A Fee-ble Attempt At Avoiding The Fees

, , , | Right | January 3, 2018

(I work in the box office at a theater in NYC and have worked with and know a lot of people who work in theaters in the city, so I am familiar with many theater’s ticketing policies. A customer calls in to purchase tickets for a show. I have a ticket fee discussion with a customer at least once a day.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Theater]; how can I help you?”

Customer: “Do I pay the same fees online as I would if I bought them with you?”

Me: “Yes, the same fees apply online and over the phone. If you purchase in person at the box office the fees are waived.”

Customer: “That is absurd. $4.50 for each ticket? I’ve never heard of such a thing.”

Me: “It’s actually quite common for online and phone tickets sales at all theaters including movie theater ticket purchases.”

Customer: “Well, I’ve never seen such an expensive ticket fee! [Other Theater I work at] doesn’t have ticket fees!”

Me: “Actually they do. It’s a seven dollar fee. This theater actually has the cheapest ticket fee that I know of in the city.”

Customer: “Well, I’m not paying that. I refuse to pay the fee.”

Me: “Okay. Well if you come down to the theater and purchase at the box office the fees will be waived.”

Customer: “Can I reserve the tickets with you and then purchase them at the box office when I pick them up tonight?”

Me: “Unfortunately the only way to reserve tickets is by purchasing them. So if you want to take the chance that we’ll still have tickets for tonight’s show when you come, you can come down and just purchase at the box office you’ll save on the fees.”

Customer: “So, there is no way for me to get around the fees?!”

Me: “The only way avoid the fees is to purchase at the box office in person.”

Customer: “Well, will there still be tickets for tonight’s show?”

Me: “Which show?”

Customer: “Tonight’s show!”

Me: “We have multiple shows and multiple theaters in our building. Do you know—”

Customer: “The one at 7:30!”

Me: “We have [Show #1] at 7:30 and [Show #2] at 7:30. Do you know which one?”

Customer: “No! I was only told the 7:30 show at [Theater].”

Me: “Well [Show #1] is close to selling out. We only have about six tickets left. [Show #2] is a little more than 50% sold so we have more tickets for that.”

Customer: “So, will there be tickets when I come tonight?”

Me: “I can’t guarantee that there will be tickets at showtime, especially since [Show #1] is close to selling out.”

Customer: “Yes, but you’ll have tickets for [Show #2], right?”

Me: “It is more likely that we will but I still can’t guarantee there will be tickets because I can’t predict if people will buy tickets between now and then.”

Customer: “You mean to tell me that you have no idea if you will have tickets when I come there at 7:30?”

Me: “Correct. I cannot predict if people will purchase tickets between now and then.”

Customer: “Well, can you transfer me to someone who does?”

Me: *confused because no one at my theater has a crystal ball* “I don’t think anyone here knows that information.”

Customer: “Why not?”

Me: “Because all of that depends on if other people plan on purchasing tickets for the shows and we cannot predict what other people are going to do.”

Customer: “Well, this is absurd! I’m not paying those fees.”

Me: “All right, well, that’s the policy, so if you don’t want to pay the fees then we can’t reserve the tickets for you.”

Customer: “Then I won’t buy them.”

Me: “Okay.”

(Pause.)

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

Customer: “So you don’t want me to buy the tickets?”

Me: “If you aren’t going to pay the full price then not only do I not want to sell them to you, but I physically can’t since it’s not possible.”

Customer: “Fine, I’ll pay the fees.”

(Customer purchased tickets over the phone. I worked will-call later that night. She never picked up her tickets.)

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