$20 For 30 Seconds Of You Riding A Roller Coaster?

Here’s a strange complaint. We don’t usually get too many people griping about getting ripped off in an amusement park, because, well… everyone knows amusement parks are a ripoff. This is not a secret. It takes a pretty egregious fleecing by a theme park before the roller coaster nuts start complaining about it.

Robert writes in asking if he has a valid complaint. He purchased what was supposed to be a DVD of his ride on a roller coaster at Cedar Point. What he got was, well, we’ll let Robert tell it.

Dearest Consumerist,

Do I have a valid complaint here?

It was opening day, a day when us roller coaster junkies get our fix after a long hard winter. New this year at Cedar Point was the option to buy a DVD recording of your ride on some of their coasters. I chose my girls favorite ride to spend $20 to get the DVD of our ride together on Raptor. The parks description of the DVD is as follows:

/ CDRide.info:/ The CDride system captures dynamic videos of every rider in every car from the moment the train leaves the station through all the thrilling experience to the end of the ride. Once the guests exit the ride they can buy their personal DVD at the Point of Sale. The riders get not just a point of view video, but a full-featured movie with edited clips of the ride atmosphere.

Instead it was roughly 20-25 seconds of our ride interrupted by stock footage of roller coasters that were not our ride and *not even rides in the same park*.

Robert linked us to a roller coaster enthusiast site where other people were expressing their dismay at the 20ish seconds of footage they got for their 20 bucks. One customer even ordered a second copy for an additional $10… but only got a blank disc. Lame. Roller coaster nuts, beware. —MEGHANN MARCO

Do Not Buy The On-Ride DVD [Point Buzz]
(Photo: soundfromwayout)

Comments

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  1. Onouris says:

    It’s amazing how much companies try to get away with. It’s seriously like they don’t think they even need the custom.

  2. coss3n says:

    That’s pretty low, but it looks like they never promised to give you a video of the full ride. All they claim is that such a video has been taken (and presumably stored in their subterranean vault of doom).

    That being said, you should almost certainly submit a complaint to them — that just ain’t right.

  3. Uriel says:

    That’s fiendish in every way possible. Ben, I am outraged. Also, introduce me to that snorg tees red-head please.

  4. Justinh6 says:

    I can’t beleive that people buy that garbage to start with. Its like they are looking for ways to spend money.

    Are you seriously going to rewatch video of yourself on a roller coaster in the future?

  5. slapstick says:

    That sucks, and there’s so much that they could do to make an interesting feature out of it. Interviewing the guy who designed the coaster, video of the construction, clips of the ride from different angles…

    That kind of stuff might not be interesting to normal people, though – I’m the type who gets sucked into ‘How It’s Made’ for hours at a time.

  6. kenposan says:

    @Justinh6: Sure they are. And if it’s funny enough, they’ll send it to America’s Funniest Home Videos and try to win 10K.

    (I love those videos!)

  7. thrillhouse says:

    These guys need to read that article about avoiding the up-sell.

  8. zentec says:

    Cedar Fair; let’s take an interesting idea that can cost pretty much nothing (if you put the video on the internet) and build customer good will and great marketing and try to turn it into a profit line. And while we’re at it, let’s not only underwhelm the customer and not even meet minimal expectation, but let’s piss the customer off while we’re at it. Go team!

    Not too long ago, the people running Cedar Point were innovative enough to be admired. Never the astounding quality of Disney, but damned good. But quality of the parks seems to have been caught-up in the race to see how many roller coasters one place can stuff onto a slender sliver of land, and increasingly you spend your entire day standing in line for roller coasters. If you don’t like roller coasters, there is a decreasing amount of things for you to do at this park.

    As far as the DVD goes, a cool idea gone so wrong. Speaking of wrong, I thought Cedar Point could never top the $5 rain ponchos in terms of customer fleecing. I was mistaken.

  9. bob9 says:

    Justin.

    We buy these on-ride videos and photos to remember and brag about being on some of the baddest rides and they make great conversation starters. It’s a small club but we have a lot of fun. Cedar Point has never let me down until I bought this video, but I don’t know if I complain to Cedar Point or CDride.

  10. bob9 says:

    Zentec,

    They topped it with the $1 3D glasses to use in line for Disaster Transport oh and the $8 dollar chicken finger basket… wait 1 more, the $3 dollar 20oz bottle of Pepsi.

  11. Triteon says:

    @coss3n: “The CDride system captures dynamic videos of every rider in every car from the moment the train leaves the station through all the thrilling experience to the end of the ride.”
    Sounds like they did promise footage of the whole ride.

