Gephardt: Vail EPIC Pass Credits Go Unsued After Online Glitches, Long Hold Times
PARK CITY, Utah– Imagine being given a credit but then finding out it’s impossible to actually cash it in. It happened to Farmington man who decided it was time to call KSL Consumer Investigator Matt Gephardt.
The credit, in this case, was for a ski season pass. Vail Resorts, which runs what used to be the Park City Mountain Resort, did a nice thing when the pandemic hit: they issued credits to folks who couldn’t use their EPIC season passes.
In the months since, online glitches and long hold times made for some not-so-EPIC customer experiences.
For six months, Aaron Campbell said he tried to renew his Epic Pass using the $559.20 credit Vail had given him.
Aaron said he tried multiple times to redeem that credit online but was never able to do so.
“It would say, ‘Oh, we have a problem. Call us. We’ll help you out. We can’t process this online,” Campbell said.
He called at least ten times, he said. Every time, the line was too busy.
Because he did not want to miss out on his credit, he emailed Vail Resorts three days before his credit was set to expire and he got a response.
“Your credit is locked in,” Campbell said. “Give us some time, we’ll contact you and we’ll essentially make this right.”
Glitches online and hours on hold made it impossible for some folks who had ski-pass credits to actually use them. @KSLInvestigates takes it to the resort company, tonight on @KSL5TV News at 6PM. pic.twitter.com/RlS2jfypM5
— Matt Gephardt KSL (@KslMatt) June 24, 2021
The email stated, “Please note that if you have submitted this form by September 17, 2020, your credit, pass price, and benefits are locked in, no need to call back.”
Campbell said he didn’t hear from Vail and, try as he might, month after month, he couldn’t get anyone on the line to actually issue him the pass.
By February, when he was able to connect, Vail changed its tune.
“This [credit] is expired,” Campbell said he was told. “The request got denied.”
When the KSL Investigators reached out to Vail Resorts on Campbell’s behalf, a spokesperson responded via email writing, “Credits from the 2019-20 season were issued in May 2020 and at that time we communicated that they would expire four months later on September 17. We also sent several reminder emails leading up to the deadline. In September, when our call center received a high volume of inquiries, we reached out to pass holders who had an outstanding credit and gave them the opportunity to fill out an online form if they wanted to purchase a 2020-21 pass with their credit. By doing this, their credit was locked in until we could reach back out to them. Guests who filled out that form received assistance over the next couple of months. We are sorry to hear about Aaron’s situation, but we were diligent to communicate with our pass holders who had outstanding credits, including Aaron, and gave them ample opportunity to redeem their credits from the 2019-20 season for a 2020-21 pass. The credits were not transferable to the 2021-22 season. We do not have record of Aaron filling out the credit redemption form last fall.”
Campbell said a customer service representative told him that Vail had not received his email.
Campbell is not alone in his frustrations. Vail Resorts has racked up more than 700 complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Several of those customers complain they reached out to Vail when they couldn’t redeem their credits only to be told much later that they were expired.
Pressed on why customers like Campbell, who can demonstrate they had been trying to redeem the credit before its expiration, weren’t being allowed to use the credits, Vail responded that had Campbell filled out the proper online form in time, he would have gotten that credit.
The email Campbell received from Vail did not have any links to a form or attachments.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A prior version of this report inaccurately stated that the Vail spokesperson claimed Vail had not received an email from Campbell and that Vail’s “story changed” after the KSL Investigators sent Vail a copy of the email Campbell received. Vail’s spokesperson was consistent that Vail doesn’t have record of him filling out a credit redemption form.