As many of you know, I recently attended a triathlon camp whose content I found to be disappointing on many levels. As this is a personal blog, I don’t tend to bang on much here about my qualifications or amount of study I did at University, but most of you would know that I am a fan of evidence based practice. I am also a big fan of evidence based natural medicine and have an interest in how natural medicines can be used alongside traditional therapies, whilst always bearing in mind that any substance which elicits an action in the body can be also be classified as a drug. Most of you who know me well, would also know that my tolerance for b.s in this area is low. It has, over the years, become a frustration to those who do have years of university behind them in this area to come up against quacks who promote practices which aren’t always evidence based in the name of making a buck. In particular, I have a very low tolerance for dietary practices that have no evidence base or definition – for example – the term “clean eating” cannot actually be defined in terms of evidence based nutrition practice and demonising foods such as dairy food and grain products makes my blood boil – again, the scientist in me asks “why?” Unfortunately this camp was full of such “concepts” and rather than argue with these people in front of all of their paying customers, I decided to give feedback in writing.
Indeed, after the camp had finished, I emailed the organisers of the camp and gave them feedback about the weekend – both positive and negative. Although I was deeply unhappy with my camp experience, I felt that it was still important to be balanced and to include some positive feedback as well. I wanted to give this business the message that they could potentially create something wonderful if they were prepared to examine a few issues and make some changes. Having owned a business in a previous life, I could not fathom why this particular business did not want to address the feedback, engage in meaningful discussion, given that there was some aspect of this paying customer’s experience which was negative.
In the case of this particular business, I did not receive a reply to my feedback for a week and when the reply did come, an invoice for some camp dinners that I did not attend was attached to it. I was told that they wouldn’t be responding to me in writing because, “the tone and language within the rest of your communication has made it too difficult to respond without the risk of being misconstrued.” They were offering to talk to me via Skype, but rather than get embroiled in a case of “he said, she said”, I asked for their response to be in writing. I’m not backing down from the fact that the tone of my language in my feedback letter was strong and forthright – however, I had just paid $450 for a really sub standard experience. I immediately sent back an email in reply to which I received no answer. This is a screenshot of part of the original letter, below.
Today I received a couple of trolling comments – on my post detailing my camp experience – and guess where they came from? My business owner mates above, who seem to think that taking potshots at their customers online, rather than addressing the concerns of their paying customers is the way to do business. I’m pretty disgusted that a business has to stoop to leaving trolling comments to insult their paying customers, rather than face up to, and address the feedback that was given.
Here’s a screenshot:
The definition of bullying is “to use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force them to do something.”
In this particular instance, the only thing I was asking the owners of this business to do was resolve a complaint given by myself, a paying customer. At no stage have I asked them for a refund – but the way they are carrying on is tempting me to run along to my local Small Claims office. By now, you’re probably all wondering what I did to be so damn offensive. I’ve included a summary of my feedback to this business in my final letter to them.
I had hoped to put my negative triathlon training camp behind me. However I want to send the proprietors of Holistic Endurance and their associates a clear message to let them know that I will not tolerate trolling on my personal blog from a business – and if they would like me to continue sharing my negative experience with others, then keep on trolling. You’re welcome.
In short, based on my personal experience, I cannot recommend Holistic Endurance as a business – whether it be coaching, triathlon camps or otherwise.