Alton Towers entrance

Alton Towers has successfully prosecuted a man who sold promotional vouchers to guests at the park, breaking an injunction against the activity.

The Manchester resident was sentenced to four months in prision by a judge at Stoke-on-Trent County Court, having been found guilty of selling "2-for-1" vouchers obtained for free from newspapers, retail outlets and websites. The park had previously obtained the injunction, which outlaws the sale of the vouchers.

In common with the Merlin Entertainment Group's three other UK theme parks (Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventures and LEGOLAND Windsor), Alton Towers has sought to attract guests in recent years through a raft of discount deals. Touts selling the vouchers have become a common sight in the park's car park, although Merlin will hope that the successful prosecution will discourage this practice.

Commenting on the ruling, Ian Crabbe, Ian Crabbe, Divisional Director, Alton Towers Resort said: “It sends out a very strong message to anybody else involved in this type of activity that we will not stand still and allow touts to ‘hijack’ our business. The Judge was very clear that a Court Injunction is not something that can be ignored and we will continue to pursue these individuals to the full extent of the law to ensure that they are suitably punished."

Guests who plan in advance should never have to pay the full gate price for an Alton Towers ticket, and shouldn't need to buy a voucher from a tout, either. For full details of all the latest offers from the park, check Theme Park Tourist's Alton Towers deals pages.



Let me address the assumptions you've made in this comment.

"This site is full of ads for discount vouchers...no doubt you are being paid to advertise these offers"

We have not been paid to list any of the discounts that are shown in our special offers section. We list every single offer that we can find, in order to help people save money when they visit a theme park. We also answer dozens of e-mails every week about where people can find vouchers for X, Y or Z park. We do not charge anybody for this service. This website's revenue is generated primarily from contextual advertising that appears on every page - which is a legitimate way to cover the not-insignificant costs of running it.

"It seems to me you are doing the same as the touts at alton towers except they work a bit harder for it"

My wife and I currently work 20-30 hours a week to keep the site up-to-date, in our spare time (we both have full-time day jobs). We have done so every week for the past 3.5 years. The voucher touts, on the other hand, nip to WH Smiths where they buy a packet of chewing gum in order to get some vouchers, which they then sell on at a huge mark-up to families in the Alton Towers car park for an hour or two each morning. I'm pretty sure we're working harder and earning less money from it, and we're also charging theme park fans precisely nothing in exchange for helping them to find 2-for-1 vouchers.

"to send someone to prison for something that is in no way illegal is a total farce"

It clearly states on the vouchers that they are non-transferable and cannot be sold on for a profit, and there was a court injunction in place against doing so on the property.

"and shows Alton towers for what they are, greedy,money grabbing and clearly above the law"

As you'd know if you'd read any of our other recent articles before posting this anonymous comment, we have a number of issues with the way Merlin is running Alton Towers at present (in particular, its decisions to cut back on the opening hours of the park and a number of its attractions). There's no escaping the fact, though, that it is a business. If it enters into a deal with a shop or newspaper to offer vouchers for entry to the park, then it is well within its rights to enforce the terms of those vouchers.

One of the major goals of this site is to help people save money when they visit theme parks. Our guidance in the article above is pretty clear. You shouldn't be paying full price to enter Alton Towers, because there are so many offers available. Nor should you have to waste money paying a voucher tout to get hold of an offer that you could get for a much lower cost elsewhere.

In reply to by Visitor (not verified)

i have been to Alton towers a few times and on 1 occasion i had left my tickets at home and although i was committed to pay full price which may i add is a small fortune,i bumped into a tout and he was polite and helped me and my family out with a massive saving of around £80.00
my day was more enjoyable with the extra savings as not only did i end up paying the gate price of 42.00 i had to pay for 2 cars costing £6.00 each and the prices of the the food merchandise etc. are just simply too much for the average family.
thank god for the touts on the day of my visit....

Firstly selling those vouchers is not illegal....... The injunction was against the individual to stop him from going onto Alton towers property in the same way that you could get an injunction against somebody coming onto your property. The fact that they say non transferable doesn't mean it is illegal to do so.

Secondly 'ticket touting' as defined by law can only be carried out at a designated sporting venue so no such activity could ever happen at Alton towers as the law stands.

To put somebody in prison for breach of a court order is ridiculous without being given a warning that could be the case. I am sure the individual wouldn't have carried on had he known the consequences. If he looked into the law of what he was doing it is known as percuniar advantage and a prison sentence would never be given for that offence.

The fact he has been sent down is purely to do with Alton towers' control over the local police/council and he has been given such a sentence because Alton towers have complained about such individuals for years and he has taken the punishment for each and every person over the last 12 years

In reply to by Visitor (not verified)

may I express my sympathy for this individual who was sentenced to 4 months for trying to save customers money from a multi million pound industry that will thrive on such incidents like this, I read last week a poor old lady was kicked to the ground battered and robbed of her money,all £68.00 of it. I took it upon my self to find out the outcome of this horrendous crime and do you know what it was??!!a small fine and 150 hours of community service, I am not saying that ticket touting should be able to carry on but I do know that if I had no tickets for an event/theme park and an individual approached me with a proposal of saving money,I would most definitely take the opportunity.total miscarriage of justice on this poor individual

In reply to by Visitor (not verified)

i know this man done ticket touting on weekends to earn some extra cash as he has 4 children to support and a partner who works full time so he was basically the house husband and what a great job he done and will continue to do when he gets out of prison which may i put is full of hardened criminals and when you hear of a person doing time for selling vouchers its hard to get your head around.the country is full of people who are corrupt and foul play(wow you only have to look at the people who run the country to figure that one out)however this person has never claimed benefits and is always involving him self in activities with children and other community events,he done ticket touting once a week on Saturdays and earn t a small amount of cash but at least he was not out mugging old people or burgling houses unlike may other criminals today that subsequently get a lesser sentence so here is my view and i wish the lad all the best in the future and to keep up the fantastic job he does with his 4 children and the community are right behind you on this.
a great guy with morals that i wish every person had,so heres to a unfortunate case of which i can honestly say should of never happened.

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