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Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 12:51 pm
by Hurri
I guess they've done the maths and worked it out, but this seems like an odd thing to do.

You're tied in for a year minimum, so that's a spend of £192 - it's not difficult to pick up an AP cheaper than that. After the year, you can either keep going month by month or renew your AP even cheaper. APs are clearly better value, if this is designed for people who are watching the pennies they will want to be frugal and get the best option for their money, which is saving up for an Annual Pass.

A lifetime membership exists for Legoland Florida I believe, so perhaps they're testing the water with that one...

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:39 pm
by Chris-TT
I think it's designed for people who can't afford to pay hundreds out in one go, and to be honest the more the pass goes up in price, the more people that are priced out of the market.

It's also designed for people who want to become a member then just forget about it rather than worrying if its in date and valid.

It's very similar to a gym membership. Yes you can pay annually and get a discount, or like what most people do you pay monthly and forget about the standing order. With most gym memberships you are still usually tied into a 12 month contract.

I really can see Merlin benefit from people not wanting to cancel just incase they want to visit, so may stay a member for years, but only use it a few times. A very smart business move in my opinion, and I honestly believe it will increase revenue.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:32 pm
by stu1980
Ive just seen this and think its brill news. I always forget to save up for my MAP and find that £120 is a lot to pay out in one go.

As long as the perks are the same as the MAP like any attraction and stuff in more than happy and with my MAP running out next month i can upgrade or change to this one.

The website is still offline but it looks good. I dont buy a drinks cap atm so im not gonna lose that as i dont use it. The only thing i use tbh is the 20% off so ied be happy if same rules apply.

And more so on that deal on the new passes for £15.99pm i,ed be happy to upgrade again to the top pas as for £3pm more i can :) just have to see when site is live

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:49 pm
by XXBENNXX
i was actually surveyed about this a few months ago, and the survey also included an idea about a merlin pass that would encompass every merlin attraction on the planet. so i can say that is another idea they are at least looking at. i prefer to pay my MAP Annually as it is just one payment i don't have to worry about for a year. Thing's like my monthly Cineworld card just annoy me. wish i had paid up front for that one. Plus i get my carer's pass and don't know whether the pay monthly option would also include this.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:29 pm
by Michelle
I can see the benefit, I much prefer to pay upfront but the pay monthly is an excellent option for people who don't save up.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:41 pm
by DavidRock
I think it's a real good idea for families as as an average family of 2 adults 3 children can easily mean a layout of £600+ in one go so spreading the cost is a good idea.....

Me on the other hand I've had a MAP since 2000 (way back in the Tussards Days) my pass runs out July but have noticed the following.....

Premium renewal £136
Premium Member £15,99 x 12 =£191.88

Difference = ££55.88

Now if Merlin were to offer me a renewal discount on the Membership Premium I'd gladly give them a call and swap over in an instant but looking at the maths I can't justify losing £55.88 just so it can be set up monthly.

In principal it's a very good idea but what are Merlin going to do with the MAP holders already that would want to swap over?

Looks like i will give them a call when it goes live and have a chat with them. If they can sort me a discount due to my renewal then I'm in.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:56 pm
by bensaund
I wonder how many people will sign up to this in July/August, go to as many parks and attractions, then come November/December when they are trying to budget for Christmas, decide they want to cancel this direct debit they don't want as all the parks are closed...

The reason why you pay a higher price is:
-It is like HP, your paying over a year so look of it as interest
-There will be a higher admin fee, due to 12 transactions per year rather than 1
-Extra overhead, if a direct debit bounces.. what do they do

Also if somebody takes out one month, then uses it loads, then cancels the direct debit, I'm sure they will have to put a process in place to contact to reclaim payment or take further action.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:15 am
by tharrison4815
bensaund wrote:
The reason why you pay a higher price is:
-It is like HP, your paying over a year so look of it as interest
-There will be a higher admin fee, due to 12 transactions per year rather than 1
-Extra overhead, if a direct debit bounces.. what do they do

Also if somebody takes out one month, then uses it loads, then cancels the direct debit, I'm sure they will have to put a process in place to contact to reclaim payment or take further action.


Plus people who are not satisfied in one way or another (rides being closed, children under height restrictions etc.) might cancel the direct debit in protest and cause more hassle for AT too.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:47 am
by jon18uk
bensaund wrote:
I wonder how many people will sign up to this in July/August, go to as many parks and attractions, then come November/December when they are trying to budget for Christmas, decide they want to cancel this direct debit they don't want as all the parks are closed...

