newblocknew

Mountain Spy March 2015 Entitled Customers

 

 

sam cover mar15



In this month’s Mountain Spy, we tackle what is becoming a persistent trend at resorts—entitled customers.

 



THE QUESTION: I WANT TO BUY NEW SKIS AND WAS WONDERING IF I GET A DISCOUNT SINCE I BOUGHT A SEASON PASS TO THE RESORT THIS YEAR?

MOUNTAIN 1, ME

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: I don’t know, you’ll have to talk to our ski shop. Do you want their number?
SAM: OK, sure. Could you transfer me?
Staff: No. This is an incoming line only. (Silence…)
SAM: OK. What’s their number? [Given ski shop number]
(Yikes, lady. Sorry to bother you!) [Called the ski shop]
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: You do! Which pass do you have?
SAM: The X pass.
Staff: Sure thing, so that means you get 10 percent off at the store.
SAM: Great. Is that on everything?
Staff: You bet! Is there anything else I can help you with?
SAM: Guess that’s it. Thanks.

RATING: 4
COMMENT: THAT FIRST CHICK WAS A REAL BUZZ KILL.

MOUNTAIN 2, PA

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: I can connect you over to X ski shop. One second …
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Ah, negative. Let me double check just to be sure. ...
Staff: Thanks for waiting. I talked to the manager of this store and unfortunately, no. When you did buy your season pass though, did you get a gift card? Sometimes they do that. I know, like, in the beginning of the season, if you pre-bought, you get, like, a $100 gift card for the resort.
SAM: Hmm, I don’t think so. I didn’t pre-buy my pass.
Staff: Um, yeah, unfortunately no, we don’t offer any discounts then.
SAM: OK. Do you know if there are discounts on anything with a pass?
Staff: Um, that I’m not sure, cuz we are not affiliated with the resort. We’re actually an independent company and just rent the space.
SAM: Gotcha. But you’re the only ski shop at the mountain, right?
Staff: Correct. Now, we do have another shop at the sister resort, Y. I’m not sure if there are discounts there, but maybe. You could check since I know these resorts work closely with one another.
SAM: No worries. So season passholders to this resort do not get any discounts at your shop?
Staff: No, I’m sorry. But thank you for calling!

RATING: 6
COMMENT: IT’S ALWAYS APPRECIATED WHEN CUSTOMER SERVICE STAFF DOUBLE CHECK THE DETAILS AND OFFER UNSOLICITED ADVICE.

MOUNTAIN 3, VT

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Hmmm, um, let me check on that. One second …
Staff: Um, so we don’t know here, down at our front desk for lodging, but I’m going to throw you up to guest services, who should know.
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Ahh, hold on one sec. I’m not sure. ...
Staff: Nah. For season passholders there’s no discount for equipment.
SAM: OK. Not even on anything in your ski shops?
Staff: Right. There’s no discount for season passholders on purchasing equipment. Were you going to buy new skis?
SAM: Yeah, I was and was hoping there might be a small discount.
Staff: Ahh, no. Not as far as that stuff goes. No. Not even, I mean, food you still have to pay full price for, too. So um, yeah.
SAM: Al right then. Gotcha. No discounts. Thanks.

RATING: 3
COMMENT: GOT IT. NO DISCOUNTS. AND NOT MUCH PERSONALITY, EITHER.

MOUNTAIN 4, WY

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Oh yeah. You know, you should check out is X shop. It’s either 20 or 25 percent off. Let me check …
SAM: Awesome, thanks.
Staff: OK! Sooo, you get 10 percent off on-mountain retail purchases and then, oh, ok, I guess it’s only 10 percent off as well at X shop.
SAM: OK, great. And the X shop is the mountain’s main shop, right?
Staff: They’re actually in town, and they carry really great equipment!
SAM: Great. And you said it was 10 percent?
Staff: Yeah! And if you went to the GM of the shop, you can talk to them and who knows, maybe they’re willing to extend extra discounts that I might not know of.
SAM: No worries. I can swing by there. Thanks for your help!

