Membership Program

Login or Register to Hide This Ad

BBW

Jun 10, 2010
366
491
63
Dinwiddie County, VA
I have read the whole thread and the BGWFans articles, but am a little lost - what was the final (or, final to this point) outcome on the refunds/discounts - who qualified for those, as best as you guys can tell? Was it folks who recently bought a pass under the old program, and paid in full rather than signing up for EZ Pay? Still trying to wrap my head around those refunds, or park credits, or whatever they were -- and now this Summer Membership thing.

Gah, BGW, get it together! Though I'm one who always expects inconsistent information and treatment from CS ... never get the same story twice with BGW on much of anything, big or small.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jornor
Aug 21, 2013
197
312
63
Winston Salem NC
You would think with all the troubles SEAS is having with attendance, especially at flagship Sea World Orlando, they would focus on CS a lot more. This change in what is being offered is a slap in the face to all of us and is yet again another realization of what they really think of us.

As stated before they should have offered a little more for the switch to unlimited and like any sale, snooze you lose. They just failed on so many levels; no online options to sign up, long waits to call, misinformation, double billing, to refund or not refund ... :irritated:
I really hope they get it together and correct this. On a side note they still have not set the date for the ChristmasTown Dash and from the Facebook page they have said they have problems with selecting the date with the park and its partners. With all the fails from the park this does and does not surprise me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jornor and tursiops
Mar 16, 2016
2,677
5,166
113
So I did some research into it last night/this morning, and I want to make this qualifier early I'm not defending the park with this statement, and have found something interesting:

Most major chain parks in America have blanket benefits to memberships. So if you get the 2 park pass at Dollywood or Silver Dollar City, the price is slightly different, but the benefits are the same. As far as I could see you get the same thing with Six Flags. All the parks get very similar benefits for the same level of the pass, but the price depends on which park you consider your 'home park'. Again, same story over at Cedar Fair. Much smaller but Parques Reunidos does the same thing with slightly different pricing but same benefits.

SEAS was just about the only one I looked at with different pricing, different benefits, even different levels for their memberships at all the different parks. No wonder corporate CS has a problem with keeping everything straight and being able to give consistent answers.

Then on top of that, you got the park trying to prove a new thing is working, so they keep changing the add ons to what you get for picking it up, and there's even more confusion. And on top of that, you get pass holders/members getting upset with you because things aren't what they initially were shown as.

SEAS Corporate needs to slam the foot down, arrange their parks into tiers, decide on pass/member language, and at the corporate level put down what each level gets in their benefits. Make it so that no matter what park I go to, no matter which one I call, or if I go onto the website, I'm getting the same and consistent information.

So if I had an in to talk to anyone, I would really press the idea that they need to come up with flat benefits across the parks and same levels. They really need to. Otherwise they need to have a CS team at every park, and when you call in the system needs to be able to re-route you to that specific parks CS team.
 

Zimmy

Nessie wants you to look into yourself
Sep 28, 2013
5,200
7,493
113
Virginia Beach
If I had a crystal ball I would guess that they were getting hammered by folks who, "did not know and it just isn't fair..." or "how can you do this to meeeeee.... I have been a loyal customer for 300 bazillion years..." and so on. So at the moment they just fighting the "barbarians at the gate" with no mind to what tomorrow will bring. In other words, "make the bad man go away!!"
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
8,385
21,128
113
Arlington, VA
BBW said:
I have read the whole thread and the BGWFans articles, but am a little lost - what was the final (or, final to this point) outcome on the refunds/discounts - who qualified for those, as best as you guys can tell? Was it folks who recently bought a pass under the old program, and paid in full rather than signing up for EZ Pay?  Still trying to wrap my head around those refunds, or park credits, or whatever they were -- and now this Summer Membership thing.  

Gah, BGW, get it together!  Though I'm one who always expects inconsistent information and treatment from CS ... never get the same story twice with BGW on much of anything, big or small.
We asked specifically about the unexpected refunds. The official word from the park was:

BGW Marketing said:
​We appreciate the interest in the parks’ new Membership Program and apologize for any confusion regarding conversion. There are certain Pass conversions that are eligible for refunds or credits for new Membership activation; however this does not apply in all situations. Please reference the scenarios below that outline our Annual Pass holder refund policy when converting to the new Membership Program.

1.      Pass holders currently on EZpay, and who are up-to-date with their monthly payments, may cancel their current Pass and start a new monthly EZpay commitment under the new Membership Program. Penalties and/or refunds do not apply.

2.      Pass holders who purchased their Pass with a one-time payment at full price prior to Oct. 28, 2017 will be credited for the remaining months before their Pass expires. For example, if they paid full price for a Pass in July 2017, they will be credited for the remaining unused months of March, April, May and June 2018.

3.      Pass holders who purchased their Pass with a one-time payment at full price after Oct. 28, 2017 will be credited the entire value of their Pass toward the purchase of a new Membership.

We value our Pass holders and are excited to welcome our new Members. For questions regarding Membership conversion, please email BGWGuestRelations@buschgardens.com.
That said, we were also told that all (mistakenly?) promised refunds would be honored.  So, in theory, anyone who was told to expect money back should receive it.  There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason the the time frames or dollar amounts, so I don't know exactly how they will be calculated.  Additionally, some people were given park credits in lieu of money.

