Please visit http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/ for confidential help and insolvency advice or email keiths@ksagroup.co.uk

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Go Ballooning in liquidation not administration

Ballooning company 'GO Ballooning' has gone into liquidation according to a statement on its website. The company was one of the UK's largest hot air balloon flight suppliers with over a 100 launch sites throughout the country

 The statement reads "The Company is deeply saddened to advise that after successfully trading for over 25 years and flying many tens of thousands of customers we have had to take the very difficult decision to cease trading. The company has been and will continue to work with the liquidator to attempt to formulate a solution for customers."

More will be revealed on the 9th April

The customers will be unlikely to get refunds for rides purchased in advance and should contact the liquidator.  We do not know who the liquidator is at this stage but we advise looking at the website at http://www.goballooning.co.uk for any updates.

Joe Sadler, of Elwell Watchorn and Saxton LLP, had been appointed to handle the firms affairs. There will be a creditors meeting on the 24th April It is understood that the firm has taken some £1m in prepayments...

33 comments :

  1. Sad really, the weather has been the main problem as I see it, I have had more than 10 cancellations over nearly three years now. Our flight was just two weeks away!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a mug , any operations manager knows the capacity of the equipment .
      I have worked for companies who could not possibly fly all the people booked and they were dependent on 60% cancellations by vouchers .
      I can book every person in the world to fly (if they pay) but there is no way I can fly them all .

      Delete
    2. Do you work for "go ballooning"? Whatever happened to common decency? This is not "business" this us outright theft... where has the million pounds taken from people who actually work gor a living gone? These people are no better than crooks....

      Delete
  2. Yes, I was the same - I bought a voucher for my husband for his 40th, which was 3 years ago and everytime we booked it got cancelled. I appreciate it's difficult as need to have perfect weather conditions but frustrating that couldn't get money back, and now it will be impossible to get that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bull shit , we all have specialist met consultants who are pretty good at giving percentages , how can they call flights on with a 1% chance .
      It's called kicking the can down the road ,( got your money and can fob you off at very little expense)

      Delete
  3. That is not correct. The weather played a role, but the company had no hope of fulfilling the orders it was taking. We were told that they had only 2 balloons operating. They would have needed to have 7 on standby every day to clear the backlog within a year. Without doing so, they were knowingly taking money without being able to deliver the service. Sad that so many of us have been duped. Not sad this this terrible company has closed, protecting further consumers from the same fate. I hope the owners suffer some significant financial penalty, if not criminal charges. But I suspect the money has gone elsewhere and the powers that be - disinterested.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Too right!! After three and a half years and thirteen attempts it was going to happen at some time

      Delete
    2. Don't worry, any one can book you for a flight , it will be canceled but don't worry we can book you again . (it's cheaper not to fly passengers ,no direct operating costs just profit )

      Delete
  4. We were due to fly tomorrow after my husband purchasing the tickets for my 40th birthday a year ago. We have also had numerous cancellations!! I only found out the news today when I checked the web site. No-one has contacted us!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. If someone shoplifts from Tescos they are considered scum but if a company takes hundreds of pounds from people for goods or services that they very likely know they cannot deliver it's considered part & parcel of the economic merry go round. I bought three tickets and I'm gutted - this was money I could ill-afford, a real treat. Why are we 'unlikely to get refunds for rides purchased in advance'? How else do people purchase balloon flights? This company should & could have done something to prevent this. Legally this may not be considered theft, but morally .....? I'm absolutely appalled.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am so angry. My daughter, a student, unbeknown to me, had saved hard to buy me two tickets for my birthday/Mothers day present March of last year knowing that it was something I always wanted to do. She was going to accompany me on my flight which involved a return journey each time for her of 400 miles to join me. We had six cancellations last year due to 'poor weather'; on two of the days the weather was absolutely stunning, we just couldn't believe it! Our seventh attempt at flying was booked for this Saturday and it was only by chance that I found out from a friend that a ballon company had gone bust. I feel such dissappointment for my daughter; she has lost all her money because she doesn't possess a credit card and so paid by debit card. No doubt her money has gone towards upkeeping the owners lifestyle; I hope they get what they deserve. No doubt they'll get away with it and just start another company up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. STILL TRY THE BANK USING 'CHARGE BACK'

      Delete
    2. If bought using a debit card you should still be able to claim back... they have to provide the same level of cover. I however bought via Paypal, funded direct from my bank account... the bank say that they dont cover this as this is deemed a 'direct debit' and it was not fraudulent in a successful and 'agreed' transfer to PayPal..! :( ... and PayPal only cover you for 45 days, and not for 'intangible' goods !! :( ... £230 lost and my wife's 40th Birthday present ! :(

      Delete
  7. I all, I'm a now 'in the dark and smelly' ex-pilot for Go Ballooning (Cameron Flights Southern Ltd) and share your pain. There are quite a lot of us now very much in the hole.

