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View Full Version : Money back haunted houses



WastelandMike
09-12-2010, 10:33 PM
It has recently come to my attention that more and more haunted houses are coming up with a money back gimmick. And no matter how you slice it when you have any sort of deal that contains the phrase "moneyback" is indeed a gimmick. What I would like to know is how a local haunt could afford to give every patron their money back. That my friends is where the gimmick comes in. I stumbled upon a site that declares in bold print that if you make it all the way through this haut without coming back through the entrance or exiting out of a chicken hall (which I believe is a pattened idea created long ago) that you indeed without a doubt get a refund of 10 dollars back. Unless you charge at least 20 dollars for admisson then you would be loosing profit which in my opinion no bussiness owner would like to hear. Myself and the rest of the general public who will be attending haunts would like to know the catch behind this money back gimmick. Could this be a way to show the ultimate apprceation for your customer by giving every patron their money back? Or false advertising to lure people into your haunt. Please clarify..

brad
09-12-2010, 10:42 PM
If you havent seen or heard of a specific haunt advertising this, and its just thru word of mouth, then here's a good article to read:

http://www.hauntedillinois.com/hoax1.php

Other than that, if you know for a fact that they are offering this deal, then there is deffinately some catch to it.

In one way or another, chance are, you will not get to the point where you get your money back. There might be a hidden door some where you have to find to recieve it, or in some wa they would tell you that you didnt find the secret door, or that when you exit the event, they would say "Oh, you obviously missed the scariest part, so you chickened out"> Even thought there's probly no more to the event.

Dont get your hopes up on getting your money back. In some wa, they'll find a way to keep it im sure.

But keep us posted. Im curious to see what tricks they might have up their sleeves.

drfrightner
09-13-2010, 01:21 AM
TOTAL GIMMICK and if I'm a paying customer I wouldn't go to one of those if my life depended on it. Larry

WastelandMike
09-13-2010, 06:34 AM
As a matter of fact there is a haunt near me claiming to give every patron their cash back, just wish they would be more up front with their gimmick! And Larry I agree with you 100 percent! And what's funny is that the haunt with this new gimmick has constantly bashed other local haunts for having a moneyback scandal.

soultrkr
09-13-2010, 07:28 AM
I have heard stories of haunts like this but I have never seen one. I thought they were urban legends.

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-13-2010, 03:16 PM
I am proud to announce that my haunt is the one being talked about in this thread. Thats right! Deadly Intentions in Warren Michigan.

Absolutely true, if our customers purchase a ticket with a refund chance and make it through the entire attraction without leaving back though the front door or any of the clearly marked chicken doors, they will receive a $10.00 refund. There is no gimmick or scam involved. They pay a slightly higher price to get in with a refund chance. If they do not want to take the challenge they may purchase a ticket without a refund chance for a lower amount. We will not try to guide them in a wrong direction or make them find a secret room or answer any trivia questions or force them out a chicken door or tell them they did not make it through or tell them they went through a chicken door when they did not. If they make it all the way through without being too scared to continue they win and good for them. If they do get too scared and chicken out, good for me.

There is no false advertising. Our customers will get exactly what we advertise and nothing less. It clearly states all rules involved in all of our advertising. I never claimed anywhere that everyone who comes through will get a refund. Those who chicken out will not receive any refund. I have never bashed other haunts that have money back promotions, only the ones who have these type of promotions where nobody ever gets their money back. That is why I decided to do this event this year. All I ever hear is that they went to this haunt or that and I never got any money back. I have workers that have worked for other haunts that offer these promotions and they state that nobody ever got their money back! Now, Michigan haunt goers have a real opportunity for one year only to visit an extremely scary haunt, and if they make it through they will actually get a refund, no strings attached.

By the way Mike, I am curious what haunted attraction you own? I know most of the haunt owners in Michigan and nobody has ever heard of Wasteland Haunted House. I would like to come out and go through your attraction. Maybe we can sit down and have a chat. I can tell about how I started the first true money back house that thousands of people got their money back at. We can discuss some of the other great Ideas that I have introduced into the haunt community over the last 25 years as well. My reputation as well as my haunts reputation speak for itself.

