For several years now we've been talking about going on a "safari" at Safari West, located in Sonoma County.
What is Safari West, you ask?
Nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California's wine country, Safari West is home for over 400 exotic mammals and birds. Not a zoo, not a drive-through park, it's a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience some of nature's most beautiful animals in a natural habitat.
Established by Peter Lang in 1989, Safari West gained membership in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, one of only six private facilities in North America to belong to that prestigious organization. The ongoing mission of Safari West is wildlife preservation through breeding, education, research and public interaction.
Unfortunately, our timing and communication with the organization has never quite worked out. I've called and left messages only to get the most generic, basic information left back on my voicemail (ie, general availability versus actual availability and associated costs; or confirmation of the fact that they do gift certificates, but not how to buy them). It's kind of frustrating in today's world where so much of my business (both professional and in my life) is conducted over email.
I tried to book a trip for Alan's birthday earlier this month. I filled out the online form, gave them the dates I wanted, noted that I'd also like a safari drive the next morning and asked for confirmation of availability and price. I received a note back letting me know that I should expect a response in 72 hours. The response never came. I called, but no one picked up. Having dealt with leaving messages before, I didn't this time. It's just too frustrating a process at this point.
And yes, I realize this is a minor thing in the grand scheme of things, but when booking a vacation, I'll go with whoever is the most communicative back with me. Customer service is very important to me.
So why am I writing about this?
Well, I just received an email from them for a $100/person charity event and it kind of pissed me off. You can't manage to get in touch with me when I'm trying to book my husband's birthday, but when you have an event you're pimping (even if it is for a good cause) suddenly you're proactive with your outreach?
I know I probably sound like a spoiled brat, but I figure if you can take the time to hit me up for money when I'm not trying to go to your establishment, surely you can take the time to return my inquiries with the details I've requested when I am trying to visit you?