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Consumer Alert

Customers are affected by ownership changes

Q. What can I do with day passes to CoCo Key in Fitchburg that were not able to be used before the expiration date due to it closing when purchased by Great Wolf Lodge? CoCo Key ran an online special and I purchased 15 to use throughout 2013. When they closed in early September, I went to CoCo Key on two separate occasions to ask what was going to happen with the 11 passes I had left. I was assured that I would receive an e-mail directing me what to do. I asked for a refund of $165 and was told they couldn’t do that. I have received nothing, the phone number given has been disconnected, and Great Wolf Lodge has stated in press releases that the water park will be for hotel guests only. I am sure I am not the only person with now useless passes.

A. When businesses change hands, customers of the old operation can get lost in the shuffle. In this case, while the two businesses are both involved in running water parks, the operations differ quite a bit. As you noted, Great Wolf Resorts’ indoor water parks are for the guests at their hotels, so passes like those you bought don’t have an equivalent.

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Quite a few people have posted to social media the same dilemma you have. So I asked Great Wolf Resorts what they would do. Spokeswoman Susan Storey said the company asked CoCo Key for a list of all those who bought season passes or day passes so they could be offered refunds.

“The list we received from CoCo Key was not robust, and there are guests who purchased passes and did not receive any contact from us,” she said.

Storey suggests those who have unused passes e-mail the company at PRTeam@greatwolf.com or direct message them through Facebook at facebook.com/GWLNewEngland. Expect to have to show proof you have the passes.

The new resort is due to open late this spring so the company has a strong incentive to build goodwill.

Mitch Lipka has been helping consumers out of jams for the past two decades. He lives in Worcester and also writes the Consumer Alert blog on Boston.com. Mitch can be reached at ConsumerNews@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @mitchlipka.
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