Jump to content

Fox 19: Plaintiffs land key victory in suit against Kings Island owner over 2020 season passes


BoddaH1994
 Share

Recommended Posts

1 minute ago, IBEW_Sparky said:

I don't disagree one bit, had a refund been offered instead of 2021 free, Id have taken it.  The option should have at least been on the table due to extenuating circumstances.  

You would have taken a refund over an extra season? I would understand if someone planned a three day visit in May and could not reschedule, but for most people the season and a half was a no brainer. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Ryan, I would have.  I went to the park a TON in 2009, 10, and 11.... and every year since then Ive used it enough to break even but my visits chainwide have decreased yearly.  In the years in question (20-21) I went once in 20, and three times in 21 (2 that I used my pass and Pride Night).  In other words, I went enough in 20 AND 21 to break even on my pass (3 trips) for one year.  I am not saying I dont appreciate the company doing what they did, it was a good business move, I am saying what I said..... the offer should have been on the table.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good! As much as i hate frivolous lawsuits, this one is justified.

Cedar Fair is not exactly the shining example of ethical business towards their customers.  Sure, they gave a season for free to the few that came in 2020, but an ethical business always offers refunds on unused purchase.   Cedar Fair chose to keep eveyones money through 2020 to give themselves cash flow instead of ethically offering refunds.

This is this same company that loves to false advertise/bait and switch their park hours.  Including closing parks early simply due to low attendance.

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, super7 said:

Good! As much as i hate frivolous lawsuits, this one is justified.

Cedar Fair is not exactly the shining example of ethical business towards their customers.  Sure, they gave a season for free to the few that came in 2020, but an ethical business always offers refunds on unused purchase.   Cedar Fair chose to keep eveyones money through 2020 to give themselves cash flow instead of ethically offering refunds.

This is this same company that loves to false advertise/bait and switch their park hours.  Including closing parks early simply due to low attendance.

I’ve heard that they will take care of you if you purchased a ticket and they closed early. I’m not sure about that. I hope it’s true. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I’ve heard that they will take care of you if you purchased a ticket and they closed early. I’m not sure about that. I hope it’s true. 

They probably give a comp ticket but people that traveled have already spent money on gas and lodging.  
 

I have been burnt by Cedar Fair multiple times after traveling.   At Carowinds, they closed early on a clear day that was in the 50s.    Multiple times at Kings Dominion because of light rain.  And even KI at Winterfest because of rain. 
 

The weather conditions on all of those days were good enough for operations but attendance was low 

The mindset of this low ethics company is that if a low attendance is mostly made up of passholders, it’s ok to close early because they already have your money. 
 

Just like the 2020 season passes.   I’m sure many families could have used the refund money to get through that hard year instead of financing Cedar Fair interest free 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me, "no refunds" includes even when "Acts of God" shut down the park. That includes weather and international pandemics. It's written on the ticket and its a risk we all accept when we buy and travel. Some people could have used that money, sure, but the pandemic hurt Cedar Fair more than it hurt the people who simply lost out on the 2020 season.

Also, isn't closing early for super low attendance kind of an industry thing? I know Paramount did it.

How long does the park keep visit records for passes? They could just offer a refund to anyone that didn't get 3 visits in 2020 and 2021 (and a partial refund to those with 1 or 2).

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, super7 said:

They probably give a comp ticket but people that traveled have already spent money on gas and lodging.  
 

I have been burnt by Cedar Fair multiple times after traveling.   At Carowinds, they closed early on a clear day that was in the 50s.    Multiple times at Kings Dominion because of light rain.  And even KI at Winterfest because of rain. 
 

The weather conditions on all of those days were good enough for operations but attendance was low 

The mindset of this low ethics company is that if a low attendance is mostly made up of passholders, it’s ok to close early because they already have your money. 
 

Just like the 2020 season passes.   I’m sure many families could have used the refund money to get through that hard year instead of financing Cedar Fair interest free 

I'm just curious...why do you continue to patronize a company and/or industry that seemingly do nothing to make you happy and does everything that makes your miserable?

  • Like 3
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, BeeastFarmer said:

I'm just curious...why do you continue to patronize a company and/or industry that seemingly do nothing to make you happy and does everything that makes your miserable?

He can enjoy the park and he can also think it isn’t perfect. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cedar Fair didn't have to offer anything considering the below is listed as the terms of agreement.   They were trying to make most customers happy and not sink the company from missing a year of income. 

