An Open Letter to Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC)

I booked and paid for 2 tickets to Avatar via GSC’s website on Saturday morning for the 6.20 p.m. show (same day) at GSC Pavillion’s Hall 9. The seats that I selected were at the back row, A4 and A5 respectively.

Upon entering the hall, I found that the seat A5 was faulty, the seat cushion was sagging too much to the front, providing inadequate support unlike other seats, such as A4. I alerted one of the staff who then proceeded to check and confirm the problem, he even got a second staff to confirm it.

gsc

In addition to this, the seat was already marked (!) with an X on the upholstery indicating that there was something wrong even before I came along!

Since it was a full house, he cannot offer equivalent seats and the only available replacement seats were that on the middle row. Hall 9 is a small cinema hall but at the same time  considerably wide with a really big screen. Seeing that sitting in the middle row would be inviting neck cramps to not only myself but also my girlfriend, I declined the offer.

He also suggested alternatively he could do a refund. I declined this as well, knowing the trouble I went to get the tickets in the first place.

After going through the 2 hours + movie, I went downstairs again to complain about the seat. This time, another guy checked the seat and I made it clear in no uncertain terms on my disappointment with GSC. The staff brought the manager who was apologetic about the whole matter and offered me complimentary tickets for any future movie but the thing is, I would have to call him for the tickets.

The question to GSC would be what are the protocols or guidelines that your staff have to follow in the event where customer is complaining about the seat. I don’t think customers would be happy just settling for a refund, especially when the movie in question is a highly anticipated one like Avatar and tickets are simply scarce. Also, the off-hand nature of the compensation was rather off-putting.

Also, how soon do seats under maintenance get reported to the people in charge of the online booking system? I can tell that the problem with the seat wasn’t recent (it was already marked!), and the manager’s explanation on how sometimes the seating arrangement for the cinema is updated locally and before taking time to be reflected on the online booking system was simply, unacceptable.



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  1. IMCurtain.com January 17, 2010

    Nine Over Ten 9/10 » An Open Letter to Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC)…

    The question to GSC would be what are the protocols or guidelines that your staff have to follow in the event where customer is complaining about the seat. I don’t think customers would be happy just settling for a refund,…

  2. ignorantsoup January 17, 2010

    I wonder why companies like to make us consumers call them to get a complimentary thing. The last time Carls Junior served me a wrong burger. Furthermore, it was a single slice of beef. I had ordered a double. Since I ordered a take away, I couldn’t do an exchange on the spot. Hence I emailed them and they said they would give me a complimentary meal, but I have to call the manager in advance. It is all too much trouble. What would have made my day was to get my address and send me a complimentary voucher for a free meal of a certain price. Well, in the end I did not call to get my free meal because it was too troublesome in my opinion.

  3. realistic January 18, 2010

    I’m not sure what more they could have done for you? As you said it was a sold out session. You havent really suggested a solution beyond what they attempted themselves?

    Am I correct, they investigated to see if there was a way of rectifying the damaged/inoperable seat, they offered you a refund, they offered you tickets to the same film but due to the popularity of Avatar they were not in your preferrred position/cinema auditorium, they offered you complimentary tickets… ? I’m not aware of any businesses who can do more than this .. (and no, I have no connection with GSC – in fact I have no idea who they even are..)

    I’m not sure what business you work in/mangage/own but sometimes you can only do what you can do… I think it sounds like they responded as best they could and that it was perectly reasonable? Of course you were disappointed. We all would be under such circumstances but let’s be reasonable…

    Lord knows I’ve sat through a few long haul flights on airlines in seats that had no TV, loose bases, faulty arm-rests. I didn’t expect someone else to stand all the way to Singapore so I could have a fully operable seat and I certainly never got offered a refund or complimentary flights.

  4. tokyo_nights January 18, 2010

    @realistic you poor thing? you could have just said that you are a pushover :) seriously, flying long haul on such shitty conditions without a complaint? I’ll buy you a cup of coffee, that’s the least i can do.

    And yeah, I did my research, you are a cinema guy! Don’t know about things in new south wales, but if you are over here going about “lets be realistic about things” to pissed off cinema patrons, you would be in a whole world of verbal hurt. Director my ass :)

  5. realistic January 18, 2010

    hey, I understand your pi##ed at them but once again, you’ve not suggested what more they can do? You’ve slammed them on the net but you havent suggested what they should have done? Yep I do work in the industry but that doesnt change my trying to find a positive solution to what you experienced? As I said, I have no idea who GSC are but surely rather than just slamming them on what was clearly a problem they could not fix there and then you could have suggested what they could have done better to compensate or alleviate the angst? I guess its a half glass empty/half glass full approach .. anyway, all the best.

  6. tokyo_nights January 18, 2010

    @realistic: I’m asking questions, and the ball is in their court:

    The question to GSC would be what are the protocols or guidelines that your staff have to follow in the event where customer is complaining about the seat. I don’t think customers would be happy just settling for a refund, especially when the movie in question is a highly anticipated one like Avatar and tickets are simply scarce. Also, the off-hand nature of the compensation was rather off-putting.

    Also, how soon do seats under maintenance get reported to the people in charge of the online booking system? I can tell that the problem with the seat wasn’t recent (it was already marked!), and the manager’s explanation on how sometimes the seating arrangement for the cinema is updated locally and before taking time to be reflected on the online booking system was simply, unacceptable.