Vail Daily letter: An angry visitor
Vail, CO, Colorado
I have been travelling to the Vail Valley for 35 years and have always been met with smiles, wonderful service and a genuine desire to satisfy the customer. Indeed, service has always been one of the reasons that Vail and Beaver Creek are consistently named in SKI magazine’s Top 10 resorts.
Imagine my dismay when, in town this week from Australia, I went to a local video store and faced some of the most appalling service I have seen anywhere in my many travels across the globe.
I was told I was not allowed to borrow a DVD without first providing my passport number. I offered my government-issued drivers license but was told it had to be a passport. Now, I’m sure most travellers do not actually carry their passports on them at all times. In fact, I consider it foolish to carry such a document when I’m out skiing! I was told I only had to provide the number, so I should have it memorized.
My apologies once again, but I do not memorize all the numbers of my various (and many) documents and form of identification. The Australian gentleman behind me, returning an armful of videos, told me that he had borrowed them using just his license!
The young girl behind the counter was astonishingly rude about this. She was rude directly to my elderly mother, telling her to leave the store, and refused to apologize when I confronted her with a demand for an apology.
I was floored. I have never been treated in such an aggressive, rude and totally unreasonable way in the Vail Valley. In a town that prides itself on customer service, I feel that Vail Daily readers should know that such an ideal is simply not shared by all those who work here.
For international travellers who take the bus down to Avon without their passport number etched into their memories, the option of returning on the bus, passport in hand, to face such dismal service is simply not viable.
I suggest that the town of Vail and others in the valley do more to impart to the owners and employees of local stores the critical importance of customer service.
Such incidents ruin a town’s reputation not just for the individual involved, but for all family and friends who will be told to stay away in the future.
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