Actually I'm not going to rate the field, as I am the owner. I am however going to clarify the review from INFRETTA. The 'lady' failed to give 'the rest of the story'. On the Monday after her group played, I received an e-mail from her. Here is her e-mail and my respond.
From: Kendall W****
Sent: Monday, January 22, 2007 8:35 PM
Subject: Broken Gun
I had every intention of letting all of this go but when one of the friends that I invited out to play on Saturday told me that you approached her after I left I felt that at a minimum I needed to let you know what happen from my perspective.
First - while the actual incident that ended my day at your facility is, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant, I think it speaks to the larger problem that I witnessed or experienced all day.
I've played Paintball at several fields around Jacksonville on and off for a few years now. It has been everything from a few friends getting together for something fun on the weekend to an organized team building event through my company or one of the many organization I'm involved with on the Chamber of Commerce. While I don't have my own equipment or consider myself very good at the game, I'd like to think that I have enough experience to understand the rules of the game and what good etiquette is. What I experienced at your field didn't resemble anything I've ever seen.
My girlfriend and I came out with a group of 11 family and friends to celebrate a few birthdays. Of the 11 of us, only 4 had ever played. When we saw all of the pro-equipped guys suiting up we asked if we could play with entry level people and were told there weren't enough refs but we'd be ok. I have to say, we weren't and asked in between the next four games and were each time given another reason why we couldn't. In every field I've played, the experience players were broken out from the inexperienced, usually in a type A and type B category. Type A players were anyone that owned their own equipment and any ďrentalĒ that deemed themselves worthy. The B players were the rentals whose skills where inferior to the type A players, pretty straight forward. Some companies run the games simultaneously on separate fields while the smaller companies just rotated the different games in and out, always having a game running. The point being, it was up to the customer to decide what level game they wanted to play in. After all, people are shooting at you and while playing is a blast, getting hit isnít.
We were out there for 5 hours and got to play in six games. Four of the six games were ten-minute game and two were 15-minute games. Thatís an hour and 10 min of play and 3 hours and 50 minutes of standing around. You take that in to context with the fact that we were always knocked out within the first 2-4 minutes of play from a guy with an automatic weapon that just sprayed down the area to get us out of his way and we had about 30 min of play all day. Iím sure you think Iím exaggerating here but Iím not. Of the 6 games I plays, I was knocked out of 3 of them by my teammate and it was always by one of the pro-equipped guys. Of course, when asking they clearly say they didnít shoot you, it came from over there. It was ridiculous. Between that and the, what seemed like, common practice of wiping paint by your regulars, it seemed pointless to even try. It became apparent by the third game that the only way to get any play time at all was to wipe paint with everyone else but then you ask yourself, whatís the point of playing.
As far as the incident where the gun got broken, as Iíve calmed down about it quite a bit, Iíll give you the readers digest version. Girl friend and I stayed together and started working the left line of the field toward the neutral zone. A few minutes in we got knocked out by two guys with automatic guns that sprayed the area we were in; we walked to the holding area, waiting for someone to let us out along with 10 other people on our side. Some kids comes sneaking up from our left (of the hut) and tells us he sneaked past the lines and started tagging us all back into the game. My girlfriend and I walk out into the neutral zone and decided to make a run for the line that we walked in on, in hopes of getting the guys out that got us in the first place. We were about 5 feet clear of the yellow tape on the trees (which we were told marked the neutral zone) and I fired one or two rounds at one of my friends that was about 100 feet away. Some kid that was about 10 feet away, who I didnít even see at first, turns and unloads on us. I hear my girlfriend whimper in pain and I point at him (10 feet away mind you) and scream at him to stop while firing one or two rounds. The next thing I know Iím on the ground in an extreme amount of pain screaming for him to stop. He just stood there and unloaded on us. I have no idea how many rounds he fired at us but I have nine distinctive black and blue welts that start at my hips and go up to my shoulder. Iím just glad that I was in front of my girlfriend to take the brunt of it. She only ended up with four welts on her.
Like I said in the beginning of this e-mail to you, the actual event is irrelevant at this point and only speaks to the completely unfair and unsafe atmosphere youíve allowed to be created at your facility. No worries though, I'm not your average player therefore won't have any affect on weekend volume but you can be guaranteed I wonít be speaking highly of your company in my circle of influence. You might want to reconsider growing the corporate team building side of the business as your website mentions and stick with the slaughter fest. Professional people aren't big on spending their money to come out and have an experience like this.
