Kickball in the City

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

False advertising or Wishes that will never come true?



Yesterday I came across an interesting ad on Craig's List for one of the teams in the Kash guys' league looking for players. You can check it out here. I thin it's one of the best ads I've seen for a team in any league. I like the graphic, team name, and general vibe the team gives off. However, some of the claims in the ad don't, shall we say, exactly match up with reality.


First, there is no way one could ever claim that $60 is the total cost for anything in the Kash guys' league. It's more like the entry fee. Most divisions have to charge for parties, even for players, due to the paltry sum given to them while "WAKA Central" people invest the 80 percent they keep in lawsuits with other leagues or against their own brethren. Usually the only way this is a total price is if divisions have an hour or two of free beer or their parties on a Tuesday night. Again, I fault nothing to the volunteers who put this together, it's all about the Kash guys. However, the ad should state that it's the starting fee, not the total price. The total is more likely to be $70-100 for the whole season.


B: The ad states that the cost includes:


"an awesome WAKA shirt, several season parties, crazy fun times, new friends, and all of the logistics for the games are covered!"


I've already covered the parties. Crazy fun times and new friends are always up to each person's willingness to drunkenly talk to people. But all of the logistics for the games are covered? Ummmm. Many of us who have spent hours of our own time squatting for fields would object to that. I think it's accurate to say:

"you will have a general area with alleged permits that we never actually have or see where you need to show up 2-3 hours in advance to sit on to keep softballers and other leagues away (unless they have permits in which case you have to move)"

But then, that probably wouldn't entice as many people to join the team...




I thought we had permits, how much more time before games?




Finally, this bit about an "awesome WAKA shirt". I'm not going to nitpick, if they like the shirts and think they are awesome, that's fine. My issue is with guaranteeing you'll get one. Apparently several divisions across the country did not this season, as this email I received states:



Hello CA Gold Rush players,

You may be aware that some WAKA division t-shirts were not issued in a timely manner to a portion of the players this spring. WAKA takes this matter very seriously and would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the players affected. The primary factors causing the delay of shirts included vendor management, shipping, and software issues. While these are all fundamental components of any companies business and should not cause large customer or service disruptions, WAKA unfortunately experienced all of these issues at the same time. WAKA accepts full responsibility for failing to provide all of our players with the best experience possible. We are working to rectify the situation as well as compensate those players affected, and will continue to do our best to eliminate similar problems in the future.

If you were affected by these issues, you will hear from your Division Representative regarding this matter in the near future. Thank you for joining us this past spring, and we look forward to seeing you on the fields this fall.


Happy Kicking,
WAKA Customer Service



Dude where's our shirts?




The text color was changed by the Kash guys' "customer service" department - whatever the Hell that is - to fit all of the occasions where this is needed. My list includes: CA Gold Rush, DC Independence, and DC Gold. Sideshow Bob found one for Kansas City too. I have to laugh because I'm not sure what software issues could have caused this. Nor do I get how a multi million dollar, 20,000 member (as they claim) company that has been in business for 10 years could have this so poorly managed.




Why is there not an emergency stash of generic Playkickball.com shirts warehoused at Kash Guys Central that they can ship out when these things occur? I realize that the $10,000 (latest demand confirmed by a few bar owners) the Kash guys get from bars to have the bar name on the back entitles the bar owners that this happens, but what about the customers? How about giving a portion back to the bar and saying "Yeah, we screwed up so here's is $5,000 back we had to get our kids the shirts and shipped these ones out due to a fubar situation"? The $5,000 would still more than cover the shirt costs. Oh yeah, that's right the Kash guys never give up the dough. My bad.




And this is certainly not the first time shirts from the Kash guys have been late for divisions. I recall seeing a division last season giving out shirts during its playoffs. I have experienced times when running registration where shirts have come in after the first week or two due to the crappiness of the rep, supplier, or who knows why. In other words I highly doubt that their will be any real compensation for "those players affected". Thus, the ad shouldn't guarantee anything like that, it'll just make them look bad if the Kash guys continue down their path of "we get richer, you get worse and worse service".




AKA Lost Sage, "WAKA RULES!"





On this note I have to add one other. There is a Kool-Aid Drinker Extraordinaire for the Kash guys on wakakickball365 who calls himself the Lost Sage on the boards. He attempted his, I guess, PR piece for the Kashers on the board by posting this under the heading WAKA Acknowledges Spring '07 Shirt Processing Delays:




"Hello (Division Name) players,



You may be aware that some WAKA division t-shirts were not issued in a timely manner to a portion of the players this spring. WAKA takes this matter very seriously and would like to offer our sincerest apologies to the players affected. The primary factors causing the delay of shirts included vendor management, shipping, and software issues. While these are allfundamental components of any companies business and should not cause large customer or service disruptions, WAKA unfortunately experienced all of these issues at the same time. WAKA accepts full responsibility for failing to provide all of our players with the best experience possible. We are working toaffected, and will continue to do our best to eliminate similar problems in the future.



If you were affected by these issues, you will hear from your Division Representative regarding this matter in the near future. Thank you for joining us this past spring, and we look forward to seeing you on the fields this fall."




You may not notice the difference between this alleged reprint of the email and mine, scroll up though - an important piece has been left out of this one. Go ahead, I'll wait. Can't see it, okay, here it is:




Actual email: We are working to rectify the situation as well as compensate those players affected, and will continue to do our best to eliminate similar problems in the future.



Sanatizied version: We are working toaffected, and will continue to do our best to eliminate similar problems in the future.




Seems like the least believable piece of the email, that players will actually see some compensation from the Kashers, is oddly and quite mysteriously missing from Lost Sage's example. Wonder why that would be? I'm sure it was simply a slip of the control C and control V keys and not any attempt to leave out what is clearly just a throw in line by the Kashers. I mean, wouldn't people start asking what kind of compensation or when they could expect to see it? Of course then Mr. Kashers Kool-Aid might have to face the questions and contact Kash Guy Central, which I'm sure they'd be quick to respond to. Anyway, I found that interesting to say the least.





That's the last time I respond to a Craig's List ad



Back to the point though, I am not bashing the people who put the ad up, as I stated I like it, they just need to be a bit more careful with exactly what they promise. After all, sitting out on the Mall at 4 o'clock for a 6:30 or so game with no shirt and deciding whether or not to go to a $15-for-3-hours-of-beer party at the end of August after all those promises might piss somebody off.


4 Comments:

  • To be fair to Sage, his post on kickball365.com is the closest thing I've seen to an official reason as to why my team doesn't have shirts after 6 weeks of play.

    By Blogger Zak, at 7:17 PM  

  • Hey, I just cut from and pasted the e-mail verbatim that I received from the Association through my division listserv. I did not even correct their grammatical mistakes. I was in fact (a) responding to Zak's earlier post about the shirts; and (b) releasing the item as one of general news significance. I did not alter it, although I'm sure it suits your impression of me for you to think I did.

    By Anonymous Lost_Sage, at 10:26 PM  

  • This is clearly a form email: between Sideshow Bob, me, and some other people who sent a few of these emails to me we have 9 that state the exact same thing as the one I reprinted, yet yours has something missing. As I wrote it is quite mysterious...

    By Blogger Kickball Homer, at 10:41 PM  

  • WAKA West Hartford (Connecticut) is really walking a fine line right now. Let it be known if they don't get their shit together there is going to be some massive shit-hitting-the-fan action in the coming weeks. $66? Better show us something fast. -Ramrod

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:40 AM  

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