Q: I booked a visit to Legoland New York Theme Park & Resort based on an offer I received for its October Brick-or-Treat hotel and park combo package. I paid the quoted price, but they sent a follow-up e-mail that I wasn't charged for park tickets, and I had two options: pay up or cancel.
Multiple calls to the company result in them holding the line — pay or go. You can't speak to anyone beyond the customer-service representative. Escalation to management is only done internally. Responses take seven to 10 days. But after two attempts, I've never gotten a reply. I've also e-mailed the customer-service address and haven't gotten any replies.
I can't believe a family-focused attraction would stonewall like this, especially when they made an error. I feel like they need to honor the price they quoted, but I'd love just to be able to talk it through with a representative with decision-making authority. The additional pricing increases the $1,094 visit by another $600, or 60%! Can you help? We're heading there soon and of course, this bad news came after we told the kids, so we're in a tight spot!
A: Oh, you are in a tight spot. Once you've told the kids, you pretty much have to go. As a father of three, I've experienced that many times. To give you an idea of how serious it got, we had to move to Orlando to satisfy their theme-park cravings.
But I digress. The offer you received from Legoland New York Theme Park & Resort should have included theme park tickets. When you pointed this error out to the company, it should have fixed it right away. Instead, the company led you through a Lego maze of calls and e-mails.
That's too bad. I love Legoland. I've visited the Legolands in Florida and California with my kids, and they love it, too. OK, some of the little rides aren't really for adults. But Legos speak to kids of all ages. When that happiness collapses like a poorly built tower, no one is happy.
Maybe the most maddening part of your experience was dealing with Legoland's customer-service agents. They offered neither a substantive response to your legitimate complaint nor a way to appeal your case. With the day of your arrival drawing closer, you had to do something.
Legoland says it experienced "an unfortunate system error" during your booking. Because of that error, the booking you made does not have valid tickets. I contacted Legoland on your behalf. The company reviewed your reservation and apologized for the difficulty you were experiencing. You received an e-mail with the promised park tickets.
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit consumer organization. Contact him at elliott.org/help or email@example.com.