Customer Charter for season 2012/13
WATFORD Football Club is a family Club at the heart of the local community which strives to deliver an outstanding family experience.
The delivery of excellent customer service is at the heart of every aspect of our business. All employees of Watford FC share this vision and are committed to providing supporters with a first class sporting experience when they visit Vicarage Road on a matchday.
Watford FC was awarded the Football League Community Club of the Year in 2008 and 2010. The Club currently holds the Football League Family Charter Standard and the Football League Family Excellence Award for Season 2011/12
OUR KEY COMMITMENTS
We are committed to building a business that is self-sufficient and has the ability to be competitive at the highest level of the game.
We are committed to maintaining Vicarage Road's reputation as the safest and friendliest stadium in English football.
We are committed to being a consumer champion on behalf of our supporters. That's why prices for our match tickets and replica kit will continue to be among the most competitive in professional football.
We believe our players should set a good example to children and young adults - that's why we are committed to ensuring our professionals are disciplined and a credit to the Club and town of Watford.
We are committed to the many different communities we serve and value the contributions made on our behalf by the people of Watford.
OBJECTIVES FOR SEASON 2012/13
Comments received from fans relating to all aspect of the business are logged before being actioned by relevant club personnel. All customer feedback is taken seriously and given the necessary management time in order to understand the needs of our customers. We will continue to pro-actively monitor all comments – positive and negative – as we endeavour to deliver the best customer service and product offering to our customers.
As well as responding wherever we can to customer feedback, we will also be reviewing the feedback received following ‘mystery shopper’ visits from The Football League. We will strive to retain our Family Excellence award from The Football League and, wherever, possible implement the recommendations and improvements highlighted in the reports.
We believe that our supporters should be given the opportunity to meet their matchday heroes and feel a part of the Club. Our ‘Family Fun/Open Day’ is the ideal opportunity for fans of all ages to do just that. We commit to offering a free-of-charge day for our fans with entertainment and a chance to mix with our players.
We undertake to continue our commitment to WFC’s Community Sports & Education Trust. We are proud of the Trust’s work in the community and participation of our players in the delivery of projects to young people.
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
As part of our continued commitment, we will carry out a number of match day activities focusing on key community initiatives including national campaigns such as Kick it Out (One Game, One Community), National Association for Disabled Supporters (Level Playing Fields) and dedicated Football League initiatives. Around five matchdays per season are dedicated to such good causes.
Under the banner of Watford’s Community Sports & Education Trust the Club commits itself to providing a wide range of activities, events and projects for people across the spectrum of our local community.
THE CONDUCT OF OUR STAFF
Our staff will conduct themselves in a helpful and courteous manner in all dealings with customers. As a business, we are committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and to avoid unlawful discrimination in employment and against customers.
This means we do not discriminate against people on the grounds of age, disability, sex, race (which includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity or because someone is married or in a civil relationship.
We also believe that our employees should be able to work in an environment free from harassment of any kind.
A copy of our Equal Opportunities policy is available on our website at: www.watfordfc.com/page/CareersIndex
We will always do our very best to ensure that you receive the best tickets in terms of price and position whenever you attend Vicarage Road on a matchday.
To achieve this goal, full details of all prices are available both online and by phone when speaking to one of our Ticket Sales staff who will always be happy to give advice specific to your request.
Access for all: We will advertise ticket availability, prices, change in ticketing policy and fixture changes as quickly as possible through our web site, other Club publications and through the media. Match tickets cover a broad range of prices and a minimum 5 per cent of tickets for each match will be available to non season ticket holders. Concessions are given to under 16s, young adults aged 16-19, over 65’s and students (under 25 and in full time education with a valid NUS card).
Access for families: Particular emphasis will be given to encouraging young people and their families to come to Vicarage Road. We have a dedicated Family Area for the exclusive use of family groups and junior supporters. We reserve the right to relocate supporters in the Family Area should police advice suggest this will enable the stadium environment to be safer on matchday. If their usual seat is to be occupied by the opposition, an alternative will be offered before the match goes on sale.
Access for disabled supporters: The Club is committed to ensuring access is available to all supporters regardless of their disability. Some concessions are available, but are not based on impairment type rather the recognition that some disabled supporters have a restricted choice of viewing area in the stadium and/or could not attend a match without personal support or the provision of an auxiliary aid.
Where the need for personal support has been identified, the Club will admit the personal assistant free of charge on the understanding that they are providing a service to the disabled supporter to enable them to access matchday facilities. You will be entitled to a free personal assistant if you're in receipt of middle to higher rate disability allowance. Proof may be required but for full details please contact us on 0844 856 1881.
Access for visiting supporters: A minimum of 1,750 tickets for League games will be made available to visiting Clubs. We currently have dispensation from The Football Association and The Football League - whilst our stadium redevelopment is taking place - to provide 2,318 tickets for FA Cup and League Cup games which equates to 14% of capacity.
