Will Try Logan And Again And Again

, , , , | Right | June 13, 2017

(I work at a very popular cinema as a supervisor. A very popular superhero movie has just been released; unlike its predecessors, it has received a high rated label, R16. Law in this country states that parents CANNOT give consent for under-aged kids to attend. If a person looks under a certain age, we are legally required to ask for suitable ID, or we must deny entry. A customer has picked up from me his online booking for four adult tickets from our counter. As we are trained to do, I enquire if everyone attending is the age of 16 or older, with correct ID if under 25, which is more a precautionary ask. This just means we have some stance behind us if someone tries to pull a fast one and say “no-one told me about the rating.” Usually this is not a problem. This man assures me everyone is an adult of correct age. Minutes later, I am called upstairs to the entrance of the cinemas. I find the customer with whom I assume are his wife, and two children, clearly under the age of 13. He looks furious, and as soon as I approach, he starts ripping into me verbally regarding his right as a parent to allow his children to watch what he allows.)

Customer: “This is just unbelievably stupid. I am their father; I say they are old enough to watch this film! What right do you have to check their age, and to tell them no?”

Me: “Unfortunately, sir, it is NZ law that they have to be the age of 16 and older. Parents cannot overrule this. And as a cinema, we have a policy that we need to check anyone who looks under a certain age, and deny them if they cannot provide the proof they are of age.”

(Note the years of practice in this sentence, because this is not the first time I have had to use this.)

Customer: “Where does it say this? I didn’t see any information anywhere that they weren’t allowed? No-one told me anything when I bought my tickets!”

Me: “You were asked, at the counter when you picked them up, if everyone was of age with suitable ID.”

Customer: “I was not! Your staff did not ask me!”

Me: “I picked your tickets up, sir, and I distinctly remember asking you this. You told me all four tickets were for ADULTs, as you booked it.”

Customer: *recognises me* “Well, that doesn’t give you any right to deny my kids. I am their father, and I say their dates of birth are [two different, clearly older than actual date of births] and [repeats date of his and wife’s birth in spiteful manner] just in case you decide you want mine and my wife’s!”

Me: “Well, you and you wife are clearly over the age of 16… but your kids look under-aged and we need better proof than just parental information.”

Customer: “Where is your information around the building stating this, then?”

(I point to plaques on the wall with information four feet away, providing visual proof of law and cinema policy that we keep on hand on the floor for these circumstances.)

Me: “Also, when you book tickets, you must tick you have read these terms and conditions before being allowed to complete transaction. It is not the responsibility of the cinema if you fail to read them.”

Customer: *starts to get real nasty in his language*

(We go back and forth for a few minutes, and he asks to speak to my manager. I walkie-talkie downstairs, but the managers are dealing with another difficult customer at this point, so I inform the gentleman he must wait. This sets him off more, and he states he will just walk into the theatre with his kids. I inform him I will not stop him, but I will be asking security to remove him and his family, as is our protocol. He starts saying to me he will call a local newspaper to tell them how shameful we are, etc.)

Customer #2: *who has been waiting patiently in the background for another theatre to finish being cleaned* “Mate, just give it up! Stop being a f****** d*** about this! She told you why your kids can’t go in. Go be a f****** s***ty parent at home! Everyone knows this movie ain’t for kids!”

(The man swore at the other gentleman, at which point I asked him to leave. He and his family ended up going downstairs to demand a refund of money. They were offered to be placed into another non-R-rated film, even an upgrade in theatre to 3D, or to receive complimentary passes to come back on another day. They kept demanding money back, but were refused this, as they had purchased online and it was their responsibility to be aware that choosing a film marked R16, did not mean they could take in their kids, who turned out to be 8 and 12 year sold. I gave the other customer a free large popcorn. It’s rare someone sticks up for us like that! It was appreciated that he understood. Thank you kind customer.)

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