Mountain Spy

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In this month’s Mountain Spy, we put customer service to the test with a delicate question. While the answers weren’t surprising, the customer service, in many cases, was.


QUESTION: My husband and I are planning to visit your area to try out your ziplines. I’m calling in advance because my husband is on the heavier side and I’m wondering if there are any weight restrictions?



MOUNTAIN 1, CA


First contact: Automated machine. Chose guest services.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Uh, yes there is. Let me pull them up in front of me… So you have to be between 75 and 275 pounds and be at least 42 inches tall to ride any of the ziplines on the mountain.
SAM: Hmm. OK. Well he is definitely over that so I guess that’s not an option.
Staff: No, unfortunately not. The weight restrictions are non-negotiable. Sorry about that.
SAM: That’s all right. That’s why I called. I’ll just look for something else to do.
Staff: OK. Well thanks for calling. There’s plenty of sight seeing, hiking, and other activities here in town.
SAM: Thanks.

Rating: 4
Comment: Sweet and compassionate, but there are a TON of other things she could have mentioned to do at the area.



MOUNTAIN 2, CO


First contact: Automated machine. Chose summer activities.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: There is. Um, I want to say 275 is the max weight. Let me just double-check… yes it is. 275 pounds and 45-80 inches tall.
SAM: Alrighty. Unfortunately he exceeds that so we wouldn’t be able to do it I guess.
Staff: Yeah, um, at least not our zipline. If you guys are super set on doing a zipline though, I know the adventure company has them. And I was reading on their brochure the other day that have a whole zipline tour.
SAM: Interesting. Is their weight limit higher than yours?
SAM: I have no idea, actually, but they have a whole tour so it might be worth calling them. Would you like their number?
SAM: Sure. (Given phone number and website.) Thanks so much.
Staff: No problem! Have a great day!

Rating: 5
Comment: A few bonus points for giving me another company, but minus five for not touting her own resort and the other awesome things they offer.



MOUNTAIN 3, VT


First contact: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Well, basically the weight range is between 50 and 300 pounds for the zipline.
SAM: Well, he’s over that.
Staff: Hmm, it depends on how just over that he is. They tend to be a little flexible with it, but I can get you right up to the gear shop and they can confirm that for you.
SAM: Sure that would be great. Thanks. Transferred…
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Restated question with explanation of previous conversation.
Staff: Um, yeah. I’m pretty sure it is because that’s what they tell us. The maximum is 300 pounds. The issue is really whether the harness is going to fit or not. I don’t think it’s so much the weight because we have a lady in here the other day who said she didn’t weight 300 pounds but the harness wouldn’t fit so, you know.
SAM: Um, OK. I guess that make sense.
Staff: Well, yeah, and what she did was come up to the ticket booth here and I sold her a ticket and after she went up to do the zipline, but the harness wouldn’t fit she came back down and received a full refund.
SAM: OK, so that’s the worst that could happen.
Staff: Exactly.
SAM: So you’re saying it’s really just a matter of the harness fitting or not?
Staff: Yeah if they can get the harness to fit then they will allow the person to go.
SAM: OK then, thanks.

Rating: 4
Comment: Good start with a transfer to the right office, but is it a weight limit or a size limit? I’m confused.



MOUNTAIN 4, MN


First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female. (Sounded like she was chewing food!)
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um it’s a total of 450 pounds combined weight.
SAM: What do you mean combined weight?
Staff: Like the two people stand on the scale and if you’re over 460 you have to split. (.?)
SAM: I’m still not sure I understand. Do you go together?
Staff: You can sit together, yeah.
SAM: Gotcha. So if we exceed that max weight can one person still just go?
Staff: Yeah, they would pay for a single ride to go by themselves.
SAM: OK, now I get it. Well that’s a good alternative if we max out the combined weight. Thanks for your help.

Rating: 2
Comment: She gave me two different weight limits and was short with me. No thanks.



MOUNTAIN 5, VA


First contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: There are some. Let me transfer you to that department. Hold on one minute please…
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: There is. You have to be between 70 and 260 pounds.
SAM: Hmm, OK. Well, he’s definitely over that. So I guess that’s not an option. I’m not sure what else we could do.
Staff: I guess not, no. I mean you could do the tubing, because there’s no weight restriction for that. (Silence...)
SAM: OK, I’ll let him know about the tubing. Thanks.
Staff: Yup, bye.

Rating: 3
Comment: Got the weight rule easily and she offered tubing, but hello(!), your resort offers SO much more than tubing and ziplines.