Also if somebody takes out one month, then uses it loads, then cancels the direct debit, I'm sure they will have to put a process in place to contact to reclaim payment or take further action.


You have to take a minimum of 12 months which stops people cancelling in the first year at the end of the season. I would also assume they have a system whereby if the payment direct debit is cancelled then the pass barcode won't let you into an attraction.

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:07 pm
by Sanctuary Nurse
hiya everyone :)

I myself shall being going for the monthly payment plan. Me and my partner were going to save up for a pass for each other for Christmas. We have weighed up pros and cons for the monthly one and decided its a good thing for us. We are getting the family of three pass as we have a 5 year old daughter. (who adores rides and keeps asking to go on the smiler even through she too small). i just hope people don't abuse this way of doing things. i.e cancelling because its Christmas or they have a bad day. Soon as its goes live we shall be getting one. :)

As iv never had one before where do we pick it up from when we get to Alton Towers???

Thank you in Advance :)

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:10 pm
by Kirsty25
Sanctuary Nurse wrote:
hiya everyone :)

I myself shall being going for the monthly payment plan. Me and my partner were going to save up for a pass for each other for Christmas. We have weighed up pros and cons for the monthly one and decided its a good thing for us. We are getting the family of three pass as we have a 5 year old daughter. (who adores rides and keeps asking to go on the smiler even through she too small). i just hope people don't abuse this way of doing things. i.e cancelling because its Christmas or they have a bad day. Soon as its goes live we shall be getting one. :)

As iv never had one before where do we pick it up from when we get to Alton Towers???

Thank you in Advance :)

At the moment we're not sure exactly how it will work but it can't be too long before the website is launched!

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:13 pm
by Sanctuary Nurse
Thank you Kristy. :) when my partner rang up yesterday they said they were going live on the 24th. so hopefully website will be up by then :)

Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:08 pm
by sampy55
bensaund wrote:
If you are taking two friends, get them to use a BOGOF, you will save the expensive phone call and the ticket price will be cheaper


I agree. The friends and family tickets are a bit of a waste of time.
My biggest bugbear is that you don't get ERT with them. We all have passes and my daughter wanted to take her friend. We'd planned to go in the park at 9, but that would've meant leaving her friend at the gate on her own for an hour  :roll:

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 1:50 pm
by markfranklin
I really like the concept of this, and would ordinarily be very interested.  However for the last 3 years we have converted out Tesco Clubcard points in to annual passes.  It works out at around £46 I think in Tesco vouchers to get a Standard AP (which you could then upgrade for £35 cash).

Since I always shop in Tesco anyway, the effect is I see the MAPs for the family as "free" every year.

Would be interesting to see if they offered any such discounts on the monthly pay system, with tie-ins to Tesco, Nectar and anyone else offering discounts currently on annual purchases.

Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:29 pm
by mattallennet
Same here with annual passes. Target of 4 x £52 Clubcard vouchers by Christmas for next year... Upgrade one for £40 cash to premium

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:52 pm
by Sanctuary Nurse
how come the membership has gone down from the tower times new page bit???

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:17 pm
by Sanctuary Nurse
found it but the launch date has gone?? confused!!

Re: Merlin Membership

Posted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:39 pm
by Sanctuary Nurse
http://old.towerstimes.co.uk/news/news. ... &ucat=1,11
confused...as i was hoping to get one monday

Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:29 am
by Wedjie
bensaund wrote:
If you are taking two friends, get them to use a BOGOF, you will save the expensive phone call and the ticket price will be cheaper

For reasons unknown to me, the BOGOF arent available when we are going (8th July).
I don't know why but Alton have decided to exclude that week :/

Re: The Merlin Annual Pass

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:25 pm
by owen92
sampy55 wrote:
bensaund wrote:
If you are taking two friends, get them to use a BOGOF, you will save the expensive phone call and the ticket price will be cheaper


I agree. The friends and family tickets are a bit of a waste of time.
My biggest bugbear is that you don't get ERT with them. We all have passes and my daughter wanted to take her friend. We'd planned to go in the park at 9, but that would've meant leaving her friend at the gate on her own for an hour  :roll:


I was told that any Friends and Family tickets do get ERT. My mate got ERT at the start of the month.