I wrote something along these lines on the customer feedback form of a local attraction.
“We visited your attraction in April but were unable to stay do to there being no accessible toilet facilities with a changing bench and a hoist. My son is able to use the toilet but can only do so with these facilities.
Usually, there is time to call ahead to make plans but we were representing a national charity and it was swiftly arranged. Otherwise, had I had time to check, I would not have come at all.
Here is a link to facilities which would make it possible to visit:-
My son would love to be able to visit and enjoy your facilities.”
I was clear.
We could not stay.
I do believe that I paid £5 to park for our short visit too!
What did I expect in a reply? Maybe an apology? Maybe a little sadness at learning the facilities meant that a child had a 40 minute journey home needing the toilet? Maybe a little understanding? Empathy? Feeling?
What did I get?
“Dear Mrs George,
Thank you for getting in touch regarding your recent trip to ________.
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your feedback and suggestions. As an organisation that is constantly striving to enhance guest experience and improve facilities on site, we very much value your constructive input.
While accessibility is something we hold in very high regard; our remote natural landscape (with some buildings hundreds of years old) and limited internal space does restrict the installation of certain aids.
Using our disabled toilets to illustrate this point, at its narrowest the room is 1.04m (between the wall and hand dryer – both permanent fixtures), at its widest the space is just 1.42m (wall to wall).
While we are sorry that this particular aid is not feasible at this time, given our current situation; we hope that you and your family will not be deterred from visiting the western-most point of Cornwall in the near future.
So I had told them that we could not stay simply due to there being no suitable accessible facilities.
Yet they value accessibility, thank me for my feedback, are unable to do anything to change it due to the “remote landscape” and they are sorry they can’t change it but hope I will come back anyway.
Erm, remember the bit where I said we came and had to go home???
We cannot visit.
Now, take a look at some of these photos, taken from their website.
Very old, remote and rugged looking, isn’t it?
The site may be open space and have some old buildings but that doesn’t mean they don’t have parts which could be improved.
The following is copied from their website.
“We may be biased, but we think the outdoor spaces and places in West Cornwall are the best in the country. From amazing coastlines to glorious countryside, there are hundreds of activities to enjoy, from energetic pursuits such as surfing, swimming, cycling or walking, to more passive activities such as bird watching, photography, painting, fishing or simply admiring the wonderful views.
Whatever passion you plan on indulging, you’ll need somewhere to stay in West Cornwall and we can offer not only the perfect location, but also a great choice of hotel and self-catering accommodation.
The ___________ retains much of the charm and tradition of its Victorian heritage – and with 30 en-suite bedrooms you’re sure of a comfortable and relaxed break by the sea. The adjacent ___________ restaurant which has been beautifully refurbished with a contemporary look, is a great place to relax and take in the spectacular views across the Atlantic Ocean. Choose from a range of fresh local fish and succulent steaks, or sit and relax with a drink or afternoon tea at the bar.
By contrast, the nearby ___________ offer a fantastic conversion with an exceptionally high standard, luxury 2 bedroom apartment and three luxury self-contained studio apartments located adjacent to the legendary __________Inn.”
No mention of it being old, small or restricted in terms of space.
Does Adam matter here?
What do you think?