MOUNTAIN 6, NH


First contact: Automate machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Yeeeah. Normally it’s 250 pounds. That’s the limit. Is he over?
SAM: He is. He’s about 325.
Staff: I, ah, I don’t think it would hold him. I can transfer you down to the adventure center and they can talk with you in more detail because they know exactly what can and can’t work for the zipline. One minute please. Transferred…
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Restated question with explanation of previous conversation.
Staff: Yeah so like the minimum is 50 and the max is 250 pounds.
SAM: OK. Well, he weighs 325 pounds.
Staff: Yeah, he wouldn’t be able, um, yeah, like no. It wouldn’t hold him.
SAM: OK then.
Staff: OK?
SAM: Guess so, thanks.

Rating: 1
Comment: Like, yeah, thanks for being so helpful.



MOUNTAIN 7, PA


First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, I know that for the X activities the max weight on that is 250. I believe that may go over a little bit if they—it’s all on how you’re cut if that makes sense. I hate to say that! But they do say there is some flexibility, it just depends on how athletic the person is.
SAM: OK, that makes sense.
Staff: Is he much over that or?
SAM: He’s about 325 pounds so he’s definitely over.
Staff: OK, yeah. Let me actually check for you really quick before I let you go to see if they would accept that. Could you hold on one moment?
SAM: Sure thing.
Staff: Thanks! Just one second. Holding…
Staff: OK sorry about that. Um, yeeah, unfortunately the max is 250 pounds. 325 pounds is not doable, unfortunately.
SAM: That’s OK. That’s why I was calling, but thanks for checking. Maybe I can find something else for us.
Staff: Yeah I mean the other thing we have is an open ropes course that is this Sunday. It’s actually a different zipline than the bigger one in the trees so it may have a different weight requirement. Do you mind holding one more time and I can double check this zipline?
SAM: Sure, thanks. Holding…
Staff: Hi, ma’am?!
SAM: Yup
Staff: Great, so he actually would be fine with the opens ropes course this Sunday and could do all the activities including the zipline. It’s this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and includes some of the ropes course climbing features, kayaks, canoes and the ziplines. And if you go onto our website there’s actually some pictures of the climbing features and ropes course. It’s $15 for the afternoon and it’s only cash actually, but I think you two would have a lot of fun.
SAM: That’s great, thanks so much for checking.
Staff: Sure thing. And you do not need reservations. Just come on up at 1 p.m. when it starts.
SAM: Perfect. Thanks again!

Rating: 9
Comment: Patience and perseverance to help the customer earned the high points. Minus one for making me figure out the website.
Identity Revealed: Roundtop



MOUNTAIN 8, NH


First contact: Automated machine. Chose guest services.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: There is. Let me pull that up for you. And you were looking, so, um, for both of them you have to be, um, the zip tour is 260 pounds or less and the aerial is 250 pounds or less.
SAM: Hmm. OK. Well he’s 325 pounds.
Staff: Oook. Umm. Is he very tall?
SAM: He’s about six feet.
Staff: OK. Yeah. If somebody is like 6’5” let’s say it spreads it out, but it’s not like, um, it’s a weight vs. center of gravity type of thing as well. It’s basically a safety thing at that point for the way he would be hanging. (Not very clear, but OK)
SAM: Sure. I can understand if there’s a limit.
SAM: Sooo is there anything else for us to do hopefully?
Staff: Oh yeah! We have hiking and biking and I believe our Segway tours would be OK, let me see… Yeah, our Segways would be OK. Lift rides would be OK as well.
SAM: All right, well there are a few other options.
Staff: Sure thing. Hiking, biking, lift rides and Segway tours.
SAM: Sounds good. Thanks for your help. I’ll see what he wants to do.
Staff: OK, cool! Definitely go to www.xxx.com where we list everything as well. It’s got some great options for you and your husband.

Rating: 6
Comment: Handled it well, but dropped the ball on offering anything else until I asked.



MOUNTAIN 9, NH


First contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: For just the zipline?
SAM: That and the challenge course.
Staff: OK. Hold on let me just look quickly here… umm, so the age and weight restriction for the zipline is must be over 10 and between 80 and 260 pounds. And the challenge course is between 50 and 250 pounds. Umm, it’s the same for the Segway tours, between 100 and 250 pounds.
SAM: Hmm. All right. Well he’s over that limit, unfortunately.
Staff: Like does he exceed it by a lot?
SAM: Um, well he’s 325 pounds so I guess so, yes.
Staff: I mean I can transfer you over to the adventure park to ask them more about it. I mean maybe you can see if they can make any exceptions maybe or can be lenient? (Is she serious right now?)
SAM: Well, I doubt they’ll allow another 75 pounds, but thanks.
Staff: You’re welcome. (Silence...)
SAM: All right then. Thanks.

