Despite amusement parks being closed due to the global pandemic, Six Flags is reportedly still charging their season pass holders for membership fees.
Plaintiff Shahriyar Rezai-Hariri argues that, by continuing to charge membership fees each month while the parks are closed, Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. and Magic Mountain LLC breached their contract with season pass holders.
“Defendants have made the baffling decision to keep charging all of its customers monthly membership fees while prohibiting access to Six Flags Magic Mountain as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, rages throughout the world and the United States economy has gone into a deep recession,” the Six Flags class action lawsuit claims.
Six Flags reportedly made the decision to close their Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom locations on March 13, citing the coronavirus outbreak. Although these measures are important and effective in stopping community spread of the virus, Rezai-Hariri claims that the amusement park companies shouldn’t be charging their customers.
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According to the Six Flags class action lawsuit, a season pass to the parks retails for $289 a year while a membership retails for between $240 and $505 a year, depending on seasonal promotions. Payments for these memberships are reportedly due each month and are charged automatically to credit or debit cards provided by the customers.
Rezai-Hariri says he had a season pass since 2014 and has paid a monthly fee of $6.95 for his membership. Because the Six Flags locations were closed, the plaintiff reportedly believed that he would no longer be charged for his membership until the parks reopened. However, Rezai-Hariri was allegedly charged his monthly fee of $6.95 on March 25.
According to the plaintiff, this is unacceptable. While the parks are closed, he and other consumers are unable to access the services they were paid for.
“Thus, defendants have made the deliberate decision to bilk its customers out of untold sums per month while its customers do not have access to defendants’ parks,” Rezai-Hariri argues in his Six Flags class action lawsuit.
In addition to claiming that the monthly membership charges are unfair, Rezai-Hariri argues that he and other consumers would not have chosen to get a membership with Six Flags if they knew that they would be charged for services they aren’t able to access.
According to Rezai-Hariri, the “sole reason” that he and other consumers pay the fees is that Six Flags are advertised to be open seven days a week.
“Plaintiff would not have paid for the membership, or would not have paid for it on the same terms, had he known that he would not have access to Six Flags Magic Mountain for a period of months,” the Six Flags class action lawsuit argues.
“Now, Defendants are charging its customers full price while denying its customers all access to all of Defendants’ parks.”
Based on this, the plaintiff argues that membership payments should be suspended until further notice. The Six Flags class action lawsuit also seeks compensatory damages and punitive damages for the plaintiff and other affected consumers.
Rezai-Hariri argues that thousands of season pass holders are affected by this issue. He seeks to represent a Class of consumers who were charged Six Flags membership fees while the amusement parks were closed.
Coronavirus Closures Impact on Consumers
In order to stop the spread of coronavirus, most public gathering places have closed in order to protect people from unknowingly becoming exposed.
Unfortunately, consumers may still be charged fees associated with these locations or services despite not being able to access them.
Members of New York Sports Club are allegedly being charged for their monthly gym memberships despite the locations being closed until further notice.
Events and Adventures, a singles club, also faced a class action lawsuit, alleging that consumers are being charged $170 membership fees despite all of their events being cancelled.
After the Lighting in a Bottle festival was cancelled due to the outbreak, several consumers took action against the festival’s organizer and demanded refunds of their tickets.
Similarly, ticket purchasing website StubHub has come under fire for allegedly refusing to refund ticket purchases if events were cancelled.
Several additional class action lawsuits have argued that travel expenses should be refunded to consumers and any penalties for rescheduling should be dismissed. Volaris, United Airlines and other companies have faced legal action from consumers demanding refunds.
Rezai-Hariri is represented by Daryoosh Khashayar of Khashayar Law Group.
The Six Flags Membership Fees Class Action Lawsuit is Rezai-Hariri v. Magic Mountain LLC, et al., Case No. 8:20-cv-00716, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
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