Saturday, July 14, 2007

AMC You Later

So, I took my son to the movies today, and I'll write something about the film itself another time. But I just wanted to say a few things about the theater. Anyone going to the movies these days knows that the ticket prices are astronomical, the concessions are outrageous, and the service is horrendous. That's to be expected.

But our experience at AMC Loews Ridgefield Park Theatre went above and beyond that. First, when buying tickets, I noticed that they had a reduced price for students. So I asked for the discount for my son. The lady there said he had to show his student ID. I asked why this was necessary, since he obviously was of school age. She said to prove that he actually is in school. I explained that, holding aside the fact that it's summer, I'd be arrested if I didn't send him to school. She said that's not necessarily true, parents can take responsibility for their children's education. I said, do you mean that you discriminate against children who are home-schooled?

At this point, she fell back on the old bureaucratic standby, that's the company's policy, in her best nasty old lady tone. So I said fine, and paid the money. But, shame on you, AMC Theatres®, for requiring kids to schlep their ID cards to the movies, just to get a discount. I would bet that more than a few kids who do remember to take their cards end up losing them, as kids are wont to do, all because of this ridiculous policy. But it's more likely that most just never remember to bring them. Nothing like offering a discount that most people don't take advantage of, kind of the best of both worlds, huh? Look, if you want to give people a break, just do it, don't make them jump through hoops for it (like with those mail-in rebate offers). Do we need any more evidence of the low esteem in which corporations hold their customers?

Then, they have a sign up that the carbonation on their soda machines isn't working, and they've run out of bottled water. Hey, it's a Saturday evening, who cares, right? And they write that they will give us water from the fountain free of charge. How generous!!!! Surely, my cup runneth over.

And, they offer a deal on their concessions, so that you can get a hot dog for only a dollar more if you get one of their exorbitant packages (where you end up saving something like fifty cents over the cost of buying the stuff separately). So, we ask for the hot dog deal, and guess what, they're out of hot dogs! This is a Saturday evening we're talking about, right, who expects people to go to the movies on a Saturday evening. No hot dogs, so I ask if there's something else they can offer. The little girl behind the counter says she doesn't think so, so I figure let's get a more decisive response from the manager. He says you can have a soft pretzel, so I say fine, and she rings it up and orders it. Then she tells me they're still making them and they'll be ready in twenty minutes. I explain that the movie starts in ten minutes (we waited in line for fifteen minutes). She tells the manager, he just shrugs his shoulders. In all fairness, she was nice enough to offer to substitute with candy behind the manager's back. But the sum total of all this is just, well, nuts!

So, I went to the AMC website. Their slogan is Experience the Difference®. We sure did! And check out their service philosophy listed under Amenities and Programs:

GuestFirst is our company’s service philosophy, which empowers AMC associates to take care of our guests, from their first day of employment at AMC. AMC’s GuestFirst Guarantee helps us fulfill our promise to make guest satisfaction our No. 1 priority. Our associates are committed to exceeding guests’ expectations through quality products and services. If we ever fall short and a guest is disappointed by their experience, we will work with them to address their concern and take the necessary steps to make sure they feel good about their visit and will continue to be our guest. It’s our “good time guarantee!”

Well, every guest who went to the movies at AMC Loews Ridgefield Park Theatre this evening was disappointed, and you have to wonder how they could possibly make good on this “good time guarantee!” en masse, but again, they depend on the fact that most people won't say anything.

Well, as far as I'm concerned, it's AY! EM! SEE ya later!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Try the theatres in So. Cal. They are much nicer, I never need my student I.D., but I don't really need it with the Gold and Silver tickets I get for a LOT cheaper. The theatres here have friendly staff, and there are never any mean or rude, if there isn't any concessions, they just take about 2 mins before they serve us, but that only happened at CityWalk, where it is tourist city, and crowds are 100% guaranteed. Also, if you ever have problems with missing any of the movie, ask the management, and I mean any employee and ask for a refund. They'll give it to you, and also give you a couple of RE-ADMIT passes per person, so you get three free movies! You may also get lucky and get some concession credits. Well that's out here, so if you're ever out here, don't hesitate to go to an AMC, and be pleasantly surprised. The only one I wouldn't recommend to you is CityWalk, unless you have patience, which me and my friends have, surprising for teens while waiting in lines, you'll be a while ni line for tickets and maybe more for concessions. Anyway, out here the AMCs are great! Or maybe you just have bad luck?!