Media Coverage of Alton Towers

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Leah, 2nd Jul 2015.

  1. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,353
    Posted 2nd Jul 2015
    #1
  2. Leah

    Leah TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    1,353
    Posted 2nd Jul 2015
    #2
  3. cjchapman

    cjchapman TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    That headline actually made me laugh out loud.

    The media are clearly milking any incident for all the linkbait it's worth. It's a shame as it's not doing the park's reputation any favours. The sensationalist reporting of minor technical issues seems to be making the general public question the safety of the park overall, with some thinking the park don't maintain rides frequently enough and suggesting for the park to be closed down to make sure every ride is 100% safe.

    I guess it shows how a lot of people trusted the safety of theme parks without a second thought but since the incident on The Smiler it's brought it to the forefront of peoples minds.
     
    DiogoJ42, Jonathan and Leah like this.
    Posted 2nd Jul 2015
    #3
  4. delta79

    delta79 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    5,511
    Likes Received:
    4,559
    Location:
    Shropshire
    Favourite Ride:
    Nemesis, Air
    If there's somethin' strange in your Theme park
    Who ya gonna call (ghostbusters)
    If it's somethin' weird an it won't look good
    Who ya gonna call (ghostbusters)

    I ain't afraid a no ghost
    I ain't afraid a no ghost
    If you're seein' things runnin' thru oblivion
    Who can you call (ghostbusters)
    An' invisible man sleepin' in the flowerbed
    Oh who ya gonna call (ghostbusters)

    :D
     
    Leah and DiogoJ42 like this.
    Posted 2nd Jul 2015
    #4
  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    13,292
    Likes Received:
    20,054
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    Favourite Ride:
    The Metropolitan Line
    Don't worry, when my proton pack is finished, I'll sort everything out ;)
     
    Posted 2nd Jul 2015
    #5
  6. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,236
    Likes Received:
    7,254
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    A collision between two ride vehicles where riders needed medical attention isn't really insignificant? It's only insignificant when you compare it to what happened a month ago.
     
    Croftybaby likes this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #6
  7. XXBENNXX

    XXBENNXX TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Eastbourne
    Favourite Ride:
    Spider-Man IOA
    I have been on spinball and experienced this exact "collision" myself, on the final brake run. I am Disabled with permanent damage to every joint and muscle in my body, no medical assistance was required, but at this point the smiler had not crashed yet, so people were not looking for every opportunity to milk every penny from the park, and the shameless media outlets to which they feed the "story".

    Every single person in that news story claiming they needed medical attention is lying. Fact.

    These "collisions" happen very regularly on all coasters of this type the world over. The ride is closed for a matter of minutes and is then reopened.

    Frustrating as it is, these pointless stories will keep coming t hick and fast. The media need to grow up.
     
    jon81uk and Enter Valhalla like this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #7
  8. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Any accident involving injuries is tragic, but should be looked at in the context of the wider record of safety.

    As Nick Varney said, hundreds of millions of people have safely visited Merlin parks. Why pick on a company with a sterling safety record over many years. Why not focus on any number of other things that are statistically more dangerous such as driving, flying, eating, drinking, cutting the lawn, etc. The answer of course is sensationalism and money.

    The news outlets themselves have a far worse safety record than AT having caused suicides through bullying tactics and endangering British personel overseas by reporting information that was counterproductive to operations.

    The British stiff upper lip, something that we could be rightly proud of has been replaced by a whining, me first, name and blame compensation culture. You only have to watch Jeremy Kyle to see what we have become.

    Though Sonic Spinball is far from my favourite coaster, the bump in the station in my experience is at most, what could be expected on the dodgems. If this is the impact they are talking about, I would not consider it significant.

    We have a fantastic, statistically safe theme park and a company with every motivation to learn from June's tragic accident, but I fear they are being attacked by the irresponsible press on one side and a small number of individuals making exaggerated claims through social media on the other.

    I would hate to see them hounded out of business, ruining a successful company, thousands of jobs and the fun of millions of visitors.

    Genuine safety issues should quite rightly be reported, but I wish there were some legal mechanism to prevent routine operations being misrepresented for profit. Unfortunately any attempt to get a fair press would be misrepresented as a cover up.

