We had pre-booked our skydive with Skydive Surfcity and turned up a little earlier than originally planned in the early afternoon.
When we walked in we were not greeted by anybody despite there seeming to be a few people milling about. It turns out they were all staff but it was difficult to tell as no one introduced themselves or made us feel welcome.
We had a bundle of paperwork thrust at us to sign as waivers and were told to watch a disclaimer video, which we understand is part of the process but it was all very impersonal.
It was my wife's first ever skydive so she was particularly nervous and this lack of interest and reassurance from the staff did nothing to help. I have done one skydive previously in New Zealand where the set up was far more organised and professional and I felt valued as a customer, which was in stark contrast to Surfcity.
When we met our jump masters (Caleb and Matt) they were laid back nice guys and were very good eventually, after a somewhat forced introduction by ourselves as we had to ask their names. We felt safe and reassured by them when they explained our instructions. We really enjoyed our jump and the views were spectacular.
The up-selling of photographs and video was also fairly blatant and expensive for what you get. My wife chose to have photographs and was presented with a CD. Who uses CDs any more??!! For $80 extra in 2014 we would have expected a USB stick at the very least. Also, comparing the experience with New Zealand, the photos were taken from an arm-mounted go-pro on the instructor as opposed to a separate photographer jumping in NZ.
We would have enjoyed our experience much more if we had felt reassured from the start. When we had finished, 3 Asian males turned up at the reception area and were greeted with the same disinterest as we had been. If we had not pre-booked and had turned up 'on-spec' as these guys had done we would have taken our custom elsewhere.
If all that is important to you is getting up, doing a jump with some spectacular views then use Surfcity. If you want the customer experience and reassurance as a first time jumper (as my wife was) then I recommend you take your business elsewhere.
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