UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
AstroDan

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:23 pm

That's not really an argument though because prices rose in effect earlier this year... to get what we had on a standard in 2010 we had to buy a premium in 2011...

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haydn!
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:30 pm

Now... I don't want to play devils advocate here. But what if your all jumping the gun?

Merlin are obviously aware that people aren't happy, and I'd say some of their most recent actions would indicate they're feeling a bit of pressure. They do seem to have been pushing them quite a lot this year, and there have been lots of annual pass focused promotions - half price, 25% off, even giving them away free. Could all this be a sign they've not sold as well, and the backlash has been bigger than expected?

There is (and I know it's probably a long shot) the possibility they could be back tracking on some recent changes to the cards? What if for example, they scrap the whole two tier system, keeping one ticket for all at the £130 mark. Add the Blackpool attractions and then re-introduce free parking for all at the resort attractions?

That said, even if they cut the price in half, brought back free parking and threw in free ice cream - some of you would still complain :P
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AstroDan

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:30 pm

They have put 'beat the rise' haven't they?

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Vanessa Feltz
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:32 pm

I'd like to say I understand what the price rise is for, but I cannot honestly figure it out, I've tried working out each individual perk, but with the amount of perks we've already lost, it seems like madness to raise the prices again, sure they can blame it on the recession, or that VAT is a struggle, but that's not an excuse.

Merlin are not doing themselves any justice right now, I honestly miss Tussauds right now...
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Slappy McGuire
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:46 pm

The passes are decent value; eventually I expect the format to be standard - one park covered at a cost of something like £60 pp for a family of four, premium - all parks covered £200. Even then this would still be decent value. Trouble is, Alton need bad PR like a hole in the head at the moment, so it cannot be a decision they have taken lightly, so funds must I suspect be really tight. Wonder when they'll start selling the family sliver next...?
 
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haydn!
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:55 pm

Okay, after reading some of the responses on Facebook, my out look on this is starting to change. Dramatically... I even commented myself. I'm not expecting a step back from Merlin but another, low blow to their ever loyal customers.

I defended Merlin last time, using the whole value for money approach because yes, even with another increase, the pass will represent value for money. But if they increase the prices again now, less than six months after they did before then value for money has nothing to do with it. It's about respect for your loyal customers and Merlin clearly have none.

Individual park passes are already way more than £60. I think Alton Towers are around the £90 mark (without looking) and yes it is great value considering its just shy of £40.00 for an on the day gate ticket. But great value isn't enough to keep justifying increases.
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BIan
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 9:59 pm

I like to think the Standard pass is rising to £150 and they are scrapping the premium and putting all those benefits in to the standard one.

Sadly, I think that's just fantasy.

What I suspect they might be doing, is trying to raise some capital mid season from all the people who brought annual passes earlier in the year. I think they hope to achieve this by increasing the prices while keeping renewals the same for a month to give people the chance to renew early. They would add the extra 12 months on to the end of the current expiry date.

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Dean

Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Wed May 18, 2011 10:26 pm

"Magrathea""][quote=""Themeparksandy1981" wrote:
I was shocked on Sunday. I went to Warwick castle on Sunday to collect my annual pass. I brought it online on the 19th April but as both me and the G/F had to be there at the same time this was the first time we both were free. When I went to the ticket office gave them everything and was shocked that the date on the pass runs to the 15th May. I thought they backed dated them to the day your previous pass finished? Was well happy that I had 12 months and not 11 :D


Officially, this is certainly MEANT to be the case now, but I and presumably every other member who renewed in either Feb or March have found that it's valid until a year after the day of collection still :)[/quote]

That's always been the case, passes are valid for 12 months from the date of collection.

But, if you renew after your current pass expires you start to loose days off your new pass, as your new pass should start from the expiry date on your old pass. Rather than the date it's printed...
 
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 11:14 pm

Hmm. I literally yesterday ordered my Tesco voucher for my next pass, with a view to paying £30 to top it up to a Premium.

On the one hand, I'll have beaten the price rise by getting my Tesco voucher for £50 worth of Clubcard vouchers, and that will no doubt go up. On the other, I now fear that the £30 'top-up' price will also increase, and really with the amount of parking I do (plus visits to Lego in August), I need a Premium pass.

I'm either gonna be happy or peeved tomorrow. On Merlin's current form, I wonder which... :|
 
Crofty

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Wed May 18, 2011 11:34 pm

You should be ok Islander, if both the passes go up then the £30 upgrade fee should stay the same.

I really think this company has lost the plot. The amount of gaffs they have made in a relatively short space of time is beyond. They are not just enthusiast gaffs either! They are tainting their reputation with the general public too which is something you don't tend to get with a big brand these days, normally the PR department keep all this well covered up!