  12. @bob9:

    Complain to both. What do you have to lose?

  13. GirlGoneRiled says:

    @bob9: the $3 dollar 20oz bottle of Pepsi.

    Jeez, I just returned from a week at Disney with the kids and even there a 20 oz. Coke wasn’t $3. Actually, come to ponder it, the pricing at Disney didn’t bother me at all – the kids’ meals, the knick-knacks, whatever…nothing seemed too outrageous to me. Oh, and the 3D glasses were provided gratis for the attractions that call for them. And at roughly $33 a day admission (the kids were about $27 each) Disney sounds like a downright bargain compared to Cedar Point.

  14. Yourhero88 says:

    It seems like it would have been a better deal for both the customer and the distributor if they just gave you the full, unedited video of your ride with some external shots at the end, and skipped the whole “coaster atmosphere” clips. Gimmicks like that are unnecessary and create unneeded expense for the company, hence their use of crappy stock footage.

  15. xkaluv says:

    What’s crazy is it’s not like it costs them more money to get what you paid for… the already have all the expense in the item… why not make it the best it can be?

  16. acambras says:

    It looks like they were offering video of the whole ride, but only offered 20 seconds. I’ve ridden the Raptor at Cedar Point, and it lasts a little over 2 minutes. So it sounds like they completely misrepresented their product.

    BTW, the Raptor is COOL.

  17. joeblevins says:

    Now, could the whole video fit on a CD-R? eheh

  18. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    How long is this ride anyway? Even if they *did* offer video of “the whole ride”, how long could that really have been? 2 minutes?

    Even if they did offer you the complete ride, this purchaser had to have known the DVD wasn’t going to be of epic proportions. Also, note the phrase “edited clips of the ride atmosphere”.

    This just sounds like someone who’s sore at being out $20 for something that’s not worth $20. What a concept! Overpaying! I think that’s what they call “business”. :)

    Caveat emptor.

  19. Meg Marco says:

    Hi, my name is… oh forget it.

  20. mac-phisto says:

    @zentec: ok, but cedar point is a rollercoaster park. it’s slogan is rollercoaster capital of the world. what would you expect from them aside from…rollercoasters?

    as for this guy, what can i say? it’s a gimmick. what do you want? hey, i paid $3 to see a mermaid & guess what – it wasn’t a mermaid. i want my $3 back! say that too loud & you’ll have a home video that rivals freaks.

  21. synergy says:

    “Once the guests exit the ride they can buy their personal DVD at the Point of Sale. The riders get not just a point of view video, but a full-featured movie with edited clips of the ride atmosphere.”

    I don’t know. It sounds like they gave what they promised. Note that it says “the ride” not YOUR personal experience. How fast do they think these people are that they’d be able to provide edited video for everyone from that particular ride?

  22. valkin says:

    so, tell me more about this rollercoaster club. I think I need to head over to Ohio and ride this thing.

  23. SexCpotatoes says:

    Sue for the cost of your own private world-class rolly-coaster!

  24. amyjay says:

    Don’t they still do those pictures at a certain point of the ride? I normally just gawk at what a silly face I was making. The only time I ever bought one was because my brother passed out on the ride when they took the picture. If they still did those, I’d imagine they’d be a fraction of the dvd.

    Think of the scale: most new dvds cost $20. Is a two minute ride and some stock footage of said ride worth that?

  25. zentec says:

    @GirlGoneRiled:

    Disney. At the end of the day, after the $30 lunches for a family of four, the souvenirs and the mandatory photos taken by unnervingly friendly foreign students, you still feel pretty good. And even when you’re leaving the park, these giant robotic arms come out of no where, grab parents by the ankles, tip them upside down to shake every last bit of pocket change out of them, and *you still* feel pretty good about Disney.

  26. Youthier says:

    @GirlGoneRiled: If you eat in the Disney parks and do the new Disney dining plan, it’s not bad at all. We paid $48 a day and most days would have spent about $100 a day.

  27. Youthier says:

    @missbrooke06: And I’m sure people will find $48 a day outrageous. When we were little, my mom did PB&Js for lunch in the stroller and Disney was super cheap. They still let you bring food in the park where a lot of amusement parks are cracking down.

  28. zentec says:

    @mac-phisto:

    That’s all fine and well to call yourself “America’s Roller Coast” or whatever slogan the marketing people have conjured up this week, it’s completely another to skew the value of the park.

