The Weather Is Miserable But The Customer Is Worse

, , , | Right | September 18, 2020

I’m a member of the choir volunteering my help before the concert, but I’m not actually part of the front of house staff, as I’ll be on stage during the concert itself.

It’s about an hour before the concert starts, and the front of house staff are still inside the hall finishing their safety briefing. The bar is ready to serve people and has some seats, so as there are a few customers already waiting, we open the main doors. I’m sent to the entrance to the ticket sales/collections desks to stop any customers coming through.

Me: “I’m afraid we’re not quite open for tickets yet, but the bar is just down there if you’d like a drink or somewhere to sit down.”

Grumpy Man: “Why did you open the doors if you’re not ready to sell tickets? That’s so unprofessional!”

Me: “I’m very sorry, but the front of house staff haven’t finished their briefing. We opened the doors because the bar is open.”

Grumpy Man: “It’s what you’d expect from a tiny country town, not in the city!”

My “boss,” the choir president, comes up behind me.

Boss: “They’re finishing the safety briefing, which we have to have. It will only be a couple of minutes.”

Grumpy Man: “You can’t expect people to pay good money if you have this kind of amateur communication skills. It’s completely ridiculous.”

The hall doors open and the front of house staff come out and go to the ticket desks.

Me: “Tickets are now available if you’d like to come through.”

I still have no idea why he was so offended. It was cold and raining outside; most people would have liked to come into the lobby.

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Now That’s Almost Triple-A Service

, , , | Right | September 16, 2020

I volunteer to help with ticket sales for my choir, and I am dealing with customer complaints before the concert starts. A woman comes up to me with a complaint about her ticket.

Customer: “When I phoned up to book a ticket, I specifically asked for a balcony seat, but the one I’ve been given is in the stalls. I have neck problems; I can’t possibly sit in the stalls.”

Me: “I’m very sorry about that. I’ll exchange it for a seat in the balcony now. How about this one?”

I offer her a seat in the middle of the balcony, though towards the back as all the seats in front have already been sold.

Customer: “No, no, I don’t want that one. I want to sit right at the front near the orchestra. In the ‘AA’ section.”

Me: “We don’t actually sell those seats, because they’re right around to the side and you won’t hear a good balance of the music.”

Customer: “I’ve sat there before and I like it. I’m not sitting anywhere else.”

Me: “If that’s what you want, ma’am…”

I wrote “Sit in AA 64” on her ticket, initialled it, and sent her up to the balcony. She paid a premium price for a seat we don’t sell, even further round the balcony than the cheaper seats, and went upstairs smiling.

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Putting The “A**” In “All-Access Pass”

, , , , , | Right | March 13, 2019

(I work as a doorman for a large, well-known rock venue in the city centre. We have a good team, and there is usually very little trouble, but we take pride in providing a safe place for people to have fun without being obnoxious. A band I don’t know is playing. I am checking passes at a door that leads backstage, and as you might imagine, fans always want to go backstage to meet their idols, so the rules are pretty strict; if you don’t have a pass, you’re not going backstage. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts. About an hour before the show starts, a guy approaches the door where I’m working.)

Me: “Pass, please.”

Customer: “I don’t have it. I must have left it backstage. Let me through!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but if you don’t have your pass on you, I can’t let you past.”

Customer: “F*** off! I left it backstage. Get out of my way!”

(The customer tries to push past me. I’m not a tall guy, but I’m broad, strong, and used to dealing with drunken idiots. I put my hand on the guy’s chest and gently push him back.)

Me: “I’m sorry. No pass, no entry.”

(The customer now starts on a rant, shouting and swearing, telling me that he’ll have my job, how much he makes compared to me, that I’m fat and too stupid to do anything but guard a door, etc. I’m trained to be calm in situations like these, but the attitude of this guy is getting on my nerves. After a couple of minutes of this, he seems to run out of ideas.)

Me: “Are you done? Look. If you can go and find someone with an Access All Areas pass, they can vouch for you and I can let you through. Until then, you’re not going backstage.”

(At this, he flounces off to find someone with a pass. He returns a few minutes later with a person I recognise from the security briefing: the band’s manager.)

Manager: “What is going on? [Customer] is saying that you threatened him, and you won’t let him backstage?”

(I explain the situation, noting that I don’t know who the band is or what they look like, and that for security reasons you can’t get backstage without a pass. Whilst this is happening, [Customer] is sneering at me over the manager’s shoulder.)

Me: “…so, as you’ve got an Access All Areas pass, you can vouch for him and I can let him past.”

Manager: “Oh. Well, that’s okay, then.”

(The customer smarms past me.)

Me: *to customer* “Remember to wear your pass, and we can avoid this in future.”

Customer: “F*** YOU!”

(Once he’s gone, I explain what the customer was like, and I can see the look the manager’s eyes.)

Manager: “I’m so sorry about him. He’s been showing off like this since we started the tour. He’s not normally like this.”

