“Unfortunately, they have the mountain that I want to be on.”- Trevor Purvis, Epic Pass Snowboarder
Dealing with Vail Resort’s stingy customer service is no secret among skiers and riders, but it’s starting to gain more international attention among various news outlets. The CBC reports that dozens of pass holders from Whistler Blackcomb complained to them regarding Vail’s confusing pass refunds process. According to Toronto lawyer Bronwyn Martin, the main issue revolves around the unclear application process for a refund. Before the pandemic, buying insurance was an add-on option. Following the 2019-20 season, the company introduced Epic Coverage for no extra charge. But with everyone now having season pass insurance, more individuals are filing claims. And unlike before the pandemic, “no external insurer was used to underwrite it.”
The article revolves around four guests’ stories: Trevor Purvis, Jenny Wright, Greg Huxtable, and Leslie Huxtable. Trevor Purvis fractured his femur following a crash on the slopes, which required hospitalization, surgery, and months of recovery. Having insurance with his Epic Pass, he submitted a claim with the proper paperwork. What followed was “more than a year of unanswered emails, miscommunication, and administrative headaches.” After being contacted by CBC News, Vail Resorts finally refunded Trevor $340.22. He wasn’t refunded the full amount because he had shredded multiple days before the incident.
Jenny Wright purchased a five-day edge card for the 2020-21 season and planned to use her last day in April. Due to pandemic restrictions though, Whistler shut down for the season on March 30th. After trying to get an answer for months, Vail Resorts finally told her that her edge card didn’t qualify for a refund. Greg and Leslie Huxable bought edge cards and faced a similar situation. They didn’t hear their claim get rejected until months later. In both situations, Vail claims they would have issued refunds if they had placed reservations between March 30th and April 4th.
Jennifer Smith, a senior communications manager with Vail Resorts, said the following about the situation:
“As a company, we worked hard last season amid the height of the pandemic to provide our guests with a variety of different product offerings to serve their needs, comprehensive safety measures, and unprecedented pass protections. While no one could have foreseen all situations, we worked earnestly to do our best for our guests.”