    I hope the financial viability of the park is sound for the future. I think NV is the right man for the job, but I don't envy him right now.

    I will be attending when I can and showing my support. Will also be spending a little more on each visit... my collection of AT shirts is about to get bigger...
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2015
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #8
  9. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    There is a precedent for the newspapers destroying a large successful company.

    I haven't forgotten how the press used a one sentence quote from Gerald Ratner to destroy the entire successful Ratners chain within months.

    Just google press destroys Ratners.

    After an extensive rebranding exercise Ratners went from 1500 shops to just a handful under a new name with the loss of thousands of jobs.

    Ratners had more shops in the UK then, than Starbucks, McDonald's or Wetherspoons do today.

    Their ability to destroy a large successful business over nothing, with the sole motivation of selling a few more papers for a short period of time makes frightening reading.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2015
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #9
  10. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,236
    Likes Received:
    7,254
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    Some of you talk about Alton/Merlin as if it's a cake stall that your grandma has baked for. It's very touching. I and anyone else who own Merlin shares thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

    Also, you appear to have missed out some very key facts about the Ratners case - like WHY it happened in this first place. The head of that company showed nothing but contempt for his customers, they absolutely deserved everything they got. By removing their damaged brand and using others, they're now doing rather well!

    Do we know exactly what this collision was? Also, there are quite a few variables that could be at play here, relating to weather, speed, weight of the riders in both cars, the position of the riders during the shunt and if they were holding onto the bar etc. You could even down to axle greasing or how new the pads are on the brakes if you wanted to!

    Every person is different, each situation is different. Look at the injuries of the lady in row 2 on the Smiler - everyone else on that row recovered quickly, she sustained a very different injury while in the same row in the same car.

    I understand people's accusations about the media (that's not changing by the way - get used to it), but I don't think we have a right to automatically assume any injury (particularly one that required 2 hours+ medical attention) is sensationalist journalism and can automatically be discounted as ********.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2015
    Croftybaby likes this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #10
  11. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Whilst I can agree that Gerald Ratner was a colossal fool, who disrespected his customers, it doesn't change the fact that one single comment, led to the near collapse of the company due to the media not allowing the matter to drop for weeks, then months.

    Remember this was one verbal throwaway comment that was probably said in jest (a gross error of judgement). The press were happy to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of Ratners employees by repeatedly recycling this statement, just as they would be happy to do now.

    The accident in June was tragic, rare and non deliberate but it resulted in the partial loss of a limb for two people and less serious injuries to others.

    Nothing that Gerald Ratner said or did, resulted in physical injury or harm and I don't see how it compares to losing part of a leg.

    If the press were prepared to destroy a company and see thousands of workers lose their jobs because a CEO jokingly (and stupidly) described his own products as 'crap', then there is every poosibility that they will drag this far more serious incident out for longer.

    I don't think they should, but I do think they will.

    The irony is that Ratners products were VFM products, the quality of which was reflected in the price and should not be compared to products costing 30 times more. I dont recall people having a issue with the products prior to Ratners foot in mouth moment, just as no one had an issue with safety at AT before this one occurrence.

    Ratners employees did not deserve this attack on their livelihoods then just as AT employees don't deserve it now.

    I think the comparion in respect of the media treatment stands.

    The renamed company certainly doesn't have a high street presence of 1500 shops.

    As for the cake stall analogy, in addition to feeling for the employees of AT and the local economy, I have a selfish reason for wanting it to be successful. I think it's a great theme park, a fantastic day out, and I want it to continue.

    Thanks for the debate though.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2015
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #11
  12. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    10,375
    Likes Received:
    13,692
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance
    Yes we do know exactly what the collision was. It happened to me a couple of years ago as well, in fact it seems be happen relatively frequently but guess what, it's only become an issue after The Smiler crashed! I wonder why!

    Basically as the car approaches the station at a very slow speed, sometimes instead of stopping in the final brake just before the station it carries on through momentum slightly and bumps into the car in front - the ride cars have buffers for little bumps like these. It's a far less violent bump then say if you were to stall you car suddenly. It is a non-event.

    When it happened to me no one noticed, no one cared, the ride carried on as usual.

