UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
Kendalgal
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Complaints reply

Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:50 am

How long does it take to get a reply from Alton Towers after a complaint has been made? I used the form on the actual website to make a complaint yesterday.

Thanks in advance.
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TibBo
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Re: Complaints reply.

Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:12 pm

I imagine it depends on the complaint in question really.
Depending on the complexity of your complaint they may need to investigate the issue with several different sources to find the route of the problem before getting back to you with a response.

For example, if there was a spoon missing from your tea-tray in your hotel room the response would be much quicker than if you had been in a confrontation with a member of staff etc.

I imagine Monday mornings at the Towers are quite busy.
 
Big Dave

Re: Complaints reply.

Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:27 pm

To be honest, the park will probably only reply if they feel a reply is necessary. If you have made a complaint about something that they cannot do much about or is very trivial, then they might not think a reply is justified.

Obviously the complaint is personal to you, but what exactly was it you complained about? Also if its very important Id stick to writing them a letter as email replies from the park always seem to take forever.
 
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Re: Complaints reply.

Mon Sep 20, 2010 7:40 pm

I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for a reply. I filled out a complaint form at Guest Services back in April, I was asked if I wanted a reply sent in the post. It is now over 5 months later, and I am still waiting. :P .

I kind of gave up on that a long time ago. :shock:
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Kendalgal
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Re: Complaints reply.

Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:16 pm

Cheers lads, i think i will phone them.

I complained about other guests behaviour and also the service we received in the hotel which was completely unexceptable and completely wrong to go into on here.
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haydn!
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Re: Complaints reply.

Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:29 pm

"Big Dave" wrote:
To be honest, the park will probably only reply if they feel a reply is necessary. If you have made a complaint about something that they cannot do much about or is very trivial, then they might not think a reply is justified.


If the park do not reply, then that is an unacceptable level of customer service. All complaints, no matter their severity should warrant some form of response. Even if it is a acknowledgement of bad service and simple apology.
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DiogoJ42

Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:21 am

"Kendalgal" wrote:
I complained about other guests behaviour...

To be fair to Alton, the behavior of guests is not their fault. The hotel service is a different matter, of course.
 
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:56 am

Whenever I've asked a question via the form online, I've always had a reply. Maybe two three days later but always a reply :)
 
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:16 pm

I also put in a complaint about 3-4 weeks back. I got a reply within 3 days. Mine was also about the hotel pool closing early to let the Girl Guides in on thier own, whilst our little uns looked on crying.

They also closed the pool all 3 nights we were there the same time as the park, so it really was a waste of money staying at Splash Landings as we didnt even step foot in the pool.

In our reply we got 25% discount on the next booking. I wonder if that will be on top of our Merlin discount?

The only reason why we booked the hotel was for the evening entertainment and pool. As the pool was closed and the entertainment was, well non existant we spent 3 nights in the hotel room.

Next time its the Chained Oak I think.

Do the complaint on line and you should get a quick reply.
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Kendalgal
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:20 pm

I have contacted Sue Robinson, the PA to the hotels and she is sorting it for me and promised a reply in 3 days.

Hopefully we will get a satisfactory reply after all this. 22 mins i was on hold for :evil: :evil:
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:35 pm

"haydn!""][quote=""Big Dave" wrote:
To be honest, the park will probably only reply if they feel a reply is necessary. If you have made a complaint about something that they cannot do much about or is very trivial, then they might not think a reply is justified.

If the park do not reply, then that is an unacceptable level of customer service. All complaints, no matter their severity should warrant some form of response. Even if it is a acknowledgement of bad service and simple apology.[/quote]
Why is it an unacceptable level of customer service?

You must remember, these days people complain about everything and anything. It is so hard for companies to help those who are genuine rather than those who are just complaining for the heck of it, to see what they will get out of it.

Furthermore, you must understand it is not your right to receive a response when you complain. Seriously, if you start complaining thinking that you have a right to receive some sort of response, you are totally going about it the wrong way. While I totally agree, some issues deserve a response, the large majority do not.

What bugs me is people don't think they should have a bit of bad luck.
If something doesn't go quite well, you put it down to bad luck and move on - don't ruin your day further by queuing at some complaints stand and moan at somene about how it rained or you fell over a huge stone that is obviously there or you got stung by a wasp (I bet you annoyed it) (I have never seen a wasp going round stinging people just for fun :P).
Really though, think about it. You just had a bit of bad luck.

