Mountain Spy

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In this month’s Mountain Spy, there were two stand-outs and several more that were almost perfect. Of course, there were a few that were subpar, proving once again that the employees answering the phone can make or break developing customer loyalty.


THE QUESTION: MY HUSBAND’S BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP AND I’D LIKE TO BUY HIM SOME NEW EQUIPMENT. ANY RECOMMENDATIONS ON WHERE TO GO?



MOUNTAIN 1, CO

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose guest services.
Answering Phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, I mean, at this point in the year everyone is going to have last season’s stuff. So I mean it’s going to be pretty much discounted pretty well so if that’s not an issue for you, um, there’s like a ton of places in the area. Yeah…
SAM: Discounts are great!
Staff: Right. Um.
SAM: Where would you go?
Staff: I’ve gotten some stuff, I snowboard, but I’ve gotten a lot of my stuff from AB shop. They pretty recently sold out a lot of their snowboards, but I’m not sure about skis. Um…
SAM: Yeah I can try that place for sure. Do you have any other recommendations?
Staff: Uh, I mean that’s probably my recommendation. That’s where I get most of my stuff. I mean Christy’s Sports probably still has a good selection of stuff because they’re so big. They’re a local chain, if you will, so they have stores in quite a few locations so they should have some stock left.
SAM: OK. And you think the prices will be good for the rest of the summer?
Staff: Yeah I would think, yeah. I would think everything is probably 30 to 40 percent off.
SAM: Perfect. Well, I can try the two places you mentioned. Thank you.
Staff: Yeah they’re both pretty close to each other on highway 00, you know right when you get off I-70 where all the stores are there.
SAM: Thank you!

Rating: 5
Comment: Um, pulling teeth finally got me some helpful information.



MOUNTAIN 2, CA

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Umm, I haven’t bought new equipment in 12 years since I moved here so, um, I’m not really sure, do you live here?
SAM: I do, yeah. We just moved here.
Staff: Um, Reno or Sacramento would probably be cheaper than Tahoe, but I guess it just depends on what you’re looking to buy him. I have no idea how much anything even costs anymore.
SAM: OK… So you think Reno would be cheaper?
Staff: I think that there are a couple places in Reno, but they’re probably not going to have winter equipment until like September or October.
SAM: OK.
Staff: Um, there is a place, XY Shop I think it is.
SAM: OK.
Staff: And it’s on… I know there’s a couple places, like REI would have stuff, too, I think.
SAM: Um, all right. Are there any places online you would recommend?
Staff: I don’t know.
SAM: Well I guess I’ll do some more research.
Staff: Yeah.

Rating: 1
Comment: That was everything except helpful.



MOUNTAIN 3, UT

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Ski equipment?
SAM: Yes.
Staff: Um, most of the shops up here, um, what level skier is he?
SAM: He’s advanced.
Staff: Hold on for just a moment, hang on.
Staff: Well, I think the only dilemma right now is that most of the ski shops are not open.
SAM: OK.
Staff: There are a few down in the valley that might be open. I was just thinking if the AB shop in the valley is open and selling…
SAM: OK. Should I call?
Staff: Um, let me see if I can find a phone number on that one. Hold on one second. Hold time: 1 minute.
Staff: [Gave me shop number] And, yeah, since it’s off season a lot of people don’t carry skis until we get close to the season. I’m sure they have something though and, if not, they could probably tell you where to go.
SAM: Great, thanks!

Rating: 6
Comment: Finished strong by putting me in touch with the local shop.



MOUNTAIN 4, MD

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Uh, OK, um, let’s see. We do have a shop at the top of the mountain and then there’s also X shop that sells ski equipment. As far as I know we are planning to get another ski shop here at the resort, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be ready by this season or not.
SAM: OK.
Staff: Yeah, so you might want to try our shop at the top of the mountain or X shop.
SAM: Sure. Where is X shop?
Staff: Um, that’s located right next to the gas station when you turn onto the access road.
SAM: Cool, I will try both of those. Thanks.

