Some Unhappy Winterfest Customers Receive Refunds While Others Left Out In Cold

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PROSPECT HEIGHTS – Some customers disappointed with the paid attractions at Winterfest during the event’s opening weekend are now feeling frustrated by the lack of response from the event’s organizers.

Winterfest at Brooklyn Museum, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 (Photo: Pamela Wong/Bklyner)

Lena Romanova, the founder of Winterfest at Brooklyn Museum, told Bklyner on Sunday, November 25, that unhappy customers could contact Jennifer Crosby at jennifer@winterfestbrooklynmuseum.com and request a refund. Many readers noted that they tried contacting Crosby multiple times and have not received a response, leaving some wondering whether she actually exists.

It was a “disappointing experience,” said one Winterfest visitor on Sunday, November 25. She noted that the actual experience was very different from what originally appeared on the Winterfest website, saying, “the pictures are far beyond what it was.” Some of the promised attractions, such as the slide and snow globe, were not open during her visit with her family.

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A reader named Julia commented, “the immersive chocolate experience is actually a cup of instant cocoa and a Tupperware of fun size Halloween candy.”

Bklyner emailed Crosby on Monday morning and has yet to receive a response. Bklyner also planned to attend a Winterfest at Brooklyn Museum press preview today, November 29, to see if any of the improvements Romanova discussed on Sunday had been implemented. The preview, which had been rescheduled several times, was cancelled on Wednesday afternoon.

Bklyner left a voicemail on the telephone number listed on the event’s Facebook page (646-233-4298) on Wednesday morning, November 28, but did not receive a call back. Today (Thursday), a message states, “the number you dialed is not a working number.”

Nobody picked up when we called Seasonal Activation Group, the company behind the event which is affiliated with Millennial Entertainment. The latter ran into legal problems earlier this year with Boston Winter, a similar winter festival event held in Boston.

After learning that one reader named Melinda, who attended the event last Friday, received a refund by contacting See Tickets, the Los Angeles-based company handling online ticket sales for the event, Bklyner called the ticketing company for more information (323-908-0607).

Tionna, the Customer Support Manager for See Tickets, said that Seasonal Activation Group only gave See Tickets approval to give refunds to customers who attended Winterfest on the opening day, Friday, November 23, however Christine, another Bklyner commenter, attended the event on Sunday, November 25, and emailed Crosby, See Tickets, and the Brooklyn Museum on Monday about her bad experience. She received an email from See Tickets the next day and was given a full refund.

From winterfestbrooklynmuseum.com

Winterfest’s website now carries a Refund Policy disclaimer at the bottom of the homepage. It reads:

“Entry to the festival is free of charge. You can wander around the shops and taste wine at Vinopolis: The City of Wine. There is a small fee required to enter the attractions area. One ticket allows access to all components including: a tree maze, an outdoor exhibit about the origin of Santa Claus, a dome serving hot chocolate and varied types of chocolate bars. No refund will be offered to customers after their visit. No refund is allowed on site. If the event is canceled for weather reasons or any other reason of our fault, the purchaser can apply for a refund. Purchasers can contact us to changes [sic] the dates on their tickets.”

The message also provides Jennifer Crosby’s email address.

On Thursday morning, a reader wrote in the comments of the original post that she did receive a response from Crosby who offered tickets for a return visit and a glass of mulled wine but not a refund.

A Brooklyn Museum representative said that the Winterfest at Brooklyn Museum event is managed by an outside organization and is not affiliated with the cultural institution.

Bklyner reached out to Romanova Thursday afternoon to follow up on the refund policy and promised improvements but did not receive a response prior to posting.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. I have contacted SeeTickets and have been told that they are only providing refund to those who attended Friday.

    I did not get a response back from Jennifer Crosby after I emailed 4 times.

    How ridiculous is this? I spent $73.08 on two people including VIP passes.

  2. We attended on Saturday during the opening weekend, it doesn’t make any sense that they are only providing refunds for people with Friday tickets when the whole opening weekend was a bust. Nothing was as advertised. I contacted Jennifer Crosby and she stopped replying after offering return tickets and mulled wine, I would not waste my time to try to attend this again. I have yet to hear back from SeeTickets. The refund policy is conveniently posted after the opening weekend as well as the non-existent inflatable slide removed from the animation on their website. $50 down the drain for instant hot chocolate and Halloween chocolate, what a shame!