I agree that all ticket sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL – NO REFUNDS, NO TRANSFERS OR EXCHANGES, NO RAIN CHECKS, NOT VALID FOR CASH.
All operating dates and hours are subject to change without notice.
All rides and attractions are subject to closings and cancellations for weather or other conditions.
Operating dates are subject to change without notice.
All attractions are subject to closing and cancellations for weather or other conditions.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, IBEW_Sparky said:

I don't disagree one bit, had a refund been offered instead of 2021 free, Id have taken it.  The option should have at least been on the table due to extenuating circumstances.  

I agree the additional season was a good benefit to add that I'm sure many benefitted from, but there were likely a few that didn't. Either had other 2021 plans that made it to where they couldn't get out to the park that year, or even if it was a matter of someone that was uncomfortable being out in crowds like that through the time period.  Even if the legalese when buying the passes protects the park, it would be good customer service to provide the option. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That’s right.  They didn’t HAVE to offer refunds.  They have that disclaimer. 
 

im saying it would have been the ethical thing to do.  
 

 I worked in an industry that had weather related sporting events.   Virtually every venue had a NO refund policy.    But one owner I worked for did offer refunds.  Because he was a decent ethical person.    Also people that don’t get what they pay for don’t come back!

it’s a little sad that people are so used to low ethic behavior these days they accept it. 

 

8 hours ago, BeeastFarmer said:

I'm just curious...why do you continue to patronize a company and/or industry that seemingly do nothing to make you happy and does everything that makes your miserable?

I came close to not coming back this year because of it.   I won’t travel long distance to those parks anymore.  Too risky if the weather isn’t perfect.   The only reason I have a 2022 pass Is because Winterfest is my favorite time of year.   

 

9 hours ago, DoomPlague said:

To me, "no refunds" includes even when "Acts of God" shut down the park. That includes weather and international pandemics. It's written on the ticket and its a risk we all accept when we buy and travel. Some people could have used that money, sure, but the pandemic hurt Cedar Fair more than it hurt the people who simply lost out on the 2020 season.

Also, isn't closing early for super low attendance kind of an industry thing? I know Paramount did it.

How long does the park keep visit records for passes? They could just offer a refund to anyone that didn't get 3 visits in 2020 and 2021 (and a partial refund to those with 1 or 2).

This has only become an industry standard over recent years.   It used to be thst parks operated during their advertised hours (and 10a to 10 pwas standard as well).  People have allowed these companies to start operating like this 

The cheap season passes allow the companies  to treat their customers less than stellar   They already have the customers money and they believe the customers will still come back because of the cheap season pass  

one pays for what they get   That’s for sure lol 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, super7 said:

I came close to not coming back this year because of it.   I won’t travel long distance to those parks anymore.  Too risky if the weather isn’t perfect.   The only reason I have a 2022 pass Is because Winterfest is my favorite time of year.   

You are actually pointing out an industry-wide conundrum:

If the weather is bad then you don’t make money.

If you close early it chisels away at the integrity of the business. 
 

The Beach was notorious for closing at the first drop of rain. A few months in, any time there was a chance of rain later in the day then no one came, regardless of the current weather. With such a narrow window of a season, any bad day was like a punch in the face and any 90°+ day was like a full body massage. Often the rain never came. Turning a massage day into a punch-in-the-face day really really hurt. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Evac

33 minutes ago, BoddaH1994 said:

You are actually pointing out an industry-wide conundrum:

If the weather is bad then you don’t make money.

If you close early it chisels away at the integrity of the business. 
 

The Beach was notorious for closing at the first drop of rain. A few months in, any time there was a chance of rain later in the day then no one came, regardless of the current weather. With such a narrow window of a season, any bad day was like a punch in the face and any 90°+ day was like a full body massage. Often the rain never came. Turning a massage day into a punch-in-the-face day really really hurt. 

Exactly.   People won’t come on bad weather days once a park has a reputation for closing due to “weather” when it’s really attendance.    

The parks dig their own grave buy closing early,   As a result it  keeos people away on future bad weather days and making it impossible to make profits on these days due up their reputation. 
 

Another indirect negative affect of this policy is that the parks are overcrowded on good weather days leading to a less enjoyable experience  

I woukd cross the street to go to that crap hole park in Pittsburgh    That’s 100% because of their “close if it rains” policy  

Kings Island hasn’t closed too many times during the weather like KIngs Dominion (who is becoming notorious like Kennywood) and Carowinds   However the early closing at Winterfest last year was 100% for attendance   The rain stopped   And that’s just au unethical  business practice IMO      
 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the subject of The Beach, I've always found that in a WATERPARK, either closing early or freaking out and bailing like you're gonna melt from the rain while in a WATERPARK (both assuming it's not storming) is really dumb.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, flightoffear1996 said:

Cedar Fair didn't have to offer anything considering the below is listed as the terms of agreement.   They were trying to make most customers happy and not sink the company from missing a year of income. 

