Apr 14, 2010

How to generate customer goodwill --- NOT

The People's Court is now in Session

Cast your Vote on the Trial of the Century

OK: I'm letting all my loyal readers into a minor whizzing contest I just went through with a local hospitality / entertainment venue.

The background: I pre-purchased 3 tix to a live music concerrt at this facility for a show staged this past Thursday. An accounting error on their end (which they admit) caused some problems at their Will Call window.

Below is the bread trail of my followup with them. No sense ID'ing them -- it's not that big a deal.

But I would like some third-party input on this matter, from those of you without a dog in this fight.

So here you go: Who's Right & Who's Wrong on this? Here's your chance to play jury.



Dear Sir/Madam,

As confirmed below, I pre-purchased three (3) tix to last nite's Carrie Rodriguez show. (under the PayPal ID of: XXXX@yahoo.com)

Upon arrival, you only had me down for two (2). Refund?


Our records also indicate that your purchased three tickets and three tickets were reserved for you. We typically do not issue ticket refunds.

Hope you enjoyed the show.


Although $15 is certainly not worth arguing over: the young lady had me down on her list for two; handed me a small brown envelope with two inside; and double-checked after I said: "I'm pretty certain I bought three."

I'll see if I somehow still have that brown envelope with the "2" written on it. Just for your benefit


Three tickets were reserved for you, unfortunately, only two were generated for our "will call" system.

Did they make your purchase a third that night, or did only two of your party make it to the show?


i was there ahead of the others, and picked them up

2 of us ended up attending......the third called me to say "running late"....I told him that "there's an issue with the pre-paids; so buy a ticket downstairs, meet us upstairs and and we'll figure it all out after."
his reply: "screw it"

however you want to handle it...


Our policy is to not issue refunds for our concerts unless, of course the artist cancels. You did purchase three tickets. If your friend had purchased his ticket separately we would have given you back your $15 as you had already bought his ticket.

I apologize for the confusion.


OK, fine:

A few take-aways, from my POV:

Point 1: as a live-concert producer/promoter, musicians' manager and occasional music critic/reviewer for various local media outlets, guys like myself usually try to "comp" their ways into others' shows. I, on the other hand, think this to be inappropriate. Hence my "paying my own freight" on this show, as a sign of support to the local music scene.

Point 2: It was your (legitimate and un-intentional) logistics screw-up that resulted in the third member of our party not attending. Yes, he could have "fronted" the $15, but he was somewhat perturbed over needing to do so; after being promised (by myself) of a gifted/free entry. In his words" "F-that, I'll need to find an ATM over there and that'll cost me another $3." So much for our long-planned show-nite together.

Point 3: The bottom line is that I bought 3 tix and you delivered 2 tix. To me, the rest of the unpleasantries are irrelevant.

Point 4: The math reads like this: Early drinks at the bar x 2 = $10.....Pre-show Meal @ 2= $35.........upstairs drinks @ 2 = $ 20.... Show tix @ 3 = $45. Total = $ 110 blown at the XXXX on a Thursday evening in XXXXXXXX. A course in Guest/Community Relations 101 would disagree with your handling of this specific instance.

Case closed--but best of wishes to you and your fine establishment.
(A further reply on this matter is not needed)


Cast your vote via the COMMENTS feature.



Anonymous said...

This one's easy: you win.

Now go sue them for your $15 plus pain an suffering damages of $3million.

Anonymous said...


La la luv said...

Their position makes no sense. Now they likely lost future business over a stupid fifteen dollars. Not a very good business decision for them to make.

Anonymous said...

Publish their name. They suck.

Jo said...

A no brainer. You're being too polite with them. I wouldn't have been.

Phil the Thrill said...

I'll jump on the same bandwagon as the pervious opinions. Unless I'm missing something, the venue is really just violating all standards of good business practices and everyday ethics, in general.

Yes, they do suck.

The Ghost of Joe Bruno -- I forgot he's not quite dead yet said...

To save an immmediate $15, they are most likely not getting your business again. More importantly is the word of mouth effect where you tell a frined, they tell 3 more, each of them tells 3 more and so on and so forth. $15 saved costs them many $ hundreds down the line. Dumb dumb dumb.

The TechValleyTimes Group: said...

Nah: I'm not going to make that big a deal out of it and boycott the joint. Let's just chalk it up to inexperience or someone having a bad day or maybe even that they've been burned in the past by someone BS'ing a refund out of them. I'm REALLY not that important, nor does my wallet have that large an effect on someone else's income statement!

But a followup point to my own post:

Druing my undergrad - senior year, I worked p/t at a mall retail store. When I asked my boss how I should handle customer refunds or complaints, he gave me this as the official standing policy:

"After they state their case, ask them 'what would you like me to do for you to correct this matter?' Unless it is something totally off the wall and unreasonable, you then say 'that makes a lot of sense' and then proceed to giving it to them."

His logic fell right into line with what JB's Ghost just submitted.

Anonymous said...

Im with you on this

Marketing Maven said...

I vote with my feet. My feet vote not to walk into this place. It's not hard figuring out who they are. All this for fifteen bucks. Time are tough, leisure spending is down and competition is tough out there. Don't these people realize that existing customers like you will spend more with them in the future than what it will cost them to gain three to five new ones?

Dead Rabbits Society said...

Just tell us who they are. We'll go fix this problem for you.

Rabbits: Mount up! We ride tonight.