    Not too long ago, the park had a decent balance of feature attractions along with compelling but certainly not barn burner rides. The result was that you could hit the feature attractions early and late in the day, and spend the busiest park hours doing the smaller rides. You didn’t spend a lot of time waiting even when it was really busy. But most importantly, there were rides that were interesting to people with a height less than 48 inches.

    That’s changed over the past five to ten years. The park is much less attractive to someone carting around children who have yet to be able to ride most of the coasters. And as far as the bigger ones, they need to approach 60″ in height. That’s unfortunate as a parent because they certainly don’t give a proportional discount on the price of admission.

    It may very well be that they’ve changed their target audience. Which is fine. But I much rather not spend nine hours and forty-three minutes in line and seventeen minutes riding coasters. And sadly, that’s the direction this park is moving.

  29. mac-phisto says:

    @zentec: well, if you’re driving west to sandusky, you may consider driving east to hershey park. i’ve always had a blast there (plus the tour of the chocolate factory is fun). idelwood, kenneywood & knoebels are all great retro-style small-time theme parks in western pa geared towards young kids.

    of course, if you’re already driving east to sandusky, then another 6 hours on your trip probably isn’t what you’re looking for.

  30. Aaron Pratt says:

    @acambras: Is the Raptor the stand-up roller coaster? Ouch. That one hurts my back. Not cool in my book.

    I’d pay good money to get a DVD of peoples’ faces as they start riding the Top Thrill Dragster.

  31. timmus says:

    Here’s the company responsible for this park: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company of Sandusky, Ohio.

  32. any such name says:

    @Aaron Pratt: no, the Mantis is the stand-up coaster. Raptor you hang from the overhead track, feet dangling.
    Ceder Point is, hands-down, the best roller coaster park in the United States. If you haven’t been – do yourself a favor and go.

    And, extra things like DVDs and souvenirs are always going to be over-priced and disappointing. Is anyone really surprised by this? Complain to both companies if you feel stiffed. What’s all the fuss about?

  33. strathmeyer says:

    @solareclipse2: “Complain to both. What do you have to lose?”

    Extra points for getting them both on the phone at once.

  34. Nekoincardine says:

    I wish to point out something interesting that I noticed while reading this… I’m pretty sure that the described behavior may be false advertising. At that point… Well, your options become quite a number larger.

    Cedar Point is, indeed, expensive, having been there, but as someone who resists the upsell (though CP does sell documentary DVDs in the Gift Shop that I found worthwhile, in spite of their partially advertisory nature), I was sincerely amazed at the park’s quality as a rollercoaster fanatic. There is a kids area, but this certainly isn’t Disney. It simply is targeted at a different audience.

    One bit of advice if you go though: If you go on Mantis (not necessarily recommended), get some powerade or water in your system first. That thing is one of the world’s more intense stand-up coasters, i.e. blood to your feet, i.e. good chance of lights out.

    I wish to point out one thing that’s a ‘take it as you will’, though. Cedar Point is one of the only parks I’ve been to in a while to offer no ‘line skip’ system whatsoever. (Even my state fair’s miniature rides do that now!) Fairness enforced, or inconvienience to customers?

  35. Snakeophelia says:

    My husband and I are such roller coaster fanatics that we went to Cedar Point on our honeymoon. During the off season, it’s not crowded, and lodging is relatively cheap. I was surprised at the lack of food options and how expensive all the (mostlly fried) food was. If you’re just there for the coasters, it is satisfying experience. But I can’t see why they’ve chosen to build up ill will with this deceptive video practice.

  36. eckre says:

    But with that $20, and if you enjoy it, your brain can produce well over $1,000,000 of Interleukin 2, which is a very powerful anti-cancer drug, which costs $80,000+ a for a tiny little vile, and still isn’t as good as your brain and produce. Sounds like a bargain to me.

    If you don’t enjoy it, you will produce Cortisol, which will stress you out and make you fat, etc.

  37. cedarpointfan says:

    If you thing there isn’t anything to do at Cedar Point but ride roller coasters, you’re sorely mistaken.

    Cedar Point has 69 rides, take 17 [roller coasters] of those away, and you have 52 rides that aren’t roller coasters. Not to mention, you have a sandy beach, countless arcades, restaurants, shows and historic buildings.

    Now, as far as this CD goes. I wouldn’t mind paying 20 dollars to see myself screaming on Raptor, but not for 30 seconds or so of footage.

  38. bob9 says:

    Turns out Cedar Point is hanging up on people calling to complain. Not good on Cedar Fairs part.

  39. AcidReign says:

    …..I wouldn’t want a DVD of my green face the last time I rode The Hulk at Universal Orlando… Puke-o-rama!