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Owner
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

drfrightner
09-13-2010, 04:28 PM
Howie,

No disrespect to you but I think if you have a great haunted house there is no need for a promotion like this... you might have the best haunted house in the World 10 times better than mine I don't know haven't seen it... I'm simply saying to me anyway a promotion like this sounds like a gimmick and I wouldn't do it. No me nothing personal.

Maybe it works for you and if it does great, but for me I stand simply on you get what you pay for and we will do the best damn job we can end of story.

Larry

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-13-2010, 04:59 PM
Larry,

Everyone has their own opinion. I thought I would never do a haunt like this again either.

I think a gimmick could also be calling your haunt the biggest, scariest or best haunt in a particular city. Or having celebrities at your event to attract more customers. This is simply a marketing concept aimed at giving our customers what they have been asking for. A haunted attraction that they actually have a real chance of getting some of their admission price refunded.

Many haunt owners hated me when I created the first money back haunt in 2000. We had a huge success with that venture. Most admitted later that they we mad that they did not come up with the idea first. Of course in 2001 there were four haunts in the area that tried to copy the idea or some variation of it. Nobody ever came close to the success we had. There are several members on this forum that can attest to that!

My haunt has been well respected in our area for 8 years now. We always receive tons of great press and reviews. Our loyal customers come back year after year to see how we have completely redesigned and re-themed the entire haunt every year. We have been known as one of the scariest haunts in Michigan since year one. None of that is changing this year. The only thing that is different is that we (for one year) are giving our customers something extra that they have been asking for. What is wrong with that?

Slobber

Dreamreaper
09-13-2010, 09:12 PM
I wouldnt offer that and make things more complicated then they already are... what a pain it would be....

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-13-2010, 09:14 PM
Proper planning eliminates all the pain Ken. Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Slobber

extreme evil
09-13-2010, 10:48 PM
I also mean no disrespect to you or your haunt, but I've seen it and I really don't how anyone could not make thru....meaning I don't know how you'll keep from having a losing season dollar wise.

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-13-2010, 10:52 PM
When have you seen my haunt? Do you live in Michigan? Have you seen what we have done inside and what the rooms are this year? Have you met all of our new characters?

You have never seen Deadly Intentions like this before, I can assure you of that!

Slobber

Jim Warfield
09-14-2010, 12:27 AM
How long will I get to pick through your pile of cash looking for "My Money"? I
have the serial number tatooed on my forehead! I'm only accepting "My Momey" back, not someone else's nasty antique, germ-laden wads of sweaty paper products.
You like to hide your money in your shoe, still?
I could tell by it's odor!
"I Wunte MY MONEY!"
I'll ask "Where's George?" They will know!
I once returned a customer's money to him..after I soaked it in phony blood!
He thought it was great!

freak 'n' stein
09-14-2010, 09:26 AM
How long will I get to pick through your pile of cash looking for "My Money"? I
have the serial number tatooed on my forehead! I'm only accepting "My Momey" back, not someone else's nasty antique, germ-laden wads of sweaty paper products.


I got a goooooooood laugh outta this one!! hahaha...I see some legal trouble in somebody's future :)

TheGreatPhantasmo
09-14-2010, 09:43 AM
I don't understand why there is this fear of innovation on this board. I applaud Howie for his attempt to successfully do something innovative that has always been known as a hoax or a gimmick. I don't see why anyone cares if he gives away every ticket for free or loses money. If he thinks he can make that business model work to his advantage then more power to him.

I can understand if you are a competing haunt how it might make you nervous as a lot of your customers might instead go to Deadly Intentions instead, but this just forces competition and innovation to be able to compete. It is free market capitalism at its finest. If you can't figure out a way to get the customers back then so be it.

I sense this industry is on the verge of an explosion of innovation. Soon the days of saying "that's how it's always been" and "you just don't do that" will be gone and anyone that doesn't get on the innovation train will be left scratching their head and wondering where all the customers went.

It is an exciting time for the Haunt Industry, and I look forward to what's to come.

