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Hotham Lift Co. puts the boot in.

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by shrimp, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. shrimp

    shrimp Hard Yards

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    The saga:

    Last Week I Rang the Mt Hotham group booking office to pre book lift tickets for a group of 20 people who are visiting Hotham for the first time.We are going down next week.

    They mentioned the tickets were discounted due to the lack of snow/lifts.Also they mentioned that once more snow fell the ticket discounts would finish,but they were'nt sure when that would be.

    I didnt want to be caught out so I tried to book the tickets over the phone then & there, but I was requested to email the details as we were a large group and they were busy.

    That evening I put the list together & forwarded it to them.

    Next morning I received an email advising that they had withdrawn the discounts at 5.00pm the previous day,sorry! [​IMG]

    I explained that I had tried to pay over the phone & that it was their staff that requested I email our details and in all fairness we had done what we were asked and that I requested they honour their origional offer.

    The lift Co. then changed tack and they replied that they were quite satisfied that during my initial phone call they had clearly told me the discount was going to be withdrawn at 5.00pm that day and the responsibility was mine for not booking the tickets.I was begining to know what the main character in'Catch 22' must have felt like

    More emails crossed but they were not to be swayed from their view that for reasons best known to myself, I deliberatly waited for the expiry of the discount before emailing our request.

    Simply put, given Hotham's position, one of us is not telling the truth and we both know it, and one of us does't really seem to care anyway. [​IMG]

    The only humorous side to this saga is that I copied all correpondence to the overseas group and they have added some very funny asides to Hotham's replies. It's not the money that's the issue here, it is their attitude of 'tell someone who cares'.

    MEMO: To Mount Hotham Management.
    'Have a Nice Day'in itself does not constitute the definitive staff training manual on customer relations.

    Sorry for the rant, needed to get it off my chest.

    Still determined to have a good time though next week. Will smile through gritted teeth as I hand over the $7,200.00 to the ticket office on Monday morning and survey the Mt Hotham lift Co operating in all its glory! [​IMG]
     
    #1 shrimp, Aug 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  2. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Hmm not much you can do really in these cases [​IMG]

    Just take it as a note for next time to go elsewhere or Japan :p
     
    #2 skiflat, Aug 7, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  3. Jindysnowjunkies

    Jindysnowjunkies First Runs

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    Dodgey ba**ards!! How much does that suck?! I think Aussie resorts should be very careful of how they are treating their guests this season.. they could fairly stitch themselves up bad for future business by ripping people off like that!
     
  4. the_guru

    the_guru One of Us

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    The CEO of Hotham is supposed to have all his Blue ribbons thanks to Intrawest (Cnd). Or so he was glorified in a resort guide at the start of the season. I have more than once heard about the so called droids of the Hotham Lift Company.
    What happened to the ethics of Intrawest, didn't some of this style rub off?
    Obviously once again he is just a puppet on a string, with no say.
     
  5. DeesOnSkis

    DeesOnSkis One of Us

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    Did you provide credit card or bank transfer details in the e-mail?
     
  6. shrimp

    shrimp Hard Yards

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    Well I thought I had.I had just paid for the accomodation at the 2 Rangers Apts and they gave me the gave me the tel. details of the lift Co group bookings. So in my email confiming the tickets I authorised them to debit the cards that the booking office were holding as they already held the relevant card details. I also provided the name of the person who processed the the accomodation booking to make it easier for them to track.

    All to no avail though as by the time they received these details the offer had lapsed. Interestingly this non payment was one of the excuses they used origionally in one of the earlier emails to me . when i explained the above to them they dropped that objection and ran with the 'you were told of the 5.00pm expiry'line, and it is that which makes me so cranky because that is a complete fabrication.

    Anyhow life is too short to be hung up by the lift Co who hangs you out to dry. [​IMG]
     
    #6 shrimp, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  7. Ulmerhutte

    Ulmerhutte First Runs

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    Had a not too dissimiliar experience with the same company... booked an apartment at Hotham early in the year and was told there would be a bonus package, comprising resort entry and a bunch of other stuff. They however said the details would not be finalised for a while and hence could I wait for a while. I trusted them. (more fool me)

    When it came time to claim that "bonus", I was told that I would now have to buy a week's lift & lesson package to qualify. That was not too attractive since I already had a season's pass. It tried to discuss that with them, but got told "nothing we can do, have a nice day".

