Splash n' whaaaat? Coupon mixup has waterpark doing the backstroke
$1.1 million in coupon value 'could actually have meant the end of Splash n' Putt,' says owner
A summer promotion has resulted in a belly flop for a popular Newfoundland water park.
The Newfoundland Herald this week printed a coupon for a free pass for a family of four to the popular Splash n' Putt, near Glovertown. That's a value of $190 — and a much better deal than the park's owners intended.
Shane Gardiner, co-owner of Splash n' Putt with his wife Angela, told CBC's On the Go this week that the mixup was due to a miscommunication on their part.
It could, essentially, mean our business not making it through the summer.- Shane Gardiner
"We misunderstood what was actually going in the coupon," he said, explaining that he and his wife were expecting four day passes — as well as a night's accommodation — to be the grand prize in a contest draw.
"This was no fault of the Herald. They sent us correspondence which was correct but we just misunderstood, so it got printed that way, which it wasn't supposed to."
Gardiner said the Herald went out Monday morning, but they didn't realize there was a problem until Wednesday, when Angela was at a grocery store and someone asked her if the coupon was correct.
"It just floored her. She didn't even know what they meant, and when she looked at the Herald, she was like, 'Oh my God, what's going on?'" Gardiner said.
Shane Gardiner said there's no way the waterpark can just honour the coupons as printed. With an estimated 6,000 coupons in circulation before the mistake was caught, at $190 a pop, that's a potentially $1.1-million mistake.
"If there was a high redemption rate on the coupon as printed, as four passes, it could, essentially, mean our business not making it through the summer," he said.
"There's more coupons out there than what we would even sell during the summer, so it could actually have meant the end of Splash n' Putt."
As word of the deal spread, the issue sold out, and Gardiner heard reports of people buying extra copies to sell the coupons online, something Splash n' Putt tried to warn people about on its Facebook page. A corrected coupon has gone out, and Gardiner says the incorrect coupon will also be accepted for what it was intended to be: one day pass per family.
"We're going to take those coupons, but they're going to be valid for a day pass as opposed to four day passes. That was our intention right from the beginning, to issue a coupon, which is a great coupon, for one full day pass."
The Gardiners have been trying to get the word out about the problem in advance of the park's opening on June 30, through social media and advertising.
With files from On the Go