To date I have heard of a few people receiving their refunds.  I, personally, have not received mine, and since they gave me no receipt, I am not really sure how to address the problem.
 
Mar 16, 2016
2,677
5,166
113
Nicole said:
BGW Marketing said:
​We appreciate the interest in the parks’ new Membership Program and apologize for any confusion regarding conversion. There are certain Pass conversions that are eligible for refunds or credits for new Membership activation; however this does not apply in all situations. Please reference the scenarios below that outline our Annual Pass holder refund policy when converting to the new Membership Program.

1.      Pass holders currently on EZpay, and who are up-to-date with their monthly payments, may cancel their current Pass and start a new monthly EZpay commitment under the new Membership Program. Penalties and/or refunds do not apply.

2.      Pass holders who purchased their Pass with a one-time payment at full price prior to Oct. 28, 2017 will be credited for the remaining months before their Pass expires. For example, if they paid full price for a Pass in July 2017, they will be credited for the remaining unused months of March, April, May and June 2018.

3.      Pass holders who purchased their Pass with a one-time payment at full price after Oct. 28, 2017 will be credited the entire value of their Pass toward the purchase of a new Membership.

We value our Pass holders and are excited to welcome our new Members. For questions regarding Membership conversion, please email BGWGuestRelations@buschgardens.com.
That said, we were also told that all (mistakenly?) promised refunds would be honored.  So, in theory, anyone who was told to expect money back should receive it.  There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason the the time frames or dollar amounts, so I don't know exactly how they will be calculated.  Additionally, some people were given park credits in lieu of money.

To date I have heard of a few people receiving their refunds.  I, personally, have not received mine, and since they gave me no receipt, I am not really sure how to address the problem.
That actually makes sense to me. Somewhat.

On EZPay, changing to membership means you haven't paid for months you haven't used, so you don't need a refund. If you paid in full, you've payed for months you haven't used yet, so if they didn't refund they are double charging you.

Still doesn't make sense that in order to not be double charged on my EZPay, I had to call the day before my EZPay due date and change everything then.
 
Jun 6, 2013
517
809
93
We were double charged for March, i doubt we'll get a refund, but HAD to upgrade then to get the best deal. Immediately after, the deal got extended. Meaning we could have waited till April. And now there's another deal! As said above, they need consistency. Every park offering the same benefits, every day.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
8,385
21,128
113
Arlington, VA
The official policy makes some sense. The other refunds that people were promised the first week didn't.

That said, regardless of whether we should have been told we would be given refunds, it is not OK that we still haven't received them.
 

Zachary

𝓡oyal 𝓜ango 𝓒réme Frappuccino Survivor
Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
11,479
26,936
113
Newport News, VA
twitter.com
Zimmy said:
If I had a crystal ball I would guess that they were getting hammered by folks who, "did not know and it just isn't fair..." or "how can you do this to meeeeee....  I have been a loyal customer for 300 bazillion years..."  and so on.  So at the moment they just fighting the "barbarians at the gate" with no mind to what tomorrow will bring.  In other words, "make the bad man go away!!"
As I've said in reference to the refunds, I have no problem with customer service being allowed to bend rules a bit to satisfy unhappy customers.

Whenever a customer says something about how they tried to sign up during the promotion period but [insert excuse here], a customer service representative should totally be able to say "Oh! I'm so sorry about that! Here, let me toss in two free single-ride QQs with these passes for your inconvenience."

The issue is that instead of dealing with the occasional customer service issue, they have put forward a public promotion to sell new memberships that is better than what they claimed was the best offer while still having not delivered on their promises of more perks for those who have already bought in.
 
Apr 30, 2015
483
578
93
Nicole said:
We posted thoughts about the April Summer Rewards promotion.

Spoiler: we were not positive.
You know sometimes you just cant be positive. It needed to be addressed and you did it the best way possible. It was a well thought out and written article that stated the facts.The management at the park put no thought into the needs/ wants of the members who did them essentially the favor of signing up early. Plus lets be honest its not a good move to screw around with the fanbase when you are already up shitz creek financially. It doesn't help matters that now they have jeopardized the working relationship they have with the core people here at Parkfans. They probably will never admit it but they really just messed up.
 
Apr 30, 2015
483
578
93
Nicole said:
Thank you so much!  I really am frustrated with how they are handling this whole Membership program, and I worry that they have lost the vision and interest in sticking to the original goals.
That is a legitimate worry Nicole. I kinda feel like "The olde country" may soon also symbolize the CS and honesty of years long gone. The backlash from this is going to be painful. Someone is going to get hurt. I haven't figured out who yet. I would like to say if a company is smart they will see this and go into damage control. But some decisions as of late make me wonder if it would take a tidal wave of discontent to reach the management and if it does will they care? Unfortunately if i had to guess it would be the pass members feeling the pain. Because right now there has to be a lot of trust rebuilt especially for ones like yourself and Zachary. The ones who put your personal reputation on the line to help them. I just hope they realize the old adage "Once bitten twice shy" can really apply to more things than most people think. I wonder how many on the fence people will change their minds about membership after this? I guess time will tell.
 
