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Jamberoo: waste of time and money

12 posts in this topic

Hi. The purpose of this post is to hopefully bring to people's attention the attitude that staff members at Jamberoo displayed on our first and last visit to Jamberoo Action Park and also to urge visitors to be very vigilant of how the cashiers at the gate process your tickets. We arrived shortly after lunch-time. Stood in line for a quick 5 mins, and proceeded to inform the young lady in the cashier's booth that we, a family of 5, consisting of 2 adults and 3 children, would like tickets. We made sure to mention that we had three kids, out of which one was under the age of 4. She nodded and proceeded to charge us the amount of $161. She informed us that even our 3-year-old would be issued a ticket, a no-charge ticket. We understood and paid. At the gate, to enter the park, the young man took our tickets (handed over in a bundle) and ripped them. Then proceeded to scan each ticket using his portable scanning tool. He paused briefly with a puzzled look on his face... but then dismissed silently what he had found odd, and continued his procedure. He then motioned to us to enter the park. Ok... so here we are all ready to get wet and wild... We do the wave pool. We then do the kiddie areas. That's when my wife, who's sitting in a chair by the side, notices something wrong with the tickets. The girl in the cashier's booth had charged us for 4 children! We took the tickets back to the lad at the gate. He shrugged his shoulders saying he didn't have knowledge of anything other than how to scan tickets. We went inside the souvenir shop and spoke to young girl there. She instantly became defensive and claimed to have no ability to help. We'd need to speak to a manager. So we requested that she call such a person. We were told to wait. The supervisor arrived and asked what the problem was. We explained. She took the tickets and reviewed them, all the whilst making every possible attempt to remain poker-faced. In fact, every single member of staff we spoke to in regards to this mix-up failed to show an ounce of courtesy. Its as if they're all trained not to smile and instead adopt a hostile body language whilst on duty. The supervisor proceeded to defend her staff members actions by saying the fault lay with us for entering the park when we knew we'd been overcharged. We told her that we simply trusted her staff members and did not realise we'd been overcharged. We're intelligent people and assumed her staff we equally intelligent. I'm a fluent English speaker and I didn't realise or assume that there'd been a break-down in communication between myself and the cashier. Hence, I simply took the tickets and entered the park. Yes, the price did seem a bit high, I must admit... $161 for 2 adults and 2 kids did seem a bit off, but that's the going price these days. It was cheaper than Wet'n'Wild in Brissy anyway. We told her that when we presented our tickets to the lad at the gate he had looked puzzled... now we know why: he had 6 tickets in his and but could only count 5 people in front of him, yet he didn't question anything either. We asked the supervisor if it maybe should've been him that double-checked everything. She insisted that he staff were free of blame and didn't want to entertain any notion that her staff should've been checking their work. After 10 mins of arguing with us she then proceeded to inform us that all Jamberoo tickets are in fact non-refundable and that she was powerless to help us. We wouldn't be getting any money back, at least not today. All our breath had basically been wasted. She did, however, offer an admin phone number for us to call the next day. We took the number as it was the only recourse we had at that time. We have spoken to the admin staff, and sadly we got a lecture from them as well. The conversation took almost 30 mins on the phone. My wife did the talking since she's far more level headed than I am in such situations. At the end of the conversation my wife looked drained but did have good news. They're sending us one free ticket. Now, about the park. I'd avoid the place on a public holiday, which is when we went. The place is filled to the rim with loud and rowdy kids. The wave pool had so many people in it that from afar it didn't seem there was any water in the pool. Obviously this was just an illusion. I found it appalling, however, that the water was quite dirty looking in the pool. We didn't stay there long and found our way over to the kiddies area. We spent over an hour at the kiddies pool at which time I decided I wanted to have some of my own fun. I headed for the Tai Pan slide. Didn't get very far... the queue was a mile long! I then headed for one of the other "grown up" slides... mile-long queue there too. Tried the river thing (where you float on a ring inside a river that moves along at quite a fun-looking pace)... alas, no luck there either as the queue was quite long there as well. In the end I returned disappointed back to the wife and kids in the kiddie area, where I found my wife having an argument with one of the staff members. Apparently my wife, who had taken our 3 year old many times up to the top of the slide was now being told that the little girl would need to go up there herself unassisted. The slide starts at the top of a large platform that is quite tricky for an unstable 3-year-old to climb up. The stairs provided aren't designed for kids and are very much for adults. The platform is also quite high up. Yes, we understood that we couldn't ride the slide down with our kids, and we were in compliance with that rule. However, we simply wanted to escort our littlest one up to the top. As I said above, my wife had already taken our girl up to the top of the platform a number of times. All of a sudden there was a change of staff manning the platform, and the new crew had different rules. Now, it suddenly wasn't ok for parents to take their kids up. All kids needed to walk up unaided. My wife had told our girl to try going up herself, but she refused and started crying. When my wife tried to assist, she got into trouble and hence the argument. So, it seems from all of the above incidents, that the staff at Jamberoo really don't want to provide any form of courtesy or service. It appears that they all resented being at work that particular day and we, the unfortunate ones, who travelled for two hours to get there and three hours to get back (due to long traffice queues near the "Gong") and spent a sizable amount of cash to treat the kids to a day of fun, ended up taking the brunt. I don't think I'm brave enough to return. Not any time soon. The idea of Jamberoo is quite solid, however the people running the place just don't seem to know how to execute on the idea properly. Good luck to everyone considering a trip down to Jamberoo.

