The other day, Tim and I went to see a movie. The theater we go to is one of those full-service theaters, where there is a full menu and food/drinks/popcorn are brought to you by servers during the movie.
We’d been there before and had pretty good experiences. We choose that theater in particular because it doesn’t have the same restrictions on free tickets. (Most AMC theaters won’t let you use silver passes within the first two weeks a movie is out. Or, if they do, they charge you $3 per ticket for the “upgrade.”)
This time, though, the service was awful. It took them nearly 20 minutes to get me a refill. Tim had asked for his refill about five minutes after I did, so his took nearly 15.
He had actually flagged down our waitress a second time when the drinks finally came.
And so, when he tried to get a second refill (as our waitress dropped off the check), she tried to tell him it had already been taken care of. He had to gesture to the two empty glasses a couple of times before she understood that he actually wanted a second refill. The mere idea seemed to surprise her.
By the way, he had also asked her helper twice for that second refill. Even after our server finally understood his request — despite there being 15-20 minutes left in the movie — he never got that third drink.
But apparently we were lucky. While we waited for our check to be processed, after the movie was over, the guy in front of us said he had never gotten even one refill.
Best of all, the server did something funky when entering our free coupons at checkout and so we owed tax. Which wouldn’t have been a big deal, but the machine refused to process the bill for 28 cents or whatever. So Tim had to TIP HER to get it to go through.
When we got back from the theater, I wrote a note about how the service had really put a damper on our evening. I made sure to use specifics, but I also made sure that I stayed reasonable and polite.
I sent the note right around 10:30 p.m. By 2 p.m. the next day, I had a call from the manager of the theater. She thanked me for taking the time to give them feedback, and she apologized for the fact that they had fallen down on the job.
She then asked if she could send me some free tickets to let us give them a second chance. The next day, an envelope showed up with two free tickets, two drink coupons and a free entree (not just popcorn) voucher.
Score one for AMC’s customer relations, because I’m pleasantly surprised by how quickly and thoroughly the complaint was handled. But also score one for POLITE complaint.
What has polite complaint resulted in for you guys over the years?