Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Voice

This is Day 5 of my 31 Days of August Awesomeness Blog Challenge. Want to know more? Check out the inaugural post here.

On Day 3 of my 31 Days of August Awesomeness challenge, I provided a list of some of Minnesota’s upcoming fairs and festivals. One in particular I was quite excited about: the MN Food Truck Fair. 2012 is its inaugural year, and it sounded like an extremely cool concept: downtown Minneapolis, a bunch of food trucks, a bunch of breweries, some live music and all around fun-ness.

Well, what sounds good on paper doesn’t always translate to good in real life. Let me just say that I am utterly thankful that I purchased discount tickets for this event, because if I would have paid full-price I’d probably be a bit ballistic right now.

The event was scheduled from 12pm-5:30pm. From what I heard, the doors didn’t open until 12:30pm. When we got there at 1:30pm, there was a very long line of people waiting to get in. Not entirely unexpected, but we bought VIP tickets and thought that would help us jump some of the line.

Nope.

30 minutes later we finally enter the fenced in area. Imagine a sea of people standing in line after line after line, and you’ll start to get an idea of what we were looking at. We decided to go grab a beer first (our VIP tickets gave us access to unlimited beer samples). We tried to scout out some of the trucks, but it was impossible to get close enough to see the menu because of the length of the line.

20 minutes later we were double fisting 4 oz. beer samples. We decided to brave a line for a free juicy lucy. We spent about 5 minutes tracking the line which bobbed and weaved around the other lines to finally arrive at the back of the line. And then we waited.

And waited.

And waited.

After 20 minutes, we had moved about 10 feet. By that time, we had had enough. We were hungry and cranky, and in the midst of 5000 people (the # of ticket sales according to fair rumors) we decided to cut our losses and leave.

I went out and found the MN Food Truck Fair’s Facebook page. It was blowing up with comments. It’s still blowing up with comments.  Not only were people complaining about the length of the lines, but more recent reports said that the trucks were running out of food and the trashcans were full and overflowing (gross!). Almost every single one said that they are planning to ask for a refund.

Including me.

It made me feel just a tad bit better knowing that my husband and I were not the only ones who felt like we got a bit scammed. The people are speaking, and I’d say that its a safe assumption that if this event happens again next year, it’s going to be totally different. This is a PR disaster, and my guess is that whatever money they made they are going to lose a fairly significant chunk issuing refunds (which in all good conscience they should).

Consumers are savvy these days. If they don’t like something they are going to speak up. I’ve used Facebook and Twitter several times to lodge a complaint, and I have to say that when I do, I almost always get a response and am taken care of. That’s pretty cool. Social media has taken down the walls between us and gives us a pretty big stage to be able to shout to the world when we’re not happy.

Social media, when used properly, is pretty awesome. So even though I’m unhappy right now, my frown is turned upside down simply because I feel like I was able to tell someone about it, and hopefully my issue will be resolved. If not, at least I was able to commiserate with about 2000+ other people. 🙂

I almost feel bad for the MN Food Truck Fair event coordinators. Almost.

(Photo credit: Identity Photogr@phy)

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