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to give this feedback about toddler gym class?

(64 Posts)
NeedaCostume Tue 20-Sep-11 13:52:07

Do you think it is worth giving comments (even toned down)? Or should I just ignore and not go back?


Dear [Venue Manager],

I visited [venue] last week to take my two sons aged 3 and 14 months to [Baby Gym Class]. I hope you don’t mind but I thought I’d email you with some feedback. I’ve exchanged emails with you a couple of times, and you seem like a friendly, open person, and I hope it might be helpful to you.

Firstly, I thought the session was quite expensive. I paid £7.50 for the two children for an hour, yet last week for just 50p more, I took them to [Local Big Softplay], where the equipment is much bigger and better and we could stay as long as we wanted (in fact 3-4 hours, including lunch).

Secondly, we didn’t really get an hour’s play, because we had an enforced break for 10 mins in the middle and finished 10 mins early to do a song and dance type routine. This was a shame as my children enjoyed the equipment and would have preferred to keep playing.

During the break, we were offered free tea / coffee / squash / cheap biscuits. The thing is though, I don’t really want my children to have an unhealthy snack mid morning, but because we were all sitting in a circle with other children eating them it was hard to say no without causing a tantrum. Nor did I really feel like a weak Maxwell House in a polystyrene mug which made my teeth itch. Maybe if you just offered to parents to help themselves / their children if they wanted a drink rather than enforcing everyone to sit down together it would be better?

Your staff member was trying his hardest to be helpful, but actually little help was really needed in this session, and he’d have been better to just supervise and let parents get on with it. Also, why was he wearing a microphone headpiece? He looked like he should either be working in a call centre or auditioning to be in ‘Steps’. Altogether his fake cheerfulness was irritating.

I chose your Gym session rather than a music class because I’ve always found it difficult to muster the energy to disco dance with complete strangers at 10.25 on a Tuesday morning. So I was cringing internally as the disco lights and ‘hokey cokey’ music started up. My back ached as I carried the baby and tried to encourage a reluctant 3 year old to dance.

I think your [Venue] is a great addition to [local town] and we really need a place to go, and hope you’ll take this feedback without it causing offence.

Kind regards

porcamiseria Tue 20-Sep-11 13:53:31

i dont think he will give a flying shit!!!!! to be honest

YABU - you didnt really like it so dont go back. TBH that letter makes you sound like a pompous twit.

chicletteeth Tue 20-Sep-11 13:56:45

I wouldn't bother emailing this, but if you really thought it, then just don't go back.
That said, you clearly need to get out more.

itisnearlysummer Tue 20-Sep-11 13:56:48

If you're not happy with it, don't go back.

meravigliosa Tue 20-Sep-11 13:56:49

YABU This is a class, not a play session. Don't think it is reasonable to complain that there was structure and activities that you were expected to join in with. If softplay is what you want, don't go to a gym class.

And an instructor had to be paid, so I don't think the price is out of order.

Is this for real?

Tchootnika Tue 20-Sep-11 13:57:04

It's potentially a helpful letter.
No guarantee they'll take notice of it (obv)... Nothing wrong with writing and sending if you've got time and aren't expecting too much in return.
Thoughtful of you, I think.

wolfhound Tue 20-Sep-11 13:57:50

YABU. That's what toddler classes are like. The sitting down together, and coming together to do singing/dancing etc. are part of the 'socialisation' - if you just want to play with equipment your own way, then you're better off with softplay centres.

YANBU to not like it. Don't imagine it's any adult's idea of fun. But toddlers love this sort of stuff. Mine did a lot of toddler classes, and now they're at preschool, I can see they're very comfortable with the 'organised activity' element of it - whereas some children who aren't used to this sort of thing are struggling a bit with doing group activities instead of playing by themselves.
But they'll learn. So if you don't like it, don't feel obliged to do it, I say.

smoggii Tue 20-Sep-11 13:58:28

I think your feedback is meant to cause offence!

I think a pared down version would be acceptable but saying 'that other place is better than yours' is not constructive.

Asking if fruit could be provided instead of a biscuit would probably be acceptable as would suggesting alternative activities. But really, if you don't like it, don't go. If others feel the same they will vote with their feet.

ViviPru Tue 20-Sep-11 14:00:24

Your grievances are fair enough but the way you've included subjective observations and colloquial language weakens this letter. If you genuinely want the outcome to be improvements at this venue so that you will return, you need to rewrite it to be completely objective and factual.

You might be surprised just how rewarding a well-written feedback letter can be.

Sirzy Tue 20-Sep-11 14:00:51

£7.50 for a gym class for 2 children and your complaining?

The singing and dancing is probably for the children not the parents anyway!! When DS used to go to tumble tots he loved that aspect.

I would expect a gym sessons for children to have a break and not be a full hour to!

