I received an email today asking me to complete a survey for a rewards program Six Flags may add this year. They are considering offering rewards to season pass holders after each visit. After each visit you would receive an email containing a special offer which you can redeem on your next visit. The offer may be one additional free ticket for another person, free merchandise, food and merchandise discounts, preferred parking, 15% off your next season pass renewal, one free front of line pass, preferred seating at a concert, etc.
I can't remember all the possible options they listed but they all seemed worthwhile. They said you would receive offers based on how many rides you go on, how many times you visit, how much you spend, how many games you play and whether or not you attend special events. I hope they go through with this.
Also, I emailed customer service at SFMM a couple days ago to ask about flash passes. I had read on another website than Q-bots are not being sold yet and I wanted to know whether I could still get free paper flash passes, since that was not listed as being included with a 2009 Play Pass. They emailed me back and said that I can still get free paper ones until the Q-bots are availble and that I would receive a discount on the Q-bots since I have an Xtreme Play Pass. I already knew about the discount but am very happy to know I can still get free paper flash passes in the meantime. They also said that since I have an Xtreme Pass I will not have to pay the rental fee for the Q-bot.
Here is the survey for any interested in checking it out:
A version of the rewards program has started. I received an email yesterday stating that I have been added to the "Six Flags Funatic" mailing list and I received my first offers today. Possibly, because I just visited SFMM on Sunday.
I received the same Funatic email yesterday and I havent been a pass holder since 2007.
Hmm, interesting. Were you on the old mailing list, Team Six? I was. Maybe they just transferred the subscription list instead of checking to see who actually has a pass. Also, did you receive any offers or just the original email? Maybe I got the offers since I was just at the park, but the original email was only because I was on the old mailing list.Last edited by SFMMAddict, Saturday, February 7, 2009 1:40 AM
Here's an idea: instead of offering future rewards how about rewarding people now? Reduced parking and admissions, friendly employees, rides running at full capacity.
Moosh, That sound like a brilliant idea!
I got the E-mail and went to take the survey. I'm sure it was my browser, but I thought it was pretty funny that when I tried to take it I couldn't get past the first question because it wouldn't allow me mark the spot and submit it.
They said you would receive offers based on how many rides you go on,
So if you don't buy a Q-bot, you shouldn't expect too many rewards?
Mamoosh, last Sunday they had two trains on every coaster except Ninja, Goldrusher and Superman (obviously). It has been similar to this on most of my visits. One of the offers I just got was for $14.99 friend admission on Presidents Day weekend. The other 2 were for discounted food and merchandise.
RatherGoodBear, I believe you are correct for now. In the future they will be putting RFID chips in their season passes so they can track the rides you go on along with all other activities which lead to offers. I know it seems like too much big brother, but if it is limited to the confines of an amusement park and leads to free and discounted merchandise and food I am more than willing to accept it.
That's how the acceptance of RFID will begin. Small, noninvasive uses at first, and then a little bit more, and a little bit more. It's a slippery slope with limitless potential, and that's not a good thing.
Sounds quite exciting once you realize the potential. First RFID could be offered involuntarily, then , like Lo-Q, if you want any benefit of visiting the park, you'll have to use it, then before you know it, it will become mandatory to all park visitors, including staff.
And this is just how private businessess could use RFID to their advantage. I wont even get into the social uses that our government could implement for the use if RFID chips.
Not being a paronoid nut here. I have a real concern about the tech. People should have a choice to volunteer or not volunteer any information that a business desires from their customers. That wouldn't require RFID. it would require a paper or online survey, which should suffice just fine.
There's nothing new about this RFID conceptually. It's already being utilized by grocery stores, pharmacies, and other stores. If you want the discounts, you get the club cards and they track your purchases for research purposes and offer you incentives in exchange.
I guess this is a starting point for the parks, because the season passes provide the means to implement this strategy. But I don't know how much they will really learn about the masses by tracking this special population.
I'm not entirely sure why people are so worried about consumer tracking. When onilne ad companies started doing it, it was to make sure they were serving ads to you that were likely more relevant. Why would I have a problem with that? I'm customer #958022945 to them.
It's a little more tricky with grocery stores and such because they'll know about my spending habit and have that connected to my name and address, but it's an opt-in thing, and if it means I get items I want at the prices I want, so be it. Win for me and the store.
Would I care about RFID in season passes? Probably not, but again, I should have the option to opt-out (and by that I mean an option beyond "don't buy a pass"). If it leads to some kind of offer that adds value for me, I'm all for it.
