. It would be really useful to have a list of coach companies who offer day trips or day return offers ...

    There was a company in Birmingham in the early 00's that did trips, specialised in OAP baccy jaunts to Belgium that got quite militant after Customs seized their coach and stranded their passengers at the port.

    I'm sure there's a few smoking coach owners who'd be up for it...

  6. In fairness to Ross Travel (and I have used them a few times) I haven't seen them leave anyone behind on the trips I have done with them.

    The drivers are experienced in doing the trip and I have seen the same teams of drivers each time.

    I have seen other companies advertise (look at the Tobaccoreal website, coach companies page), that state overtly that they will leave you behind if you have more than "The Allowance".

    SH, you saw my report last week, that was on a Ross trip.

    Come the new MILs though and I can't see anyone booking on a coach trip.

  7. "you saw my report last week, that was on a Ross trip."

    Link please.

  8. My point was and still is Regular Tripper that it's difficult enough dealing with the UKBA without having it made more difficult by being given false information.

    By using the term 'allowances' it plays into UKBA's hands for the unsuspecting shopper. False information is worse than no information at all.

    l have no problem with coach companies setting their own limits in reference to the 'guidelines' but they should state clearly and precisely. lf they are going to give info about the guidelines it should also be correct.

    Maybe Ross Travel don't leave passengers behind but their leaflet leaves you in no-mans land by putting such as 'excessively exceeding limits' which is of no use to anyone.

    Your report is to be posted shortly. l try not to put up too much info at once as not to overwhelm readers. Also your report deserves a post of it's own.

    Thanks for doing it as it is very much appreciated. We need more like you to do the same. As the Tesco ad says ... Every Little Helps' :)

  9. Fortunately I read your site, so I went prepared ;-)

    I also mentioned to a couple of fellow travellers that they should come look here.

  10. You'd think that these bus companies would have all the correct info. They are either lazy or couldn't give a toss.


"In the eyes of the Tribunal the review letter contained several preconceptions, prejudgments and non-sequiturs"

"the absurdity of this reason is demonstrated by simply stating it"

"We therefore find that Mr Sked misdirected himself as to the Policy in carrying out the review and his decision is therefore one that no reasonable review officer could have arrived at."

... commonly known here at N2D as 'Skeds' ... that is to say these are Judges comments regarding UKBA Review Officer Ian Sked's reasons for rejecting peoples appeals against seizures.

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