Back in July, I wrote about my visit to Thorpe Park and the comments I sent to them via SMS. A week ago, I wrote about how I received a response, which was long overdue and of no use to me. I complained to them about this and have received a response.
Here’s their reply:
Thank you for your email to THORPE PARK!
Unfortunately, due to the nature and complexity of our rides, there may be times where we require a ride to be taken out of operation. This can be due to many reasons from a guest action to a technical issue but we do have a dedicated team of ride operators and engineers on standby to bring the ride back into operation as quickly as possible. Each morning our teams of engineers begin their daily safety checks as early as 6am and they conduct a series of tests and trials on each of the rides. If during these tests they come across an issue that requires attention they will fix the part in question until it has been fixed to a satisfactory level. In some cases however a longer shutdown is required and a ride may be taken out of operation for an entire day.
We understand how important it is to our guests to have full information, so as soon as we know that a ride may be unavailable for a significant proportion of the day we will put this information on our website at www.thorpepark.com, notify our contact centre, and update our information boards in our Admissions area and around the Park. I can appreciate that it is frustrating when booking tickets in advance or arriving for a pre arranged visit, however all tickets, when booked or purchased are done with agreement to the terms and conditions which state that all rides are subject to availability. Samurai is currently advertised on our website as it is to remain closed for the foreseeable future. I can confirm that Slammer has not been in operation this season. This was advertised on our website for the majority of the season. SAW Alive is no longer an all year attraction and after advertising this for the duration of the season all reference to this has been removed from our website. It will return for our FRIGHT NIGHTS and I apologise if you were not aware of this prior to your visit.
Our text messaging service is run by an external company and unfortunately we were not made aware of the difficulties they had previously encountered so we didn’t know our messages had not been received until guests had informed us. We appreciate how unprofessional this may have appeared and certainly were as surprised as you were that our replies had not reached guests for such a long time.
In light of your comments to make up for the disappointment encountered we would like to offer you complimentary tickets for either our 2013 season or for this year before October 10th.
Please respond with a postal address and which season would suit you best so these can be processed for you.
I look forward to your reply and welcoming you back to THORPE PARK soon!
I know that the rides at Thorpe Park are probably extremely complicated. They’ll use sensors and computer-controlled wizardry and if one tiny component fails, or the software that controls the computers has a bad line of code within it, everything will go wrong and the ride won’t run.
However, The Swarm was breaking down constantly during the day and when I finally managed to ride on it, we were all stuck on it for about 10 minutes, either because of a mechanical or a software failure.
I could understand a ride breaking down once every now and again; that’s a given. In my opinion (and I don’t claim to be an expert on such things), The Swarm hadn’t been tested for long enough before being opened to Thorpe Park‘s visitors. When you consider that there are people who travel the world to ride on the newest attractions, that’s not really good enough.
I’m definitely not one of those people, but if I’d have travelled from the USA to ride on the brand-new attraction at Thorpe Park just to find that it was non-operational for most of the day, I’d be pretty pissed off.
What’s done is done and as time-travel is yet to be invented, no one can do anything about my visit back in July. When things go wrong, all that can be done is to focus on putting things right and to try and restore any faith that may have been lost- that’s what good customer service is about.
I’ve accepted Thorpe Park‘s offer of some tickets for the 2013 season. I’ve provided my address and these will be sent to me in the new year. I just hope I remember that I’m expecting them!
My trip to Thorpe Park in July wasn’t ruined, but it wasn’t as much fun as it should have been. There were three of us and the tickets cost around £45.00 each, so Thorpe Park are effectively compensating me with £135.00. I only live about 2 hours away from Thorpe Park, so I can go again any time I feel like it, once the tickets have arrived.
I did wonder whether or not Thorpe Park would send me free tickets, but I was expecting them to offer a money-off voucher. I’m very pleased with their resolution to my complaint and I’m more than happy to accept their offer.
Things go wrong sometimes, but if those things are eventually put right, then everyone’s happy.