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We can order books, they arrive the next day. We can keep in touch in just about realtime with anyone around the world. Get the price and information to a swimming pool? No.

So I know I’m going to Letterkenny, my wife has plans for the afternoon so it leaves me and my daughter to find something to do. Go swimming seems like a perfect choice as I’ve promised it during the week. My quicky look at the Aura Leisure website gives me opening times, that’s a start, at least I won’t show up at 1pm and not be able to get in.

First problem, there’s no pricing so I have no idea what I’m paying to get in. I have ten Euro in my pocket and need 11.20, fine but I then get stung on their Sterling £1 for 1EUR rule. Fair enough, we get in and get changed, we head for the water. We get in the water. Next thing I know the lifeguard is behind me, “where’s your headgear?”. “Didn’t realise we needed any, there’s no signage to say so in reception”. “Hold on a second…..”. So we sit in the water with my daughter eager for her Dad to show her how to use her new board.

“You buy the caps for 2.50 each, we don’t have any”, “I’ve just got stung on getting in, I’m only here for the day”. And this is where policy and problem come in. Their rule is (and I quote), “kick ’em out and give ’em a freebie pass.”

“I’m here for the day, I ain’t coming back. How am I supposed to tell a seven year old she’s going to get kicked out of the pool?”. I then have a good conversation with the lifeguard who then tells me the power struggle between front office, the lack of customer information, and the lifeguard (back office) who usually are left to sort it all out.

My result: leave, child in tears and get my money back. Money then used to good effect on ice cream and a Dora DVD.

And to Aura Leisure: two simple things for your website. Pricing and swimmers information. Would have made my life a lot easier and my daughters’ life a lot happier. As it stands, you just lost a couple of customers.

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