Jun 6, 2013
517
809
93
It's another indication SEAS doesn't have a clue how to run a company, especially one that is in a tough position. It might take more than a change in leadership to fix this ship.
 
Mar 16, 2016
2,677
5,166
113
Peej1212 said:
That is a legitimate worry Nicole. I kinda feel like "The olde country" may soon also symbolize the CS and honesty of years long gone. The backlash from this is going to be painful. Someone is going to get hurt. I haven't figured out who yet. I would like to say if a company is smart they will see this and go into damage control. But some decisions as of late make me wonder if it would take a tidal wave of discontent to reach the management and if it does will they care? Unfortunately if i had to guess it would be the pass members feeling the pain. Because right now there has to be a lot of trust rebuilt especially for ones like yourself and Zachary. The ones who put your personal reputation on the line to help them. I just hope they realize the old adage "Once bitten twice shy" can really apply to more things than most people think. I wonder how many on the fence people will change their minds about membership after this? I guess time will tell.
And that's part of what I think is an issue with SEAS as a whole company. They react rather than get out in front. It's hurting them in so many ways now. From Blackfish, to financial problems, to this. How hard is it to be out in front?

Like I said before (with why they should of waited): Rip the bandaid! Do it once, deal with the backlash, move on.

They should have been pushing it a little better. Want to do the extension because of phone wait times? Fine, but don't put it out there. Let people call in, make their case, then give it to them. Or as Zachary said, give the 2 QQ and Digital Pass at that time. Do it internally as a 'sorry' on case by case, rather than put it out there for anyone.

This reeks so much of people calling to get the deal, waiting until the last minute, not getting through, and whining rather than just doing it. I dunno maybe this is my attitude of little pity for those who wait.

It's like the people that complain that they can't get an appointment for their taxes because they didn't call until April 10th, when you have known that the deadline is the 15th. I do mine as soon as I get my W-2's so I don't have to worry about it. Same thing here.

Don't complain it isn't fair because you waited to get it done and missed out on the opportunity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peej1212 and Nicole

Zimmy

Nessie wants you to look into yourself
Sep 28, 2013
5,200
7,493
113
Virginia Beach
Zachary said:
As I've said in reference to the refunds, I have no problem with customer service being allowed to bend rules a bit to satisfy unhappy customers.

Whenever a customer says something about how they tried to sign up during the promotion period but [insert excuse here], a customer service representative should totally be able to say "Oh! I'm so sorry about that! Here, let me toss in two free single-ride QQs with these passes for your inconvenience."

The issue is that instead of dealing with the occasional customer service issue, they have put forward a public promotion to sell new memberships that is better than what they claimed was the best offer while still having not delivered on their promises of more perks for those who have already bought in.
To be clear I did not mean on a onesee twosee basis, I meant as a matter of course. I completely agree with you that on an individual basis they have to deal with the "alligator that is closest to the boat" and that a free meal or QQ or discount are a good way. Wholesale after a great deal of whining a bad precedent. This whole thing is an assumption and without evidence, and therefor potentially less useful then the electrons carrying the data. (potential... see what I did there... anyone... is this thing on?)
 

Lolers

Wavering faith will not serve you well
Sep 14, 2014
323
953
93
Zachary said:
The issue is that instead of dealing with the occasional customer service issue, they have put forward a public promotion to sell new memberships that is better than what they claimed was the best offer while still having not delivered on their promises of more perks for those who have already bought in.
Similar to sales strategies used by cable/internet/phone companies, but with a bonus "screw you" twist.

And asking those on the forum for membership perk ideas and then turning around and offering those perks to non-members? For members, that's kind of like an employee having to train their replacement after being fired.

I'm just bursting with analogies this morning.
 

bwick29

You had me at "meat tornado".
Mar 29, 2018
14
54
13
Virginia
www.ben-ross.net
[split] Call for Ideas: New Membership Program Perks

BGW Family said:
Yes. "New" members get Quick Queue passes and a digital download. "Old" members get the shaft.
:unsure: :mad: :'( ;) :evilgrin:

...and the fantastic shirts...that you have to pay for.
As someone who jumped into the membership the day the email went out, this is really frustrating. We purchase quick queues nearly every time we go to the park and this would've been a huge perk for us. $2/month extra when single ride QQ normally cost ~$40 each is a no-brainer. Saving $24 over the course of a year is nothing in comparison.

We'd even drop our current rate and take the higher one just to get this perk.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
8,385
21,128
113
Arlington, VA
RE: Call for Ideas: New Membership Program Perks

For clarity, the Summer Rewards promotion includes two single use QQs and a single digital download. The QQs are worth up to $12 each.

The promotional perks are definitely worth more than the $2 monthly discount, but not that much more.
 
Aug 7, 2012
616
584
93
I saw on Facebook that BGW is offering some new perks with the membership program. The membership payments are at full price but no w with 2 free single rider queues and 7 free digital pics. I would have loved to have those included with my pass.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jornor
Login or Register to Hide This Ad