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Ok I see where your coming from but you do also have to take in acount a few things:the kind of day eg public holidays school holidays etc , the time of year ,eg.summer holidays where new staff are hired and placed on with minimal information and are like puppete on a string and finally havent you noticed that people are more willing to be annoying and argue during these times or when its hot?

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I don't think the complaints about the lines and crowding are particularly valid (fairly comparable to what the Gold Coast parks are current experiencing) BUT the comments on the poor customer service definitely are! If I was the original poster I would be sending this in to the papers to see if they run with the story, I would also by trying to contact the Eddy (forgive my spelling) family directly as that sort of thing is just not on! This sort of customer service would never fly at the Village Roadshow parks.

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Or at Dreamworld / WhiteWater World either. I can understand the lines being long due to it being peak season. But as an ex theme park employee, hearing that kind of report about staff customer service is just purely shocking! I can assure you if I treated a staff member like that when I worked at Dreamworld, or Movie World for that matter I'd have been given a very firm boot in the arse!

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Agree with all the comments above - the service is inappropriate, however, paying with plastic has made many people complacent. When I went to school, we were taught many things about money and the biggest thing was to check your purchase and your change. Not realising you were holding 6 tickets was a fault of your own. You say you didn't check because you were intelligent and assumed they were too, and that is laughable - because it was your lack of intelligence that led you NOT to check. Now, flame me if you must, but that is my view. I disagree completely with the response provided by the supervisor, however I have visited Jamberoo as an invited photographer, and was shown a level of courtesy i've not had extended in other parks. I also know a lot of those supervisors have no decision making power higher than the plebs. They're there to manage the staff, not complaints. Poor organisation? Maybe, but thats how it is. Only high level managers can make credit \ refund decisions - and those people are generally not in the park, hence the admin phone number being passed on. Dax Eddy is the bloke to talk to, however he has a gentleman that handles a lot of their PR \ Media enquiries - who isn't part of the family - not sure what his name is these days but Dax is the guy you need to tell this story to. I honestly would not have worn "a free ticket" (because you had essentially paid for it anyway), i'd have insisted at least the extra ticket be refunded, but the unfortunate problem is that you proceeded to enter the park with those tickets. You've also got no way of knowing why the gate attendant "looked puzzled" - you can assume, but you don't know what, or why, he was puzzled, or if in fact he was at all. FAMILIES - unless your children are not capable of walking on their own two feet, wait until you get to the turnstile, and hand a ticket to each member of your party, and make them go through on their own. Then take any children through who cannot walk on their own, and hand the tickets to the gate attendant ONE AT A TIME. Bundled tickets are this incident waiting to happen. But in all seriousness - If you don't PREPURCHASE your tickets - then CHECK THEM before you leave the ticket window. Don't make this all Jamberoo's fault - you have some blame there too.

Edited by AlexB

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Whilst I agree, and if this was buying items from a grocery store, etc I'd completely agree, I kind of disagree also. Firstly, the customer is always right, at VRTP properties if a customer makes a mistake, no matter how stupid, it is fixed for them, with a smile, because that small free ticket is more than compensated by the good will it generates. Secondly, the last thing you should have to do when visiting a theme park is worry about the staff doing their job right, you're there with a family of excited children to deal with, about to have a good time, doing math and second guessing staff shouldn't need to be on your mind. The park could easily see they screwed up, it was this guys fault he paid for the tickets, but everything else is 100% on the park. They 'used' the ticket, they were completely aware, yet did nothing. I'm pretty sure dept. of fair trading would have something to say about this too. It's like saying the ride operator failed to lock the restraint, the ride manufacturer didn't put an interlock in place, but because I the rider didn't notice and then fell out of the roller coaster it's my fault... it's just the same. Customer is always right in a service industry business.

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There is a BIG difference between safety and courtesy. While Village Roadshow may have that philosophy (and don't get me wrong, it's great that they do), not all "service based" businesses have the same philosophy. Many businesses have had that philosophy in the past, only to have people take advantage of them. For all they know, they did take 6 people into the park, and then returned with 5 to pull a swift one? I think it's fantastic that service based businesses such as village, dreamworld, even mcdonalds and pizza hut etc accept that their staff make mistakes, and are willing to be upfront with every possible repairation, but it doesn't mean that a similar organisation, with a much smaller budget, and likely a slightly lower socio-economical demographic is going to do the same. paragraph removed for its extrememly offensive generalising remarks Having said that Rappa - I did say that I agreed that the service was poor, and that I would not have settled for a free ticket, and insisted on a refund instead (he's already said he won't be back, so the free ticket is a useless token, which he already paid for anyway.)