    Please make sure you register as a creditor. If you can't attend the creditors meeting there are a number of people out here willing to act as proxy to ensure the whole thing isn't brushed under the carpet.

    I have to correct the statement that there were only 2 balloons. I believe it was more like 15-16 - so you can imagine how many pilots and crew are owed large sums of money.

    You might like to look at when various new companies were formed to take on some of the activities that were happening and being funded through Go Ballooning (Cameron Flights Southern Ltd.), and then wonder if assets and money were correctly handled and transferred. The incorporation dates are suspiciously close to the 'big bang' on 4/4/2013 and they are undertaking activities that Go/CFS did, using the exact same equipment.

    Start with:

    Skypower Limited (incorporated 23/3/2013)

    Skypower Aerial Filming Limited (incorporated 23/3/2013)


    Search FaceBook for I DIDN'T GO BALLOONING to find people who can help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so can you tell us why the G-info site seems to think these 15-16 balloons were not all insured to fly at the same time ?
      Truth pilots who do not take responsibility are common , weather it is finance or maintenance its that same old story . I just did what I was told .Like a a holocaust guard .

      Delete
  8. Same here, was due to fly this morning and only found out by checking their weather line. Must have re-booked this one only a few days before they went bust after our last flight was canceled on the 23rd March (our 6th attempt) - probably no hope in getting my £200 back (2 x anytime tickets, bought February 2012 for wive's 40th)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your daughter should check with her Bank, they have a system called 'Chargeback' covering Debit card payments- they will require any receipts etc- worth a try.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I bought two vouchers only a month before they announced the company had gone into administration. Just before I bought it, I corresponded with them (someone called Stuart and Christy) over several days to get some details about flight courses etc to make sure their location options, etc. are better for us than other ballooning operators, which they were. (IF they were genuinely 'operating' !) Having read many people's comments about their experiences (of NOT having been able to experience flying), i now realized they must have known they were not in the position to continue business and would have to cease the business very soon as they were talking with me. What a cheat! According to some news sources they had taken over £1m in pre-payment before they gone bust, and BABO (British Association of Ballooning Operators, of which Go Ballooning was not a member) said they've had concerns about Go Ballooning's business practice since 2011 (info on their website) . If they had been taking money knowing they would not provide the service, that's clearly a con, a criminal case.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just another mug - like others I phoned Go Ballooning to check if I would fly today - you all know the rest - but I note from other responders that they were not members of BABO - even though the BABO logo is clearly shown on their mailings. If you look at their handouts you will have noticed that they claimed to support several worthwhile charities ( Help for Heroes etc )- I wonder if any of those charities ever received a penny, or was this just a cynical marketing ploy? The phrase " worthless scum " crosses the mind....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well you know the score with the BABO CLEEK some one has to take one for the team and we all know the name will change but the rip off remains

      Delete
  12. The Creditors meeting was yesterday. Even so, you should still send an email with proof of purchase (vouchers, bank statement, flight booking, extension emails etc.) to the proposed liquidator ASAP.I would not expect any money back from Go Ballooning, but if you are able to use the chargeback or credit card schemes to get your money back, then you will need confirmation from the liquidator that you have a valid claim and you won't be getting a refund. (goballooning@ewsllp.co.uk)

    If you bought with a Credit card you may be covered by "Section 75". (http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/section75-protect-your-purchases) If you bought with certain debit cards (E.g. VISA) then you may be covered by their charge back scheme. (http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/shopping/visa-mastercard-chargeback) Either of these methods appear to be your most likely way to get any money back. Contact your bank as soon as possible and push them hard. Don't accept the first answer that the transaction was too long ago. Tell them you have a flight booked for today and confirm that you contacted them within the 120 day period.

