I have been a vocal proponent of the Mariners Kid’s Club for years. It has been a good deal and while almost every MLB team has some form of Kids Club the Mariners have had one of the best. Last year the addition of the a free version it felt unnecessary, but I understand the use of it and the paid version was still a great deal.
This year is very different. There is still the free version which gets kids a drawstring backpack a wiffle ball (which I could do without), which is nice, but it is the paid version which we have gotten in years prior which has proven to be well worth the purchase.
If you have been reading my blog over the last few years you know that I take my kids to the Mariners games by myself. This is an important fact to note because it is going to come up. The kids love going to the Mariners games. A day at the ballpark usually means getting to hang out, have fun, watch baseball, eat some fun foods, and generally spend some real good quality time together.
One of the big features of the paid version of the Mariners Kids Club is the ticket voucher. In years past I would take the vouchers to the box office pay for my ticket and use the vouchers to get the kids their tickets. This year it was different. I having trouble finding the games to attend that would fit into our busy schedule – what with most of the weekend games taken out of consideration by the Mariners.
Xavier’s Little League had a deal to get a group rate for a game so we went and had a great time. Xavier spent the whole game a couple of rows above us sitting next to his friends and team mates. He had the best time of us all. Ciaran, Dela and I also had a great time, it was a roller coaster of a game, and I wish August had been able to make it (we had a ticket for him but he was at a friend’s birthday party).
While I was at the game I took the opportunity to go to the box office to purchase the tickets for the rest of the season. I had the Kids Club vouchers, a list of dates, and was told I would not be able to purchase the tickets.
I would be required to purchase a full-priced ticket for each voucher ticket.
Wait a minute. This has never come up before. Every year I have purchase my ticket at full price then used each of the kids’ vouchers to get their discounted ticketed, and have never had to purchase one full price ticket per Kids Club voucher ticket. Over the last few years I have gone to the Safeco Field box office and the Team Store in Lynnwood to purchase my tickets and have never had a problem.
Not this year.
I was told I would need to purchase a full price ticket for each Kids Club voucher ticket.
This was the first time this has happened and I was puzzled. So I did what I never thought I would do – I went to complain.
I went to the front desk of operations at Safeco Field to make my complaint in person. Somebody came down, wrote my concerns, and was really nice about the whole thing. One of the concerns I raised was the understanding that there might be a shift in policy to require a full-price ticket purchase for each Kids Club voucher ticket, but what happens when a couple has three children?
The issues I raised regarding the Kids Club were not just for me but for all families. If there was confusion on our part, a family that has participated in the Kids Club program for a few years, then I’m sure there are others out there who are also concerned and affected.
While the person who took my complaint wasn’t the one who was actually responsible for handling the issue she promised somebody would contact me soon this matter. A couple of days later I got the following email:
What about answers to the questions I raised?
As it stands I am out the money for the Kids Club memberships that are nice, what with the winter cap and Moose bobblehead, but the main reason for spending the money is the ticket voucher which is the only way we manage to attend as many games as we do.
I wrote a few years ago “It’s easy to root for the Mariners when they are doing well, and a lot of fans turn their back and say nothing when the team does poorly. At least we never turn our back on the Mariners.”
It seems now that the Mariners aren’t doing so poorly they are making it more difficult to be a fan by turning their backs on families.