FoggyLog

Sat Sep 12th 2009 11:32:05: SphereMania Harness Sphereing Review

Helen and I were given a "Harness Sphereing for 2" experience as a joint present (I believe this is another name for Zorbing?). We were really excited to receive this present as it sounded fun and was something we'd not done before. It was booked through EX Element and our first challenge was to redeem our voucher. This required a visit to EX Element's website, registering etc and then in the end they sent me an email telling me to go to Sphere Mania's website and book there. So I went to Sphere Mania and registered again, selected a time etc etc and finally managed to make a booking. Of course it didn't end there as I then had to post my voucher to them (I really didn't understand why they needed me to post them a piece of paper with a number on it, which I'd already typed in online??)

As a side note I was a bit disappointed to read their Ts&Cs which seemed to suggest that if either of us were ill on the day they would not rearrange your booking and it was tough luck, however if they randomly cancelled on you it was down to you to call them within so many days and rebook. Seems slightly one sided.

Anyway we headed off to their London North site in Ware for our "roll". Initially we were quite disappointed with the hill as it was very short and the rolls were over in a few seconds. When it came to our go we realised why. The whole experience is actually pretty uncomfortable (I was on the head first side of the sphere and kept getting my head bashed every time we bounced down the hill). In fact I'd class the experience as more of a uncomfortable chore than an adrenaline filled excitement. You are quite glad when you reach the bottom!

This leads me on to the price... £55! what? why? ouch! It's stupidly overpriced! There is no discount if you want to book a second roll on the day and I can't believe someone had to pay £55 for Helen and me to have an uncomfortable ride down a hill that lasted just a few seconds.

Whilst there we also saw some people Aquasphering and that doesn't look much better. It looks more comfortable as you just sit on the bottom of the ball and slide along it as it rotates, however you get just the same experience from going to a swimming pool and going on a big water slide!

To top it all, Sphere Mania emailed me later to ask for feedback. I told them what I thought and only gave them 2 stars and strangely enough it didn't appear on their website. Looks like you need to give them good feedback, else you don't get published.

In the end we had a nice day out, as after the sphereing we went into Hertford for lunch and then went to Scott's Grotto in Ware and then a sculpture park in the middle of nowhere on the way home!

Very dissapointed, paid extra for the camcorder, but to find the staff were in to much of a rush to push people through they didnt switch it on, they refunded the cost but they would not give me another ride, lost all memory of our day, my advice is dont bother the service is dire.

Comment by Colin morton at 21:58 on Tue 19 October 2010

I went to a different company to do this experience and it was brilliant (Haywood Oaks Activity Centre in Nottingham) - we had to cancel our trip due to the bad weather and it was no trouble to them at all, they just booked us in again at no extra charge or effort - they were really helpful.

The staff were brilliant and the ride was really comfortable - didn't feel the ground at all as there seemed to be enough cushioning. It also only cost £45 for 2 of us so much more reasonable. I would definitely go back there and urge anyone else to do the same

Here is their website if anyone is interested

http://www.haywoodoaksactivitycentre.co.uk/

Comment by Sheila Thomas at 13:50 on Mon 24 January 2011

Re: Spheremania. Never even got to try it. Nightmare web-booking system. Wasted most of a whole day trying. Eventually managed to speak to a person two days later. Only one person there, Jen, seemed to use own initiative and common sense. Manager was just rude and a real jobsworth.

I am really glad we did not bother to complete the booking and turn up. Rather lose my fees than go through the hell of the experience with them.

Never ever want to have anything to do with this company.

Comment by Taff at 11:15 on Fri 11 March 2011

Never book with SphereMania! Customer service is appalling.

Comment by Russell at 13:07 on Tue 31 May 2011

We heard about the reviews of spheremania and choose instead to drive to Brighton for Orb360 or orbing as their guys called it - a brilliant day, apparently its the biggest venue and looked amazing. We did both types of orbing and the crew there were all really friendly and proffesional, there was a dj loads odf seating around their cool marquee and the cost was a lot less than spheremania - try orb360.co.uk i rate them 5stars and a stunning venue

Great effort chaps - loved it!

John & Sally Hammond

Stoke

Comment by John Hammond at 13:26 on Fri 24 June 2011

As described in paragraph 1.

The booking system is a complete shambles, that aside my story is just as unhappy.

We booked to go to London South on 6th Aug 2011. This happened to be the day after a huge crash on the M25 which had tailbacks of up to 15 miles at one point.

On the day it was just as bad and all of the diversions were grid locked.

We called the centre direct and got a answer phone. We left a message giving all the details and a phone number to call. No response.

We then called spheremania call centre. They were particularly usless. We were told as we had not taken out traffic delays insurance at £20 or cancelation insurance at £20 that its just tough luck!

We were then given another number to call and it was a answer phone again. Neither time did someone call us back.

