Earlier this week we posted a great review of the brand new Iron Warrior Dash (IWD). Red Frog Events, which produces IWD, is breaking it’s new longer distance race out at the same location and on the same days as the wildly successful Warrior Dash. At this past weekend’s event in Georgia, there was a major breakdown in service. Many of the over 8,000 participants had to wait in long lines at bag check, and also for their bus shuttle service. Facebook immediately lit up with complaints. The majority of the gripes spoke to how people loved the obstacles and the course but were beside themselves about the wait times.
ORM asked Red Frog to answer some questions directly to find out exactly what happened and how they were going to take care of their customers moving forward.
ORM: It is our understanding that the site pulled the plug last minute and that led to the decision to park off site. Is that true? What exactly happened there?
Red Frog: The rain earlier in the week led us to change the parking lots to off-site instead of the pre-arranged parking plan on site.
ORM: Several people complained about trash pick up, can you explain what is the usual plan around garbage and what happened in Georgia?
Red Frog: We always have a crew hired to handle waste on site. The crew we had scheduled failed to show up and we have already begun discussion with our team on how to avoid this at future events.
ORM: What is your usual plan on volunteers and backup volunteers in case some don’t show and what happened in Georgia that caused the shortage? What will Red Frog do in the future as not have that happen again?
Red Frog: We were very lucky to have outstanding volunteers who worked extremely hard to help better race logistics. For every Warrior Dash, Red Frog Events works with local organizations and provides a monetary donations in exchange for them providing a group of volunteers and we schedule more than needed to come out on race day. On average, the donations reach up to $11,000 each race. Warrior Dash Georgia had many originally scheduled volunteers, but unfortunately, we had a few groups unable to make it out.
ORM: What discount or offer will you be offering those that stood in those long bus lines?
Red Frog: We will be offering 50% off a 2013 or 2014 WD race and will be providing 2013 WD Georgia racers a unique promo code in an email to be sent out when we announce our 2014 Georgia location in the upcoming weeks.
ORM: Is there anything else Red Frog wishes to say to its participants and potential participants?
Red Frog: We want to thank our 2013 Georgia Warriors for their honest feedback and patience. There were event logistics we know we let racers down with this year at our Georgia event and we understand and are distraught by the inconvenience this caused many of them. The rain earlier in the week led us to change parking lots and we fell short on event day with our pre-arranged staffing. We are regrouping as a team this week to ensure we can make it up to our Warriors next year and hope they know we are working hard so this does not happen again.
We here at ORM are very impressed with Red Frog’s ability to own their mistakes and offer their customers something tangible as an apology. The cry on facebook for a lot of disappointed customers at races seems to always be “Refund!” We don’t believe that is a realistic way to keep customers happy AND run a sustainable business long term. What are your thoughts? Did Red Frog do enough?