/ Westway pre-paid entries expiring

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
Has anyone else been in this situation? I bought 10 pre-paid entries some time in 2012 for 80. I then climbed a few sessions at Westway, a few at the Castle, Biscuit, Mile End, Reach, etc. In December I went on a holiday that lasted a month - and on my return, was told that my entries (7 of them left on the card) had expired.

Westway staff wouldn't reply to my emails when I finally managed to speak to someone on the phone I was told to forget about it. When I pointed out that no-one told me these would expire at some point, I was told to read their T&C's on the website (?!?), as if going on the climbing wall's website is the first thing anyone does when buying a pass there.

What annoys me is that A), no-one told me these would expire, B) the girl I spoke to on the phone was fairly unhelpful, C) no other climbing wall in London that I'm aware of has this sort of policy..

anyone else in a similar situation?
DynamoCL - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:

A quick view at their site brought up this page:

http://www.westwaysportscentre.org.uk/climbing/casual-entry-prices/

Which does say the pass only has a shelf life of 3 months (not helping I know).

Do they have a similar looking price board at the wall (with similar wording), or does it just tell you the price and sessions with nothing else printed?
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to DynamoCL: thanks - to be honest, I didn't check the board when I was buying it, or their website. I somehow assumed that it would be the same as at other climbing walls in London, so just walked up to the counter and paid for the pass..
SimonCRMC - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:

Seem to recall having a similar problem with a 5 pre-paid climb pass which had one session left on it. Reception seemed to use their discretion and let me in. That said, I don't think there's a notice at reception setting out the expiry terms, and I don't think this was explained to me when I bought the pass. If anyone from Westway reads this forum you might like to give this some attention.

As for your own situation you might want to get some consumer advice to see if you have a case for a refund.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:

I'd have thought what it says on their website is irrelevant unless you bought them off the website. What matters is the information you could be reasonably expected to have at the point in time they take your money because that's when the contract was made.
RockSteady on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:

Sounds like you might want to start quoting contract law at them. As I recall, for terms to be incorporated in a contract they usually have to be sufficiently clear and prominent at the point the contract is made. Eg. there was a case where someone bought a hotel room and then when he went up there there were a bunch of additional terms on the door - these weren't deemed to form part of the contract.

Where were you when you bought the passes? If you bought them online I'm not sure you have a leg to stand on. If you bought them at the counter at the Westway and they're quoting terms on their website then I'm not sure they can rely on them - you wouldn't have seen these terms at the time the contract was made (i.e. when you paid for the passes) so the terms aren't incorporated in the contract.

Usual disclaimers apply - I'm not a lawyer giving you legal advice, I'm just some guy off the internet trying to point you in the right direction. Might be worth you looking into.
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to RockSteady: thanks. I bought the passes at the counter and wasn't told they would expire - in fact, I have been buying these passes for years (about 6 now), and was never told that. The only difference was that so far, I have always managed to use up all 10 entries before 3 months.
SteveRi - on 23 Jan 2013
I've just finished a 10 pass from NW Face bought in 2008. I got the mick taken out of me by the staff. That's the sort of service any reasonable wall would provide.
Jim at Work on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:
I find the staff at Westway friendly & helpful, if treated in the same way; plus I'm a regular, so known to them. Why I say that is that I'd suggest you turn up and in as pleasant & reasonable a way as possible plead your case - ask to speak to the duty manager. Say it's a great place that you want to use a lot more, etc & don't get stroppy. It may work. Good luck.
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work: to be clear - almost everyone was very nice and helpful, including the girls at the counter & people from the climbing team.
However none of them were able to override the policy, un-expire my pass, offer even a partial refund etc - I was told to contact their Admin Manager, who wouldn't reply to my emails and basically treated me like a nuisance.
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work: and whereas obviously, I tend to be pleasant&reasonable to anyone whom I speak to, my point is that I shouldn't have to ask nicely and hope that somebody agrees, if the T&C's weren't explained to me at the time of purchase.

The Admin manager explained to me something along the lines of "you're getting such a fantastic deal with the 10 entries for 80 quid offer, that is why they expire, and by the way we don't want people buying this as it only causes trouble".
Bootsy - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx: If that's the response then if it were me I would be minded to go over his head. Write / speak to Stuart Parker the Westway Sports Centre Director and who is also part of the management team for the Westway Trust who own and operate Westway. I wouldn't ask him for a refund, just for an explanation about whether he considers the policy fair and whether he's aware of the attitude of his Admin Manager?
winhill - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:

It's crap, in more ways than one.