This experience cost us £65 and we didnt even get to the go. Just sat on the M25 for 6.5 hours.

So thanks spheremania, for sweet F.A.

A complete waste of money. Do not book.

Comment by Si at 20:26 on Tue 9 August 2011

Got spheremania tickets for my other half for me and her to go , first of all was thrown between different websites to book the dates were very limited furthermore when selected a date then had to post the ticket back to them. which they didnt recive untill i sent a strongly worded email. then a few hours before they decided to text me to say it was canceled due to H&S issues , they completely muck you around and are a poor excuse of a company, i would strongly warn anyone not to book tickets through these morons have asked for a full refund and will update when they get back to me if they ever do ....

Comment by Brad at 8:51 on Sat 26 May 2012

Spheremania is terrible customer service; don't bother booking with them!

I left negative feedback which they did not display or have the decency to reply to.

You are very much a piece on a conveyor belt system and feel very much an inconvenience. The actual experience was a good laugh but the company and staff destoy anything positive.

Comment by Johanna at 14:15 on Fri 8 June 2012

Hopeless. Would strongly recommend trying anyone else but Spheremania; hopeless web site, limited/poor choice of dates,event cancellation, bad customer service.

Looking elsewhere on the internet it seems our experience is certainly not unique

Comment by justin at 6:58 on Fri 20 July 2012

I received a Red Letter Day experience for aqua zorbing which we have tried to do now twice! The first experience was cancelled due to bad weather (which was last summer) and cancelled again due to H&S issues this summer. We can't do any of the dates or venues offered to us by spheremania so...I've contacted Red Letter Days to get a refund but Spheremania won't refund as it's "weather dependent" so essentially tough. I've been told that I need to chase this up with Spheremania but can't quite see why it's MY responsibility to chase this up as I received a Red Letter Day Experience and certainly wouldn't have chosen them as reviews I've seen have been terrible. So far my "Experience" has been one I'd like to forget!!

Comment by Helen at 10:13 on Tue 31 July 2012

I REALLY wish I had seen this review site before I booked my Spheremania Harness for 2 experience!

After 2 cancellations due to weather, fair enough they cannot control the weather, we eventually got a date for 21st July. The sun was shining, and with no further emails to say it was cancelled again (thank goodness) we set off to the venue.

We knew the road it was on but not the exact location. We arrived in the area but ended up driving up and down for over 40 minutes trying to find the actual site. Eventually we found a local and asked them and they pointed out a small parking spot just off the main road - as we pulled in we saw the Spheremania signs all smashed up and lying on the floor (not a good start).

We made our way up to the farm, seeing no sign of anyone zorbing at all which was quite worrying. Eventually we found a farm worker who told us he had nothing to do with Spheremania but all he knew was that they were not open today!!!! This being a Saturday the head office was obviously closed so we had no one to contact!

At 1840hrs (our zorbing was for 1230) we received an email telling us the day was cancelled due to a broken downpipe waterlogging the track??? What was the point of telling us of the cancellation 6 HOURS after our appointed time!!!

I have been emailing for 2 weeks now trying to re-arrange AGAIN but have had many emails ignored. The ones they have EVENTUALLY responded to have been sarcastic and rude. I have now asked for a refund but am not holding my breath!

PLEASE DON'T BOOK WITH THIS COMPANY - YOU WILL REGRET IT.

Comment by Alison at 13:44 on Wed 1 August 2012

Having read the comments above and looked into each booking I have found that most have been cancelled due to the weather or did not like the experience. SphereMania only pre-books times so if customers dont turn up the slot is gone. if they take another slot then the site does not get paid as the customer has taken two time slots. All customer can rebook free of charge if they call back within 28 days if we cancel due to H&S or weather.

Our T&C are clearly sent out and also we try and pass all information on at point of booking, people sometime do not take the time to print off and read the information.

SphereMania Ltd have more than 12 locations around the UK and deals with over 40,000 people a year and most of them have a great time.

As M.D of the company I personally apologies to any family who have felt in any way we have failed them.

I am available at the head office monday to friday on 0844 800 3045 and any customers are more than welcome to call me

I can only apologies for the British weather this year which has meant that over 50% of our activities were cancelled.

M.D. of SphereMania Ltd

Comment by Robert at 9:15 on Fri 28 September 2012

After a farcical attempt at booking, rebooking and attempting to book again once and for all, the venue closest to me appears to have disappeared off the 'our locations' list...leaving me with an over 250 mile round trip to the nearest location...I have emailed them requesting a refund and have been ignored 3 times in the last month. I have raised a case with Citizens Advice and would urge everyone in a similar situation to do the same so something can be done about this appalling company. Selling vouchers and making it near impossible to redeem them surely amounts to theft?!

Comment by Laura at 8:46 on Fri 19 July 2013

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