Rating: 2
Comment: Two points for reading the weight description. Minus 8 for suggesting they might be able to bend the rules and for not offering anything else for us to do.



MOUNTAIN 10, PA


First contact: Automated machine. Waited for operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: OK, yeah, I can give you to the canopy tours and they can give you all the rules and regulations. One moment please. (Transferred to canopy tour center.)
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, you would have to weigh under 250 pounds.
SAM: That’s for the canopy tours and basic zipline?
Staff: Yes.
SAM: All right. Well he does weigh a bit over that, so I guess that won’t work. That’s too bad.
Staff: Uh huh. (Silence...)
SAM: OK then. Thanks, bye.

Rating: 2
Comment: 2 points for knowing the limit. Minus eight for no mention of the plethora of other things we could have done there.



MOUNTAIN 11, NH


First contact: Automate machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Certainly. Let me connect you to the concierge, they should have those. One moment. Transferred…
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Did you want to do the one zipline or canopy tour?
SAM: Well that’s a good question. Either one would be fun, I think.
Staff: OK. The canopy tour is three hours and the weight restriction is 90 to 200 pounds.
SAM: Hmm. OK. Well he would exceed that. What about for just the single zipline?
Staff: This is the canopy tour.
SAM: Right. What is the weight restriction for the single zipline?
Staff: So, the zipline is 200 pounds.
SAM: OK. Well, he definitely weighs more than that. I guess I’ll try to find something else to do.
Staff: OK. (Silence...)
SAM: OK, then.

Rating: 1
Comment: One point for answering the phone.



MOUNTAIN 12, CO


First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Male.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Um, I’m not sure of the exact specs on the zipline, but I’m going to transfer you up to the tickets office and they’ll have all the information for you up there. Just one minute. Transferred...
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Restated question.
Staff: Yes, there is. There is a weight limit on the zipline. Um, it’s 240 pounds. And that’s based on the braking system we have. The zipline system we have does the braking for you so the max weight 240 pounds.
SAM: Gotcha. Well, unfortunately he’s over that. I guess that’s not an option.
Staff: No. Did you check the other zipline company in town though?
SAM: I haven’t, no.
Staff: Well I don’t know what kind of restrictions or type of ziplines they have, but it might be worth calling them. Let’s see here… they are called X ziplines and they have a canopy zipline, which goes from location to location in the trees, unlike ours, which is just one straight shot. (Given phone number and website.) And let me see here if there are any weight limits… ah, so their weight limit is 275 pounds.
SAM: Hmm, yup. Still can’t do it.
Staff: OK. Sorry about that. Thanks for calling. Bye.
SAM: Um, bye, I guess.

Rating: 5
Comment: Basic points for trying to find another alternative, but no mention of any of their other summer offerings and quick to get off the phone.



MOUNTAIN 13, UT


First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: There is a weight restriction to the zipline, yes. Let’s see, the maximum weight is, um, 275 pounds. That’s for the X zipline, but we also have a Y zipline, which is tandem and the maximum combined weight for that is 480 pounds.
SAM: Oh, OK, the second one I think would work. And it is like a regular zipline or different?
Staff: Well it’s a double seat so he would have to be able to sit in the seat, but you can always try that out when you get here. (No kiddinSAM: All right. Well I guess that’s what we’ll have to do. Maybe there’s something else we can try as well. Thanks for your help.
Staff: No problem. Bye now.

Rating: 4
Comment: Good job reading the weight limits, but I got nothing when I suggested there might be something else available to do. And at this resort, I know there is!



MOUNTAIN 14, OR


First contact: Automated machine. Chose operator.
Answering phone: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Let me look… so the restrictions are 40 to 260 pounds.
SAM: Hmm. Well, he’s more than that, unfortunately.
Staff: Oh, I’m sorry.
SAM: That’s OK, that’s why I’m calling. Well, maybe I can find something else for us to do.
Staff: Yeeeeah. I’m sure you can. Have a good day!

Rating: 1
Comment: Thanks for helping me find something else?! This area’s website showed over ten other possible activities!



MOUNTAIN 15, NM


First contact: Female.
SAM: Stated question.
Staff: Yes there is. You have to be a minimum of 90 pounds and no more than 270 pounds.
SAM: Hmm, OK. Well, he’s definitely over that.
SAM: So does the resort have anything else we could do?
Staff: Well, we have mountain biking, we also have golf and fishing. You can also ride the lift to the top of the mountain and hike down or ride to the top and have lunch there and ride back down. And we also have a lot of hiking trails in the valley.
SAM: OK, great, so there are some other good options.
Staff: Most definitely.
SAM: Well, thanks so much.

Rating: 5
Comment: Good info at the end, but I had to ask for it. Not what a spy likes to do.




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