Me: “No worries. He is an idiot, though. How long have you got left of the tour?”

Manager: “We’ve only just started! We’ve got sixteen weeks to go!”

Me: “I’d suggest taking him aside and explaining that not every place is as nice as us. If he tries that in the wrong place he’s not always going to get such a calm response.”

Manager: “Will do. Thanks for not knocking him on his a**.”

(I saw that the band played the Glastonbury festival this year, so I guess the guy either mellowed out, or the manager drilled some sense into him!)

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Not Supporting Customer Support

, , , , , | Working | July 8, 2018

(I am on a family vacation to New Orleans. My parents buy tickets for a rock concert, and we go to the venue, only to come across the most unhelpful staff I’ve ever seen.)

Dad: “Where are we supposed to meet for the show?”

Security: “Over there.” *points to an area near the entrance of the venue* “May I see your tickets?”

(My dad shows him the email on his phone, and I can already tell from the guard’s reaction that we’re in for a rough experience.)

Security: “These aren’t tickets. There’s no barcode on these. You’ll have to go to the ticket office and have them try and print them for you.”

(While my dad and mom are visibly annoyed, we decide to go to the ticket office, anyway. In front of us is a man whose tone and annoyance only exacerbates my fear that we aren’t going to get much help. I don’t recall the conversation, but the man proceeds to leave with a very angry look on his face. Then it’s our turn.)

Dad: “We have tickets here, but the security guard said we can’t use them?”

(The worker looks at the email on my dad’s phone, and her confused look doesn’t really quell my fears.)

Worker: “We don’t support this company.”

Dad: “But we bought them!”

Worker: “Let me get my manager.”

(The workers calls over her manager who is waiting in the back, and she also has the same confused look.)

Manager: “We don’t support this company.”

Mom: *interjects and raising her voice* “What are you talking about?!”

Manager: “We only support [Company # 1] and [Company #2]. Not [Company #3]. I’ve never heard of [Company #3] in my life, and I don’t recognize this logo.”

Mom: “But it was on your site!”

Manager: “That may be, but we don’t support this company. There’s no barcode on this, either, so even if we did support it, we couldn’t print it, anyway.”

Me: “So, what do you recommend we do?”

Manager: “Take it up with the owners. I’m not at fault if you bought from a company that we don’t support.”

Mom: *begins to pretty much yell* “WELL, WHY DOESN’T THE F****** WEBSITE SPECIFY ANYTHING ABOUT COMPANIES THAT YOU SUPPORT OR DON’T SUPPORT?!”

Manager: “That’s not my problem. I didn’t design the website.”

Mom: *still yelling* “THIS IS THEFT, I TELL YOU! WHY DO YOU EVEN ALLOW COMPANIES YOU DON’T SUPPORT TO BE ON THE WEBSITE, ANYWAY?! CHECK THE SITE!”

Manager: “Again. Not my problem. You failed to read the policy.”

(We begin to walk away, but the manager interjects once again.)

Manager: “Take it up with the owners. It’s not my problem if people can’t comprehend basic instructions.”

Mom: “WHAT PART OF ‘IT’S NOT ON THE WEBSITE’ DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND?! THIS IS F****** THEFT, I TELL YOU! WHY WOULD YOU NOT BOTHER TO FILTER OUT THE ILLEGAL COMPANIES ON YOUR OWN SITE?! YOU MADE IT! THE POLICY ISN’T EVEN IN THE MOST CONVENIENT SPOT, EVEN IF IT’S THERE!”

Me: “Mom, stop, stop, stop. It’s not worth it anymore. I don’t care who’s at fault, so long as we get the h*** away from this place.”

(We ended up bailing, and my mom called our bank to dispute the charges. What baffles me the most is that the website had no indication of this policy of ticket companies that they supported, nor did they make any attempt to check the site to verify our claims. In the end, I ended up writing a negative review on the website and got an apology from the owner.)

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This Time Is Not Be-Nine

, , , , | Right | May 17, 2018

(A middle-aged couple comes to pick up their tickets at will-call. They move to the door to go in. It is locked, as doors are not open for another twenty minutes. They stare blankly at me through the window, as though expecting me to get up and let them in.)

Me: “Doors open at 8:00.”

Man: “Why? Why can’t we go in now?”

Me: “The doors don’t open until one hour before the show starts.”

Man: *appalled* “The show starts at nine?!

Me: “That’s correct.”

Man: “How was I supposed to know that?!”

Me: “It says the time right on your ticket.”

Man: *glances at ticket* “It doesn’t say the time on your website.”

Me: “Actually, it does.”

(The couple both stare blankly at me again. I take this to mean, “Prove it.” So, I look up the show on our website, turn my screen toward them, and point right to where it says the time of doors opening and the time of the show.)

Man: *handing the tickets back through the window* “Give the tickets to someone else.”

(They both walked off.)

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