Rating: 3
Comment: Basic info, but a little too basic.




MOUNTAIN 5, NH

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Like ski equipment?
SAM: Yup.
Staff: Um, I don’t know if any place around here is selling that, yet. It is still a little early. I would think maybe September, like October they would be doing that. I know right now I don’t think they are. We are still in summer mode.
SAM: So the local shops don’t carry anything in the summer?
Staff: Yeah, I don’t think so. They do a lot of summer stuff around here.
SAM: OK, so I should just wait a few months?
Staff: Yeah, wait a little bit. Probably like mid-September or October.
SAM: I can do that. Thanks.

Rating: 0
Comment: Unfortunately, that’s incorrect. The area’s mountain shop currently carries winter equipment, along with a handful of local shops down the road.




MOUNTAIN 6, VT

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Well, we have our own store here. Is this for skiing?
SAM: Yes it is.
Staff: OK, let me transfer you up to the store.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Um, well I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for and what we have. We do have a lot of stock left over from last year and it’s all 30 percent off right now.
SAM: Great!
Staff: Yeah, and we don’t charge any more than the manufacturer would charge. So it’s not like we have super high prices and then we give you 30 percent off. You would definitely be getting a good deal if you came here. I guess things we would need to know if and when you come up is his ability, maybe what ski or snowboard length he would need and his boot size if you’re looking for that kind of stuff.
SAM: Yup, I have a good idea of all those things. So you think your shop has the most to choose from in the area?
Staff: OK. Yeah, I mean I know that Z shop has stuff, but I don’t think they have very much left. Um, that would be my second choice to go to. They’re right in town so depending on where you’re coming from you could stop there first. And they’re very knowledgeable about that kind of thing so they would easily be able to help you out.
SAM: Well that’s good to know. Thank you. I’ll stop by there and then head up to your shop.
Staff: Sure. Well, we’re open 8-4 every day so hopefully we’ll see you soon.

Rating: 10
Comment: Good transfer, good info, great attitude.
Identity Revealed: Jay Peak



MOUNTAIN 7, CA

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, our sports shop has a great selection of winter outwear and hardgoods and everything you need for skiing and snowboarding. And a lot of it is on sale right now during the summer time.
Staff: Great, so your shop operates in the summer then?
Staff: Yup, it’s operating in the summer. They also do mountain bike gear, but there are some winter items that are for sale in there. What was it that you were looking to get him?
SAM: Well, he needs new skis, boots and bindings.
Staff: Yeah. They would carry all of that in our sports shop and it’s located right here at the base area. And you can even go on our website to find out more information.
SAM: Awesome.
Staff: OK, and if you have any questions for the sports shop directly I can give you their direct extension number if you wanted to call them?
SAM: That would be great.
Staff: Sure so you just call this number back and when the operator begins to talk just dial 555 and Tammy or Ashley will pick up and they’re both very helpful.
SAM: Perfect, thanks!

Rating: 10
Comment: Well, that was easy.
Identity Revealed: Bear Mountain



MOUNTAIN 8, CO

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Around here you mean?
SAM: Yes, in the area.
Staff: You know the best time to wait for that is the big sale in October. And I mean that’s where all the deals are. I would definitely wait until then otherwise you’re going to be paying pretty big bucks.
SAM: Great. And where is this big sale?
Staff: Yeah, the big sale is over at the XY arena and I think that’s going to be November 1, but I’m going to transfer you to the town to confirm those dates. That’s usually on a Friday night and then all day on the next day, Saturday. And that’s the place for everything. They have used and brand new. You can do equipment, clothes, everything. Yeah, I highly suggest that. Otherwise it’s sooo expensive. Let me get you over to the town though, hold on one second.
Staff: OK, I got the day for ya. It’s the week before, so it’s Friday, October 25 and Saturday the 26th and they might even go the morning of the 27th. That’s where I would suggest going.
SAM: Awesome, thank you. Who puts on the sale?
Staff: Ahh, the ski and snowboard school.
SAM: Perfect, thanks so much for your help!
Staff: Cool! You’re welcome. Have a good afternoon.