It's not a fear of innovation. I think alot of people, myself included just dont understand how a haunt could be THAT difficult to get through for most people.

Do you allow touching? Are there areas where people arent told where to go?

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-14-2010, 11:22 AM
Thanks A.J. for the kind words. I knew when I let the cat out of the bag about what we were doing this year, I would get a ton of negativity about the idea. That's ok with me, I can handle it.

Jim, you always crack me up. I plan on finally coming to visit you before the end of the year.

TheGreatPhantasmo, you said,
It's not a fear of innovation. I think a lot of people, myself included just don't understand how a haunt could be THAT difficult to get through for most people.

Do you allow touching? Are there areas where people aren't told where to go?
To answer your questions: For some the haunt will not be difficult to get through and they will receive a refund. For many, it will be to intense and they will run out the front door or chicken out and will not. We do not allow our creatures to touch the customers. Our haunt is a simple maze design with no hard areas to find your way through. All customers will follow the exact same path.

So, once and for all! I know it's hard to believe. There is no trick, scam or test involved. No need to find any secret rooms, secret items, special paths,no need to answer any trivia questions or to defeat any characters. There is no special talent or obstacle course. There are no hidden chicken doors that we will claim you walk through. We will not tell you that you did not go the right way and therefore did not make it all the way through. All they have to do is purchase a ticket with a refund chance and make it all the way through and they will receive a $10.00 refund.

Howie "Slobber" Erlich
Owner
Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction
www.deadlyintentionshaunt.com

beardedbil
09-14-2010, 11:42 AM
Howie,
Neat idea... to the others who think this is a bad idea, did you guys look at the ticket prices? It is $25.00 to buy the refund chance and $18.00 without it, so in essence if they do make it through and get their $10.00 back, it's as if they paid $15 for entrance instead of the retail $18. That is just like offering a coupon which most attractions already do. So in that case I think it's a smart idea, just like doing coupons without actually needing a coupon, plus you get some innovative marketing out of it!
Bill

soultrkr
09-14-2010, 11:49 AM
I see how your doing this pretty neat so if they take the refund chance and make it through they actually wind up with a 3 dollar discount compared to the nonrefund ticket. so if they make it through they get 10 dollars back you have made 15 on them being there they wind up with savings a pretty win win. I would personally take you up on the 25 dollar ticket deal it would be fun.

I think some of the folks on here were thinking if they made it through you refunded all of their ticket since refund usually implies that I think a better term for this would be a rebate.

Seems like an interesting promotion I hope it goes well for you Howie and is well recieved by the customers. The customers as always will be the ultimate judges on how it works out.

Also Beardedbil It looks like we were typing nearly the same thing at the same time lol

Howie Slobber Erlich
09-14-2010, 01:53 PM
Thanks guys! You both completely understand the concept. If some people would actually read all the information before running their mouths, life would be much simpler. LOL!

Slobber

shawnc
09-14-2010, 06:19 PM
Howie,
Neat idea... to the others who think this is a bad idea, did you guys look at the ticket prices? It is $25.00 to buy the refund chance and $18.00 without it, so in essence if they do make it through and get their $10.00 back, it's as if they paid $15 for entrance instead of the retail $18. That is just like offering a coupon which most attractions already do. So in that case I think it's a smart idea, just like doing coupons without actually needing a coupon, plus you get some innovative marketing out of it!
Bill

Hearing specifics helps the whole thing make more sense. All I could think about was that this is a great idea - until people start making it through. Then they know all the scares and could go through again countless times for free since they wouldn't be as scared on subsequent walk-throughs.

But I would change the home page to reflect the conditions. It sounds pretty cut and dried on the front page, and unless someone goes to the ticket prices page they wouldn't see how it works.

Jim Warfield
09-14-2010, 09:20 PM
Buying up souls for $1.98, sort of like in the movie" Highway 61".
A few years ago this small town of mine had a "Deal", if you built a new house within the city limits...they would give you free water for a year!
Spend a minimum of $100,000.......and we will give you.....$420.00! WOW! whata Deal!
Nobody took them up on it ..for some reason?