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Customer Service shockingly bad

LETTER: For the week of March 21

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I have had a frustrating experience as I mistakenly bought the wrong Epic pass this season, and dealing with Vail Resorts' customer service department to resolve it to my satisfaction has been a very difficult road, to say the least.

I was not aware that there were two Epic passes and I bought the correct Epic pass last year but mistakenly bought the Epic Local Pass this year, which only lets you ski at Whistler for 10 days and not all season long as the Epic Pass does.

I was tempted to write a letter last month but thought my concerns not significant enough to bring to the attention of the local newspaper ... until I saw on the Whistler Winter Facebook page on March 17 that someone else had the exact same problem that I did and then others came forwards with the same experience too.

I am left wondering how many others have shared this experience as well and need to hear that they are not alone.

His letter prompted a flurry of comments and within 24 hours his post had 586 likes/dislikes and 165 comments! His words were my exact sentiments and that of so many others in our same situation.

I would like to know if there are 20 or 200 people who have had this happen to them, and I would encourage those affected to share their stories by writing to the paper or emailing me at Helen.mother.of.four@gmail.com.

My experience was that a couple of days before Valentines Day, I went out to ski for my second day that week and the gate wouldn't open to let me load and I was told by the lift operators that my 10 days were used up. I (said to) them, "but I have a season pass?"

I went inside to speak to customer service and neither they, nor their supervisor over the phone, could help me. I enquired as to if there was a difference in price and then just wanted to pay the difference and get me on my way with the seasons pass.

I honestly had no idea that there were two types of Epic passes and thought my only options were to buy a Whistler Blackcomb pass or an Epic pass before the ski season started.

I was told to write an email. I eventually got a reply that stated they couldn't help me either but would look into it for next year. I sent a couple more emails and received no reply to them.

I ended up posting on the Whistler Winter Facebook page to find a higher management person. It took me over a month of phone calls to get some sort of resolution since I was denied access to the mountain. (The Vail Resort staff person) has been wonderful at doing his best within the limitations of what he is authorized to do to help me.

My pass has not been reinstated as I had hoped for, and it has definitely put a damper on this year's ski season and left me feeling very discouraged and unappreciated as a customer.

I am not sure if this is the American way and that poor customer Service is how corporate America functions, but I am here to say that keep this terrible customer service up Vail Resorts and you might end up losing valued customers who discover cheaper more customer service-orientated ski towns in B.C.

Maybe Vail Resorts is too big to care about us, who paid a lot of money and have been left out in the cold this winter, but the moral of the story is, Vail Resorts listen to your customers now this year and fix the problem this year because next year may be too late!

Helen Raven

LowerMainland/Whistler

Vail (Resorts) fail

I had always thought the people saying Vail Resorts didn't care about locals were just being crybabies ... until (it) decided it was my turn to bend over.

In December I went to guest services and asked for a season's pass, and $960 later I was skiing.

I don't go to the hill much, but one day when I tried to scan my pass it wouldn't let me up.

Guest services informed me I had an Epic Local Pass not the Epic Pass I had purchased every other year I have lived here.

An Epic Local Pass cost a couple hundred dollars less, but only gives you 10 days at (Whistler Blackcomb) and unlimited days at (some) other Vail Resorts (properties).

No problem, I'll pay the difference in the pass price, even though I had very clearly asked for a season's pass and the new employee who helped me out just made a mistake.

"It's too late in the season to change your pass" is what I was told at guest services, but they said to email pass services.

Pass services never got back to me, even to this day, a month later.

I took my problem to (the director of pass sales).

He told me that it is unlikely that I was sold the (Epic Local Pass) without being explained its limitations

He said that all staff were highly trained and knew the products and their limitations and there was no way I was not (told) the limitations before buying.

Tough luck pal, go home, we don't upgrade passes after a certain date.

I have been fighting with Vail (Resorts) for one month now to try and get my pass sorted out and it feels like I am just treading water.

One month without a pass is a long time to wait.

I am not asking for any special deals, I just want to pay the difference in price of what I was charged and what I should have been charged and go up to the hill and rip a few laps with friends.

If you support me and think Vail Resorts is dropping the ball hard on this one, email (Vail Resorts about this) and say: I just want to shred a few laps with Jay before the snow melts.

Jason Neil

Whistler

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