Rating: 9.5
Comment: What’s better than a giant sale? Bonus points for confirming the date.



MOUNTAIN 9, CA

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: OK, you were thinking ski equipment kind of thing?
SAM: Yes, ski equipment.
Staff: OK, sure. So the shop we have that carries most of our skis is called XY and they’re located here in the village and they do carry full lines of ski equipment, boots, bindings, the whole shebang. And it is very high-end, good quality stuff. And they have good options for all sorts of brands. So, that’s our company sport shop option in the village.
SAM: OK.
Staff: And then we also have another location in X city, um, called, what is it, I think it’s like X City Sports and that’s also owned by our resort. I’m pretty sure their inventory is going to match what we have here in the village so it’s really whichever location is more convenient for you.
SAM: Sounds good. And you think both places will have a good selection of equipment?
Staff: Yeah. Up here they still do have quite a bit of ski equipment. I don’t know if they’ve gotten in next year’s stuff or anything like that, but you can ask them about that sort of thing.
SAM: Great, thanks so much.

Rating: 8
Comment: Props for promoting the resort’s shops, but it sounds like I should be ready to shell out the big bucks.



MOUNTAIN 10, PA

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, ski equipment?
SAM: Yup!
Staff: Actually I don’t know if they’re still doing it. We were having an actual blowout sale earlier, but I don’t know if it’s still going on. Other than that I wouldn’t know, like, where to personally recommend where to go to buy equipment. I guess the X shop is the closest place to us and I know a lot of people shop there, but I, like, haven’t personally gone there or anything because I don’t have ski equipment, but let me check if we’re still having our blowout sale though. I’m going to put you on hold for a second…
Staff: OK, ma’am?
SAM: Yup.
Staff: So the blowout sale is still happening. They’re doing it until they run out of equipment so I guess they still have equipment left. Ah, but what you do is go to the park and go to guest services and they’ll give you all the information they have on it and what’s still available.
SAM: That’s fantastic. So is it every day or just weekends?
Staff: Ah, I believe, I want to say it’s 9-4 on weekdays and 9-6 on weekends. I definitely know it’s nine to something so the earlier you can get here the better.
SAM: Perfect, I’ll be sure to check it out. Thanks.

Rating: 6
Comment: The blowout sale saved this call.



MOUNTAIN 11, VT

First Contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering Phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Hmm, well I don’t know what’s open around here for right now. I would say at XY base lodge. They have a lot. Um, I really don’t know who is open up here.
SAM: OK.
Staff: I mean there are several shops. If you go up the resort road there are all kinds of shops up there.
SAM: Sure, I can do that.
Staff: Yup, and then on Route XX if you’re heading toward Z town there’s one down there.
SAM: Perfect, do you know the name?
Staff: I can’t remember the names, ha ha ha!
SAM: Um, all right. I guess I’ll take a drive then.
Staff: Well, hold on, let me see. I’ve got the phone book right in front of me…. So, Z shop is on Route XX. Y shop is on the resort road. Z shop is also on the resort road. B shop and A shop are on the resort road, too.
SAM: Perfect, I can try all of those. Thanks!

Rating: 5
Comment: Thankfully she had a phone book.