I'm not forking out my hard earned cash to fund some sea life centre in Sidney or some Legoland in Florida which I'm never likely to/wish to visit. Buying up all these naff attractions in the hope that they can make them interesting and profitable when they clearly are not is what's causing all the decent attractions to come crumbling to the ground.

Maybe they refer to a different "Number Two" when they talk about comparisons with Disney :wink:
 
AstroDan

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 7:21 am

For The record, I have all but given up on using Tesco again for The pass. It's already gone up to £50.

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Tom G
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 9:05 am

Well I won't get too carried away until we know the actual increase, but it's obvious they'll be quoting the addition of the Blackpool Tower attractions and the "continued investment in our attractions" such as penguin displays and spider crabs.

I estimate the increase will be at least 10%, I can see the Premium pass being around £175, possibly without VAT knowing Merlin.

Also, isn't a one-day warning great? Why announce that prices are going to increase and then announce the actual prices the next day? I get the feeling they were testing the water somehow - but you would have thought a big business like this would have made a decision after many weeks of investigation and research etc - but you never can be sure how they operate!
 
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James
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 9:39 am

Merlin seem to now be using Facebook as an excuse to not reply to any posts on the Merlin Annual Pass page.

"Merlin Annual Pass Facebook" wrote:
Morning all,

Due to the way Facebook reorders wall posts now (which is not by time/date) we can't respond to Facebook comments however if you have a question you can contact us at [email protected]

RENEWAL PRICES ARE FROZEN - until 30th June 2011, renew before then to beat the increase and you can redeem up to 6 months after your purchase


Eunice Sangster had the common sense and posted this comment on there.
"Eunice Sangster" wrote:
if you click on most recent it puts it in date order for you


To which Merlin replied a load of nonsense.
"Merlin Annual Pass" wrote:
Hi Eunice,

Unfortunately this still doesn't bring all the most recent to the top of the feed for us.


Which is a load of rubbish as it does show the latest feeds, if it didn't then the feature wouldn't be built into Facebook.

I know this is not strictly related to the price increases but it's pretty obvious they have done this due to the amount of anger that has come from this. Emailing them is a waste of space too, I've emailed Merlin many times with questions about the annual pass (as it's something I was thinking about getting a few months back although the prices didn't work well for me) and I've sent a few complaints to them but I've not once received a reply from them. Pure laziness IMO, unless you've got something good to say they don't care. Yet if I contact Alton Towers (which I have done) they reply very quickly, I just don't understand how customer services works for Merlin, but clearly the Merlin Annual Pass department are busy doing something else.

It'll be interesting to see what the new prices are, the current prices didn't work well for me when I was thinking of getting one so I'm sure that a annual pass will be out the question now. It seems rather odd to increase prices half way through the season when they were increased a few months back, certainly hasn't been received well by pass holders.
 
Islander
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Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 10:22 am

"Tom G" wrote:
Also, isn't a one-day warning great? Why announce that prices are going to increase and then announce the actual prices the next day?

Because they then get a whole day of impulse sales, simply by encouraging customers to "beat the price increase and purchase now!"
 
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Tom G
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 10:51 am

Of course! I only got a D in business studies AS level. Looking back, someone who cannot be named, reminds me of my teacher, who was very smarmy and I could not stand.
 
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Vik
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Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 10:59 am

I don't really see the complaint behind Merlin not mentioning the price increases earlier than they have done. There is no legal obligation too, they are more than entitled to simply publish the new prices on the day of the increase. No different to any other company selling a product in that respect.

As Islander similary mentions above, by saying there will be a price increase in X amount of days then it will no doubt lead to a few impulse buys and people thinkinf they have got a bargain etc. Nice little marketing ploy if it pays off.

Be interested to see what the new pricings will be. It does seem Merlin are keen to try and price their products at the highest possible level they thing (and seemingly can), get away with.
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Dean

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 11:59 am

Individual Premium Pass with 10% saving will be £167.40pp after 20th May

Individual Standard Pass with 10% saving will be £140.40pp after 20th May

Add on 10% for walk up prices...
Last edited by Dean on Thu May 19, 2011 12:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Crofty

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 11:59 am

New Prices are out...

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Looks like a rise of between 8 & 10% :roll:
 
Dean

Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 12:09 pm

Walk up prices if i'm correct (no good at maths)

Individual Premium - £184

Individual Standard - £154
 
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Dylan
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Re: Merlin Annual Pass - Price Increase

Thu May 19, 2011 12:11 pm

So that's about a 8% increase in prices then.
I still find it appalling that they are increasing the prices mid season, after changing the structure in January, creating somewhat of an uproar.
Yes, I know the pass is still good value for money, especially if you visit an attraction most weekends, but they could increase it by another £100 and that would still be the case. I just think in the current climate, this is yet another blow to loyal customers.

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