Escape rooms are awesome, they are meant to challenge you and your friends and make for a fun night out. If an escape room is immersive, it’s thrilling and rewarding. That is if you play in the right place. Just like movies, escape rooms can be subjective. Different people might have different preferences about the story or type of puzzles. But there are some things you should always avoid. Here are the signs that you shouldn’t book that escape room you were considering, and book somewhere else instead.
To make a booking, you often have to leave a deposit. In some cases, you have to pay for your entire group up front! While that is understandable, what isn’t is a company that asks for your commitment by way of deposit, then is unreachable. What if you need to change your booking to another day? You might have some questions about your booking. In these cases, you should be able to reach the facility! Now there are many reasons why they may not be answering the phone, and some of them are justifiable. Maybe they’re on another call or swamped with customers.
Being busy is a good sign, but a lot of businesses have only one staff member working at a time. This person may be responsible for the monitoring of multiple games at once. Not only is this a bad business practice, but it’s unsafe. If they are so short-staffed that they can’t answer a call, your game might not be entirely safe! Being short-staffed means that they might only be open when they have bookings. Some facilities are unreachable unless they have bookings. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing if and when they will have bookings to contact them. This can leave you guessing if you have a question, or worse, hanging if you need help with your booking or need to cancel. You shouldn’t book at a facility that conducts their business like that.
It should cause alarm if their website isn’t up-to-date. Maybe it’s under construction or it just doesn’t have the information you are looking for. Or there may not be a way to contact them. None of that is a good sign. Lacking information is a signal that a business isn’t looking to provide you with an exceptional experience. A lack of information means they’re probably not that interested in customer service. Having a complete and up-to-date website is especially important in a specialized business like escape rooms, as customers frequently have questions or concerns. Because a company’s website is a good indication of the kind of experience you can expect when you arrive, you’ll want to be sure it’s well maintained.
Did you check the place out on Yelp before heading over? Sure, they might have thousands of good reviews there, and their Facebook might show a lot of happy customers as well, but keep in mind that reviews can be bought. Some social media platforms charge to help boost marketing. Beyond that, many companies offer a bonus for checking in on Facebook or leaving a positive review. Make sure those reviews are legit, read a few and see what they’re really saying. Make sure they comment on tangible game elements. Reviews should cite things like the puzzles, the sets, the themes since all of these things are integral to your escape experience. Fake reviews might be generic, or just an exclamation. They are often short and exaggerated, focussing on how “awesome!” or “fun!” as opposed to really commenting on specifics. Now, we’re not in any way suggesting that all companies pay for reviews, or that any company that has a lot of positive reviews is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. There are so many great escape room places out there and their reviews reflect just how amazing their business is! We are suggesting that you keep a keen eye on reviews and use that puzzle-solving mentality to make sure they’re on the up-and-up.
It’s very unfortunate, but the reality is that some escape places are not very concerned about your experience. They are looking for a way to capitalize, to make as much money as possible with minimal work and investment. A business owner can manipulate business in several ways, and unfortunately, it can be very easy to fall prey. To make sure that your next escape experience is incredible, do your due diligence and check up on a place before you book.
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