Six Flags Magic Mountain sued by pass holder for misleading advertising

Posted Friday, August 2, 2002 4:53 AM | Contributed by Chitown

A lawsuit was filed against Six Flags Magic Mountain by a Los Angeles man who is disappointed with the closure of X, the latest roller coaster in the theme park’s stockade of thrill rides. Alfred Mirzaie claims Magic Mountain has misled its customers with false advertising to lure them to the park when its newest and biggest attraction is closed. Design problems were to blame for X’s mid-June closure, coinciding with the park’s busiest season, park officials said.

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Friday, August 2, 2002 2:53 PM
But the parking lot sign says "X is closed, we're sorry." You can turn around and go home, or even better, call ahead to the park to find out if it is open that day. I'm sure the park would gladly refund your money on an unused ticket if you read the back and didn't like what it said. Oh, and on the ticketbooths there are signs showing which rides are not running that day.

When you purchase a season pass or even a single day admission, you are only garunteed admission to the park and use of any attractions that are open and operating, provided you meet all of the requirements to ride. The ticket/season pass does not say "This ticket entitles the holder to ride X." Ride availibility is subject to change without notice.

Six Flags did pull all the advertising they could about the ride. It's not featured on their website. The X commercials stopped and were replaced by Deja Vu ones, and then general SFMM ones, neither of which show or mention X. X has been pulled from SFMM's website unless you really really search for it. Park Maps were already printed for the season, and it would be a huge waste of money to print all new ones for the couple of months that X is down, only to print all new ones again when X is open again. As I mentinoed before Coke, being an outside vendor, will not recall a few million cans of Coke over this. Recalls are incredibly expensive and are only done if it's an issue of public health or safety, not mild inconvenience.

What else does Six Flags need to do? Buy TV air time for commercials to announce world wide 30 times a day that X is not open, and you should plan your vacation accordingly, and may not want to buy a season pass based solely on the odds of a prototype ride working perfectly? It's not the park's responsibility to inform the world when one of their privately owned rides isn't working. A movie theater won't call you to tell you that they are out of popcorn and that you shouldn't come if you're expecting to eat popcorn. It's your job to call the park. When I first heard X was closed I didn't drive up there, find out it was closed, then demand my money back. I called the park to verify that information. It all does go back to common sense. Most ACErs knew before coming out on the Coaster Con that X was closed, and accepted it ahead of time. They didn't go around demanding refunds because they were dissapointed.

Yes he has a right to be unhappy about it. My point still stands that this is a frivolous lawsuit without merit that should never have been filed to begin with. It is wasting everyone's time.

I mean really, do you want something like this to happen? "Hello sir/madam, this phone call is to inform you that Metro Monorail attraction at Six Flags Magic Mountain is currently not operating. We don't know if you visit, have visited, or plan to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain, but advise that you take this into consideration when planning a future trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain. We regret the inconveniance, and please contact Guest Relations for your refund if this has upset you." If such a notice is necessary for X, then it should be for any other ride that goes down, and since the park doesn't know who visits the park and who doesn't, dialing every phone number in the book (or better yet having someone drive out to your door to inform you) is the best way to make sure everyone knows, and doens't get upset because an attraction has closed.

(yes I know that the above was sarcastic, but I'm making a point)

-Ride_Op *** This post was edited by Ride_Op on 8/2/2002. ***

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Friday, August 2, 2002 3:20 PM

Good argument Ride_Op, but even with their recent pulling of the advertisements, it doesn't change the fact that they marketed this attraction as a selling point for season passes both this year AND last year. Case in point: I bought a season pass last year long before anyone knew it would have any problems opening as scheduled. And I didn't complain. As for this year, I bought one after it officially opened in January, this time thinking that they had finally worked out all the bugs. How was I supposed to know that 2 years in a row, I would be denied the very thing I purchased the season pass for? How forgiving do the season pass holders have to be?

I know this whole issue sound petty to those that didn't buy a season pass, but put yourselves in my shoes and think how you would feel. And "no", I don't blame SFMM for taking a risk on a new ride. I actually commend them for it. I do blame them for not making ANY concessions to those who bought season passes (especially those like me who bought them 2 years in a row) before they had a chance to pull their advertising. That's all.

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Friday, August 2, 2002 4:03 PM

I mean really, do you want something like this to happen? "Hello sir/madam, this phone call is to inform you that Metro Monorail attraction at Six Flags Magic Mountain is currently not operating. We don't know if you visit, have visited, or plan to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain, but advise that you take this into consideration when planning a future trip to Six Flags Magic Mountain. We regret the inconveniance, and please contact Guest Relations for your refund if this has upset you." If such a notice is necessary for X, then it should be for any other ride that goes down, and since the park doesn't know who visits the park and who doesn't, dialing every phone number in the book (or better yet having someone drive out to your door to inform you) is the best way to make sure everyone knows, and doens't get upset because an attraction has closed.