    …..Disney’s Epcot was NOT a rip-off, in my opinion. They were having a food and wine festival (October 2005) and there were booths from all sorts of cultures selling small servings of stuff for a dollar or two. And relatively inexpensive beer, wine and soft drinks, too! While waiting on the Celebration fireworks, I went back over and over again, to Poland for polska kielbasa and pirogies, and next door to England, where a pint of Bass Ale was only a couple of bucks. It was a great day!

  40. royal72 says:

    i got $20 on the outcome of this, as follows: with enough complaining, cedar point will make a formal apology, including an offer to refund your video or you can have a ticket to the park in exchange. they will also, be more specific as to what you get with the video (fine print).

  41. Triteon says:

    @synergy: I don’t know. It sounds like they gave what they promised. Note that it says “the ride” not YOUR personal experience.
    Very interesting observation…maybe I was wrong in my previous post.

  42. bob9 says:

    Look at the FAQ on CDride’s website. The First question is such a jip!

    http://cdride.info/

  43. Elle Rayne says:

    Man, that’s lame. Sounds like false advertising to me. They said it would be edited footage of YOUR ride. Not other coasters and parks.

  44. al.orion says:

    Hi guys,

    Let me introduce myself, My name is Al and I’m the Product Manager for CDRide Corp.

    Surprisingly enough I would actually like to thank you guys for your input. For the past two years since launching (in Ocean city, New Jersey) we have been striving to better our product, and as harsh as it may be reading these words, we can learn and implement a lot of changes from you guys (no butt kissing here), the fans of roller coasters. Actually, this is who we are too and how this product began.

    As opposed to your comments, CDRide is hardly a huge Gas/Oil Corporation. We Started off three and a half years ago after visiting a killer thrill park, thinking… hmm… wouldn’t it be cool if instead of this picture our grandmother would put in an album and never look at again, we could actually video tape our ride, kicking and screaming and show it off to our friends.

    Being the tech addicts we are, we immediately set up at a friend’s house and developed the basics for this technology literally from our garage.
    We then moved on to establish CDRide Corp. and make our dream a reality. After endless tests and overcoming many and enormous technological barriers we finally began commercial development, and if you think you can just install a simple video camera on a ride an shoot the darn thing… think again! – it takes 70 engineers, physicists, optics specialists, software engineers, video specialists, tech supporters and many more – day and night to make it happen!

    Our technology is the only one in the market that has proven to actually work and YES, this costs money.
    We’re not greedy, we offer a full DVD video clip edited online for just a few dimes more than what you would have paid for a one poll camera output during these last 15 years.

    The Raptor is one of our premium rides this year (along many other with Cedar Fair rides), it contains 48 digital wireless video cameras with huge servers behind it, filming in 29.97fps full D1 resolution and 48Khz stereo audio. Generating 10800 movies a day!!! – that’s 324,000 movies a month!!!
    All rumbling under extreme G, quaking the electronic devices on-board.

    After reading your comments we have decided to make a few amends:

    A. Send out a film crew to reshoot the movie with specific ride materials – including never before filmed P.O.V. shots of the raptor and a re-edit of the whole movie from ground up.
    I will keep you updated here on what it is ready (most likely mid June)

    B. Offer each of you guys an replacement product and a complementary treat from us.
    Come by our booth at CedarPoint and we’ll replace your DVD with the new re-edited version.
    Again I will post a thread as soon as we’ll deploy the new movie.

    C. Open my door to any of your suggestions on how to make this product work better for you guys and also try to answer any technical questions you may have on our system and how it works. just email al.orion@cdride.com with any idea and I promise to try and reply as soon as I can.

    I can assure you this – we constantly aim to improve our product, not only for you guys – but also because we love what we do.

    Sincerely,

    Al Orion
    Product Manager
    CDRide Corp.
    al.orion@cdride.com

  45. bob9 says:

    Hey Al,

    Wanna tell me why I have not gotten a response from your company or Cedar Fair in my e-mail or from the phone calls I made?

    Unless I checked this every day how was I supposed to know you made an offer to fix this situation?

  46. al.orion says:

    Hey Bob9,

    Please write me directly as I did not receive your emailed complain.
    You can write either to: customers@cdride.com or to me directly: al.orion@cdride.com

    Yours,

    Al

  47. sfmman2000 says:

    That was very good of Al to post such a lengthy reply. I think an update to the Consumerist front page, with Al’s reply, should happen.

    BTW anyone complaining about Cedar Point’s admission prices should check out how much they are for any guest under 48 inches: $11.95! Same goes for seniors.