Opinion Merlin customer service or lack of

Moondog55

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My hips are getting worse rapidly and both my doctors are telling me not to ski this season.
So I asked FCSL if I could transfer my seasons payment to 2018
While not expecting it to happen I dd expect something more than a cut and paste reply to my inquiries.
I expect other skiiers are going to see less customer service and lower customer service standards the longer Merlin has the lease and the business
I hate to throw the money way so I will be going skiing, even if I do have to ski on crutches.
So no lessons for me this year and this season I did have money set aside for more than 3 lessons
Not really happy here; as a long time skiier and seasons pass purchaser I was hoping for some realistic lee-way
Brickbats to Merlin this time around
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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Sep 17, 2003
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I think that if you take out the insurance option on the season pass that they are very quick to refund, even if they could use fine print to wiggle out. That was the experience of a few people I know. If you don't take the insurance then they are not very helpful. Sad that they are not more helpful to long standing customers but maybe not as bad as you paint them.

Also a friend bought a lift and lessons package at a charity auction. Was supposed to be used last season but she asked if she could transfer to this season and they agreed.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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They retain photos from previous years, adults don't have to provide new ones very often. They do check photos in lift queues.
 

Moondog55

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I'll ski I'll just ski baby runs slowly. What annoyed me was not the refusal but the copy and paste answer.
They do check photos regularly and I don't believe I have a doppleganger around the hill
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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The season before and after i had a hip replacement i skied very carefully. I really didn't want to fall over at all. I didn't go out if it was icy or slushy or crap visibility. Also had to avoid fresh snow more than a few inches deep :(
It was actually good for my skiing in some ways. My turns got smoother as i avoided any sudden movements. I thought i would be restricted to drovers and the like. I was pleasantly surprised to find that i could ski all blues and even a few blacks.
Is not how i aspire to ski, but it sure beat not skiing at all.
 
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Quip

Hard Yards
Aug 20, 2016
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Honestly you probably got unlucky and/or didn't email the correct person or department. I'd email tickets@fallscreek.net with the doctors suggestion attached in writing and see what comes back. I have heard they take doctors suggestions seriously and have looked into things like this in the past.
 
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Moondog55

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Email actually. Not much good me talking at the moment because due to a severe ear infection I am temporarilly as deaf as a post and have been for about a week,
 
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iagreewithhim

Blessed are the bignoses
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Sep 3, 2001
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A very long way from everybody
My young fella broke his collarbone a week before we were due to go skiing last year, and a week after I'd pre-booked his lifts for the week. I sent the medical certificate to Thredbo and they gave me a full credit to carry over to this year, no quibbling.
 
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Donkey

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Two years ago put the deposit on the hero pass. But circumstances meant I didn't pay the balance spoke to hotham they gave me the 200 as a credit for day passes even though I hadn't taken out the insurance option. Was pleased
 

stratussed

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May 6, 2017
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I don't understand the rationale behind NOT offering a refund / transfer due to a Medical injury before the season has begun. Even if insurance wasn't purchased...

What costs has the Lift Co incurred by offering a refund?

Its just morally wrong and a terrible way to build customer loyalty.
 
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dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
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Oct 26, 2002
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The whole insurance thing is a massive rort. A single fee at time of refund request would be more user friendly.
 
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currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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The whole insurance thing is a massive rort. A single fee at time of refund would be more user friendly.
The fine print conditions make it pretty useles but they seem to be much more generous in applying it. We never used to pay the insurance because of the fine print but will in future base on friends' experience.
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
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The whole thing is a convoluted layer of nonsense. A product for products sake sales channel.
 

stratussed

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Then doesnt that diminish the point of spending money by taking out insurance.
Do you not have to opt out when purchasing the pass.

That's my point, Why do they even need insurance?

The customer never ends up using the service through no fault of their own.

As suggested an Admin fee upon pass refund would be much more appropriate.
 

Darb

Old n' Crusty
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May 19, 2002
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I can't really understand why they wouldn't. It's not like it's going to cost them anything, they already have your money sitting pretty and don't have to lift you.

Maybe they just don't like messing up their accounting or some such lazyness.
 

