This blog post is a bit different than my regular posts, but nothing angers me more than a false advertisement and a rude customer service.
Being a 20-something years old, I always look for ideas for fun date nights and while I was driving two weeks ago, I heard about Friday Night Live at the Hasting Racecourse. I remembered my sister been to the racecourse with her coworkers a few years back and she said she had a great time. So I decided to head down to check out what the buzz is all about last Friday, August 30th, and it was apparently the last Friday that it’s opened as well. Perfect, I thought to myself.
A week before we went, I looked through their website to see if there’s anything I should prepare for because I have never been to anything like this. I was happy to read that admission is free so I can set aside some more money to buy food there and actually bet on some horses. I tweeted my excitement to @HastingsRaces on Twitter and was hoping that the account holder would be interacting back. Nope, nothing. That’s alright though, I know tons of businesses are not online 24/7 replying to tweets.
The five of us drove down separately in two cars and I did not want to bet on the parking, so I decided to just park legally in the PNE lot. It costed me $16 but I thought it’s understandable given that it’s free admission to get in to the racecourse. Unfortunately, that was not the case. While we were waiting in line, we overheard from the people in front of us that because PNE is open, we would have to pay the full admission cost as if we’re going to PNE.
I was embarrassed for not knowing this and for false advertising to my friends. I questioned if I really read the “Free Admission” part so I opened up the website on my phone once again and indeed it said free admission. I told Kingsley to read through the whole page again to see if I have missed an asterisk or a small note anywhere about the admission cost. Nope, it was not mentioned anywhere on the website. When we got to the front of the line, we were told that because PNE is open and there’s a direct access from PNE to the track, then everyone would have to pay the $16 fee.
I know $16 is not much considering how much entertainment is inside, but the fact that it was not mentioned anywhere on the website threw me off. Have I known we have to pay and we get to go to PNE, I would have came much earlier to enjoy the entertainment and maximize the PNE fun. I also don’t get why they wouldn’t just gate the entrance between PNE and racecourse to keep the two separate?
I brought up this issue to the staff at the gate and she told me to dial 604-254-1531 to inquire further. I called at 7:21pm and someone picked up on the other end, her voice was rusty and she sounded like she had a long day. I kindly asked her why we were required to pay $16 when it was not advertised anywhere. She rudely replied that it’s $16 because PNE is open and if I don’t want to pay, then I shouldn’t come in. I was shocked to hear such response. I told her that I felt manipulated by their false advertisement. She told me to just come back next week then. This raged me “But there’s no Friday Night Live next week, so you just lied to me again” I said. She said “Yes, that’s right. You can come back on Saturday or Sunday, or you could talk to our manager.” I replied, “Sure, please connect me with your manager.” This is too much. False advertisement + bad customer service = deadly combo. She said, “When you come in then you can talk to the manager”. I asked back, “Who should I ask for?”. She replied again “when you come in, then you’ll find out” and with that, she hung up. Uhm, excuse me? Did you just hang up on me? That’s it.
I walked away frustrated as I explained the situation to my friends. Thankfully the two ladies at the parking gates understood why we were so furious and kindly returned my parking fee.
It was our first time at the Hasting Racecourse and we had such terrible service. Needless to say, I won’t be back there anytime soon. This is such a shame for Hasting Racecourse to pull something so immature.