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Center Parcs shuts rapids but tells guests: ‘no refunds, no changes’

Fred Isaac

Fred Isaac
Sep 13, 2017

Luxury holiday company Center Parcs has told guests they will not be able to rebook or claim compensation after the closure of a key ride.

Furious customers insist they weren’t aware the Wild Water Rapids at the plush Longleat Forest resort in Wiltshire would be shut for maintenance work for six weeks from 11 September.

One victim, Jane Ashby, from Bristol, booked a trip at the end of September for her son’s birthday.


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“We love the rapids,” Jane said, “it’s the main reason we go and have been going pretty much every year for the last 18 years.

“Center Parcs never told us this when we booked and have only just informed us of the closure by email two weeks before we are due to go.”

When Jane asked if she could change dates, Center Parcs refused.

It said brand-new attractions meant there were “plenty of other activities to enjoy”.

“They are an extra expense,” Jane said, “that’s a lot of money on top of an already expensive weekend.

“We have emailed them several times and have had no response.

“I guess they hope if they ignore us we will have no choice and have to turn up on the date we've booked!

“Very bad customer service indeed.”

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Center Parcs: no refunds, no rebooking

Center Parcs confirmed to A Spokesman Said it will not be issuing refunds or letting guests change dates.

In a statement, the company said: “We have reassured those coming for a break in that period that there will still be plenty to do in the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, including new family water play areas and two new water rides one of which is the largest AV-enabled family raft ride in Europe.

“We also have more than 100 activities available outside of the Subtropical Swimming Paradise, giving families lots to enjoy whilst on a break this autumn.”

It added that without maintenance work the rapids would be closed indefinitely and that two of the new rides would be free.

Maintenance work was, it insisted, covered in the Terms & Conditions.

Jane, however, is understandably angry.

Despite visiting Center Parcs every year for the best part of 20 years, spending thousands of pounds, her concerns have been completely ignored.

The rapids were the key reason she booked the birthday trip, but Center Parcs has just pointed at its T&Cs and washed its hands of the matter. 

While the company claim they emailed Jane about the closure in early August, even this would not have given her time to rebook; customers have a 10-week window from their trip to change dates.

If you’ve been affected by this story, make a complaint about Center Parcs on A Spokesman Said.

We want to know what you think of how Center Parcs handled Jane's complaint.

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