WaitAwhile

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I can't really understand why they wouldn't. It's not like it's going to cost them anything, they already have your money sitting pretty and don't have to lift you.

Maybe they just don't like messing up their accounting or some such lazyness.

If people are really worried about it then dont buy the early bird cheap season passes , just buy the full price season tickets prior to the start of the each season .
Thats the risk you take, especially without insurance, even then, do they require a doctors note saying that you are unable to ski or just take your word??.
It would be great for them to delay the season pass for a year if people are unwell , but then others will say whats the point of taking out insurance if they will delay it anyway
Five or six years ago a season pass would set you back almost $1500?? and if you bought by about March or April it dropped to about $1100.
Prior to that you would have to go back to the mid 1990s when a season pass would cost about $600-$700.
So its a pretty good deal
But saying that , what would happen if you updated your credit card details and unknowingly put in a wrong number . Would they really chase you up or refuse you a pass for the following year .
 
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ladycamper

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Merlin is an MNC business operating here in a small market, with limited competition, where our ski lift industry is a barely concealed cartel.
 
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Hully

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The super early bird, deposit down pay later cheap season pass (Hero Pass) is the heavily discounted inflexible airline ticket of the ski industry. It comes with certain risks and penalties if you 'change your mind or have a change of situation'. Do I put a deposit on Hero Passes for myself and family....yes, do I buy discounted inflexible airline tickets....yes. If I loose a deposit or have to forfeit a ticket I will still be well ahead in the long run. Do I pay for the insurance....no, we would be still ahead on savings with that one if we had to forfeit a ticket.
Having said that, chat to them directly about your situation. I can only imagine how many emails they got from people leading up to the payment of balance time that have changed their mind on a season pass for all sorts of reasons since putting down the deposit in October. If I was responding to those requests I could honestly say that I would be using, or directing the admin clerk to be using, a 'cut and paste' response.
 

Quip

Hard Yards
Aug 20, 2016
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I don't know if I'd trust an admin clerk with putting their own words into a response and saying something just slightly off. In writing could get Merlin in trouble. Hence the copy / paste responses.
 

gaz35

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Aug 9, 2013
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The super early bird, deposit down pay later cheap season pass (Hero Pass) is the heavily discounted inflexible airline ticket of the ski industry. It comes with certain risks and penalties if you 'change your mind or have a change of situation'. Do I put a deposit on Hero Passes for myself and family....yes, do I buy discounted inflexible airline tickets....yes. If I loose a deposit or have to forfeit a ticket I will still be well ahead in the long run. Do I pay for the insurance....no, we would be still ahead on savings with that one if we had to forfeit a ticket.
Having said that, chat to them directly about your situation. I can only imagine how many emails they got from people leading up to the payment of balance time that have changed their mind on a season pass for all sorts of reasons since putting down the deposit in October. If I was responding to those requests I could honestly say that I would be using, or directing the admin clerk to be using, a 'cut and paste' response.
for what it's worth, I had placed a deposit on the Hero pass for our family of four (no insurance). The response to my initial email was the cut and paste to the draconian T&C's of the deal - NO REFUNDS. I got on the phone and a lovely young lady up there was more than happy to "reallocate" the funds and hold as a credit on our accounts. So my advice - get on the phone and act nice, it might work.
 

ladycamper

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I don't know if I'd trust an admin clerk with putting their own words into a response and saying something just slightly off. In writing could get Merlin in trouble. Hence the copy / paste responses.

In big business the service staff can't say much else because of lacking autonomy in the role.
 

Moondog55

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for what it's worth, I had placed a deposit on the Hero pass for our family of four (no insurance). The response to my initial email was the cut and paste to the draconian T&C's of the deal - NO REFUNDS. I got on the phone and a lovely young lady up there was more than happy to "reallocate" the funds and hold as a credit on our accounts. So my advice - get on the phone and act nice, it might work.

I have "Got on the phone" and I have spoken with Amanda, she herself cannot help but she will present my request to "team management" with a copy of my GPs report and see what happens. Verbally, Merlin is not going to be as helpful as previous operators but there is a possibility, even if slightly less than with previous management
 

gaz35

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I have "Got on the phone" and I have spoken with Amanda, she herself cannot help but she will present my request to "team management" with a copy of my GPs report and see what happens. Verbally, Merlin is not going to be as helpful as previous operators but there is a possibility, even if slightly less than with previous management
I spoke with Amy Hodge - she was great
Good luck
 

stratussed

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It lets you make the bet. The risk is yours.