    I suspect anybody who thinks there is a customer service ethic in Aussie lift companies, has low expectations for what constitutes good service.
     
  8. Petals

    Petals Hard Yards

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    Can you hand the $7.2k over in small notes and coins?
     
  9. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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    change resorts.
     
  10. greggo

    greggo First Runs

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    Great idea petal but you'd just have to wait while they counted it. Then you could do it early and go for breakfast. Do it but don't leave them in the bundles.
     
  11. Chalkie

    Chalkie One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Sounds to me like a breach of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic). Contact the ACCC and Consumer Affairs Victoria and let them know what happened, and let Hotham know you've done so. This might get results.
     
  12. IAB

    IAB A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    What he said.
     
    #12 IAB, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  13. Petals

    Petals Hard Yards

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    Resorts will often sell multi day passes after 4pm the day before...
     
    #13 Petals, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  14. dar

    dar First Runs

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    An example of very poor customer service. I often find that the person on the end of the phone has very little authority to do anything other than tow the company line. Do you have someone in your group who is good at standing at the counter and asking in a very loud voice that they need to speak to the manager as often this gets good results. I would at least make sure that you speak to someone in authority and let them know your displeasure.
     
  15. DeesOnSkis

    DeesOnSkis One of Us

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    You might argue that you had a contract. They made an offer at a certain price. You accepted and provided the means to consideration by authorising your cards to be debited for the amount of the offer. You would have to show that they were in agreement (perhaps by telling you to provide the details and payment for the booking by e-mail). You could argue that the contract was formed after they agreed and when you sent the e-mail, i.e. for the advertised price and not for the after 5pm price.

    I suppose the matter would depend largely on any evidence you have in e-mails. Whether you pursued it at VCAT - well, is it worth it to you?
     
  16. et

    et First Runs

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    In agree with some of the comments above. In theory this sounds like it could be a breech of consumer law - though you'd need toc check with consumer affairs.

    Similar incidents occured when the GST was introduced in 2000. Some retailers tried to slap 10% on the price of things bought before the GST - like pre-sold movie tickets - and were roundly told off by the ACCC.

    I recently took a retailer to task for changing the price of a pre-ordered book and charging me the extra, without informing me. They backed down and gave me a refund.

    I think the problem here is:

    1. The contract was verbal, but by the same token, its hard to prove what was said.

    2. From the sound of it no $ changed hands. So they didnt try to charge you more once a price was agreed and you handed over the $.

    Anyway, check out the consumer affairs websites and good luck ! [​IMG]
     
    #16 et, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  17. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    I think the problem is here is that the lift company is just a front for a real estate developer......and we all know what real estate people are like... :out:
     
  18. Doonks

    Doonks Let's cook! Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    shrimp - any chance you can change to Falls Creek ? They have got far far better snow and I am sure would welcome $7200 in this marginal income season.
     
  19. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    There is no choice, no good going to Falls as the $ goes back to Hotham/Falls anyways.

    Buller = limited snow.

    On a great note from Hotham though [​IMG] :fishing: [​IMG]

    Hotham sets new heights for guest service

    Guests to Mt Hotham this season are experiencing a wide range of guest service initiatives that have taken the resort to greater heights.

    New guest service initiatives this season include complimentary welcome drinks and luggage service, 24 hour check-in and comprehensive grocery shopping and valet parking services for guests of Hotham Holidays.

    With three separate Reception facilities, Hotham Holidays provides guests with more personalised overall service. With three Reception areas located at White Crystal in Hotham Central, Dinner Plain and the top of Hot Plate Drive, guests can now select their most convenient check-in/check-out location.

    And, for those early or late arrivals, the White Crystal Reception is manned from 6am until 3am, 7 days a week for every type of service from check-in, to restaurant and massage bookings.