Prices for visiting supporters will not be higher than those charged to home supporters for comparable areas of Vicarage Road – the only exception being regional or national ticket offers in line with Football League approval. Watford will abide by Football League rules governing the allocation and pricing of tickets to visiting Clubs.
Our Family Club orientation includes visiting supporters and it is our intention to provide extra reductions to young children in a specific location within the away seating area, whenever possible.
Access for corporate clients: Corporate facilities will be offered at competitive prices. We will regularly monitor our prices to ensure they remain competitive and are in-step with the wider business community.
Access to cup matches: Ticket prices for cup matches can only be announced when both ourselves and the opposition Club have mutually agreed these. Whilst prices will often be set in accordance with the status of the opposition, it is the Club’s intention to keep these as low as possible to ensure as many fans as possible are able to attend. Season ticket holders will be given the opportunity to purchase their usual seat. We reserve the right to move supporters from the Family Area of the Vicarage Road end should police advice suggest that we need to accommodate more than the 14% dispensation capacity. If their usual seat is allocated to the opposition then alternative seating will be offered. Watford will abide by the competition rules governing the allocation of tickets to visiting Clubs.
Access to replays of abandoned games: If a match is abandoned after spectators are admitted to the ground but before kick off, ticket holders will be entitled to free admission to the rearranged match. If a match is abandoned after kick off the Club reserves the right to charge the full ticket price for the rearranged match, however, every effort will be made to avoid this.
Access to refunds: Refunds will only be offered if there are extenuating circumstances which are agreed by the Ticket Office and the ticket is returned to the Ticket Office not later than 24 hours prior to the game.
Access to season tickets: We are able to offer credit facilities to enable customers to purchase season tickets via Direct Debit when buying before the ‘Early Bird’ deadline. There will be an administration fee for direct debits.
LOYALTY & MEMBERSHIP
Watford FC is committed to giving fans the ability to manage their matchday spend. The Watford FC ClubCash scheme is a loyalty-based programme that has been designed especially for Hornets supporters.
This scheme enables fans to earn FREE ‘money’ that can be used towards the cost of supporting their team. ClubCash money is stored on the fan’s season card or fan card and can be earned/redeemed across Retail and Catering.
Hornets Rewards was launched in 2009, the Hornets Rewards programme adds ClubCash to a fan’s season or fan card every time they spend money with our High Street and on-line partners.
Our season ticket holders will be offered a range of benefits that reward their loyalty and increase the benefits to them of being associated with Watford FC. This includes:
Away match tickets: Priority for high demand games will be given to season ticket holders that regularly attend away matches, and then to other season ticket holders. Remaining tickets will then be placed on general sale. The Club staging the match determines the cost of these tickets.
Team Hornets: We will continue to encourage junior supporters to become members of the Club. Members will receive benefits such as newsletters, free entry to member only competitions, discount on retail and Trust courses etc.
We will strive to be open and transparent in our communication towards supporters.
There are many media by which supporters can now keep up-to-date with news from the Club. These include the Club’s official services via the web (watfordfc.com), SMS (via watfordfc.com), e-mail (newsletters), Twitter (@watfordfcsays), Facebook (facebook.com/watfordfc) and other social media platforms.
With regard to social media in particular, we welcome interaction and feedback through regular daily dialogue. Constructive criticism is often used to shape future decisions or timings.
As well as the forms of communication described above, we aim to continue meeting with supporters on a face-to-face basis. Our At Your Place meetings give fans the opportunity to attend Q&A sessions with senior club management, football management and players. The informal evenings are free to all Watford supporters and allow fans to ask questions on wide-ranging topics.
Constructive criticism and positive feedback delivered via any of the communication methods explained above will be treated with respect and answered where appropriate.
Supporters with disabilities and their carers are represented by Enables, a group set up by supporters and Club staff.
The group provides a platform for regular dialogue with a view to continuing improvements to the matchday experience for those in the group and those they represent.
You can find more information on the Enables page of the Club website at: http://www.watfordfc.com/page/Enables.
Working with our kit wear partner we will undertake extensive research on design and quality to ensure our supporters receive the best possible product at a reasonable price.
All replica strip design will have a minimum life span of one season, and it is currently the Club’s intention to launch new home and away kits every season.
The Club will carry out its obligation under the Football League rulebook to prevent price fixing in relation to the sale of replica kit.
Watford will offer refunds on merchandise in accordance with our legal obligations. Please visit our on line Hornets shop at www.thehornetsshop.co.uk where you will find full details of our conditions of sale.
COMMUNITY SPORTS & EDUCATION TRUST
‘Making a positive difference for all through sport and learning’
We are committed to our local community both in contributing towards the development of community initiatives through our Community Sports & Education Trust, and, on a smaller scale, being a responsible neighbour for the residents of the Vicarage Road area.
The Trust is a registered charity running community sports and educational activities on behalf of Watford Football Club.
The Trust currently runs activity programmes within Hertfordshire and its surrounding areas, as well as in the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon.
With a dedicated, committed and extremely passionate team of staff the Trust is able to not only develop a wide range of creative projects but also deliver them to a high quality.
