About a month ago I made a public complaint about Hastings Racecourse for their rude customer service and misleading advertisement. It was my first time actually write a complaint on my blog and the response was more than I ever expected. I wasn’t expecting RTs and a stream of tweets supporting me and dissing the racecourse. I felt horrible but all I wanted was for the management team to recognize the issue and fix them so no one else had to be misled again.
The morning after I tweeted the link out, I got a tweet back from the racecourse and we exchanged email addresses. Three people were on the email thread and they apologized for the poor customer service and they kindly invited me back to the racecourse with 5 of my friends. I thanked them for their generousity and went ahead to pick a date. By this time, I was already so impressed by how apologetic the management team was and how open they were to feedback.
The day before the chosen date, I got another email back from them. It had been raining for the last few days so I thought they were going to cancel it, but instead they offered to upgrade me to Silks, their buffet restaurant upstairs with a better view of the tracks. I thanked them once again for their kindness.
On the day of, we were treated like a VIP. Our parking fees were taken care of and the Group Sales Manager came to welcome us himself. He brought us upstairs to Silks and I had no idea what it was going to be like. It looked like a trade centre. TVs accompanying the small tables for as far as I can see.
We sat in a pretty good spot. There weren’t too many people around us although we sat pretty close to the cashier.
Not long after, the races started but we had no idea how to place the bets or even understand what’s going on. They kindly flagged their Ambassador to help us out. She gave us the basic rundown and we went to buy our first bet. It must’ve been beginner’s luck because we won our first 3 times. The manager came to check on us and asked us to leave our table for a bit for a surprise. He led us upstairs to the sky box and to the announcer’s office.
It was such a neat experience and it’s incredible to see how fast he can see and commentate.
The whole experience was definitely something that I have never experienced before. We had tons of fun betting on the horses, yelling at the TV, chatting with the staff members, eating the buffet food, and just analyzing what’s going to happen next. If you are planning to go, I highly suggest:
- Getting the Professors’ Tip Sheet and talk to Fraser (the Professor). He’s done some math and the analyzing for you, so take advantage of that.
- Getting the program book. I was incredibly amazed to see how much information they can put on one table.
- Asking for an Ambassador to teach you how to read the program book and how to place bets.
- If it’s your first time, play safe by placing a bet for “Show”. This way the horse you pick doesn’t have to win 1st place, it could win 2nd or 3rd and you still get money. Not as much of course, but better than losing all 🙂
- Requesting to see Dan upstairs in the Sky Box. I don’t know how open they are to this, but Dan seemed to enjoy entertaining people during the break.
I would like to sincerely thank the management team of the Hastings Racecourse for making my experience a much, much better one. I certainly hope that they will fix the issues and have more people coming next year to enjoy the show.