UK Families demand refunds from Reindeer Lodge Christmas event amid tier rules last minute news
MetiNews.Com - Reindeer Lodge bosses say they made it clear from the outset that refunds were not an option
Breaking News ! Families are demanding refunds from a Reindeer Safari experience they booked for Christmas. Parents in Manchester are among the thousands of customers who have booked the drive-thru trail at Reindeer Lodge, in Mold, North Wales. But with tier three restrictions advising unnecessary travel and a ban on travelling from England to Wales still in place - albeit facing a review when lockdown ends this week - many say they can no longer attend and feel the venue is obliged to offer refunds. Reindeer Lodge bosses however, say they made it clear from the outset that refunds were not an option. Read More Related Articles How to sign up to our Manchester Family newsletter Read More Related Articles Families 'gutted' as Christmas events cancelled amid Covid They are giving customers three choices - either postpone to a later date when the lifting of restrictions may mean they can travel, move tickets to next year's event, or change them to a virtual package and enjoy this year's experience online instead. Becky Bennion, from Sale, had booked to go with her three children on December 17, partly to celebrate her youngest child's first birthday. She said: "I just think they should have a bit of compassion here. Even if Wales did open the border, people in tier three have been advised not to travel by the government and they want to abide by the rules. "It was the only thing we were going to that we thought was safe." Thousands have booked for the drive-thru Reindeer Safari experience (Image: Reindeer Lodge) The experience, costing from £32.45 per car, is running from December 2 to January and promises families an 'enchanted festive experience' with the 50-acre lodge transformed into a drive through winter Safari adventure complete with drive-in theatre style show, reindeer herds, a magical woodland, enchanted lighting trail and a hidden elf village with drive-thru toy workshop. Another Manchester mum, Emma, believes government lockdown laws relating to contracts override the Reindeer Lodge's terms and conditions and says she'll be taking the matter further. She said: "Above all else, I’m devastated for my children, because if I can’t go, I could have used the money to put towards another event. "I will not be wanting a virtual package as it was not what I paid for. You can’t sell tickets and then change it to something else. "There is some talk of our tier being reduced to tier two in the next two weeks, and if that happens and border restrictions are lifted, I can go. If not, I have a fight on my hands to get my money back." The business has been inundated with complaints from customers, with many taking to its Facebook page to demand a refund. Read More Related Articles Parents in Manchester banned from school nativity plays under Covid rules Read More Related Articles Greater Manchester would be in lower tier if schools had closed in lockdown, says Mayor Andy Burnham Among those is another Manchester mum Jodie Reece, who said: "This is absolutely disgraceful. We have wanted to come here for a few years and after the awful year everyone has had, was looking forward to this. "We are due to come on the 21st from a tier three area.
. We should be provided with a refund. I am not paying this amount of money for virtual tour." Responding to families on Facebook, the Lodge said: "As per our standard terms and conditions provided when booking, tickets for this event do not provide for customer cancellation. "We have however put additional provisions in place to cater for Covid-19 scenarios that are out of everyone’s control to try and ensure you do not lose out on your tickets if you are unable to attend the date you have booked due to Covid-19 restrictions, travel bans or lockdowns. "These scenarios are outlined on our website when booking and can be viewed in full via the pre-booking links on the website booking pages."
The poster promoting the event
(Image: Reindeer Lodge)
A spokesman for the Reindeer Lodge said they knew it 'was never going to be a popular post to put out, but we do have a duty to keep everyone informed of restrictions, whether it is well received or not'. He said: "We are also aware that social media can bring out the best and worst in people, however some of the comments are a little perplexing and inciting harassment to employee’s personal profiles are a bit too far. "We have seen quite a few comments implying we are encouraging people to break travel restrictions, which is the exact opposite of the purpose of the post. The post was to remind customers of their options if they are not permitted to travel. "When creating the event we wanted to offer visitors protection against whatever lockdown scenarios or limitations would be in place by the time the event ran. Whereas normally if you were unable to attend an event booking, for example you were ill or your car broke down etc; you would lose your ticket, we had put additional provisions in place to help customers affected by Covid-19 restrictions which are out of everyone’s control, including our own. "We were very upfront about our ticket sale terms and conditions, all tickets have been sold during the pandemic and we listed all Covid-19 restriction scenarios on our booking pages, asking customers to read them before booking to make sure the event was suitable for them. "These scenarios allow customers postpone and reschedule their tickets to a later date when limitations permit them to travel again, whether that be later in the month or into next year. We have since also added an option to switch to a virtual visit and tour of the Reindeer Lodge for customers that cannot reschedule."
He added: "We understand that the travel limitations are frustrating and beyond everyone’s control which is why these provisions for rescheduling have been put in place to ensure customers don’t lose out on their visit. "Our drive-thru event is Covid-safe and approved to run as scheduled, any visitors not able to attend due to Covid-19 restrictions can contact our ticket company before the date of their visit to reschedule at no extra charge, or switch over to the new virtual experience." Customers affected by travel restrictions are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org to reschedule or change to a virtual package. The company is dealing with 'thousands of messages at the moment so please allow us a little time to respond', he said.