The Trust’s work currently focuses on four key themes which are Sports Participation, Social Inclusion, Health and Education. Each of the community projects and activities fits under one of these themes or cuts across a number of them.
In addition to this the Trust is involved in and able to help organisations who are developing local community facilities.
Please visit the Trust website at: http://www.watfordfccsetrust.com
CHARITABLE REQUESTS POLICY
We receive so many requests for assistance with charities and fund-raising that we have developed a policy to determine which will be put forward for consideration.
Preference will be given to organisations supporting the local community, and young people in particular. In addition to this, we also support the nominated Football League charities.
All requests should be put in writing so they can be given due consideration. We very much regret that it is not possible to meet all requests.
Requests should be sent by email or post to Gayle Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vicarage Road Stadium, Vicarage Road, Watford WD18 0ER
Watford Football Club and its Staff, full time, part time and volunteers either paid or unpaid have a duty of care to safeguard all children involved in Watford Football Club from harm. All children have a right to protection, and the needs of disabled children and others who may be particularly vulnerable must be taken into account.
Watford Football Club will ensure the safety and protection of all children involved in any activity or series of activities arranged by or in the name of the Club through adherence to the Child Protection guidelines adopted by Watford Football Club.
The policy, procedures and systems are mandatory for all staff whose employment involves working with children or vulnerable adults either paid or unpaid on behalf of the Club. All staff share the responsibility for the protection of children and vulnerable adults and will show respect and understanding for their rights, safety and welfare.
A child is defined as a person under the age of 18 (The Children Act 1989).
A full copy of this policy can be requested by contacting our HR department on 0844 856 1881.
Information and data on our customers may be stored on computer or manual files in order to maintain accurate records and may be analysed to assist us in providing our products and services to them.
We may, from time to time, contact customers by letter, telephone, email or otherwise to inform them about events, products or services that we think might be of interest to them.
Customers can advise us at any time if they wish to opt out of receiving this information and have the choice to opt out of just correspondence from third parties, or all correspondence. Remember, however, that opting out could stop the Club from contacting customers about things that may benefit them, for example ticket availability or a forthcoming event. Unless customers have given their consent, we will not provide information about them to third parties to use for their marketing purposes.
Customers have the right of access to information we hold about them on payment of a fee. If anything is inaccurate or incorrect, please let us know and we will correct it. If customers wish to exercise any of these rights then please contact: Operations Director, Watford FC, Vicarage Road Stadium, Watford, WD18 0ER. Customers should remember to state their full name and address.
Our software suppliers comply with our stated policy.
We are committed to ensure that Vicarage Road Stadium is always a safe and friendly environment for both Watford supporters and supporters of the visiting Club. Our stewards are fully trained to the nationally recognised level 2 qualification in Spectator Safety and will follow the official Ground Regulations strictly whilst also being on hand for any customer support required.
It is our ambition to make Vicarage Road Stadium a state of the art venue with a traditional feel. We are committed to ensuring all areas are cleaned to the highest standard and within tight financial constraints we aim to continually modernise our facilities.
The Club has designated the Rookery stand, Rous stand and the North West side of the Vicarage Road stand as areas for home supporters only. It is the policy of the Club that any visiting supporter found in these stands will be ejected from the stadium.
The Club has designated the North East side of the Vicarage Road stand as an area only for the visiting Club’s supporters to be seated.
It is the policy of the Club, through its ticket sales strategy, that seats are sold on availability to Watford supporters who are season ticket holders, those who have a ticket booking history with the Club, or a limited number through our Community Sports & Education Trust scheme.
The stadium safety policy can be found at: http://www.watfordfc.com/page/SafetyPolicy
The Football League’s Ground Regulations can be found at: http://www.watfordfc.com/page/GroundRegulationsArticle
MINIMUM LEVELS OF SERVICE YOU CAN EXPECT TO RECEIVE FROM US
At all times, we will endeavour to communicate efficiently and effectively regarding the Club's business dealings.
We will develop and implement systems and services that make transactions quick and easy for our customers.
CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS AND FEEDBACK
Despite our best intentions we acknowledge that we can always improve our products and services to our customers.
We actively encourage feedback – positive and negative – so that we can monitor our continuous improvement goals across all areas of the business including those stated in our customer charter.
If you wish to give feedback about a product or our service, then there are two key ways of getting in touch.
Either write to: Your Voice, Watford FC, Vicarage Road Stadium, Vicarage Road, Watford, WD18 0ER.
Or you can email us at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your correspondence will be acknowledged and forwarded to the appropriate manager(s) for attention – and action, if appropriate.
Customers are asked to include contact telephone numbers as part of their correspondence. We will contact customers to acknowledge receipt of their complaint, and, after subsequent investigation, we promise to reply - in writing, by email, by telephone or by fax - within a maximum of 14 days.
We undertake to review our Customer Charter annually and wherever possible implement changes and improvements in line with comments and feedback from our supporters.
Glyn Evans – Operations Director