Battle for ski pass refunds

The ski season could soon begin under Level 2 restrictions. PHOTO: ODT FILES
NZSki offered a roll-over to 2021 but the couple’s visas will expire this year. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Two foreign nationals have questioned NZSki’s refusal to refund their season passes despite the fact they will not be in the country — but the company has defended the move.

Charlotte Read and her boyfriend, both Britons, were living in Queenstown before being locked out of the country due to Covid-19 border restrictions.

Despite it being unlikely they would return to New Zealand any time soon, they still had to pay installments of about $1600 on their passes.

"I explained how important nearly $1600 is to us and how much money we have recently lost trying to get back to our home country," Ms Read said.

NZSki offered a roll-over to 2021 but the couple’s visas will expire this year.

NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson said the pair had not taken out insurance; Ms Read said that position was unfair.

"We have emailed a final time explaining what they are doing is wrong, they are showing no empathy and being very unhelpful ... you would think that they would be a little more compassionate."

Ana Dinegri, a Brazilian national who has been living in Queenstown, purchased an NZSki season pass in October.

However, losing her job meant she would now head home as soon as possible.

After calling NZSKi for a refund she was told that because she had not bought pass protection insurance, the pass was non-refundable and non-transferable, and could only be rolled over to 2021.

Mr Anderson said his company had to be fair to those who had purchased insurance.

"If we do it for everyone, it’s not really fair on those who bought pass protection."

Once the company knew the full extent of travel restrictions it would possibly be able to give those overseas an option of a refund, he said.

A spokeswoman for Cardrona and Treble Cone skifields said their passes were usually non-refundable and non-transferable, but this year they had changed their terms and conditions to help those who could not use them in 2020, due to the pandemic.


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