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Need advice on getting refund from Ski Bus

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, I am not sure this is the correct place to seek advice. If not, please move to the proper forum or remove the post.

I took my daughter and her friend on a trip with Ski Bus owned by Brian McCooey to Northstar from the Bay Area. We booked the Bus and Full Day Ski School (12 years and under) program for a total of $288. Unfortunately we were given the wrong tickets. The hosts gave us the lift tickets instead of the lesson tickets that we booked.

Since I have the wrong tickets, no Northstar employees know what to do with us. The kids and I were ping-ponged between the rental place and children center. I eventually settled with the rental center and reach a clerk who told me I have the incorrect tickets. She suggested me to buy the tickets and get the refund later. She promised this would work. After close to 2 hours waiting in line with the kids, I really don't have much choice. The day was bordering on being ruined. I went ahead and bought 2 tickets for $278 and hope for the best.

It was already 11:20 when I reached the lift so we basically wasted more than two hours waiting in different lines.

At the end of the day, Sheryl approached me and asked me why I did not get the lesson tickets and promised me that Ski Bus would give me a refund. The trip coordinator Tammy told me the same thing.

The owner was on the trip that day on a different bus. After all these, I still did not complain to him or approach him that day. I feel I am very patient and polite.

So I went home and wrote an email to give Ski Bus all the info. Now I was waiting for a refund. Days passed no replies or any contacts from Ski Bus. So I wrote again on Feb 25.

They gave me an $80 refund on my credit card on Mar 12. The ONLY reply is the credit card notification. Nothing else have been said or done. The trip was made on Jan 19. It is certainly not a short time I waited.

I believe I am entitled to a full refund of $278 that I paid Northstar. It is because it is Ski Bus that made the mistake and they should work out with Northstar about the problem.

Even if they don’t give me a full refund, the $80 is still incorrect amount.

If I bought 2 “Bus and ticket” for a total of $128, I am still owed $160 ($278-$128 = $160).

If I bought 2 “Bus Only” the Total will be $108. I am still owed $180 ($278-$108 = $180)

So far they only refund me $80 LATE and without any explanations whatsoever. Ski Bus is not responding to my emails at all. If you ever call them you know their phone is just voice mail greetings most of the times.:

This is not a lot of money but I feel cheated by a company I am so familiar with (I am a regular on the Ski Bus. I ride the bus almost every weekend):. Is this a fraud? what could I do to an entity that does not respond to communication at all?

The following link has a longer version Ski Bus Refund

Thanks for any advice in advance.
post #2 of 5
Find a way to get in touch with them on the phone or in person. Don't make accusations--- just explain what happened and why you should be refunded the amount you believe is correct.

Instead of them refunding you actual money, you could take your refund in trade for future rides on the bus.

Best thing would have been to somehow handle the situation that day because now it's very hard for them to verify what you're saying. Doesn't change what happened, obviously, but something to keep in mind next time you have an issue. Try to resolve it immediately.
post #3 of 5
I'm not familiar with either of those companies, but I think I have a pretty good idea how their backend works. Ski Bus most likely works as a wholesale/tour operator/offsite ticket vendor. So the rates they're getting to put those packages together are much different than if you purchase them at the window.

So what you need to do is find out who with Ski Bus works with Northstar. Find that person first. Then explain to them the situation. In turn, they need to work it out with Northstar in order to get Northstar to issue them a credit on their account. That'll get them the cash they need to give you a refund. What will help a lot is if you have your original ticket stub that shows the RTP transaction ID (something like a 10 digit number). That's the easiest way for Northstar to issue a refund. (In turn, Northstar then needs to resell the product as a wholesale item or apply the proper discount.) You shouldn't need to tell Ski Bus how to handle any of this stuff, but you might need to.

I think you're going to need to insert yourself into this process to make things smoother.
post #4 of 5
I have used Bay area ski bus a few times. generally speaking Brian is a nice guy.

I would try
1) call one of the local TV stations - consumer line and explain the problem. I think KGO has a guy whol follows up on consumer complaints - i forget his name.
2) Report the problem to Better Business bureau.
post #5 of 5
Since you paid with a credit card, the first stop of your "complain trail" should be the credit card company!

Simply file a "charge back" request on "non-performance". They (most CC comapny anyway) would send you a form to as to the amount and detail why, in that order.

Then, the responsibility is on Ski Bus to refute your side of the story and argue about why it should ONLY be $80 instead of $160 (or $180, or $288 etc.).

AFTER you've filed the complain to the CC company, write a letter to Ski Bus and tell them you've refused payment on the deal and ask what you want. You have a much better chance to hear from them. You can work out with them on a good solution for both sides, for example, take a voucher instead of the full refund.

That has been my experience with un-responsive merchants. First, refuse payment, then let them know I've done so. Surprising how responsive they suddenly become. I've pretty much got what I believe to be the fair result in most cases.

(in one case, the merchant went out of business, which explains the lack of responds. I got my full refund from CC company since the merchant weren't around to refute my "non-performance" complain).
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