    Hotham Valet Service. Photo: Tony HarringtonGetting on to the slopes has never been easier, thanks to Hotham’s new Valet service. On arrival at the resort, guests of Hotham Holidays can leave the car at reception and the friendly Valet team will take care of the rest. The Valet service operates 24 hours a day and costs only $50 per vehicle. A free porter service will then take care of the luggage, from the car to the room.
    All guests at Hotham are invited to join in Hotham’s Welcome Drinks, held every Sunday from 5.30 to 7.00pm at both Hotham Central and DP Central and Spa, Dinner Plain, where Hotham staff will be on-hand to assist guests with arranging lift passes, ski rental equipment, spa treatments and dinner bookings.

    And, to take full advantage of your time on the snow, guests can arrange in advance of their arrival for their apartment to be stocked full of groceries including dairy, meat, cereals, snacks, fruit, vegetables and other essentials.

    If dining at either Zirky’s Restaurant or the White Room, guests of Hotham Holidays can bill their meal to their accommodation account, eliminating multiple payments and providing a streamlined hotel-style experience.

    To complete the Hotham experience, Hotham’s Guest Service 30-strong team delivers a range of services including meeting flights at the airport, assisting ski patrol, answering queries and providing directions. In 2006 the Guest Service area in Hotham Central has been completely refurbished to include a dedicated ski and board storage area. Prices for storage are $8 per day and an overnight service for skis is available.

    To round off the Hotham experience, Hotham TV is a dedicated information service to keep guests informed about the latest at Hotham, including ticket prices, the latest snow and resort conditions and what is on throughout the village. Hotham TV can be found in Hotham Central or in select Hotham Holidays properties.

    “We strive to make each and every guest’s holiday experience remarkable,†said Justin Downes, Hotham Skiing Company CEO. “Our initiatives have already generated a lot of positive feedback, and we are not stopping here. We are striving towards an even higher level of service in the futureâ€.


    The only good things out of that are 24 hour check in, but where do you need to checkin ??

    $50 for valet parking is cheap, when compared to 5 star city hotels, but I don't really want some pimply kid driving my car in snow/ice down the road.

    Wonder what the liability would be if they crashed your car OR if they park your car and it get damaged by a snow clearing machine etc..
     
    #19 skiflat, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  20. Rover

    Rover One of Us

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] this sounds really good....I wonder if they will valet park my car next year when the carpark is gone....I am a day tripper.
     
    #20 Rover, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  21. Legion

    Legion One of Us

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    As an aside, it's not a good idea to send credit card details via e-mail.
     
  22. Timmossy

    Timmossy One of Us

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    I had a bad experience with the Hotham tow company last year so this year I didn't buy a seasons ticket, the first time in 18 years!

    My season pass was stolen last year and recovered. When picking it up at the ticket office, I was almost black mailed by them, threatening that they would not return it to me unless I sue the person who stole it from me (MHSC were already sueing this person for stealing off them.) This very senior member of staff who has worked on the mountain for 10+ years was telling me I was a 'bloody idiot' and was unsure of what planet I was born on.

    I wansn't too sure if this is how they treat all of there good customers who had done nothing wrong.........

    I used to be very loyal to Hotham but it seems the ski company just couldn't give a rats.

    Oh but there was a funny side to it, this person said that by people stealing from MHSC, the lift company is unable to afford any more ski lifts!!! [​IMG] Did he think I was stupid? Hotham havn't built a lift in 10 years..... all their profits go to building real-estate.
     
    #22 Timmossy, Aug 8, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  23. the southern oracle

    the southern oracle First Runs

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    booooooooooooo hotham lift co
     
  24. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Timothy Meier: If true, disapointing to hear!

    Again and again it keeps getting said, with all the increases in pricing and lack of customer service and cheap overseas options, customers are going to go elsewhere.

    For 5 years in a row I choose to go to Hotham for a week or 10 days per year, spending thousands of $. Now day trips only to Buller and doubtful that Hotham will see me for many years, until they invest in some new chairlifts or terrain.