Edited by djrappa

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No Alex, you pretty much said that he was just as much at fault, so don't back track and now kind of suggest otherwise. We're assuming he is telling the truth, and will continue to do so. Therefore just the staff member scanning the ticket is enough in the wrong, if there were 5 people and 6 tickets then that's it. There's still no excuse to be rude no matter what, and you can't assume all guests are scamming you. Again this isn't a coles store in a high crime rate area, it's a family fun destination in a rural area, you just can't afford to have this type of poor customer service. End of story. And all businesses, yes ALL, that don't have this customer first business philosphy are in the wrong, it's not open for debate. Look at the businesses that are sucessful and it's clear. If you're in the service business, then give service!

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No Alex, you pretty much said that he was just as much at fault, so don't back track and now kind of suggest otherwise.
WRONG No, Not backtracking - I never said JUST AS MUCH, I said he shared some fault which he does - i quote:
Not realising you were holding 6 tickets was a fault of your own. You say you didn't check because you were intelligent and assumed they were too, and that is laughable - because it was your lack of intelligence that led you NOT to check. ... Don't make this all Jamberoo's fault - you have some blame there too.
We're assuming he is telling the truth, and will continue to do so. Therefore just the staff member scanning the ticket is enough in the wrong, if there were 5 people and 6 tickets then that's it. There's still no excuse to be rude no matter what, and you can't assume all guests are scamming you.
So, what you're saying is that there is the potential for Village cast members to make these mistakes. I have witnessed gate attendants receive the bundle of tickets, tear off a section, let the family through, and then once the family has gone, scan the stubs through the machine.
And all businesses, yes ALL, that don't have this customer first business philosphy are in the wrong, it's not open for debate. Look at the businesses that are sucessful and it's clear. If you're in the service business, then give service!
I have said numerous times now that there is no excuse for the rudeness, i completely agree, however, just because the business does not follow the same mantra as your own employer, it doesn't mean that they are wrong, or are not successful. Take a look at banks! Mobile Phone companies, retail warranty claims etc. We have talked many times before about how people check their brains at the gate when they enter the park. We've complained about people who do this as it has resulted in restrictions on visitors that never used to be required. Things like loose article policies that we (INCLUDING YOU RAPPA) have bemoaned, simply because these guests check their brains at the door. Now - we have an instance of just that, and because they were rude to the guest, you don't see that the guest shares some of the blame????? I agree that service based industries need to bend over backwards, but for whatever reason if a business chooses not to follow that mantra, it doesn't mean they will not be successful, or that they are any less business savvy - this is the method that they have chosen to run this business and given ongoing development and construction, it would appear to be working. To add - Any business that runs a philosophy of "the customer is always right" will be taken advantage of. I'm not suggesting that this situation involves a dishonest guest - not in the slightest, just a distracted one more intent on having fun - which is understandable. If you are telling me right now that Village Roadshow heeds the message "the customer is always right", then I intend having a lot of fun on my next visit. A much more reasonable philosophy would be to treat customers with respect and courtesy, and to consider each request, claim or issue on its merits, and give the benefit of the doubt where it is reasonable to do so. Edited by AlexB

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Rappa is right, Id like to add the fact that "a similar organisation, with a much smaller budget, and likely a slightly lower socio-economical demographic" SHOULD in my opinion have a much large focus on there customers, it is the base to there business. The strongest form of advertisement is word of mouth. A customer that receives a bad experience is TEN times more likely to pass it onto friends and family then someone who received excellent service. Great example, on these forums we are more likely to talk about a bad experience, then to say bring up a good experience because know one cares, its what is accepted. Companies like Village and i know for a fact strive on the fact that you must EXCEED THE CUSTOMERS EXPECTATIONS "Bend over backwards" There was 2 stages in which the stuff up could have been fixed by the park. One when the tickets were issued. A simple call back of tickets which village does always. "So thats 2 Adults tickets there and 3 Children's, Enjoy your day guys!" The family would have straight away picked up the fault then and there. The second at the turnstile, that staff member should have questions why 6 tickets when there is only 5 people??? Yes "Guests share some of the blame" But once the issue has been brought to the attention of the park, Guest services is there to fix and address the issue and THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST! Yes the company could be taken advantage of but its the price paid to hold and maintain i higher level of customer service and satisfaction. Id also like to question this statement So, what you're saying is that there is the potential for Village cast members to make these mistakes. I have witnessed gate attendants receive the bundle of tickets, tear off a section, let the family through, and then once the family has gone, scan the stubs through the machine. -Each ticket needs to be individually scanned to allow a one person turnstile spin. You can't fit a whole family or group in one turnstile spin if so i would love to see how!

Edited by klassen24

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-Each ticket needs to be individually scanned to allow a one person turnstile spin. You can't fit a whole family or group in one turnstile spin if so i would love to see how!
This is true....One spin per ticket/green light. I have seen people who didn't wait till the person ahead of them had 'spun' through properly, and they just walked straight into a locked bar. Ouch.

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