One day, soon, I'll get round to finishing my little book on how to complain.
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DiogoJ42

Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:15 pm

Just to be reaaaaaallly picky, I have been stung by a wasp "just for fun". It landed on my face, stung me, and f***ed off before I realised it was there. ;)
 
Kendalgal
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:29 pm

I can assure my complaint is not trivial. I am so not the person to complain for a freebie for example. My 2 complaints are genuine and worthy of a reply if not to apologise more than anything.
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Re: Complaints reply

Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:30 pm

I had no problem with Alton when I put in a complaint. Granted, mine was a little more serious than what a lot of people must whinge about. I was emailed back within 5 days, asked to put it into writing and send it on to the correct person, I was then sent a letter back with an apology and a substansial discount on my next visit. I was treated very well, to be fair.

Like others have mentioned, it will depend on the seriousness of your complaint and the response you get will be the same, really. The behaviour of other guests is a tricky one, I think. The other matter will hopefully get resolved for you either way!
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Chris W
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:28 pm

I sent a complaint letter off to Walt Disney World last monday and got a phone call and a email responding to my complaint yesterday. The response wasn't great, but I was happy with the apology and acknowledgement that they have an issue. I'd expect the same from Alton Towers.

I'd always recommend that if you have a complaint complain on the day and to the highest person possible, at least you are guaranteed a reply then.
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Big Dave

Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:47 pm

Best thing to do is write a letter to them saying you have not received any reply and you are not happy (obviously your not otherwise you wouldnt have started this post). Tell them what the problem is again and clearly state you want to hear from them in regards to this problem. Im certain you will get a reply, you just need to keep on at them a bit and like I said, stick to writing a letter as they dont seem to read the emails as much as they should.
 
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:04 pm

"Chris" wrote:

I'd always recommend that if you have a complaint complain on the day and to the highest person possible, at least you are guaranteed a reply then.


Couldn't agree more.
This also shows the person that you really do have an honest complaint as you have taken time out of your day while there to deal with it.

I imagine theme parks get a high level of 'fradulent' (not sure if that is the right word?) complaints from people just looking to get free/discounted returns, so I'm sure they really look into each complaint in depth.
 
Kendalgal
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:08 pm

We tried to complain on the day but it was check out day for us and check in for alot so the queue to the desk was massive (out the door) massive so we left the key on the desk and left.

Hopefully speaking to the PA i will get a speedy response now.
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haydn!
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Re: Complaints reply.

Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:52 pm

"Mr Hyde" wrote:
Why is it an unacceptable level of customer service?


Alton Towers success relies solely on guest satisfaction. They should listen to their guests at every opportunity, no matter how trivial the problem/comment.

"Mr Hyde" wrote:
You must remember, these days people complain about everything and anything. It is so hard for companies to help those who are genuine rather than those who are just complaining for the heck of it, to see what they will get out of it.


What must be remembered, is that what may appear trivial to you, may be a major bug bear to someone else. Everyone is different.

"Mr Hyde" wrote:
Furthermore, you must understand it is not your right to receive a response when you complain. Seriously, if you start complaining thinking that you have a right to receive some sort of response, you are totally going about it the wrong way.


Of course, it isn’t anyones right to receive a response, but I would expect one from a company that claims to deliver a high class of customer service.

"Mr Hyde" wrote:
What bugs me is people don't think they should have a bit of bad luck.
If something doesn't go quite well, you put it down to bad luck and move on - don't ruin your day further by queuing at some complaints stand and moan at somene about how it rained... ...Really though, think about it. You just had a bit of bad luck.


Funny you should mention the weather. Yes, of course Alton Towers can’t control it but they can prevent it from ruining a guests day. In this instance, what they should be looking at is what really made the guest complain, the real route cause of the complaint. It may not actually be because it rained, it may be because the park doesn’t offer a enough things to do when it rains?

A response to a complaint doesn’t have to always be an apology. There is no shame in asking a customer what they felt could be done differently to make their day more enjoyable. In fact by engaging the customer in the resolution process in this way, you’re more likely to make them feel more valued.

A company learns more about what it gets right and wrong from customers who complain, than it does the ones who don’t. As annoying as they can be (and some are, trust me, I resolve customer complaints for a major UK company) customers who complain are actually a very valuable asset.
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Mr Hyde
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Re: Complaints reply.

Wed Sep 22, 2010 7:44 am

"Kendalgal" wrote:
I can assure my complaint is not trivial. I am so not the person to complain for a freebie for example. My 2 complaints are genuine and worthy of a reply if not to apologise more than anything.

Oh of course. I didn't mean my post to be aimed at you or what your complaint may have meant to be, rather just my own opinion on the complaints culture we are in the UK.

"Chris" wrote:
I'd always recommend that if you have a complaint complain on the day and to the highest person possible, at least you are guaranteed a reply then.

