Archive for January, 2005

no one is too good for nevada

January 31st, 2005

road closed
Originally uploaded by benchristen.

we were testing out a new route back from Kirkwood Resort (south of Tahoe) that goes east and then south to LA. The easy part of the road goes into Nevada — but we thought we could cut through this mountain pass and avoid Nevada all together and have a more direct route back to LA. Thus I said, “ha! I’m too good for you Nevada!” Woe is me, and woe is anyone who thinks they’re too good for Nevada. We think Nevada is in cohorts with the mountain pass we had to cross — because is was closed! (see the pic) So, I had to eat my words and back track and go through Nevada after all. To further stuff it down my throat – Nevada decided to serve me up a tasty speeding ticket! Delicious. I’ve learned my lesson! Let’s hope this can serve as a reminder — no one is too good for Nevada.

My Tickler

January 28th, 2005

My Tickler
Originally uploaded by benchristen.

This is my first attempt to start GTD (getting things done) – see my GTD links for more info!

This is a handy way to store and file all your odd paper bits (non electronic info, bills, tickets, notes, etc.) — it’s in the right side of my desk – so it’s always at easy access. It actually has helped me reduce the clutter on my desktop and give me a place to put all my incoming mail. And, best of all, no bills get lost in my piles of junk!

See also:

Favorite: Gold Toe Socks

January 28th, 2005

Originally uploaded by benchristen.

After all that Mt. High nonsense, I thought I ought to post something a bit more light-hearted. I was folding socks tonight and inspired to blog about my favorite socks! They’re gold toe brand socks and they have crazy colored stripes! The stripes not only make them extra fun, but they’re so easy to pair up and fold! Next time I see them in the store (especially if on sale) I’ll be buying another 6-pack!

My letter to Mt High Customer Service

January 24th, 2005

Sent Monday, January 24th.
January 23rd, 2005

Mountain High Resort
ATTN: Customer Service/Management
PO Box 3010
Wrightwood, CA 92397

Today was my last day of skiing at Mt. High Resort, and I had a pretty good time.

Why was it my last day? Unfortunately, it’s all due to the fact that you do not have a fundamental understanding of Customer Service. — The customer is always right and everything possible should be done to make them happy. Apparently, $12 is impossible.

I was at your resort two weeks ago (01/08/2005) and upgraded a Ralph’s ticket ($38) to a Beginner’s Package Ticket for an additional $12. My main concern with the Beginner’s Package was that it only allows access to the lower mountain. When I asked the cashier, I was assured that my lift ticket would work for the entire mountain. Before I was able to ski that day, the resort was closed due to weather and I was given a voucher.

When returning today to use the voucher, I was charged an additional $12 to allow me to have a lift ticket for the entire mountain. I explained that I had been assured that I already had a lift ticket for the entire mountain and that I shouldn’t be charged the extra $12. The cashier disagreed, so I paid the $12 and took my complaint to Guest Services. Guest Services wasn’t able to fix my problem and I had to go to the VIP window. The clerk at the VIP window reiterated the Beginner’s Package Policy over and over again (which I am familiar with), and I reiterated (we were actually screaming at each other) over and over again that regardless of what the policy is, I was assured a full mountain lift ticket and that Mt. High has reneged on their promise. I don’t care what your policies and fine print say – I was made a promise by you, which you did not keep. No employee of yours should be screaming at me, a customer who came with many friends and will never come back.

Enjoying a day of skiing was more important to me than $12. But, the sad thing is, losing a customer forever wasn’t worth more than $12 to you.

I hope you do well in the future without my business and that you can learn from your mistakes and start following a very basic rule: “The customer is always right, and everything possible should be done to make them happy.” It’s too late to win me back, but hopefully not too late to lose any others.

With Regret,

[My Signature]

[My Name]
[My Address]


See also: Mt High Customer Service Sucks

Mt High Customer Service Sucks

January 23rd, 2005

They just don’t get it. The customer is always right, and you do what you can to make them happy. Mountain High Ski resort just doesn’t seem to understand this. So, I think I need to let the world know.

1. Bad Weather (The Back Story)

Two weeks ago we went to Mt. High for a ski trip. It was a disaster. The resort was over crowded, they’re just not able to handle large crowds and the weather was horrible. Long story short, after waiting in various lines for 2 hours, we finally got into the lift line and then they announced the resort was closed. We did get vouchers for our lift tickets and rentals (more on this later). After that, we waited in line for a bus for an hour, then the bus ride (which was about a 1/4 mile) took another hour. We were wet, cold and hadn’t skied at all. It sucked. Mt. High couldn’t handle the high crowds, they didn’t seem to care about the customers, they made no effort to effectively communicate why we were experiencing such delays and high wait times. We all wanted to never return to Mt. High, but we were held by the vouchers (if only we’d gotten refunds).

2. Getting the Voucher

I purchased a $38 Ralph’s/Mt. High lift ticket and then purchased the $12 upgrade to convert it to the Beginner’s Package (which, includes rentals, a lesson and a limited lift ticket). The limited lift ticket only allows access to the lower mountain (the green/easy runs). At the time of my first visit (and use of the Ralph’s ticket), I asked the cashier and she said that the lift ticket was valid for the entire mountain. Therefore, I had no worries, and was under the assumption that I could ski on the entire mountain. However, I didn’t get to, the resort was closed for the day, and I was given my voucher.

