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Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

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Keith
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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by Keith » 2 years ago

All the points listed are those that owners have asked me to take forward. Not all of the input has come from forum members; there are a large number for FB users who have put points forward as well as some owners who have contacted me directly.

I agree that, unfortunately, our numbers are still quiet small in comparison to the total number of owners (around 22000 in total) however I have offered to pass comments etc. to Hemel from everybody who has taken the trouble to contact me, after all it must be an issue for them otherwise they wouldn't have taken the time to contact me.

I know that Hemel are keen to know what owners views are and a small sample like this is still useful and may bring something to their attention that they weren't aware of or hadn't thought about.
Keith

If you find this Forum useful - pass the word to other owners. If you don't - tell me how it can be improved.

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by springhay » 2 years ago

I understand what you are saying Keith.....but with the greatest respect, Im just not sure that taking the time to write, is enough criteria for a point being raised? Name badges for instance? Im a bit dodgy sightwise myslf but find them perfectly easy to read... As previously mentioned, pools opening in the closed season is a waste of time, when you think they cant even get the temperature right in the open season?

Its just about maintaining credibility, and/or the number of people who raised the same question must surely come into play?

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by Tj123 » 2 years ago

springhay wrote:I understand what you are saying Keith.....but with the greatest respect, Im just not sure that taking the time to write, is enough criteria for a point being raised? Name badges for instance? Im a bit dodgy sightwise myslf but find them perfectly easy to read... As previously mentioned, pools opening in the closed season is a waste of time, when you think they cant even get the temperature right in the open season?

Its just about maintaining credibility, and/or the number of people who raised the same question must surely come into play?

Completely agree Springhay, and Keith I am greatful of your work and do not mean to undermine it by suggesting they are they views of a minority, I'm just being factual I have thanked you twice in my post and again you do a great job, but again as Springhay has said let's keep credibility.

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by Keith » 2 years ago

I think I need to comment on the points raised about the list of topics I posted for my Visit tomorrow.

Whilst I understand that some of you see some of the points I've listed as being 'trivial' to you I don't judge any topic or question as being trivial/silly/pointless/unnecessary/etc.

If somebody has asked a question or for a point to be raised then that point is important to them and this is especially so with new owners. It is easy to look at all issues on an individual level, but it is fact that there are many other owners who would like to ask the same thing. Any post on the forum or FB that suggests a point is considered 'trivial' will discourage others from posting.

It is worth pointing out that all the points I have listed have been asked by AT LEAST 20 OWNERS from a variety of parks. As I have said it is easy to look at each point from your individual point of view, but I compile the list of topics based on the points of view of many owners and not my own.
Keith

If you find this Forum useful - pass the word to other owners. If you don't - tell me how it can be improved.

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by thewarboys » 2 years ago

Thanks for all your effort and time keith. I echo your sentiment that while it may appear trivial to yourself you dont know how important it may be to another. Look forward to hearing how it goes.

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by bradders » 2 years ago

Hope you have a good trip Keith! Thanks for all you do for the many owners spread far and wide :-)

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by fairyqueen » 2 years ago

Good for you Keith! You always show respect to other forum members, unlike some of the condescending wind bags who regularly contribute only to air their superiority!

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by springhay » 2 years ago

Please remember forum rules about courtesy to other members.

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by MrsMop » 2 years ago

Keith, how did the questions go down with head office, and what if any will be acted upon if known. Thanks

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Re: Questions for My Visit to Hemel on 26th March

Post by MadiHemelSupport » 2 years ago

Morning all,

Apologies for the delay supplying this breakdown of answers. We had a great meeting with Keith back in March and covered a whole variety of topics. I've listed everything below but if there's anything that wasn't covered please do leave a comment or drop me a message and I'll happily look into anything else.

Thanks
Madi, Sam and Sandra



Why are FunWorks passes for Sun holidaymakers cheaper than those purchased for/by private let guests?
The price of passes for Sun guests is a promotional price based on the volume of bookings made and the fact that these are off peak dates where demand for holidays is low.
This year we are undertaking a bigger piece of work about what the pass should cover – should it include the Mash & Barrel, or just the pool and showbar where capacity is an issue? Based on this we will then look at what would be a fair price, and if it should be based on location or facilities etc.

What happens if a break straddles both peak and off peak?
Apologies for any confusion about this – originally it was communicated that it would be whatever the first date of the holiday falls in to but after feedback from parks (that people would have to pay peak prices even if they were only away for 1 peak day and the rest off peak) we felt that a fairer way would be for them to be prorated. This has been communicated with our park teams so will be how it works moving forward.