RATING: 8
COMMENT: BUCKETS OF ENTHUSIASM AND DOUBLE-CHECKING: THOSE SERVICE POINTS ALWAYS EARN HIGH POINTS FROM GUESTS.

MOUNTAIN 5, CO

First Contact: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Hmm, I know, like, early in the season we had, like, demo days, but I think now, um, what kind of pass do you have?
SAM: Gosh, I think just the regular, basic one.
Staff: Uhh, like the X pass?
SAM: I think so, yeah.
Staff: OK, yeah. So, like, if you have the X pass you should have four half-off rental vouchers.
SAM: Oh, no. Not rental. I’m trying to buy new skis.
Staff: Oh, yeah, you don’t get a discount on buying new skis. I know if you, like, rent for a couple of days to try skis out, you can put two days of rental toward the purchase, but yeah, like, they don’t offer just a discount for being a passholder.
SAM: OK, so there’s no regular discounts on skis for passholders then.
Staff: Right. Yeah, like, unfortunately, no.
SAM: OK, thanks.

RATING: 4
COMMENT: YEAH, LIKE, IT WOULD BE GREAT IF YOU LISTENED TO MY ORIGINAL QUESTION MORE CLOSELY.

MOUNTAIN 6, CA

Note: SAM spent the first 20 minutes of this call trying, and failing, to navigate the maze of automated options and being booted back to the main menu each time a department did not pick up. 

Answering the phone (finally!): Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, there are lots of places at the base that do offer discounts including X shop. So that’s certainly an option. Um, I don’t know how much that discount would be, though.
SAM: OK, but season passholders get a deal on skis?
Staff: Yeah. But not, I mean, there may be some limitations. Let me just have a quick look here … F&B, lessons, lodging … um, so I don’t know, I’m not seeing anything specific about skis. I know we do discounts for demos, but that’s not the same as buying your own stuff. I can transfer you to the ski shop if you want?
SAM: Sure. [Transferred]
Answering phone: Female. (Realized this was not the same shop I was told I was being transferred to!)
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Ummm, so here we don’t have any hard goods, and our discount for season passholders is anything with our logo on it. Um, who were you speaking with before?
SAM: You know, it actually took me 20 minutes to get someone on the phone. The girl I was talking to then just transferred me to you, even though she mentioned a different shop.
Staff: Oh, well that’s fun. OK! That’s surprising, she must be having some kind of a day. So at Y shop, at the base of the mountain, we do have hard goods. Skis, boots, poles, everything. Here we just have helmets and other soft goods. So let me give you the number to the Y shop, and I’ll also transfer you directly, but in case you get disconnected, you can call them back directly. [Given number]
SAM: Awesome, thanks. I appreciate it.
Staff: OK, so it looks like it won’t let me transfer over there. Sorry about that. But if you call directly, I know they’ll be able to help you.
SAM: No worries. Thanks. [Called Y ski shop]
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: No, I’m sorry, you don’t. Only on our logoed items. And skis do not have our logo, ha ha ha!
SAM: All right then. So no discounts on skis?
Staff: Nope!

RATING: 2
COMMENT: NO CUSTOMER SHOULD HAVE TO WAIT 20 MINUTES TO GET SOMEONE ON THE PHONE.

MOUNTAIN 7, CANADA

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: I’m not entirely sure, but I can connect you with the X shop in the village who can definitely help you, if that’s all right?
SAM: Sure, thanks. [Transferred]
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Yup! We do 10 percent off our regular hardgood items, but there is a bunch of stuff that just went on sale as well. Like, it literally went on sale today!
SAM: Awesome. So your sale items are probably a better discount?
Staff: Yeah, for sure. What kind of skis were you looking for?
SAM: An all-mountain ski. Somewhere around 110 under foot.
Staff: Yup, OK! Did you have anything specific in mind?
SAM: Not necessarily. I was just curious if I got any discount at all.
Staff: Yeah, so the selected skis that are on sale, you don’t get a discount on those, well actually, let me make sure, hold on ... Correct, so you don’t get a discount on the sale items. The more popular skis probably aren’t on sale, but you do get the discount on those, so you have some options.
SAM: Great. So if I come in, I can just see what’s available, and you can help me?
Staff: Of course!
SAM: Thanks. And how long is the sale going on for?
Staff: It’s pretty much the new price point for the rest of the season, so come in whenever works for you, and we can get you all set up.
SAM: Thanks!

