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Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:06 am

Dear WonkyM,

Just a quick message to thank you again for your continued, unwavering support.  We are ever-grateful for your long-standing custom, and are so happy that you are continuing to enjoy your lessons with us!

Have a lovely weekend!

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:02 am

Dear Jenny,

I am very sorry you have found our policies to be frustrating.  I understand we were very strict and firmly denied your request to attend the lesson yesterday even though your child has chicken pox.  I do apologise if this came across in a stern manner, this was not our intention.  We take the health and safety of our students, teachers and homeowners extremely seriously, and although there were no other students swimming at the same time as you, lessons overlap and children inevitably come into contact with each other regardless.

Following your request for a make-up lesson or refund, we did indeed advise that unfortunately, we are unable to offer any make-ups/refunds/credits for any missed lessons.  This is because even if a child is absent, we still have to pay for the instructor's time and pool hire.

Thank you for your feedback about perhaps making this policy clearer.  We do highlight this, as well as a couple of other policies very clearly, in writing upon booking.  That way you don't have to read through the full Ts&Cs or small print to be made aware.  Nevertheless, we will certainly look into how we can make the policy clearer without overloading our clients with more emails.

I do hope your daughter isn't in too much discomfort, and wish her a swift recovery.

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by wonkymonkey » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:56 pm

I understand fully how frustrating it is to miss paid for lessons of any kind because your child is ill but I don’t see how Swimway or any other company should be expected to make up the loss and lose out. Swimway are not able to have someone else attend an individual lesson to make up the cost and it’s not their fault when a child is ill. It wouldn’t even have crossed my mind to ask for a refund and I haven’t read the T&Cs.

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by Jenny0620 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:11 pm

I have also had a bad experience with Swimway. I find their illness policy ridiculous. Yes I’m sure it is clearly stated. But for those who don’t always read the fine print and assume local companies who cater to children behave in a reasonable way, please be advised that if your child is ill for any reason you will lose your lesson, priced at nearly £50 / half hour. Unless your child is so sick that they miss 6 consecutive weeks of lessons, in which case you will kindly be reimbursed for the rest of the term. Again, this is stated in their T&C’s. Just flagging to people, like myself, who may not have focused on the fine print until it is too late. Buyer beware! And seriously at that price point, Swimway, you should be ashamed.

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:49 pm

Dear Maryg,

Thank you for your lovely message!  I am so glad to hear you've been having such a positive experience with us, and have remained with us for all these years.  Great that your youngest is also doing so well, and I hope they continue to do so for the next few years to come!

All the best, and happy swimming!

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by Maryg » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:01 pm

I’ve been with swimway for over three years now and they are excellent. My daughter has gained so much confidence since joining. She now swims so well on summer holidays and loves the water. My youngest is also loving it. I highly reccomend them. It’s a shame timing was a problem for you, but they really are a great who try to be accommodating.

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:52 am


Thank you once again for your continued support.  I cannot express how happy I am to hear how satisfied you are with our service.  While we are always looking for ways to improve, and will never stop trying to do so, it makes us so proud to hear our clients speaking positively about the work we do, in the water AND in the office!

While we would prefer the post be taken down, we feel it is better to not escalate this too much further.  I would rather take a step back and let it rest.  Hopefully, potential clients will read all the responses above and see for themselves how everything played out.

Once again, many thanks to you, and everyone else for taking the time to post your messages.  As always, I am happy to chat directly with anyone who has any further queries/concerns on 02088713972 (ext.2) or, Monday to Friday, 09:30-14:30.

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by CBLDN » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:22 pm

schoolsearching wrote:
Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:42 pm
I was treated very badly by SwimWay. My son had the first lesson of the afternoon at the Balham pool and the instructor showed up late. I phoned the office and the instructor LIED saying that they arrived on time. I have an email with a time stamp to the office proving that I was there and the instructor was late. Despite this I was not believed. I asked for a refund for the class but this was refused by the MD. I would not recommend SwimWay to anyone new and certainly will not be booking any swim classes through them again.
Firstly, I am new to this website and was pointed out this review by my wife who is equally as shocked as I am.
I felt the need to create an account to reply as what has been portrayed is not true and I was there so I should know and hopefully I will be able to give a a third party witness review of what actually happened on the day.

We have been taking our son swimming with SwimWay at this pool for over a year now. Our son can be difficult due to a speech and language delay, SwimWay have accommodated this and have been so very patient with our son along the way. He has already had numerous trips to hospital and SwimWay have either refunded the lessons or rolled them over without even asking for proof of the hospital stays.
I was present at the pool when the alleged 'no show of the instructor' on that day.

SwimWay are very clear in their T&C and ask that parents turn up no earlier than ten minutes before ones due lessons time so not disrupt the previous lesson, this is something that is emailed to all at least twice each term. As someone has already mentioned the lessons are in private houses so gaining access is swift and one can be in the pool within five minutes of entering.