Yeah? This doesn't work for Apple:

According to Guardian.co.uk, Chelsea Isaacs, who is working towards a journalism degree at Long Island University, was writing an article about an iPad program that the college recently implemented. In order to effectively do so, Isaacs wrote to Apple's Media Relations department a total of six times without a response. Keep in mind that this is not an unusual occurrence. Not all inquiries can be responded to. It's un-realistic. However, in her frustration, the young woman decided to email the big kahuna himself to find out why Apple's Media Relations department ignored her. This time, she got a response.

The email headers are said have been checked and deemed legitimate by Guardian. Below are some of the highlights of the conversation. For the full transcripts, visit the source.

In response to a long letter by Isaacs where she expresses that she is an Apple customer and feels Apple to be "at the forefront of improving the way we function in the academic environment," this is what Jobs had to say:

Jobs: "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry."

After a polite response back asking, "what about common courtesy, in general --- if you get a message from a client or customer, as an employee, isn't it your job to return the call?" Jobs, once again, responded:

Jobs: "Nope. We have over 300 million users and we can't respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry."

In a final plea, Isaacs explains that she IS one of Apple's 300 million users, and DOES have a problem that only Apple can answer. Again, she asks that Media Relations please respond to her as she is "on a deadline." The response:

Jobs: "Please leave us alone."


Ha ha, and people still oogle over Apple products even though their CEO is a nightmare? :P

The one problem I see with "going to the highest person" is it's not their job to read and respond. They have a complaints department/customer services/customer relations to deal with that. It's their job to act on the reports, in my opinion.
In fact, you may shoot yourself in the foot. The CEO/Director is probably too busy to respond so will just offer whatever is suitable to get your letter off their desk. It costs the company penuts to give away a few free items here and there and if it'll shut you up, I am sure they will do it and not even care what your complaint is. Phone companies are very good at this.



"haydn!""][quote=""Mr Hyde" wrote:
Why is it an unacceptable level of customer service?

Alton Towers success relies solely on guest satisfaction. They should listen to their guests at every opportunity, no matter how trivial the problem/comment.[/quote]
Yep, very true. However, look at Thorpe Park - people still go even though it isn't great service. Sometimes people have no choice. For instance, if I was travelling from Stoke to London but wanted to travel on an East Midlands trains service, I have no choice but to travel with Virgin Trains. There are other theme parks out there, but will you get the same experience as at Alton? But this doesn't answer the question of why you think it is un-acceptable :P



"haydn!" wrote:
What must be remembered, is that what may appear trivial to you, may be a major bug bear to someone else. Everyone is different.

Again, very true. But people do need to learn to man up a bit and take it on the chin. Everyone is, of course different but there is a common level where I would suggest the majority of people would say a complaint subject isn't worth moaning about.



"haydn!" wrote:
Of course, it isn’t anyones right to receive a response, but I would expect one from a company that claims to deliver a high class of customer service.

Again, a true statement. But then most companies boast their level of customer service is sky high, so this is only something that can be said by an individual, not a company. For instance, I thought Vodafone were very good, yet I know many people who thought they were very bad, yet they will still claim they have a "world class" level of customer service.



"haydn!" wrote:
A response to a complaint doesn’t have to always be an apology. There is no shame in asking a customer what they felt could be done differently to make their day more enjoyable. In fact by engaging the customer in the resolution process in this way, you’re more likely to make them feel more valued.

If only more companies would be like this then they would be on to a winner! It's about finding a solution to the problem together, not waging a war or a barganing match - save that for your holiday!



"haydn!" wrote:
A company learns more about what it gets right and wrong from customers who complain, than it does the ones who don’t. As annoying as they can be (and some are, trust me, I resolve customer complaints for a major UK company) customers who complain are actually a very valuable asset.

Exactly. You will know that something like 96% of unhappy customers never complain. Without feedback a company does not know how it can improve. However, my gripe is with those who complain about silly things.

For instance, I experienced someone who was aat a car park entrance stating "the car park says it's full". Yes, this means the car park is full. No need for a complaint, the company are obviously doing well to fill their spaces, so find somewhere else. Perhaps there are plans to extend it, maybe build a new one somewhere close by, but this should be an enquiry not a full blown complaint.

To relate this to Alton's situation in the summer and parking on the grass. Yes, sometimes it can be hassle, and I agree, the car parking needs to be looked at to increase the spaces, but simply asphalting the field of car park M and N (?) isn't a viable option as the field is used for animals at various points in the year. So, either suggest something realistic to solve the problem or simply state it annoys you and leave it be.

Then again, it's the companies choice on whether to change it or not. Nobody is forcing you to use their services (although public transport is an exception to this) so if you don't like it, don't use it. Put up or shut up :P Ha ha.

Oh, and removing seats is a simply encouragement for you to go and spend food in a food outlet to sit down. I agree there should be more benches around, especially in the gardens for summer.
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