I agree that all ticket sales are final. There are no refunds or exchanges.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL – NO REFUNDS, NO TRANSFERS OR EXCHANGES, NO RAIN CHECKS, NOT VALID FOR CASH.
All operating dates and hours are subject to change without notice.
All rides and attractions are subject to closings and cancellations for weather or other conditions.
Operating dates are subject to change without notice.
All attractions are subject to closing and cancellations for weather or other conditions.

 

Disclaimers found to not be reasonable as evidenced in this case are thrown out routinely. Reason is always used in evaluating the validity of the terms even when agreed upon by the paying customer.

If the logic of your first sentence above was taken to to the letter of the law then the disclaimer--

"All operating dates and hours are subject to change without notice."

--could mean that after you bought your pass the park could in theory decide that the 2022 operating season now consists of 3 Saturdays in July and you would have no recourse.

The park did not of course go to this length in 2020, but my argument is that there is a point at which changes to an operating season become unreasonable and that it is a judge/jury's job to make that determination.

I think the park should have honored refund requests made in good faith in 2020. The 2020 pass people bought (many of which were purchased before the pandemic) was for a normal 2020 operating season, not a severely reduced 2020 season and a 2021 season.

Although the "deal" of a shortened, masked 2020 with an extension through the 2021 season was happily accepted by most (including me), I can easily see how some wouldn't have felt that way. People tied up money for a year waiting for a normal year in 2021 they thought they would get in 2020.

Some did not go in 2020 at all due to concern over the virus, the discomfort of wearing a mask, or the less than ideal ride situation of half capacity trains. Life situations change over a year so a replacement is not an acceptable remedy for everyone.

*This is not at all a criticism of daily park operations during the pandemic. It is just an opinion that under the circumstances, not refunding money to those who honestly sought a refund was not reasonable not to mention poor customer relations.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Should be noted for those that didn't read the article the "key victory" was that the case is allowed to proceed.  Cedar Point's dismissal was rejected.  No plaintiff has won anything yet, the judge ruled that the dismissal request was rejected and the case was allowed to proceed.  Getting a dismissal is much harder than winning a case and usually just serves as a ways for both sides lawyers to get more money for their time.  I wonder, since a dismissal is usually not a "usual" and "possibly unforeseen" part of a court case if the lawyers for the plaintiff gave them a prorated bill for this portion of the case.....

What exactly was won by the plaintiffs except for the right to continue in a lawsuit they will probably loose and/or be outspent on by the defense?  I don't consider it to be a "key victory", just another example of they ways in which our over-worked judicial system is exploited to fill the pockets of lawyers and delay proceedings allowing both sides witnesses to submit a "I do not recall" statement on the stand. 

As far as the lawsuit itself, I believe there are risks inherent to any transaction.  Anytime you buy something there are inherent risks.  A season pass is no different.  Where is all the outrage of the people who purchase the platinum dining plan now that Subway is no longer at Cedar Point?  It was there last year and no one mentioned it being taken away before passes went on sale.  In today's political climate I'm actually shocked that no one has sued the CDC over their ability not to get a refund for 2020 (I'm sure many have tried.)  In my opinion a lot of lawsuits are just ways for people to try and win a "lottery", they just don't realize they probably have a better chance of winning money by using the lawyer fees to buy lottery tickets.  It's just a thought, have a good day.  (kudos to Beau)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, robintodd said:

As far as the lawsuit itself, I believe there are risks inherent to any transaction.  Anytime you buy something there are inherent risks.

That's true, but remember the risks are on both sides for buyers and sellers, especially for the buying/selling of a future good or service.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In this case, It will not be in any way a "lottery win", though I do agree with you and understand exactly what you are saying.  The most that will be awarded will be the cost of the season pass(es) that the plaintiff(s) spent on them, as there will be no just cause for any additional damage awards.  If there is any time for CF to show they have the slightest iota of concern for their supporters and patrons by settling this, it is now.  Do I hope that the plaintiff(s) in this case win?  ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Do I hope it turns into a bandwagon class action?  Absolutely not, and that is the only thing that could keep me from cheering the plantiff(s) in this particular case on, because there is a high probability of that due to exactly what you mentioned about the "lottery win" of sorts.  As a non-attorney, I am not well educated in whether or not there can be some form of stipulation in a case win or settlement put in place to avoid such, but if there is I hope it can be avoided as I dont particularly want to see this turn into that.  I simply want it to be precedent for future circumstances similar to the circumstances in 2020/21 which I hope we NEVER again have.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I no don’t believe this is a lottery win lawsuit.   The plaintiffs are asking for a partial refund of their own money fir something the defendant sold, but couldn’t provide.  

