Spring Fling discount ads mislead goer

By Craig Sanders

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Judy Jackson simply wanted to give her daughter a birthday present. Instead, she was given a hassle.

After seeing advertisements for Spring Fling, an ASUA-sponsored event, Jackson decided "wristband night" would be the perfect present.

"Wristband night" allows patrons to purchase a wristband for $15 which includes admission and access to all amusement rides.

"Originally I called the Spring Fling hotline and asked about child discounts," Jackson said. "They told me children under 12 were free. When I asked if that meant for everything they said yes.

"I went to Fry's to purchase the two wristbands and they again said that children under 12 were free. I asked the clerk if that meant that they were able to participate in all the events, and she said yes, they were," she said.

When Jackson arrived at the admission gate with two wristbands for herself and her 13-year-old daughter and none for her 11-year-old son, the clerk said her son would not be allowed to ride for free.

"They refused to let my child ride without a wristband. The ad itself was misleading."

In response to the misleading advertisement, Jackson wrote a letter to the Wildcat, as did Raymond Martinez, who experienced a similar incident.

"The fact is, the advertisement said the children under 12 are free," Martinez said. "It didn't say that it was for admission only. I asked the clerk if that included everything and she said yes.

"I don't have a problem with Fry's because they are merely a contract of ASUA. I feel that ASUA should be responsible for any of its contracts and that if the ad was misleading, they should take the responsibility."

Members of ASUA, the major sponsor, were responsible for preparing the activities as well as OK-ing the advertisements.

Matthew Ochs, executive director for Spring Fling, would not comment about the advertisement, but did say he would be releasing a letter to the media later this week.

"The advertisement in question belonged to Fry's and had nothing to do with our own," said Kirk R. Seeley, ASUA's director of security for Spring Fling, in response to accusations that ASUA ran a misleading campaign.

"As to other accusations, we are sympathetic but feel our advertising through our contractors and affiliations was adequate," he said.

Seeley was referring to ASUA's campus-wide flier advertising Spring Fling. That flyer read "Free Admission for children 12 and under" rather than "children under 12 are free."

"I don't live on campus so I don't read ASUA's fliers," Jackson said. "I relied on the ad that I have at my house. It said that children under 12 are free period."

Fry's was contacted, but refused to make an official comment on the advertisement.

Jackson asked for a refund of the $30 dollars she spent on wristbands for herself an her older child, but ASUA members refused to refund the money at the gate.

"They offered me a refund, but if I couldn't trust their advertisement then why should I trust them?" Jackson said. "They treated me with a 'get out of my face, you're annoying me' attitude. I went there to have fun with my kids, but wound up with a lot of headaches. I do want to put this behind me now, but I won't forget the way I was treated."

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