Published: April 26, 2019
Why We Don't Use Groupon for Skydiving at Skydive Newport
We'll give those other DZs this: we're sure that Groupon seemed like a great idea at the time. Customers were spending less than ever to make a skydive, dropzones were raking up the upsells (and, often, snagging repeat business) and the service itself was making plenty of money in the middle. Everyone wins, right? Well: no. Someone loses, for sure -- and, in the case of Groupon, that "someone" is almost always the customer.
Call us negative Nancies, but y'know what? It always seemed a little unsustainable to us. Our instinct has been proven absolutely right since then. Not only is the Groupon business model seriously flawed -- so many skydiving dropzones that relied on Groupon for their business have folded -- but the customer experience conveyed by these fly-by-nights ended up being a total nightmare. We're glad we never had any part in it, truth be told.
We'll toot our own horn just a little bit here and tell you that we recognized that Groupon might not be legitimate from the beginning. Instead of buying in, we continued to offer a world-class, safe, and personal skydiving experience at a fair price at our gorgeous Newport, RI skydiving center. We didn't lose any business -- in fact, by not devaluing the incredibly worthwhile experience of a top-notch tandem skydive, we were able to keep our standards (literally) sky-high, and the adventurers who came to jump with us got to keep experiencing the very best, over and over.
Sure, buying a Groupon skydive discount seems like a great deal at first blush, but get this: While a jumper might save a few short-term bucks through Groupon, the endgame is a loss for everyone. Of all the Groupon horror stories ending with "you get what you pay for," skydiving is probably the ultimate. Here's why.
1. Your Groupon might not include...your parachute.
If you look into that crazy-cheap, deal, something very interesting might come up: the rate doesn't include the harness and goggles! So -- after you've already purchased a Groupon for a tandem skydive -- you then must pay an additional $70 to have the actual equipment to be attached to your instructor and land in one piece. Super shady, right?!
2. The maintenance of safe airplanes and skydiving equipment is expensive.
At bargain basement prices, there is simply no money to upkeep equipment to a safe level. This doesn't seem to bother plenty of Groupon skydiving dropzones. It bothers us. A lot. Even beyond issues of skydiving safety: When you're operating on strapped cash flow, it's very hard to invest in the facilities improvements and upgrades that make a skydive truly awesome.
3. Tandem skydiving instructors need to breathe every once in a while.
Groupon skydiving dropzones exist by dint of volume. That means that their instructors are jumping all day, every day, or the dropzone goes out of business. If that sounds unbelievably hard -- it is. Fatigued instructors are simply not capable of conveying you safely and happily through what should be the experience of a lifetime, and that's not acceptable here.
4. Groupon skydiving is a huge hassle for the jumper.
If you turn up at a skydiving center in Rhode Island with a Groupon, you can expect the same story: a bunch of hassle. You'll be presented with ludicrous upsells, a burly list of additional fees, and eye-rolling customer service. It's super-unfortunate but true, and the online reviews back us up for calling it.
Here's the straight dope: At Skydive Newport, we don't do lackluster, questionable or unfriendly skydiving. Because of that, we've made the very conscious choice not to work with Groupon -- or any other company that employs similar practices. We're deeply committed to offering an absolutely exceptional experience for our customers at a fair, sustainable price, and we're sure you wouldn't have it any other way!
Make your reservation today and we'll show you what that vibe looks like in practice. Spoiler: You're gonna love it.
If you are considering skydiving, this is THE place to do it.
» Janine Gaffney