  3. Also, Brooklyn Museum clearly lists “Winterfest at the Brooklyn Museum” on its website. So do they own this relationship or not? Or are they trying to wash their hands of this “event”?

  4. Wow. It is amazing to compare the copy from this Time Out Article (Oct 25) “Unlike Urbanspace’s many merry markets, WinterFest also provides North Pole-like attractions like an Enchanted Tree Maze filled with sparkling Christmas trees that explores holiday traditions from 20 countries and culture around the world. Slide down a “Snowzilla”, walk through a Giant Snowglobe or pose for photos with the World’s Largest Snowman (named Bouncy). This attraction isn’t strictly Christmas-oriented either! For those who celebrate or want to learn about Hanukkah, check out the Spectacular Menorah station offering programming such as a menorah lighting, specialty food and music performances from the culture and more.

    There’s also an interactive experience dubbed The Chocolate Dome Story, which allows visitors to play, taste and learn about the sweet treat. It should pair nicely with the Vinopolis Wine Tasting Experience for vino enthusiasts.”

    With the current website description, “You can wander around the shops and taste wine at Vinopolis: The City of Wine. There is a small fee required to enter the attractions area. One ticket allows access to all components including: a tree maze, an outdoor exhibit about the origin of Santa Claus, a dome serving hot chocolate and varied types of chocolate bars. No refund will be offered to customers after their visit. No refund is allowed on site. If the event is canceled for weather reasons or any other reason of our fault, the purchaser can apply for a refund. Purchasers can contact us to changes [sic] the dates on their tickets.”

    People pre-bought tickets based on what they were advertising. They should ALL receive refunds. Not just those that went Friday (like me).

  5. I went with my family last weekend and had a great time. Yes, maybe the maze is a bit small, but we got a lot of chocolate and two cups of hot chocolate that my kids loved. We also got a picture with Santa and I didn’t have to pay 25$ per pictures as last year going to the mall. The Wine Experience was awesome in their tent and we did a lot of xmas shopping. So, I am very surprised to seen such negative reviews. It is an outdoor market and stop expecting that everything has to be free! Relax and enjoy holidays.

  6. I really have to applaud Bklyner for their multiple stories on this disappointing event. I hadn’t heard about WinterFest previously, but after I read the original article on the 26th, I tried looking up more information about what went wrong/whether or not the event had improved, and every other online publication was just a glowing press release-style promise of delights that, clearly, were not delivered.

    I was happy to read this follow-up story, although I feel bad for everyone who bought tickets based on unfulfilled promises. I hope everyone eventually receives refunds; no one should feel swindled this time of the year. WinterFest needs to get its act together or be held accountable.

    Glad to be a Bklyner subscriber!

  7. I also contacted Jennifer Crosby for a refund after being ripped off by this event and didn’t receive any response. It looks like the Brooklyn Museum has removed it from their website so that they are no longer associated with this scam.

  8. For “Franceska”– New Yorkers don’t pay for their kids to see Santa or take their photo. Macy’s charges $20 but nearly everyone uses the camera on their mobile phone these days. ABC Carpet and Home which has the best Santa and is free, has no photographer. You are the photographer.

  9. Also for “Franceska” — you said “going to the mall.” This is New York City. That is actually not part of our vernacular.

  10. I went today from New Jersey with all my family, group of 17 people including 7 children, and we were all disappointed. There was no snow globe or slide and they are still giving watered down hot chocolate. Its definitely nothing like the way they make it look and seem online. I basically paid $20 per adult for a cup of watered down hot chocolate. I am definitely going to request a refund. What a huge scam this was. Never again!!!

  11. Seetickets has now stopped replying to any of my emails.

    This is ridiculous. What a scam! I’m beyond upset that we spent $73 on two people for crap. They should be sued for false advertisement, and ripping New Yorkers esp during the holiday times

  12. We went to Winterfest yesterday 12/2 and bought a Santa photo & skip the line + tickets to “attractions.” There was no line but the photographer didn’t show up so we didn’t even get a Santa photo print out. We will be contacting the credit card company to challenge this charge. I mean the overall event was a joke that they had the nerve to charge people for the sad activations they had.

  13. I am emailing and calling Jennifer daily. Getting nothing back. I spent $88 on tickets for attractions that don’t exist and an event that is now free. It is disgusting. Also not getting anywhere with See Tickets. Someone suggested trying to get a refund through Visa which I will try next. Avoid this event at all costs.

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