ASA upholds complaint about Alton Towers’ ‘Rainy Day Guarantee’

Alton Towers
By Travel Gossip Reporters
29/11/2023
Home » ASA upholds complaint about Alton Towers’ ‘Rainy Day Guarantee’

The ASA has banned Alton Towers from using its ‘Rainy Day Guarantee’ ad following a visitor complaint.

The theme park which is part of the Merlin Attractions Operations, had advertised on its website that ‘If the weather affects ride offering during your visit to Alton Towers Theme Park, you can return for FREE. Pre-booking a reservation ticket is essential.’

The Rainy Day Guarantee marketing went on to say: ‘Unfortunately, wet weather conditions can disrupt our rides and attractions. In some cases, we have to close certain rides to preserve the guest experience and until the bad weather passes. We cannot predetermine ride closures, but we will provide real-time updates on the Alton Towers app.’

However, the complainant was told that the Rainy Day Guarantee policy did not apply to the day of their visit to Alton Towers, even though it rained most of the day and a number of the rides were closed.

According to Alton Towers the policy only comes into play after one hour of continuous rain. The weather records for the day showed there were intermittent light rain showers over a four-hour period and one continuous heavy downpour which lasted for 27 minutes.

Several rides were closed throughout the day, although some were due to reasons unrelated to the weather.

In its findings the ASA said: ‘Notwithstanding that, we considered that the requirement for there to be at least one hour of continuous rain for the guarantee to be invoked was a significant limitation to the guarantee that should have been made clear in the ad.

‘We also considered that the ad omitted information regarding how a ‘Rainy Day’ under the guarantee was declared and for how long rides needed to be out of operation for in order for the guarantee to be invoked, which we considered was material information likely to affect a consumer’s understanding of how the guarantee worked. Because the ad omitted that information, we concluded that it was misleading.’

Alton Towers has said it is reviewing the Rainy Day Guarantee and would also look at how it is communicated to consumers and guests on the website and other marketing channels.

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