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How to treat those who chicken out

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  • How to treat those who chicken out

    Hi there,

    I opened a haunted house just a month ago and I wonder if you can help with this.

    Some people chicken out before or during my haunted attraction. Especially if they give up on the doorstep of the attraction or shortly after the beginning I feel that they are leaving with regret and feeling of failure and wasted money. How do you deal with customers who give up? I would like to deliver some value to them and make them feel good even if they chicken out.

    Any advice for that?


  • #2

    Feed them to the hogs.

    Wicked Farmer


    • #3
      Explain there are no refunds and if they leave because they chicken out, we've already done our job.

      We have doubled our patrons from last season so far, but we have quadrupled people chickening out at the rules room.


      • #4
        We just take them out. We have an escort person we get a call need an escort and we lead them right out. No refunds.
        Larry Kirchner


        • #5
          Once you set foot inside, even if its one foot, there are no refunds. that's how we handled it, in practice (we did not advertise this fact. We just posted No Refunds). If you post "Absolutely no refunds" large and often enough many people will not even ask for a refund if they chicken out before they go inside. But sometimes, you'll get a situation like a family with parents and kids and they'll ask because they just dropped a huge chunk of change on paying for this experience that their wimpy kid is now trying to back out of. You can go the goodwill route and hope that refunding now means they'll be back, and braver, next year. Or you can stick to what the sign says and they will probably never come back.
          Chief Engineer/Co-Creative Director
          HUSH Haunted Attraction



          • #6
            We get this problem a LOT because only the veterans really expect it to be as long or scary as it is. We emphasize on our website that it is rated PG and we don't recommend it for kids who chicken out easily, but parents know their kids better than we do and kids are allowed if accompanied by an adult. (Not one adult per child but one parent or guardian per group of kids.) But the young kids keep coming and many of them start crying after the very first creature dramatically appears, especially when adults in the party start screaming in fright. (Kids are not stupid. They know if the adults are sacred, they should be, too!) We also have a sign that says "No Refunds, especially for Chickens!" but we still feel a little bad when they were only in the first room and couldn't handle it. So now we give them FIVE $2 off coupons when this happens, and let them know they can save the entire cost of their ticket if they use all five coupons. This doesn't cost us much at all, but it allows the parents to save face and not feel like they lost all $10 (children's admission). Adults get 8 coupons for the same reason ($16 savings on eight $15 tickets). With any luck, they won't feel ashamed to come back with an entire group of customers, so it's a really a win/win. Realistically, the adults more often use the coupons than the kids do, because they feel embarrassed they "failed" and try to come back and do better. Most of the kids wait so long that I no longer recognize them when (or if) they return.