Patriots Focus Group Gate: I Got “Canned”
As you all know, I got snubbed from the Patriots focus group this past week and to say the least, I was not happy.
There is nothing like feeling important to a sports organization that you have supported for 16 years not just as a fan but as a paying customer aka season ticket holder.
However, there is nothing worse than feeling the polar opposite, when the team/company/business/organization that you love snubs your chance to voice your opinion.
The feeling of being a valued customer.
In my last article, Patriots Not In Focus With Season Ticket Holders, I went on a rant of how I have been treated as a New England Patriots Season Ticket holder during “Focus Group Gate.”
I feel like I have been snubbed.
Left in the cold.
Being the last kid chosen in gym class for kick ball(insert cheesy saying of abandonment here).
Most companies cherish their customers especially ones that have been with them through thick(the championship years of the 2000’s) and the thin(the 90’s). They give back and give their consumers that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Well the Patriots don’t know the Rule of Warm and Fuzzy. Their canned response to my email is an EPIC FAIL.
They don’t even address one of my issues/complaints at all.
Mr. Pat Tully(if that’s his real name or that he even exists), just signed his name to a complete generic(to shut me up) form letter.
The kicker….his signature was in a different font than the rest of the letter.
That means just one thing.
CUT AND PASTE!
And it took them three days to send me a generic email.
There is more passion and sincerity in the spam emails I get from Nigerian Princes who need my money and ask for my bank account number.
Below is my exchange with the “Focus Group” at the Patriots, you can judge for yourself the amount of value and thanks they have for their season ticket holders.
My email to the Patriots after “Focus Group Gate”:
Entitled: “Extremely Disappointed”
To whom it may concern,
To find out I was not chosen for the focus group, is extremely disappointing. Being a season ticket holder of over 16 years, I was excited to share my feedback with the organization. To share my experiences and ideas was more of an incentive than the $100 gift card to the Pro Shop.
I feel being a loyal supporter for so many years has come with very few benefits. I felt this focus group was a step in the right direction. And yet again, I am left out in the cold.
Basically taking a $360 loss every season because I cant sell my preseason games to anyone and there is no ticket exchange program in place either. I am certaintly going to embrace the league’s schedule change from 4 preseason games to 2 with open arms. I will only incur a $180 loss now. Small victory I guess.
No season ticket holder discounts to be had. Parking is still $40. Concessions are absurd.
People may ask why do you still go? Well I feel having season tickets is like having a family heirloom that you pass down from generation to generation. I saw this team that was on the verge of leaving Massachusetts forever; become a elite franchise right in front of my eyes.
It has been a fantastic ride, but I don’t see any thanks from the ownership or team. A pin or letter isnt enough. I need help in the wallet or at least allow me a venue to have my voice heard.
Being snubbed from this focus group takes away that opportunity as well.
Season Ticket Holder since 1994
The canned response from Mr. Pat Tully of the Patriots:
Dear Mr. Gill,
Thank you for your email and your continued support of the New England Patriots. We appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
We received an overwhelming response to participate in the focus groups and unfortunately did not have room for everyone to take part. But, we are always looking for ways to improve your experience as a Season Ticket Holder. There will be many other opportunities, both formal and informal, to share your feedback with us throughout the year.
Importantly, we realize we have Season Ticket Holders of all ages and from areas of New England. We are hosting Focus Groups with 3 distinct age ranges and we received an overwhelmingly positive response to participate from every group. We randomly selected participants ranging from 32 to 74 years old.
Given the great response, unfortunately not everyone who responded was able to participate, but we are happy to hear any thoughts you have.
If you have any other thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to email us at Focusgroup@patriots.com
Peter Tully(original font was different than the body of the email)
Folks, judge for yourself if I have the right to be disappointed and disgruntled. I know it is a privilege not a right to have season tickets for one of the most successful sports franchises on the planet Earth.
However, it’s their privilege not a right to have such a loyal fan base supporting their team.
Because god knows, that fan base was not there in the early 90’s when the team almost left for St. Louis.