Saturday, October 04, 2003

After all my bitching about bad customer service this week, I want to share my favorite local news story from this week. It sheds some light on the other side of the argument. Not on good customer service, mind you, but on bad customers.

Apparently, Yankees playoff tickets are sold in books which you tear the tickets out of. I have no personal experience whatsoever with this, I'm just going with what I gathered from the news. At the first playoff game, a few hundred fans weren't allowed into the stadium because they showed up without complete tickets. It seems that rather than tearing the entire ticket out of the book, they had torn it at the stub the way the ushers do.

Everyone was issued new tickets, but it took time and most of these people missed about half of the game.

On the radio report I heard (which, curiously, I'm not finding on their website), one of the patrons interviewed said, "Someone came down from management came down and basically said it was our fault because we couldn't follow instructions."

Well...yeah.

Having not seen these ticket books, I can't say how clear (or not) the instructions were. But I'm gonna guess that they were pretty clear. And besides, have you been to a single major entertainment venue, be it a stadium or a movie theater, where your ticket doesn't come in two parts? It's not arbitrary. The venue needs a record of how many people are inside and where they're located. That's their half. The patron needs a record of having paid and been admitted (and nowadays, having been through security), where his seat is, and proof of all of the above so that he is free to move around. It's pretty straightforward, whether it's a $6 movie or a $100 baseball game.

For the next game of the playoffs the Yankees put on more box office staff and kept more windows open after the game started so that they could print duplicate tickets faster and get people inside. So they did their part. Once they knew there was a problem they addressed it.

But come on, how hard is it to tear a ticket out of a book? I just have no patience for stupid people. And I can only pray that the people at Amazon and UPS aren't saying the same thing about me right now.

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