 

 I don’t  believe that are trying to make money if this lawsuit, although with the messed up US legal system the lawyers will I’d Cedar Fair loses and has to pay attorney fees.  Just get back their own money for which they got nothing  

To me it sounds like a lawsuit of principal fir the plaintiffs more than it is about the money    

I’m always happy to see citizens step up against sleazy businesses practices    IMO a company that doesn’t offer refunds for 2020 is in that category    
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, super7 said:

I no don’t believe this is a lottery win lawsuit.   The plaintiffs are asking for a partial refund of their own money fir something the defendant sold, but couldn’t provide.  

 

 I don’t  believe that are trying to make money if this lawsuit, although with the messed up US legal system the lawyers will I’d Cedar Fair loses and has to pay attorney fees.  Just get back their own money for which they got nothing  

To me it sounds like a lawsuit of principal fir the plaintiffs more than it is about the money    

I’m always happy to see citizens step up against sleazy businesses practices    IMO a company that doesn’t offer refunds for 2020 is in that category    
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

I think you’re right. Out the door, I think that if there is widespread retribution you’ll see a check for $5, or something like a voucher for a half-off BAF ticket or something. 
 

I guess in hindsight, they should have offered the option of a refund or the free tack-on of the 2021 season. For the vast majority of us, the 2021 thing would be a no brainer. But some of you have pointed out specific use cases where this wouldn’t work.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m surprised that Cedar Fair is fighting this and paying attorney fees for it.    And now it’s bad publicity.     It would have been MUCH easier and quieter just to give refunds.      

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^It is only bad publicity to anyone who feels that the park’s addition of a free year was not a fair compensation…(Imho) those people are in the minority…the majority of the people are just looking at this lawsuit and rolling their eyes. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, super7 said:

I’m surprised that Cedar Fair is fighting this and paying attorney fees for it.    And now it’s bad publicity.     It would have been MUCH easier and quieter just to give refunds.      

I would think most large companies have attorneys on the payroll so as to not get gouged by the hour.  Also in a class action suit it seems like 80 - 90 percent of the award goes to attorney fees with very little going to the people in the class action (been involved in a couple, none of which I needed to opt into). 

As as far as the public's opinion, just look at the crowds the first two weekends and you'll see they have nothing to worry about as far as season pass sales falling off.  Cedar Fair, just like Disney, will be fine.  In the United States Big Business always is.  (yea capitalism)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, robintodd said:

 

As as far as the public's opinion, just look at the crowds the first two weekends and you'll see they have nothing to worry about as far as season pass sales falling off.  Cedar Fair, just like Disney, will be fine.  In the United States Big Business always is.  (yea capitalism)

This is very true.  Because of that last unfortunate sentence and what is parenthesized, I know that any large company who's business practices I am unsatisfied with will not be affected one iota by my lack of patronage, and I have to be satisfied with my personal decisions knowing that.  And before the flamers even start Im just going to shut them up now..... NO I am not saying I would/will boycott CF over something like this, I am simply saying that the option should have been on the table and I personally feel CF could have done it better in this case.  Of course, I feel the same way about how I feel CF should/could have made passholder preview day a passholder preview WEEKEND like HW has chosen to do and lessened the crapshow on the 15th since we KNOW CF as a whole can absorb that "loss" (not really a loss because most of the passholders here give them enough of their per-caps to offset it) better than smaller parks, but thats a different topic for another time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, robintodd said:

I would think most large companies have attorneys on the payroll so as to not get gouged by the hour.  Also in a class action suit it seems like 80 - 90 percent of the award goes to attorney fees with very little going to the people in the class action (been involved in a couple, none of which I needed to opt into). 

As as far as the public's opinion, just look at the crowds the first two weekends and you'll see they have nothing to worry about as far as season pass sales falling off.  Cedar Fair, just like Disney, will be fine.  In the United States Big Business always is.  (yea capitalism)

Oh they aren’t going out of business because of this. 
 

But if the plaintiffs win, and I hope they do, the possu refunds from unused season passes will now be public knowledge  

Cedar Fair doesn’t provide what is advertised at some of their ever closing parks like Kings Dominion and Carowinds    This will possibly open the gate to refunds for their less than stellar business practices   
 
It all books haft just quietly went away…..

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...