No, its just a dodgey way to reap some more cash.

You buy a ski pass and use it
You buy a ski pass with insurance and use it
You buy a ski pass with insurance and cancel

Either scenario the lift co doesn't lose a dime and makes some nice cream on top with the guys who buy the insurance.

The whole theoritcal basis for taking insurance like this is to protect you from the company recovering associated costs incurred as a result of a you not showing for a service (ie, a booking on a private ski lesson).

However when FC refunds a season pass like this there are really no lost opportunity costs on the scale of things. There be a small admin cost i'm sure. So early bird season passes is just good way to lock in early capital, fair enough. You get a deal for committing earlier and the ski lift co get your money sooner and regardless of how crappy the season will be.

But in the case of a medical incident prohibiting the user from using the pass, given the relatively small number of actual medical incidents that could be backed up with a doctors certificate, it really is morally wrong to not provide a refund regardless of the whole insurance situation.
 
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Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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Mar 3, 1999
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No, its just a dodgey way to reap some more cash.

You buy a ski pass and use it
You buy a ski pass with insurance and use it
You buy a ski pass with insurance and cancel

Either scenario the lift co doesn't lose a dime and makes some nice cream on top with the guys who buy the insurance.

The whole theoritcal basis for taking insurance like this is to protect you from the company recovering associated costs incurred as a result of a you not showing for a service (ie, a booking on a private ski lesson).

However when FC refunds a season pass like this there are really no lost opportunity costs on the scale of things. There be a small admin cost i'm sure. So early bird season passes is just good way to lock in early capital, fair enough. You get a deal for committing earlier and the ski lift co get your money sooner and regardless of how crappy the season will be.

But in the case of a medical incident prohibiting the user from using the pass, given the relatively small number of actual medical incidents that could be backed up with a doctors certificate, it really is morally wrong to not provide a refund regardless of the whole insurance situation.
Insurance transfers risk. Buy the insurance and the risk lies with the company. Don't buy the insurance and the risk stays with you. Risk has a price. Pay it. Don't pay it. Your call. Don't whinge.
 

Moondog55

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Financially wouldn't Merlin be better off with my money 2 years early?
Remember my gripe wasn't with the refusal of the credit. My gripe was with the simple cut and paste response to my inquiry and some ambiguity related to the method of payment which wasn't answered
 

stratussed

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Insurance transfers risk. Buy the insurance and the risk lies with the company. Don't buy the insurance and the risk stays with you. Risk has a price. Pay it. Don't pay it. Your call. Don't whinge.

Thanks sherlock!! However the point I am clearly making is that in this circumstance there is no "risk" to the company so requiring an "insurance" purchase for someone who cannot genuinely utilise the service due to a medical injury is nothing short of a scam.
 

Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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Thanks sherlock!! However the point I am clearly making is that in this circumstance there is no "risk" to the company so requiring an "insurance" purchase for someone who cannot genuinely utilise the service due to a medical injury is nothing short of a scam.
But there is a risk to the buyer. The buyer makes their choice about how they deal with the risk.
 

Moondog55

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I will not be skiing this season
I'll miss it and you fellers but Merlin senior management have agreed to pass the credit on to 2018 season. I'll probably ski better with new hips tho
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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Sep 17, 2003
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Pleased that they have given you a credit for next season.
Saddened you see you on the sidelines for a whole season.
Good luck with the new hips. I've only had one done but it's been good to ski on.
 

Moondog55

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In the end it seems common sense and good customer service came to the fore.
It does give me plenty of time to work on a stove for next season tho
 

Ozgirl

Part of the Furniture
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So apparently a few people took Perisher to court and won over this.

Well not sure if it is the same thing.

Apparently the bit about being obligated to pay the balance, so now if you aren't goign to ski this season you can call up perisher and they will cancel the automatic deduction of the balance.

You lose your deposit still - be effectively no need for the insurance if you are not sure you will even be in the country. Insurance is still needed i think if you injure yourself.
 
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