    If you think Go Ballooning were dishonest, report them. I have done this, and it doesn't take too long. I believe that there is enough to warrant an investigation. (http://www.actionfraud.police.uk)

    Finally, do take the time to write to your MP about this. It's not fair that consumers have so little protection and go to the back of the queue when a company goes bust. Ask them to provide better protection for voucher buyers. Vouchers are great for the economy, but only work if the consumers are confident. The balloon industry would love to get the £700,000+ that was lost in Go Ballooning injected back into their industry. I received a reply from my MP a couple of days ago and he is writing to the relevant Minister. It takes very little time to do. (http://www.writetothem.com/)

    ReplyDelete
  13. There are a lot of people in the 'I didnt go ballooning' group on Facebook.... hundreds of disgruntled customers ! ...really should be a legal investigation into this company... and their sister company GoVouchers which seems to have also closed down now !!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. They say what goes around comes around. If you have done someone over always look around in case they do you over

    ReplyDelete
  15. OK. So feedback from the creditors meeting seems to indicate that the directors were indeed underhand in a number of issues. It's clear there is no money available from the company, probably due to careful "management" of their affairs rather than incompetence. The only way that we can make the directors pay from their nest eggs is by showing they acted illegally. And the only way we can find this out is by having a proper investigation. The liquidator has a duty to investigate, so put pressure on him to investigate and call in the appropriate authorities. Do please report them to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ if you think they may have acted fraudulently. Even if you are not sure, get the investigation going. If the directors knowingly continued to run a failing business, (taking money as recently as February), until the conditions were favourable for them - That is fraud.

    "Under wrongful trading legislation in the UK, if the company continues to trade while it is insolvent the directors of the company may become personally liable to contribute to the company's assets and help meet the deficit to unsecured creditors if the company's financial position is made worse by the directors continuing to trade instead of putting the company immediately into liquidation."

    There is a chance that some customers may get money back through Section 75 or Chargeback. But there will be a huge number who won't. With the company so effectively stripped of its assets, even their staff won't get paid. We must all make the directors pay and proving they were fraudsters is the way to do it.

    Please take the time to make some noise. Don't let it go quietly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cloud Hopper was the first balloon crime ,some say this is where this 25 year scam was learned

      Delete
  16. Anonymous 26th April 2013
    another mug!
    my children bought a balloon ride for my husbands 60th birthday in 2011 and after 9 attempts we still have not gone!Guess we never will. In most cases the weather was perfect!!!Is there be any chance of them having any money returned to them. We also had to stay in some hotels as the trips were to far to travel to in one day.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have contacted Santander's Card Services dept and had a helpful and hopeful conversation. They will be sending me a form to complete in 7-10 days and once they receive the form have assured me the money will be refunded to my Santander debit card account within 48 hours - under the Chargeback scheme. I went into my local branch and although the clerk hadn't heard of the scheme, she spoke to her manager, who had. She gave me Card Services number and I phoned from the bank. However, I did spend less than £100 with GoVouchers which I understand is the limit for Chargeback. Hope this helps others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some good news.....I refer to my previous post dated 17th April; my daughter had bought two tickets using her debit card in March of last year. She did register with EWS that she was a creditor as she did not receive any advance information of the creditors meeting, which was supposed to have been done from the records of Go Ballooning. However, she did subsequently contact her bank, Nationwide I believe, and they sent her the necessary forms using the chargeback scheme. She's returned the forms along with all the requested documentation and within a day of receipt, the bank have refunded all of her money to her account! Well done Nationwide! Some welcome positive news for my daughter as she nears the end of her degree course.

      Delete
  18. I bought 2 vouchers at £99.99 each. I have written to my credit card company under section 75 but I'm not hopeful as each voucher is 1p under the limit! Does anybody have any advice they could give me on how else I could try and get my money back? Would Barclaycard work under the chargeback scheme instead? Could I argue that I needed to buy 2 as you can't send someone on a balloon ride on their own? The whole thing is stressing me out. I've asked the creditors to be put on the creditors list, will this do anything?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not much , when they are singing "we go a million out of you and there is nothing you can do" .
      Don't worry a new off the shelf company will cost less than a couple of flights and this time our BABA sign will will mean we are a member (until we face a problem again ,which you know we will a few years after this is forgotten )

      Delete
  19. Just found out about this, as a consequence of ringing their weatherline today. So how would I know about the creditors meeting? I would have thought they or the liquidators could have e-mailed voucher holders, just as they did for cancelled flights.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Please take a look on Facebook at this group set up to help those with tickets

    https://www.facebook.com/ididntgoballooning?promoted_like=1

    ReplyDelete

Many thanks for your comments. If you have a private business problem and you want advice give us a call on 0800 9700 539 or email me at keiths@companyrescue.co.uk. If you are a professional advisor with a troubled client, please suggest they visit www.companyrescue.co.uk or contact me as above.

Web Analytics