Tchootnika Tue 20-Sep-11 14:01:05

If they've got some sort of competitieve business sense (which privately run groups like this always do) then they'll actually welcome feedback and comparisons to their competitors. No reason for them to be offended.
I don't think it reads offensively at all, but if they do then they can laugh at what a nut you seem, and bin the letter!

scuzy Tue 20-Sep-11 14:01:35

your "helpful" feedback is full of unecessary sarky comments ... cheap biscuits, weak coffee, why was staff wearing head mike, fake cheerfulness. it is not constructive criticism.

you dont like it? dont go back! but your "feedback" comes across as bitchy, insincere and not helpful. no suggestions .... just ranting.

NeedaCostume Tue 20-Sep-11 14:02:00

I'm not expecting anything in return... trying to be helpful actually as the woman who owns the place is very positive and trying to drum up more business in our community.

This session is advertised as 'free play' so I wasn't expecting all the cheesy organisation.

NeedaCostume Tue 20-Sep-11 14:04:04

Yes, scuzy I was ranting. Joking if you like. But clearly most people think it makes me sound horrible (I'm not, honest!) so I think I'll give it a miss.

Thanks Tchootnika, I think you understand where I'm coming from.

scuzy Tue 20-Sep-11 14:07:58

by all means i am sure she would appreciate feedback but you need to word it better and suggest alternatives than bagging this woman's business and all her ideas. eg. while we appreciated the tea break provided I found that the majority of us would rather the break not be taken and perhaps would be better served in background as a help yourself break etc.

Voidka Tue 20-Sep-11 14:08:18

That email makes you sound very rude.
If you send it they will probably print it out and stick it on all the wal so people can laugh at you.

TandB Tue 20-Sep-11 14:08:31

Please don't send that letter - it will probably be hung in their office for everyone to laugh at.

There is nothing wrong with providing feedback where there are genuine issues that need to be addresses but really all your complaints are to do with personal taste. I go to a place that does toddler gym classes and I also prefer the classes where it is all activity and no singing and rhymes. However, I think I am in a minority here - everyone else seems to enjoy the singing bit - I just happen to have a toddler who spends that whole bit of the class desperately trying to make a break back to the gym equipment and won't join in the singing.

Re: the drink - you could presumably have said no to the tea. I doubt they would have forced it down your throat, and the comment about the plastic cup and tea brand just makes you sound a bit snobby and silly and is very unlikely to elicit any sort of positive response.

Everyone has different likes and dislikes and a venue has to cater for the majority. The manager is unlikely to be particularly swayed by someone who happens to dislike the hokey-cooky, Maxwell House tea and people wearing headphones. He will just think you are a bit weird and probably be relieved you are unlikely to come back often!

scuzy Tue 20-Sep-11 14:08:54

joking perhaps ... but as your say this woman is lovely and trying to drum up business. she had obviously invested alot of heart, time and money and doubt she would appreciate your sarky rant dressed up as feedback.

Aworryingtrend Tue 20-Sep-11 14:09:18

YABU and unnecessarily critical. You come across as a snob. Most of your comments are also irrelevant to the level of service you received- what does your aching back have to do with anything?!

As others have suggested, at most you could suggest fruit as an altrnative snack but the rest of your complaints are overly harsh and rude.

TandB Tue 20-Sep-11 14:09:22

x-posted with Voidka!

Llanbobl Tue 20-Sep-11 14:09:26

YANBU to offer feedback - but your tone is rude and patronising in places "weak Maxwell House" making your "teeth itch" hmm. I don't see why you have to be derogoratory about the head set either saying it made him look like he worked in a call centre - have you thought that he used the headset for a number of reasons - he may have had a disability and this was a reasonabole adjustment or it could be so he was hands free and able to help the children if they skipped or needed some assistance. Your back ached carrying your 14 month old baby for the duration of the Hokey Cokey - really?? So whilst NU to offer feedback, YABU to do so in the patronising and precious email you have drafted.

At a soft play your children are playing "unsupervised" and not participating in structured or semi structured activities. You need to think about t what your children want and get from the classes - it's about them, not you.

It reads like a joke! Makes you sound a complete idiot. Don't send it.

lynniep Tue 20-Sep-11 14:12:51

thats just sarky. its not funny even though you seem to think it is. it just sounds smug. you paid for a class and thats what you got. If you have any reasonable complaints, or any helpful suggestions, I'd say email them in a reasonable and helpful way. But at least you got it out of your system smile

NeedaCostume Tue 20-Sep-11 14:13:21

Hmm. Well, I've been thoroughly put in my place. Perhaps I am just weird do dislike the hokey cokey and instant coffee.

I wish there were a place to take toddlers that is actually fun for adults too. And I had high hopes for this place. But never mind.

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