Why do all parks do ‘friends and family’ passes differently?
As much as we would like to standardise the friends and family scheme in its current form, it has not proven possible. We will be reviewing the passes scheme across the board during this year for the 2016 season, although we can’t guarantee that the end result will be one common scheme. The facilities on each park is really the determining factor. We have always had 4 or 5 parks that haven’t used them at all and operate a signing in process at the door which does make it less admin heavy for the owners.

The allocation of event tickets isn’t fair when it is restricted to 6 when the caravan might sleep 8?
The restriction of tickets is necessary as our venues only allow a certain capacity. The intent is to try and make it as fair as possible and ensure that as many owners as possible, with their key family members, are able to attend the events so we don’t have to turn lots of people away. If there are 7 or 8 key family members then we would advise speaking to your Owner Events Co-ordinator – they may be able to make exceptions in these instances.

The venues on park are too small
The size and range of venues does differ between parks. We do take specific feedback into consideration when planning future developments.

The venues can be too noisy
We’d always advise in this instance to speak to your Entertainments Manager if you know them or if not then just have a word with your Owner Events Co-ordinator as most of them are from an Entertainments background of some form so will have a good knowledge of venue sound systems.

The FunStar productions shows are the same all reason and can be repetitive
Our FunStar production shows take months of planning, writing, rehearsing and costume making which is necessary to deliver a high standard of entertainment. The owner events are aimed to supplement this for owners so that there is always a variety.

The quality of visiting acts isn’t what it used to be and variety acts are always midweek with singers always at the weekend
I can certainly pass this feedback on to the Entertainments Team. If there are specific acts or types of acts that you would like to see more/less of feel free to PM or email me and I’ll collate this feedback for the Entertainments Team.

Owners aren’t made aware of entertainment far enough in advance.
The main owner events dates were communicated as early as possible before the start of the season but the reason we work on a 3 month calendar is to make sure that the information is as up to date as possible. I’m going to double check with the web team that the visiting act dates are all on the owners website as I received this information within the last week or so.

The discount for buying from Bourne Leisure erodes each year. Sales use it as a plus when buying privately but what is the value now?
This was looked into a couple of years ago but the reality is that there isn’t a solution that has a positive result for all sections of the owner base.

New owners pay substantially less site fees than existing owners
We can assure you that this definitely isn’t the case. Sam and Sandra (Director and Head of Owner Services here at Hemel Support) have looked after this for the last few years to ensure that no new owners in one area will pay less than other owners in that same area. If a park wants to lower the site fees for a new owner they need to do so for all owners in the same area and refunds are issued. This has certainly been the case for the last 3-4 years. Site Fees variation across the park will depend on a number of factors including piped/bottled gas, steps, parking, pavement, views, location etc.

The grading of caravans is confusing. Sales sell a letting package and then the caravan can be downgraded after one season – why is this?
Grading standards are evaluated every year and are subject to change based on holidaymaker expectations. The grade is based on many factors including age, make, model, size and the number of bedrooms. We also take the condition of the caravan into account. A guide is produced internally to say which caravan/spec should be which grade but the grading of a specific caravan can only be done on park as it needs to be viewed to ascertain its condition. To ensure consistency of standards we have to inspect and grade caravans every season.

In the past we have allowed the sales team to determine the grade of a caravan but from the 2015 season we have introduced a new system whereby grading is done by the Holiday Experience Manager or Lettings Support Team only. This ensures a consistent approach across the park.
The grade of a caravan is likely to diminish over time as holidaymaker expectations and new caravan build specifications improve.

Why is the season a certain length and why do Bourne Leisure have to be so strict on opening times? Some parks opened early anyway.
Some parks were maybe too eager to try and do the right thing by their owners but we do risk our site licenses if we bend the rules even slightly. Season lengths depend on the planning permission from the time the pitches were planned as well as by the site licenses and these are decided by the local authorities. These differ across Bourne Leisure parks but they also differ regionally and even two parks that are next to each other can have totally different opening dates set by the local authorities.

Can owners install their owner water meters? Do owners pay for Haven’s swimming pools?
We can confirm that owners absolutely do not pay for complex utilities or swimming pools. There is still work to be done with gas too - we’re gradually adding meters for gas, but water meters aren’t something that has been discussed yet. We genuinely have no plans for this at this time as the focus is to get gas and missing electricity meters sorted.