RATING: 10
COMMENT: THAT’S HOW IT’S DONE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

IDENTITY REVEALED: WHISTLER, B.C.

MOUNTAIN 8, NJ

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Uh, off rentals?
SAM: No, I was looking to buy new gear.
Staff: Um, yeah, give me one second. I can get that discount info for you… OK, you get 10 percent off the full price at the shop. At the X ski shop. Um, yeah. That’s it.
SAM: Awesome. Is that just hard goods or does that include clothes and stuff?
Staff: Um, yes, that’s just 10 percent off anything full price.
SAM: Sweet. So that’s everything then?
Staff: Um, yeah. (Silence…)
SAM: Even better. What about last year’s gear? Is that included?
Staff: Um, it’s only off full price, so discounted stuff doesn’t count.
SAM: No problem, thanks!

RATING: 6
COMMENT: UM, YEAH… BASIC, SOLID INFO, BUT WHERE’S THE ENTHUSIASM?!

MOUNTAIN 9, MI

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Umm, let me transfer you to our sports shop!
[Transferred]
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Um, yeah. Did you get silver or gold?
SAM: Pretty sure I got the silver pass.
Staff: Yeah, you get 10 percent.
SAM: Awesome. Is that 10 percent on both hard goods and soft goods or just one?
Staff: No! Most of the stores here at the resort you’ll get that 10 percent off everything. X store is an exception, but everywhere else you’ll get 10 percent across the board.
SAM: Sweet. Thanks!

RATING: 8
COMMENT: SHORT AND SWEET, AND EXCITED TO HELP ME OUT.

MOUNTAIN 10, WV

First contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: I have no idea. Let me connect you with the shop.
[Ended up being transferred back to a different operator]
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Are you asking for discounts on ski equipment because you bought a season pass?
SAM: Yes.
Staff: Um, I have no idea. That would be, ah, hold on…
[Transferred somewhere]
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Um, yeah. You’ll get a small discount on some skis.
SAM: Cool. Is it just hard goods or is it on everything?
Staff: Yeah, you get a discount on everything.
SAM: OK. Do you know what the discount is?
Staff: Yeah, it’s normally 10 percent. It might be like 5 percent on hard goods, but definitely 10 percent on everything else.

RATING: 5
COMMENT: FINALLY GOT AN ANSWER, BUT STILL SLIGHTLY UNCLEAR.

MOUNTAIN 11, CA

First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, no. No, uh uh. Your best deals are going to be at the ski shops now that they’re doing their after-season sales.
SAM: Hmm, OK. I can check those out. Do season passholders get deals on anything at the resort?
Staff: Hmm, well they do. Uh, but not on equipment.
SAM: So you think going to the local shop in town is better?
Staff: That’s probably gonna be your better deal.

RATING: 6
COMMENT: THAT’S NO WAY TO PROMOTE YOUR RESORT, BUT THANKS FOR THE HONESTY AND PRACTICAL ADVICE.

MOUNTAIN 12, CANADA

First contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, we don't really sell any hard goods in our supply company, but at the end of the season I believe the rental shop sells off skis at a discounted rate, and the high performance demo shop also sells skis at discounted rates.
SAM: OK, great. So does your shop sell skis in general?
Staff: No it doesn’t, sorry.
SAM: Oh, OK. So the only place at the mountain to buy skis if I wanted is the rental shop or high performance center?
Staff: Yea, exactly!
SAM: No problem. Well maybe I’ll swing into the shop and see what they have.
Staff: Sounds good, thanks for calling!

RATING: 6
COMMENT: EASY INFO WITH A FRIENDLY ATTITUDE.

PrintEmail