3. Redeeming the Voucher

Today I went to the cashier to redeem my voucher. The lady at the window told me that it was only usable for the Beginner’s Package and that I would be given a limited lift ticket. I had not been told this two weeks ago — at that time I was told that I could use this as a full mountain lift ticket. The lady refused and instead gave me the option of paying an additional $12 to have a full mountain lift ticket and rentals (it would be $25 to add rentals to the $38 Ralph’s ticket). Seeing that she was a cog in the machine, I paid the additional $12 and chose to take my case up with Guest Services.

4. My Gripe

Fine, I understand that adding $12 to the $38 Ralph’s lift ticket converts it to a Beginner’s Package, and I understand the limits of that package. However, I don’t care what the policies and fine print say – I was made a promise, two weeks ago, when I paid for the upgrade and didn’t get to use it, I was assured that the lift ticket was for the entire mountain. I was made a promise by Mt. High, and they then chose to renege on that promise. Thus, making me a very unhappy customer.

4. Screaming at Customer Service – $12 DOLLARS!!!!

I took my (what I thought simple) claim to the Guest Services window. Again, another cog who sent for her manager. After I waited about 5 minutes, another employee came out and explained that they couldn’t give the refund because of the way the ticketing worked and that I had to take my claim to the ticket window. She did escort me to the VIP window and help explain my claim there at the VIP window. This is when I hit a road block. The lady at the VIP window kept reiterating the policies of the Beginner Package upgrade to the Ralph’s ticket, and I kept reiterating that it was irrelevant because I was told different by one of their salespersons two weeks ago. This kept going until we were screaming. Any time a customer has to SCREAM at someone to try and get their way, that alone proves that the customer service department is worthless. After screaming at the VIP window, I realized that it was hopeless and that my time was better spent skiing on my last day at Mt. High.

5. The results.

For a simple $12, Mt. High would have had a happy customer (one who would perhaps recommend the ski resort to others, or come again, etc.).

Instead, they have someone who will now tell everyone they know, and anyone who reads any consumer advocacy site, that Mt. High doesn’t understand the basics of customer service. I will not return to Mt. High and I will recommend that all of my friends and coworkers do not go to Mt. High either. They also had a scene at their ticket window, which I’m sure at least a few people noticed.

It’s just that simple. The customer is always right and everything possible should be done to make them happy. $12. That’s all it would have taken. $12.

See also: My letter to Mt High Customer Service

iPod Shuffle – I WANT IT!

January 20th, 2005

After reading this post from bookofjoe (iPod Shuffle – A steal at twice the price), I realized that I now really want an iPod Shuffle! Last year I managed to suppress the urge to get a regular iPod (cause I don’t have $450 laying around). But now, things have changed! It’s a usb memory stick (something I don’t have and want) and a super small stylish mp3 player in one! Since I don’t have either one, (and I want them both) — it’s perfect! Now begins the process of price watching and debate on “whether I truly need this item.” $150 is so much easier to pay in cash-money-down than $450 (for a frivolous purchase).

iPod Shuffle – Home Page – Buy on Amazon ->
Apple 1 GB iPod Shuffle MP3 Player M9725LL/A

Hollywood Sunset (or, another shopping trip to Home Depot)

January 17th, 2005

Hollywood Sunset
Originally uploaded by benchristen.

I love buildings with roof top parking — they allow for some of the best city views. The Home Depot on Sunset and Wilton is especially great for this. Here you are shopping for a new kitchen faucet (which is working very well, thanks for asking) and you get to enjoy such great views of the downtown skyline and a nice sunset with industrial accents. I’ve always been a fan of rooftops!

Lychee Gel Satisfaction

January 16th, 2005

Lychee Gel!
Originally uploaded by benchristen.

I ate this lychee gel today. Thanks to my friends who brought it for me. I love lychee gels. Unfortunately, the original lychee gels are banned in the states because of several choking cases (the lychee gels were just the size of a child’s throat opening, and because of the gel, they aren’t easily pulled out by medical tools). These lychee gels are much bigger, so I think they evade the ban. Anyway, it sure made me very happy to enjoy a tasty lychee gel today. Thanks!

Alias – APO Headquarters Entrance

January 15th, 2005

Alias – APO Headquarter Location
Originally uploaded by benchristen.

One of the great things about living in LA, you can recognize so many filming locations. This is the entrance to the “APO” headquarters (from Alias) — or, should I say, the North Hollywood Metro Station. I will have to watch the first episode of this season again because I’m not sure if the door they go in is on west or east end of the subway platform — anyway, this should give you an idea and at least look vaguely familiar if you’ve been watching this season. Oh, and security at APO is tough! There was a Metro staffer who wouldn’t even let me get closer to the entrance for a better shot!

LA Auto Show

January 15th, 2005

Originally uploaded by benchristen.

We went to check out the LA Auto Show. It was fun to see all the hot cars. I definitely think that if you want to seriously consider a car, it should be done at the dealership, but auto shows are a great way to see all the cars at once! And, see all the cars you’ll never ever own all covered with fingerprints!

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