If they give you a physical ticket you'd expect the expiry date to be on the ticket.

Unfortunately if they keep getting complaints because they find it difficult to administer they'll probably just stop doing them.
Simon_Sheff - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Bootsy:
> (In reply to pawelx) If that's the response then if it were me I would be minded to go over his head. Write / speak to Stuart Parker the Westway Sports Centre Director and who is also part of the management team for the Westway Trust who own and operate Westway. I wouldn't ask him for a refund, just for an explanation about whether he considers the policy fair and whether he's aware of the attitude of his Admin Manager?


Agreed, be a big boy. Quit whining on here, and write to the Westway or go down.
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff: that's what I'll do. I wrote here because I wanted to find out if anyone else has been in a similar situation.
Jim at Work on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Bootsy: agree - the policy does seem a bit harsh.
Neil Williams - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Jim at Work:

The Pinnacle have an expiry but I think it's a year.

I think 2 years would be better, or offer different prices based on expiry dates, as the main reason I would buy these is to avoid the hassle of stopping to pay on each entry.

Neil
Tiberius - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon_Sheff:
> Agreed, be a big boy. Quit whining on here, and write to the Westway or go down.

Strange response. A website frequented by fellow climbers who may get caught out by this seems a sensible thing to do.

Not that I was about to buy a 10 entry pass, but being informed of the attitude of a wall I may visit, good or bad, is always helpful.
Owen W-G - on 23 Jan 2013
The correct proceedure under these circumstances is to enter into written correspondence with senior management explaining your grievance.

State clearly that you are a long-standing customer of theirs and that you feel very hard done by.
pawelx - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Owen W-G: just before I got round to writing that email, I got a call from the Head of climbing at Westway. Very nice and reasonable guy, who offered to put a credit on my account equivalent to the unused pro-rated value of the pass. I will probably use it towards another 10-entry pass now. They can't change the policy meaning that these passes will still expire after 3 months, which I'll now need to keep in mind.


winhill - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to pawelx:
> (In reply to Owen W-G) just before I got round to writing that email, I got a call from the Head of climbing at Westway. Very nice and reasonable guy, who offered to put a credit on my account equivalent to the unused pro-rated value of the pass. I will probably use it towards another 10-entry pass now. They can't change the policy meaning that these passes will still expire after 3 months, which I'll now need to keep in mind.

That's cool, the point being surely, if you were told it would expire when you knew you weren't going to be around for a month, then you wouldn't have bought it in the first place.
Tiberius - on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Owen W-G:
> The correct proceedure under these circumstances...

Correct? In what way? If it's a contract issue (i.e. the terms of the contract were not stated), then I would have though the 'correct' procedure would have been to go see a lawyer.

I've seldom found that writing to management helps much, as the op explained, he already tried this with no success. Seems after posting on here he now has a result, so I'm not sure why this wasn't the 'correct' procedure.

Personally I'd still like to take it to a lawyer to test the contractual terms as stated, but then that's my choice, still I don't see how 'correct' comes into it?
Siderunner - on 25 Jan 2013
"They can't change the policy, meaning" ... they don't want to.

In other words, they are sufficiently complacent about their monopoly in the west london climbing market not to worry that they're offering a worse product (in this respect) than any of their competitors. They're probably right: they won't lose a lot of custom because of said monopoly and the fact is this isn't a deal-breaker for most customers.

I still think 3 months is ridiculously short! And I am glad you pointed out the short expiry, as I wasn't aware of it and will now avoid this (as I only go once or twice a month- it's a trek).
Tiberius - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Siderunner:
> I still think 3 months is ridiculously short!

To me the main issue is that it wasn't clearly explained when the OP made the initial purchase. Instead when he complained he was pointed to the web site for the terms. That seems to fail my understanding of contract law, but then I'm not a barrister :)
ads.ukclimbing.com
Neil Williams - on 25 Jan 2013
In reply to Siderunner:

It's irritating to those customers who would buy multipacks just to avoid the hassle of conducting a transaction each time you go to the wall.

That said, there's an opportunity to use Paywave and the likes to set up the ability for registered members to simply "touch in" using their credit card, Oyster-style. I would quite like to see more of this in future in similar sorts of places.

Neil

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.