Don't be silly. I am not advocating this. All I'm saying is that if you advertise something, and people buy it, you should be prepared to stand behind it, especially if it proves to be unsatisfactory. What SFMM has done is nothing short of turning it's back on its customers. They need to remember that it is us, the customer, that ultimately keeps them in business. *** This post was edited by jazken on 8/2/2002. ***

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Friday, August 2, 2002 4:20 PM
I have never been to SFMM, but at SFGAdv they have all of the information that you would have on your ticket outside of the ticket booth. It amazes me that people will do anything for money. I hope this guy doesn't win and lost the money he needed to pay the lawyer with.
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Friday, August 2, 2002 5:27 PM

I agree that you should not advertise something that is not availible, but since the ride went down Six Flags stopped advertising the ride. Some advertising was already out in public and couldn't be stopped, and that is unfortunate. I also had a season pass in 2000, 2001, and 2002. I was dissapointed that X didn't open until late in the year, but I was grateful for the Season Pass Preview they set up. I don't think Six Flags did a Bait and Switch; to imply that is to imply Six Flags has done this whole thing intentionally, which isn't a smart business move. It's an unfortunant situation, and while I miss X just as much as anyone, I'll be patiently awaiting the reopening with everyone else, except for this guy who will be stuck in court for no good reason.

-Ride_Op

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Friday, August 2, 2002 6:03 PM
I think this guy just wants the issue to get attention. That's why he's only suing for $30. If I had a season pass, I wouldn't really want someone like this guy taking up for me, though.
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Saturday, August 3, 2002 12:24 AM
TOLD YOU ALL ALONG TIME AGO! Under my last name i Said, There will be something that will happen that will affect alot of people next year. I was referring to the lawsuits that will be happening at Six Flags parks.

-----------------
Brakerun!
The Coaster Site geared toward you!
http://www.brakerun.com

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Saturday, August 3, 2002 1:11 AM

"Good argument Ride_Op, but even with their recent pulling of the advertisements, it doesn't change the fact that they marketed this attraction as a selling point for season passes both this year AND last year."

Strange, I seem to remember them pulling as much advertisment as they possibly could when they knew X would be down for an indefinite period of time. I also seem to remember the ride running from Jan-May on a regular basis, and a season pass preview for 2001 passholders only...It's like saying I should demand my KBF AP pass money back b/c Xcelerator has gone down for the day the last few times Ive been there, but the TV commericals said it was open and they didnt tell me otherwise at the gate!

"Case in point: I bought a season pass last year long before anyone knew it would have any problems opening as scheduled. And I didn't complain. As for this year, I bought one after it officially opened in January, this time thinking that they had finally worked out all the bugs. How was I supposed to know that 2 years in a row, I would be denied the very thing I purchased the season pass for? How forgiving do the season pass holders have to be?"

As I said above, you werent denied X. You got your season pass preview in 2001, and you had 5 months of X operating before it went down in 2002. And now with Screamscape having the rumor it may open soon, you may have it again for the rest of the year. And your going to complain? Read the back of your pass for crying out loud...

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Monday, August 5, 2002 8:58 AM

Thanks PxPx Ride Op for such an insightful view. LOL.

As for the season pass preview, that was the LAST week of the year... based on that I should've bought a WEEK pass, not a SEASON pass. Hardly a consolation. Second, as for the first 5 months of it in operation, every single time I went during that period it was closed. So, what's the point of having an "open" attraction that's closed?

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Wednesday, August 7, 2002 10:45 PM
Interesting Jazken...

I rode X over 25 times spread out on 10 separate days from the end of December through May. Plenty of opportunity to ride there if you ask me. And then only actively advertised the ride prior to it's opening last year, when as far as they knew it would open and operate properly, if a bit delayed, and then while it was open and operating on a regular basis.

As soon as they realized that they had problems that would require it to be closed for a period, they pulled all of the advertising that they could. They did not continue to advertise or perpetuate X.

You say that every time you went during the 5 months it was closed? Interesting, every time I went it was open. Long lines? yes, but that normal for a brand new attraction.

But the season passes do not gaurantee you a certain ride, they gaurantee you multiple admissions to the park throughout the year. Period. Nothing more. Oh, and there's also that really nice discount book that they include.

My opinion of the lawsuit? I think they should make a deal- go ahead and refund the guy the full price of his season pass. But in exchange he then has to pay Six Flags the full admission price for every single visit that he has made to SFMM, or any other Six Flags park, since he purchased it. Oh, plus the value of any coupons that he used.

Then maybe he'll understand what he was really purchasing and stop clogging up the courts with frivolous junk like this.

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