Saturday, June 04, 2005

Blow Us, Six Flags

Our Site O' the Weak this week is a little unusual: it's the Six Flags Season Pass Renewal Page. And while the page itself is the garish blast of sparkly colors that is the hallmark of any page on the Six Flags site, that isn't why it's the Site O' the Weak. No, there's more afoot here. And really, it isn't all the webpage's fault; unfortunately, since we can't make the Six Flags corporate structure or a wide array of moronic customer service people a Site O' the Weak, the stupid season pass renewal webpage is going to have to take one for the team.

It all began a couple weeks ago when we decided to get around to buying our Six Flags pass. This was still before the prices really got jacked, and we'd finally decided we'd make just enough use of a pass to make a purchase worthwhile. So we went to this season pass renewal webpage and filled in the number of our previous year's pass; doing this allegedly would result in Six Flags taking our credit card payment and then a ready-to-use renewed pass would appear in our mailbox so we could avoid waiting in line with the scum of the Earth for five hours for processing on our first visit.

Note that we say "allegedly." What happened in this case was that the webpage then said "Unable to process request at this time. Please try again in ten minutes." Well, these things happen. We tried again in ten minutes, and then several more times over the next few days, all with the same result. We tried disabling pop-up blocker and secondary firewall, we tried two different internet browsers, we used a friend's computer, we tried anything we could think of, all to no avail. And it's not like these were ancient computers; ours is almost exactly one year old, and we know enough about it that we've reinstalled the operating system, installed and reconfigured hardware, and massively streamlined the way our software runs and even loads at start-up. In other words, we are far from being brilliant computer specialists, but we aren't the kind of morons who would think the DVD drive is a cup holder or not figure out how to order a damn season pass correctly.

And now that we think about it, we ordered our renewal on the same site using the same frickin' computer last season!

In desperation, we called the online support number. That's where an irritating experience became truly piss-off worthy. When we described the issue, the helpful Six Flags employee said, and we quote, "the system used by Six Flags to process renewals does frequently cause problems with some types of computers, primarily those made by Apple or those running Windows."

Yes, that's right. Their season pass renewal system admittedly doesn't always work with Mac, nor does it necessarily work with PC's running Windows. How convenient! Only 97% of all computer users may experience some trouble on this website! Glad all those Linux people have full access to a season pass for those filthy parks, at least.

The experience continued, over the course of several days, with various transfers to various departments, various unfilled promises to "check on the problem and get back to you," and, finally, some worthless guest services rep telling us that we would have to go to the park in person since they won't do renewals by email or over the phone, and, more importantly, that the price had now gone up substantially, so she didn't "see much point getting a pass at this point."

You know what? Now that we think about it, she was absolutely right. F*ck you, Six Flags. You just lost a customer for the entire season. We're too busy for this nonsense.