I think the general concern comes from a lack of trust.
You are definitely right that, as designed, these programs provide no real risk to the consumers. The way they are being used really does come down to a win-win for both sides of the fence.
But there is always a little uncertainty about how things might change in the future. What happens when a business wants to sell their research for a profit to another organization? The American Heart Association or various health insurance companies might have an interest in the amount of junk food folks purchase at a park during the year, for example.
It's not likely, of course, and there are certainly privacy policies and things that are supposed to prevent that kind of thing. But the scare for folks is that once their information is out there, there's no real way to control it or know exactly how it is used or shared. And businesses that want to keep making money will continue to use the information they have at their disposal for that purpose.
Mamoosh, last Sunday they had two trains on every coaster except Ninja, Goldrusher and Superman (obviously). It has been similar to this on most of my visits.
Oh! Well that changes everything. I'll immediately forgive them for years of shoddy service and operations. Not.
One of the offers I just got was for $14.99 friend admission on Presidents Day weekend. The other 2 were for discounted food and merchandise.
Even if Six Flags paid me to visit I wouldn't go. Six Flags screwed me out of my money for years...the chain can go eff themselves as far as I'm concerned.Last edited by Mamoosh, Sunday, February 8, 2009 11:44 AM
^ LOL! I don't think he was saying you need to visit the park, Moosh. Just correcting a statement you made earlier about running rides at full capacity. Some of the things you mentioned are things the park has improved at, whether you personally have interest in experiencing or not.
There is nothing inherently good or evil about any technology. Rather it's the way it can be used that makes it good or evil. Proponents of any technology are completely naive if they think someone won't come along and try to use it for some ill purpose.
The internet was touted as a medium to freely exchange information, boost commerce, and advance people's knowledge and living standard. It's also become a great way to perpetrate fraud, identity theft, and child predation. In vitro fertilization was a means for people who had troubles conceiving to have a child of their own. Back in the 70s, when the science was being developed, did anyone think it would be used by a single mother with 6 kids to have octuplets? (Well, there were groups who warned about the potential misuse, but they were laughed at as anti-science Luddites.)
I'm not saying RFID technology should be banned or not used, but I think society would be better served if we'd anticipate how the technology could potentially be misused and regulate it as necessary. It's much cheaper and easier than worrying about what to do when problems start occurring after the fact.
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Addict, my post about the number of rides was a sarcastic remark about the number of rides those who don't buy Q-bots @ SF parks apparently get on.
Moosh, if SF would do to themselves what you suggested, they would probably charge people to watch. And some probably would pay. :)
I'm surprised at how much we agree. We're on the same page with the general idea that RFID tech is not necessarily a bad thing, but it could be used for so called "evil" if not regulated. If not abused, it could end up being a very useful technology.
But I think about it in terms of businesses, and their desire to keep raising profits. If Six Flags can change the age old rule of waiting in line for the sake of more profit, what's to stop any business from changing any rules for the same reasons? I don't trust big businesses because they aren't looking out for their customers, they're looking out for themselves. I think that it RFID abuse could be easily considered as soon as a business that uses it has lower-profit-than-expected quarter.
...And Bear, you are still my favorite poster here on CoasterBuzz.
The thing about technology allegedly fueling all kinds of new naughty things is that the data tells a different story. Credit card fraud gets great headlines, but relative to the volume of transactions, there is far more fraud occurring the old fashioned way, with humans actually touching cards.
I get where you're going, Carrie, but I have more faith that the kinds of things you describe don't happen in a vacuum. If there aren't laws being broken, there is great risk for civil lawsuits and worse, violating the trust of consumers.
RatherGoodBear, I realized you were being sarcastic after I logged off last night. The funny thing is I wondered about the same thing about Q-bots when I first heard about the rewards program. When I first took the survey I started thinking "how could they possibly track what you ride?" Then I started thinking maybe they would track Q-bots until they use RFID. That made me start thinking maybe they would offer exit passes based on which rides you go on. After I logged off, I felt kind of dumb for the answer I gave. Sorry about that.
The crazy thing is that I was on sixflags.com today noticed that anyone can sign up for the Funatic mailing list. It is basically just Team Six with a new name. I checked my old emails and found out that my notice which said I was on the Funatic list and my offers which I just received came from the same email address. It is also the same email address that Team Six used. Apparently the new rewards program has not started yet and I jumped the gun on this whole thing. My enthusiasm got the best of me. I guess the timing in which I took the survey, went to the park, then received offers in that order was coincidental.
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