    Valet parking, tv's and that crap doesnt' appeal to me at all, or the majority of resort visitors. What do the major US/Canada resorts do every couple of years, new terrain/new chairlifts, or they even do massive earth moving exercises to make runs better or just improve the traffic flow. Granted it seems they are allowed to chop down a few trees and move some dirt around, but heaven forbid we do that here. Dont' want to more any dirt around, might destroy a weed, don't chop down that tree, might lose a birds' nest. (Yes this is a simplist view but its what happens) Yet down in Tassie logging companies can destroy massive amounts of forest with little regard for the environment, but agian don't chop down a few trees at Hotham/Buller

    What do we get at Hotham, a few tv's, valet parking, a "welcome to the mountain" crew.

    Buller have at least replaced a T-bar with a chair, granted it hasn't been used this year or last year for more than a few days, but at least they are trying and investing in REAL developments

    Hotham please wake up to yourself before it's too late.
     
  25. shrimp

    shrimp Hard Yards

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    In regard to changing to Falls, I am afraid it was me that convinced our group to change from Falls to Hotham this year. I guess that is some kind of Divine retribution for stepping on a grasshopper in a previous life.

    I know both resorts are owned by the same company but I have to say our experience with Falls has been great,friendliest bunch of people on the mountain you could hope to meet.Right now I am feeling a little sorry we changed.
     
  26. Dave6

    Dave6 One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Shrimp - how much would the discounted tickets have been? (if you don't mind me asking)
     
  27. fx 140 ski freek

    fx 140 ski freek Hard Yards

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    you are only allowed to cut down trees at hotham if you are building realestate for example
    the eyesore st moritz or whatever its called
     
  28. Smartie pants

    Smartie pants First Runs

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    Rather going pear shaped for the new owners of Hotham isn't it. It's been less than a month since they listed on the ASX with their aquarium bedfellows, and the share price is down 18%. One feels that panic is setting in - what with those distributions that the unitholders will be expecting. Skifield improvements - not with the limited capital resources that this baby has been set adrift with.
     
  29. DeesOnSkis

    DeesOnSkis One of Us

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    Were they refusing to provide any lessons?
     
  30. go get em tiger

    go get em tiger First Runs

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    Come over to my place and grab a shovel, let's build a new mountain.
     
  31. adminvb

    adminvb First Runs

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    The arrogance of all the Australian resorts one would think that they had the product of choice and a captive clientele (with fuel prices they may next year)

    Go OS
     
  32. Akja

    Akja First Runs

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    I agree the Australian resorts could do a lot to make customers happy, and in doing so encourage more people to head to the snow. I think offering a discount ticket should be offered for marginal snow years. It seems that the money back thing is a great idea, except it only applies if a certain number of lifts are operating, which of course are ones with snowmaking. I'm guessing most people are not overly thrilled to ski cat tracks a fair portion of the time.
    I'm not sure why things like tubing and a usable toboggan slope are not available at resorts (not sure if all). Surely this would encourage families, certainly better than sitting in a lodge all day.
    However I will say on our recent trip to Hotham that the over snow transport was exceptional, part of our package but the guy was there as we pulled up to take our gear.
     
  33. skiflat

    skiflat Old n' Crusty

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    Akja: Oversnow transport ? Do you mean the busses running around the "Village" like from the carpark to Big D to Summit area ?
     
  34. Crystal

    Crystal Sand skier extraordinaire Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    No, probably the dudes on the quad bikes that take all your stuff to the lodge for you, then you walk [​IMG]
     
    #34 Crystal, Aug 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  35. Akja

    Akja First Runs

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    Sorry AndDee the guy on the skidoo was great, we were staying down in the Big D area. The bus set up is pretty good to.
     
  36. phantomas

    phantomas Hard Yards

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    wow that's really poor form, you should have gone to another resort and sent them a letter explaining your regret at not going to Hotham and included a cheque torn in half for $7200.
     
  37. Kahanamoku

    Kahanamoku One of Us

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    #37 Kahanamoku, Aug 11, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2013
  38. phantomas

    phantomas Hard Yards

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    #38 phantomas, Aug 12, 2006
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  39. Boo Bear

    Boo Bear First Runs

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    Did it Snow???????
    :rolleyes:
     
    #39 Boo Bear, Aug 12, 2006
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