MOUNTAIN 12, VT

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question
Staff: Yeah sure, you mean ski equipment? Ski or snowboard?
SAM: Ski.
Staff: Um, so where are you exactly? Where are you located?
SAM: I’m just a little outside of Brattleboro.
Staff: Well, I mean if you wanted to go the opposite direction of us, towards Keene, then you’ve got XX, which is in Keene. Probably your best bet is where we are. There are four stores right in the village and then at the bottom of the access road there are three. So you’ve got seven if you head this way.
SAM: Awesome. And they all carry pretty much everything?
Staff: Yup. Everything. Jackets, gear, the whole nine yards.
SAM: Great.
Staff: So, have you even been up here?
SAM: Not yet.
Staff: So Route X out of Brattleboro and head towards the road. Find route X on your map and that takes you straight to the bottom of the access road to our resort. Just take that all the way. And when you get to the bottom of the access road you’ll see the resort sign to turn left.
SAM: That’s easy.
Staff: Yup, just stay straight and as you get closer you’ll see the resort with trails and stuff and then you’ll see our sign where you turn left. And come all the way up the access road to our village. It’s right at the main base when you get to the top.
SAM: I’m sure I can find it, thanks.
Staff: Yeah, of course. And you might want to check the website real quick for hours because I’m not sure how long everything stays open in the summer. You’re going to be about 45 minutes away so just a heads up.
SAM: Will do, thanks!

Rating: 9
Comment: Enthusiastic attitude with top notch information. My only gripe, and it’s a small one, is that she should have just stuck with her stores.



MOUNTAIN 13, MI

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Ski equipment?
SAM: Yes.
Staff: I’m going to transfer you up to the sports shop. Hold on one second.
Answering Phone: Male.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Some new ski equipment?
SAM: Yes.
Staff: Hmm, well, we have equipment here. The thing is finding out what he needs.
SAM: Well, I know what he needs. I’m looking to buy skis and poles. He has boots.
Staff: But do you know what kind of skis he wants or likes?
SAM: Yup. I’m looking for an advanced all-mountain ski.
Staff: All right. Well, stop in here. We’ve got demos that are in great shape for a great price. And then our retail skis from last year are 25% off the sale price so that’s about 40% off.
SAM: OK, great. And you’re located at the mountain.
Staff: Yup. Yup. We’re open every day until five. So come on in and do some shopping.
SAM: Cool. And your shop probably has the best stock or are there any others?
Staff: Well Z shop has some. I sent them a lot of my demos from our tent sale, but I would come here first and if we can’t help you we’ll send you over to them.
SAM: Thanks!

Rating: 8
Comment: General information with a good attitude on top.



MOUNTAIN 14, MI

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, there are two in town that have a very good reputation. One is Z shop in D City and the other is Y Shop in B city.
SAM: OK. I can try those.
Staff: Yeah. Um, I don’t know this time of year what their equipment is like. There’s also C shop in between those two shops and I know this time of year they have really big clearance sidewalk sales.
SAM: Awesome.
Staff: Yeah, so it would be last year’s gear, but really great prices. I don’t know if Y shop does that, but the other two do.
SAM: Great, thanks so much!

Rating: 6
Comment: Friendly attitude with a few good choices.



MOUNTAIN 15, NH

First Contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, right. Good question, actually! As far as ski equipment right?
SAM: Yup.
Staff: Well, I do know, like, we sell equipment in the winter, but obviously not in the summer. The sport shop is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I don’t know if you want to speak with someone there who would have more knowledge of that.
SAM: Yeah, I didn’t know if there were any big shops in the area that are selling equipment this time of year. Maybe not?
Staff: I mean, like I said, there’s definitely places on the mountain that sell equipment, but not for another few months until they get new equipment. I know Z shop is moving on the mountain, um, but they won’t open until this fall. But like I said I can give you the direct number to the sports shop if you want to talk to someone there who might be able to help you out more.
SAM: OK, I can do that. And you don’t think the other stores in the area will carry new equipment until the fall?
Staff: Right, that’s what I think, but I would give our shop a call and they can give you some other tips. [Gave sport shop number].
SAM: Thanks so much!

Rating: 5
Comment: She lacked enthusiasm, but she did suggest I call the sports shop.

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Comments

Mountain 12

Even if I actually knew what she was talking about, I'd be confused...

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