09/11/2013 at 14:21
Has anyone else had a horrible experience with Waterbabies swimming classes for babies? Last week, (Mon 4th Nov), they locked the door to the pool before my son's lesson had started. (I arrived 3 mins before the class was due to begin) It took 13 minutes for me to get the attention of the teacher (by hammering on the window) and for her to get another mother to unlock the door. By this time - 10 mins into a 30 min lesson - it would have been very upsetting for my baby (a nervous swimmer) to be expected to do scary exercises (like being pulled underwater and then let go) without the usual warm-up. So I went home and sent an email, asking for a refund for that class. I was rung back the next day by the woman who owns the company (who, it turned out, was the one who locked the door early) who refused me a refund on the grounds that there had been 20 minutes of the lesson left by the time I was finally let into the pool. In an increasingly heated phone conversation, she repeatedly interrupted and talked over me, refused to accept that I'd arrived at the time I said I had. (3 mins before class began) She even added that Waterbabies never gives refunds "even when a complaint is far more legitimate than yours". Sure enough, a bit of research has revealed loads of mothers who feel extremely unhappy with Waterbabies: http://www.reviewcentre.com/reviews236690.html I'm really upset. Teaching my little boy to swim was one of the things I was looking forward to most - and now I've had a horrible row with this rude woman, feel totally cheated and obviously can't finish the term (very expensive, all pre-paid) - so worst of all, my baby is the one who ends up losing out. There are loads of swimming groups out there. Waterbabies is by far the most expensive, yet in the two different classes in different venues that I tried, had 8-10 babies in a class compared to something like Swimming Nature, which is £10 and has (in its Cricklewood class) just 3 babies. The number of kids in the Waterbabies' classes I attended meant each baby received almost no one-to-one attention. The exercises are rushed through and the focus on pushing the babies underwater makes, in my experience, for a class of spluttering, stunned & often crying children rather than the happy, laughing kids I've seen at my nephew's far more gentle and personalised Swimming Nature classes. If ever there was an uncaring, over-regimented money-making conveyor belt, then Waterbabies, in my opinion, is it. I wish someone had warned me!
20/11/2013 at 23:36
Look for a turtle tots class. Ours is amazing, loads of singing, actions and 6 in a class. Sounds like a terrible experience you had. I would keep fighting for a refund and go elsewhere. Water is a dangerous place and everyone needs to be happy, swimming isn't all about being under the water, my lo does 2 underwater swims per lesson, one to kick off from the side and one to surface himself. It's water safety more than anything.
23/11/2013 at 16:07
Yes hun, I did, and ended up moving into a different club after about three sessions
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