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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Friday, January 30, 2009

A Warning about AMC's Best Picture Showcase

ATTENTION AMC MOVIEWATCHER'S CLUB MEMBERS: BE ADVISED WHEN ORDERING YOUR TICKETS THROUGH FANDANGO, THEY DO NOT HAVE THE $25 DISCOUNT RATE! THEY ARE WORKING TO FIX THE SNAFU, BUT ARE CONTINUING TO SELL TICKETS AT THE NORMAL $30 RATE, SO LOCK IN YOUR TICKETS @ $30 AND CALL 816-221-4000. ASK FOR NICK, TELL HIM YOUR STORY, AND HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO REIMBURSE YOU THE DIFFERENCE IN CONCESSION COUPONS!

For those of you still interested, here's my story:

As of today, the Best Picture Showcase tickets are on sale at select AMC locations. The Showcase, currently in its third year if I'm not mistaken, is a chance for the public to see the current five motion pictures nominated for the honor of Best Picture at the Academy Awards. This year though, AMC decided to do something different. As a reward to their MovieWatchers' club members, they offered tickets at the rate of $25.


Now, Five films for $30 isn't bad, but for $25?! That's damn near irresistable for a movie buff like myself. PLUS unlimited popcorn and unlimited refills all day?! Awesome. However, this is where the problems start. You see, I went to Fandango today to preorder the tickets online. As usual, you can input your MovieWatcher's number to rack up some well deserved movie rewards points. BUT, and this is a big but, YOU CANNOT ORDER YOUR TICKETS AT THE ADVERTISED MOVIEWATCHER'S RATE OF $25 ONLINE!

See this? This is the disclaimer block on the official website for the showcase. Nowhere on there does it say, "MovieWatchers Please Note: You will NOT be able to order your discounted tickets through Fandango.com. If you are interested in the $25 Showcase tickets, YOU MUST PURCHASE THEM AT THE BOX OFFICE."

That's right folks, in addition to the stupid $1 convenience charge, you're losing out on an extra $5 because Fandango somehow INconveniently does not have the advertised rate. The rate, I must reiterate, for their "valued customers" in the MovieWatcher's Club. I called Fandango to see if maybe they could help solve this glaring error. Nope, not in the least. They have no control over the data they input, and do not offer to refund you the $5 difference or anything. However, they'll refer you to the AMC Help Line.

So I called the AMC Help Line and talked to their MovieWatchers department. They were equally as helpful, and on top of that they tried to refer me back to...surprise, FANDANGO! The only other option they had for me was to call ANOTHER AMC Customer Service line. So, I called that line and once again, there was no information they could provide. However, they did offer me the chance to submit an official report to their Upper Mangement representatives. I rejected this at first, thinking I could email AMC and get the job done faster.

Again, they have failed their customers, because the only methods they believe are effective when it comes to Customer Compliments/Complaints are snail mail or personal appearances. Apparently, AMC doesn't believe in the email correspondence approach. So, I had to call AGAIN and file a formal complaint with their customer service reps.

This story has a somewhat happy ending though. Around 3 PM this afternoon I received a call from one of their Upper Management Reps and he said that in order to recompense me they would send me concession coupons to make up for the $5 difference in tickets.

Look, AMC, if your chain wasn't the only one in town, I might actually go to another theater chain after this. But frankly, the two closest movie theaters to me are both AMC and I have no choice in the matter. So, I will simply leave this little notice up for all to see. We are in a recession, and money is tight. If you put a deal like this out in the open, you've gotta make sure it goes off without a hitch. I know it was a technical snafu, but that's no excuse. Stop selling tickets if there's a problem, and then just start selling them again when everything's hunky dorey. Otherwise, prepare to lose some MovieWatchers. Rest assured you'll still have my ass in the seats, but only out of despairation and lack of options.

2 comments:

Jeremy Feist said...

This is why I hate shopping online. It's much harder to get ripped the fuck off in person. That, and I'm a compulsive shopaholic. Mmmmm...I loves my Shopahol.

Mr. Controversy said...

I KNOW! I'm a big online shopper for Holiday gifts and books. (Speaking of which, I need to go Valentine's Day shopping soon...)

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