I apologize for the bad experience you had at my field. I originally spoke with you about playing separate from the others and it was me that told you we didn't have the staff to accommodate your request. Any failures in service or product is my responsibility. I offer private games (listed with my prices on the web site) but that has to be booked in advance. I didn't ask you if you wanted the games to be private or team building, so it is my fault additional staff wasn't available. I have been in business (as Paintball Adventures in Jacksonville) for 17 years. I deal with over 300 churches and businesses each year. Every week I do at least two team building exercises during the week at my location. I use the Myers Briggs, MMDI, and 'Team Dynamics Assessments' outlines and I am a retired U.S. Army officer. As with most team building exercises, an assessment of instruction form is completed after each class. My repeat business is phenomenal and customer satisfaction is outstanding. Of course a team building exercise and recreational play is very different. Let me address your concerns and comments.
In the past I offered two different games based on self-evaluated skill level and ended up with 95% of the players in one game and the remaining players in another game. After a game or two, the smaller group always integrated into the larger group. In an effort to control prices (my prices have not changed in four years) I offer private games by reservation only. I routinely talk to my customers, seek feedback, and listen and watch reactions. I spoke with several folks from your group as they came off the field. I had no negative comments, in fact a few of the guys joked with me and all were polite and no one seem irritated or upset. If, after a game or two, you were not having the experience you expected, I wish you would have come directly to me. I am the responsible party at my field and I can make quick changes if needed. Perhaps I wasn't on the top of my game because I didn't realize any problems until I was told of a gun that was thrown down and broke in anger. Evaluating your account of the events and talking to my refs and employees, I believe I had a problem with certain regulars. This problem affected your play. For this I am sorry. All customers are important to me but if I have a problem with a player affecting the enjoyment of another, I will make changes. As for breaking my equipment, I don't believe bad behavior begets bad behavior.
Regarding the play times. I keep a log of all games and times. When they start and when the ref comes off the field. I am at the desk so I see what happens in the staging area. Turnaround time is important to me. From a business point of view, I want games to be fast and ongoing. I want very little down time. My records show the turnaround was different than you indicated. I don't doubt the accuracy of your statement, and I will further investigate why your group only played 6 games.
As far as you being my average player, I can't say. I have a diverse group of players. The day you were out, I had military, law enforcement, a judge, doctor, several business owners, school aged kids, an accountant, and even some blue collar folks. These are the occupations of the people I know. All are valuable and all work hard (some a little harder) for the money they spend. None (that I know of) want a bad experience. I have a binder full of letters and e-mails complimenting my staff, business and play experience. I am fair and will include your e-mail. In fact I will place it first. I have a perfect safety record and have standards that are higher than insurance company requirements. I will always bend over backwards for my customers. I value every customer.
I thank you for your comments. I will address all issues with my staff and will make any necessary corrections. I am offering you a free pass for each person that played on Saturday, January 20th. The pass is non-transferable and includes all equipment and 250 rounds of ammo per player. I will also make your future event private.
That is the end of my e-mail respond.
At Paintball Adventures, I always try to accommodate the needs of my customers and I take all complaints seriously.
I offered her a completely free private game for all of her guests. I made this offer even though a male guest broke my equipment in a fit of anger.
I am very cognizant of paintball safety. My fields have a perfect safety record. I offer flak vests to any player free of charge, I enforce goggle safety, I enforce 'No Shooting' in the staging area, I enforce barrel blocking devices, and I have some of the best recreational players in Florida & Georgia play at my field. I do not have a 'bunch of professional' that slaughter 'newbies'. I do have a great deal of players with their own equipment. Many of these players work with the less experienced players and complaints are very few.
You have to ask yourself, would you go out to a nice restaurant and have one bad experience after another and continue to experience this 'bad' time for five or six hours without ever asking to speak to the manager? Why didn't Ms W**** talk to me about this terrible experience? Why didn't any of Ms W****'s group complain? Ms W**** seems to lecture me about the needs of 'professionals'. I might note a true professional knows how to communicate effectively. I don't doubt something failed on my part. That is why I made the offer. I assumed the responsibility and I tried to make it right.