Friday, 6 August 2010

Edmonton Leisure Centre Reply

Morning everyone! Todays blog post is a reply from the manager of Edmonton Leisure Centre to this letter I sent them last month.

Click me to make me big!
Good afternoon.

It appears there seems to have been some misunderstanding regarding responding to you as I originally sent my response to our head office.

I have discussed the issues contained within your email with my duty managers and reception staff at our briefings and have informed them of the seriousness of not being able to provide the service which we expect to offer our members/users.

In terms of the actual issues, I wish to answer them one point at a time:

My staff will be able to confirm that I am available whilst at work and that is for staff or members of the public. Users normally speak to front line staff first of all and then to a duty manager. Should the matter need to be escalated, then I will be contacted and will speak to a member.

I appreciate that the phones are busy. There used to be a call waiting system in place which put people on hold and gave out information. However, this was removed in January because people did need to speak to staff in order to book our facilities. It is unfortunate that all calls come through to reception in the first instance and the staff tend to be busy with face to face customers. This will obviously annoy members who wish to book courts, but I am afraid to say that we will not be able to answer calls if we have people at reception.

I am sorry that you have experienced problems with your booking but we have had many instances when our systems have failed. I know this may appear to be just another excuse, but I am afraid to say it is true. I am not aware how a double booking can occur when the system is operating fully, but on this occasion, it may have failed.

We did experience difficulties at the time of the volcanic dust issue because a member of staff was in Poland at the time. The issue was compounded when another two members of staff fell ill on the Wednesday. It was with this in mind that I took the decision to continue with our swimming programme and not take down the gymnastics equipment until the next day, when there were morning staff available.

I am really at a loss as to why a member of staff would chastice a member of the public and question them as to why they are booking a court. I have also checked your most recent 9.00pm bookings and again, am unable to explain why a court was not set up, especially as the courts would have been available at 8.00pm.

I am sorry that we have not provided you with the service you expected, nor the service I expect of my staff and we will all learn from this experience. I trust that we will improve the quality of service on offer to all users in future.

Please do not hesitate to contact myself or a duty manager in future should you have an issue with any of your bookings.

Edmonton Leisure Centre Manager

An email of excuses really, but at least it shows they acknowledge there are problems. I sent a reply to him suggesting that perhaps they could look into an online booking system to take the strain off the phone system and this is the reply I got to that one:

Click to make me bigger aswell!
Good morning

Thanks for your response.

You will be pleased to know that on line facilities are being planned.

What we need to do is make sure that the systems are operating correctly to allow users to book on line. This will be a corporate approach to booking and will be in place throughout the whole of Enfield.

Time scale has not been finalised, but please watch this space.

I welcome feedback on all aspects of our service, so please do not hesitate to speak to a duty manager or myself should there be an issue or an idea you may have which we could use to improve our service.

Edmonton Leisure Centre Manager

CRAP. It's sort of what I wanted, but, have I broken the Cretinous Gym? Does this mean there will be good customer service? I doubt it, a leopard doesn't change its spots and all that. But we'll see. And in any case, there's plenty of cretinous goings on at that gym (one happened earlier this week) and in the world in general to talk about. But we'll save all that for next week. Have a very uncretinous weekend!



Anonymous said...

you'll never have good service at CG. i think of this as a kind of cliffhanger

Gail said...

A very full reply which is good. Online booking would solve all the problems but can they afford to do it properly? My gym charges a fortune yet they still don't have online booking and you have to ring several times to book for classes.

Chris said...

@Anonymous - I doubt there will be much change aswell. Management can talk to the staff as much as they want, but staff with the attitudes of some of the ones that work there are not exaclty going to respond well to criticism.

@Gail - Who knows, it would help solve the problem, and apparently the plans are already in motion. But I can see it going wrong and multiple people turning up at once because they have tried to book at exactly the same time and the system hasn't been able to handle it. Or, people just booking big blocks so they can turn up when they want.

Kate Cooper said...

A career in politics is calling - such diligence and determination, good reportage and fair. Lucky to get such an honest answer too.

Chris said...

@Kate I think I got such an honest answer because I went to head office. The reply to me had some others cc'd in, which I assume are the gym's overlord owners. So, he couldn't really be seen to point blank deny everything.
As for politics... not too sure about that!

Katie said...

Aah...the long awaited reply. At least it was a thorough reply.

Agree with Gail about the online booking though.

Still plenty of potential for future cretinity I feel...

(think I just made up a word)

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