All 'eligible' refunds issued for Christmas show, organisers say

The Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Everyone entitled to a refund for their poor experience at a drive-through Christmas show at Taverham Hall have now been given their money back, its organisers have said.

Many families took to social media before Christmas to complain about the Santa's grotto in December, claiming the reality didn't live up to what was promised in the event's description.

Ollie George, who produced the event on behalf of WME Norfolk, promised improvements after "teething problems" on opening night, and advised those who were unhappy to contact the firm for a refund.

A family in their car at the Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture: Daniell

A family in their car at the Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

On Thursday, a spokesman from WME once again apologised for the problems and said they have now "refunded all customers who were eligible for a full refund, such as those who were turned away from the event or those who faced the longest delays entering the site".

"Any customers who visited our event on the first two days (December 18 and 19) who were unhappy but not eligible for a full refund are being offered free family tickets to one of our Christmas events happening in Norwich later this year. 

"All other customers who visited our event this year will be offered a 50pc discount to our events later this year," he added.

Santa and his helper greeting people and handing out presents at the Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Ta

Santa and his helper greeting people and handing out presents at the Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

The firm said Mr George had been working freelance on the event, and that he "is no longer involved in the business".

One man who has not received a refund is Thomas Garlick, from Brundall, who visited the show on December 19 with his wife and three children.

Thomas Garlick said he and his family had to wait for almost two hours to get into the lights show at Taverham Hall last...

Thomas Garlick said he and his family had to wait for almost two hours to get into the lights show at Taverham Hall last December, but that his repeated requests for a refund had been ignored. - Credit: Thomas Garlick

He paid around £75 in total for tickets, but says he has had no response despite requesting his money back a number of times.

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He said: "It was awful. The worst thing I've ever been to. We were queued for a good hour and 45 minutes to get in, and we've got a 19-month-old, a six-year-old and a nine-year old – so you can imagine the outcome there.

"You know when you pay for these things that it's a bit of a risk, but for them not to even email back or try to rectify this is awful."

Mrs Claus giving out cookies at the Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture:

Mrs Claus giving out cookies at the Drive-Thru Santa's Grotto at Taverham Hall in Norwich. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Another man, who did not wish to be named, received a refund for his tickets on February 3, after including this newspaper in an email chain.

"To do the weakest form of communication you can use, leaves people feeling like they're doing as little as possible," he said.

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