On this day we arrived ten minutes before, got changed and entered the pool on time. I can confirm that Alejandro was on time and sat at the side of the pool, ready and waiting along with our instructor Jay. I find it unbelievable that someone would write a bad review or as I understand write a number of bad reviews on various websites based on turning up 15 minutes early, leaving straight away before a lesson is even due to start. The office has an answering machine on if a client is ill or needs to re-schedule a lesson and they always get back to you in a couple of hours. When a lesson was previously cancelled due to the pool temperature not being correct we were called 15 minutes before and given a full refund which shows you how professional the company is as most would make a child swim in a cool pool!

I suggest that this post is taken down and ADMIN please do contact me directly if you need this clarifying. A post which is not accurate such as this one can be very damaging to a small company who provide a fantastic local service. If I was SwimWay I would be seeking advice as this is pure defamation and damaging.

SwimWay is fantastic and we hope that they will be a very long time.


Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:25 am

Dear FlowerM,

Thank you for your message - we are so happy to hear how happy you have been with your lessons!  It always makes us proud to hear feedback like this as we work extremely hard to ensure our service standards meet the expectations of our clients.

Just to make everything 100% clear and transparent though, SchoolS did initially ask for a refund for the one lesson only.  However, following our investigations mentioned above (confirmations from both instructors and a client that everyone was on site, on time), we refused this request.  It seems the client left the site at around 14:45, which is 5 minutes before they were supposed to arrive for their 15:00 lesson.  We felt it would be unfair to penalise Alejandro given that, in our opinion, he was not at fault.

Following our refusal of the refund for the lesson, SchoolS then requested a refund for the term.

I just thought it best to ensure the procedures we followed were clearly laid out for anyone reading this.

Thank you again for taking the time to post your opinion and feedback!

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by Flowermummy » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:01 pm

Our children swim with swimway too, we've been using them for more than 1 and a half years with no problems. We are at Balham, we don't have Alejandro but know him/have spoken with him on many occasions. He is a very nice guy, he has been working there for at least 1 year, so he is not a rogue who would lie just to cover up being late... He is also a very good teacher, I wish we had him actually!
So, schoolsearching, IMO you jumped the gun by getting super annoyed about this misunderstanding.... you should have pushed for a refund of your first lesson but continued with Alejandro as he is a great teacher. Your son sounds very young (not school age, if you can go to swimming at 3pm), so no doubt you still have a long time to teach him swimming (generally in schools they start swimming in Y1, and it's at that stage that it really helps if you child can do it already). Best of luck with finding a new swim school.

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:15 am

Dear WhizzB,

Further to the above, I thought it appropriate to mention that we refunded SchoolS for the term as per her own request.  I could perhaps have made that more apparent in my original response.  Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by SwimWay » Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:12 am

Dear Oab/WonkyM,

Thank you for your support and feedback.  We will most certainly take what you, as well as WhizzB, have said on board to ensure we do not experience such a negative response in the future.

We felt it would be unfair to not support our head coach and trust in what he told us.  Especially when fully backed by our second instructor and a client who were on site at the same time.  If an instructor is late, they simply tell us and we deal with it - there is absolutely no reason for them to lie about it.  Especially for someone like Alejandro, who has a sterling reputation at our company.  He was quite upset when he read the review.

You are right in that it may be more productive to respond in another manner to avoid this kind of blowback.  We always do, and always will keep this in mind for any future issues where we are at fault.

As previously mentioned, we truly appreciate positive and negative feedback to ensure our service is constantly monitored, assessed and improved.  We welcome the chance to openly discuss and allow others their helpful input.

Will McCabe
SwimWay Operations Manager

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by wonkymonkey » Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:42 pm

Both my children have swimming lessons with Swimway and specifically with Alejandro.  My eldest learnt to swim very quickly (half a term) and is super confident now which is amazing given she didn't even want to get in the water at the start of her first lesson.  Alejandro was very calm in his approach at the start and is exceptional at encouraging the children and making the lessons fun. 

I have only good things to say about Swimway and all the parents I've met there feel the same. I'm not commenting specifically about the situation for the OP but I did want to make sure there were balanced reviews here. I am a very strong supporter of their teaching methods.  We have had swimming lessons previously at two other places and Swimway is way ahead of them in terms of teaching quality and the pool environment.  I would strongly recommend to anyone.

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by oab » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:41 pm

My 2 kids take swimming classes with swimway.
We used their Balham pool and know Alejandro (not my kids teacher but he was always around when we were there) - he is a very nice guy (and a good teacher too), and I find it hard to believe he would have lied. Of course I can’t tell for sure but perhaps this was a misunderstanding more than anything else??
Also be mindful of the fact that they run classes in people’s homes (one of their unique selling points really , as the environment is cosier for young children) and this means they need to stick by what is agreed with the house owners - it may be that your instructor can’t actually come in the house before a certain time or they don’t allow buggies in the house, etc.

To swimway - perhaps it’s a good idea to be more flexible with your refund policy in the future? Of course you run a business and have to pay fixed costs, etc ... but the reality is a bad customer review will stay online forever and can put off new customers ...

Anyways, as all other posts on this thread were negative I thought I had to add that our experience was positive.

Re: SwimWay swimming school - WOULD NOT RECOMMEND

by whizzbang » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:02 pm

WOW Swimway, quite an odd response to schoolsearching's post.
'we don't want to force you to swim with us so we've cancelled everything'. Really?
Not thinking better to be the bigger person / company?