With glowing hopes of participating in the majestic 5K FunRun, my friends and I awoke at the crack of dawn last Saturday, only to have our hopes dashed. After driving to a remote farm on the outskirts of Boston, we realized it was not to be.
A truck containing two farmworkers pulled up, and regrettably told us that while they do indeed host many events, they were never approached by the FunRun, and had never held any affiliation with the organizers of that event. They had already sent away cars of would be Fun runners. I gave them my event voucher so they could investigate further.
It seemed perfectly reputable. All of our entries had been purchased through none other than Groupon and LivingSocial Competitor Amazon Local. I’ll admit the name tag Amazon greatly lowered my guard. After all, is Amazon not one of the most reputable companies as of late? Most people seem to trust Amazon compared with “sketchier” competitor ebay. While regrettably mistakes can happen within any company, Amazon has a solid reputation and is generally seen as a safe bet.
Apparently this is not so with Amazon Local, which I admittedly hadn’t heard of before being approached by some friends about entering the race together. Upon further inspection, it appears to be a poor challenger of groupon, living social, and gilt city. Some of the events peaked my interest, mainly because unlike the other aforementioned activity oriented sites, there was little overlap. In other words, I was finding opportunities I wasn’t seeing elsewhere. That within itself was exciting. However, upon second thought, is there really anything wrong with an event being advertised by multiple carriers? A long time fan of the ever successful Paint Nite, it hasn’t slipped my notice that I have seen discount opportunities for this event featured on all carriers listed above. Is anything that should be taken as a promising sign of solidarity – what are the odds of not one, but two carriers being duped by a nonexistent event? These repeated events are most reliable, and from the marketing perspective, these events should aim for promotion from as many carriers as possible.
In the end, we were all issued immediate refunds. And in my case, a profuse apology with the promise of investigating what exactly went wrong out at Kimball Farm. However, I will admit I will be suspicious whenever eyeing Amazon Local.