    :)
     
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #12
  13. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    5,202
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #13
  14. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,236
    Likes Received:
    7,254
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    Thank you - very much enjoying it. I understand the desire for you to want to support Alton, I do understand it. I just think it's an odd approach to one of the most savvy money making machines I've ever bothered to invest in. It's not a mom & pop, look at its market cap! It's crazy just how big Merlin is now - but I am sure the t-shirt sales will be very much appreciated...

    I still struggle to get on board with the whole Ratner comparison. Yes the CEO screwed up, massively - but I don't hold the media accountable for what happened. It should have happened - businesses work when there is integrity in the product and the associated pricing. The second that Ratner said all the products in his shops were crap and wouldn't last as long as a Marks & Spencer (prawn?) sandwich, that's a serious dent in the integrity of the value that customers are receiving. The stock market thought so too, HALF A BILLION disappeared from the company's value in a matter of days.

    There is a humanistic slant, of course there is - that's not to say that it isn't awful that people lost their jobs, but in the case of Ratners, employees put a lot of faith in their CEO and he stuffed up. That's just the way it goes. Companies fail for a variety of reasons.

    Who is to say what would have happened to the chain without the above, it could have gone the same way as lots of other retail powerhouses and have been crushed by the advent of the internet.

    But we don't - that's absolutely my point. You are assuming the exact same thing happened here as happened to you. As I said, cases can be different, people can be different. The guests sat on the ride for a time quoted as 20 minutes and were then evacced before being taken to receive medical assistance for two hours +/-.

    I understand the desire to shoot everything down as tabloid claptrap, but I think that's dangerous.
     
    Altonadvocate1 likes this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #14
  15. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,170
    Likes Received:
    5,202
    Leah likes this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #15
  16. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

    Messages:
    10,375
    Likes Received:
    13,692
    Location:
    Leicestershire
    Favourite Ride:
    Steel Vengeance
    I believe the Alton Towers statement which describes exactly what happened when I was on it. If it was such a major issue it would not have been picked up 2 days after the event in media desperation and the ride would not have opened again that very same day.

    :)
     
    Altonadvocate1 likes this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #16
  17. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    I can agree that Merlin is a huge corporate money making machine, and yes since the incident I have probably defended them more than I would have before. I certainly haven't always agreed with the direction they have taken AT.

    Maybe subconsciously I just wanted some more rollercoaster T Shirts lol.

    As for Ratner, whilst his old business has a new name and new owners, he now tasks himself via Gerald online.

    Whilst he brought this on his company and employees himself I like to think that I could my own objective decision on the merits of the quality and value of a product, rather than apply one daft statement to every product line offered by a company, even if it comes from the CEO.

    It was well known at the time that the bad press coverage continued for a long time and damaged the companies reputation to the point where it could not recover. Without continual backtracking and ridicule the whole thing would have been forgotten quickly.

    The fact that it went from a growing profitable company to a struggling business virtually overnight is due to the stupidity of Ratner. The fact that the press coverage went on for months prevented a recovery.

    Though 'crap' is too strong a word to use, I reckon I could figure out that a crystal decanter costing £4.99 would not be hand made by the finest craftsmen in Geneva lol.

    PS Great forum - love a debate where we can disagree but respect opinions
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2015
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #17
  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    4,236
    Likes Received:
    7,254
    Favourite Ride:
    Crux
    You had the opportunity to do that. So did everyone else. They chose to shop elsewhere.
     
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #18
  19. Altonadvocate1

    Altonadvocate1 TowersStreet Member

    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    So they did... But the product quality was exactly the same as had been a successful business model before the bad publicity with customers making repeat purchases.

    Not me though... no namby pamby crystal decanters in Yorkshire. Pint o Tetley, mate!
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul 2015
    Rick likes this.
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #19
  20. James

    James TS Founding Member

    Messages:
    3,898
    Likes Received:
    2,592
    Location:
    S.Wales
    The entire Mirror article is based on an alleged story from a guest. It's obviously a load of BS, there will be a lot of people running to the papers to sell this 'stories' to get a few hundred quid.

    Going by what Alton Towers have officially said it was just a minor bump on Spinball, which is very common for that ride. I've experienced it, it's nothing, had rougher bus rides than that.
     
    Posted 3rd Jul 2015
    #20

Share This Page