The swimming pools can be too cold – why is this?
We received a very lengthy and in-depth answer on this from Andy Bell who looks after Sports and Leisure centrally so I’m going to paraphrase this as best I can! We operate our pools between 29 and 30 degrees Celsius which meets HSE and industry guidelines for leisure pools and is taken from the H & S in Swimming Pools and PWTAG (Pool Water Testing Advisory Group) – and is also about 2-3 degrees warmer than local authority pools. We know that some would rather the pools to be closer to 31 or 32 but we would run an increased risk of micro-organisms as bacteria multiplies faster the closer you get to body temperature (37 degrees). Warmer pools require more chemicals to try and keep the water bacteria free but we stay away from aggressive chemicals so that our pools are clean. Warmer pools would also increase energy costs and increase moisture content in the air which can result in condensation and water damage through corrosion.

When will all parks be getting park wide WiFi?
As you may be aware, the WiFi that we have deployed at the 5 of our parks (Devon Cliffs, Hafan y Mor, Primrose Valley, Rockley Park and Church Farm) can at times be unreliable. This, we believe, is primarily caused by the way that the caravans are constructed. The WiFi routers are located around the park and are trying to send signals through the metal exterior of caravans which has proved inconsistent. Our IT experts are currently investigating potential solutions to this issue.
If we are going to offer park wide internet access, we need to offer a quality consistent service to all of our owners. At the moment the most reliable solution that we have available is to hard wire each caravan into a network. To achieve this we would first need to build the network which would involve digging up the parks. This of course would be extremely disruptive and expensive. However, technology is moving at great pace and we are hopeful that a satisfactory solution will be found in the near future.

There is a discrepancy between the annual service charge for Ramtech and the small discount on the insurance. Feedback has been that it doesn’t work and/or isn’t responded to quickly by security.
Ramtech changed the pricing structure recently and when they did we asked them to provide a far better service. We understand that problems are being sorted much quicker but we know it still isn’t perfect. This year we are looking into our security solution from a commercial and operational perspective. We have a desire to find a consistent security service that’s also value for money, and this is something that Sam is looking into this year, including getting proper feedback from owners. One of our central support team is also looking into alternative ways of securing a caravan including keycards and other access systems.

Owners have issues with personal items and mattress protectors outside of the basic inventory going missing when on the letting service.
If we were to allow mattress protectors to be left on beds, for health reasons we would need to get them laundered after every use. Given the volume of bedding that has to be washed and the fact that we use external laundries, it would not be possible for us to identify and return an owner’s personal mattress protectors.
We ask that all personal items be removed from your caravan when it is being let to avoid unnecessary upset from breakages or losses. Personal items are not covered by the Repair Cover Plan and reimbursements cannot be made if an item is broken or lost.

How are park developments planned? Some parks seem to have had a lack of investment eg. Cala Gran investment pulled because of waste plant.
Regarding Cala Gran we hope to have an update for owners after talks with the council in the next few weeks.
Our developments are put together based on feedback from a number of areas including the team, annual Owners Questionnaire, condition surveys, capacity, guest and owner surveys. Some parks do have 5 year plans but not all - planning permission (the ability to get it and how long it takes) forms a huge part of the process. We reinvest millions every year but there are no hard and fast rules.

Could there be a dual pricing system for drinks prices in the owners lounges?
As we posted recently, we have reviewed market data on annual increases in drinks prices that has taken place over the last 3 years in UK pubs and restaurants and our beer prices do follow the same trends. The Privilege Card gives our owners 15% off, that is our dual pricing system.

What is the owner referrals system?
The offer is available to all owners across all parks and has been the same for the last 3-4 years. The owner that has made the referral gets £1000 onto their account and the new owner would get £1000 off the price of their van (although not valid combined with any other offers). The only change for 2015 is the option for the ‘referring owner’ to have some of their £1000 added as top up on their Privilege Card.
Is it restricted to friends and family of owners only?
We do encourage owners to spread the word wider than just friends and family, the only restriction is if someone is already a lead on our system they can’t be a new lead as part of the referral.

What if owners have had some referrals refused by the sales team?
We’re happy for owners to contact Madi directly if you have experienced any issues and we’ll gladly look into them with the park.
Madi from Hemel Support
http://www.owner-services.co.uk
http://blog.haven.com/

I work at Hemel Support on all things social media. I keep an eye on the forum everyday Monday - Friday but if I do ever miss anything please do drop me a PM and I'll do my best to help. Have a lovely day!
:sunny:

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