Popped out from work earlier today to go down to the Odeon West End in Leicester Square, to purchase weekend passes for the Frightfest horror film festival taking place there over the August Bank Holiday weekend.
I popped down to the Odeon West End at lunchtime today to buy two weekend passes, one for me, the other for my girlfriend Liz. It took nearly 45 minutes, and my loudly demanding to see the manager, before I could actually hand over my £260 and get my two weekend passes.
The reason: The woman manning the box office (her name badge said her name was Carmen) repeatedly insisted, eventually getting very abrupt and rude, that the cinema did not sell weekend passes or any other kind of ticket for Frightfest, and that I should try ‘elsewhere’. Realising that I was not going to go away, as I knew she was talking nonsense, she eventually reduced her responses to my repeated insistence and explanation that the Odeon West End does sell tickets for the Frightfest, down to “We don’t sell tickets for the film festival – go away”. This farce wasted over half an hour. A chap who I was chatting to behind me in the queue was also waiting to buy a weekend pass, and walked out at that point – I am guessing that is a lost sale.
As I said, I had to demand the appearance of a manager at high volume before we got anywhere near resolving the matter. When a manager (no name given) finally appeared, he did at least know about the existence of the event and the cinema’s ability to sell weekend passes for it, and set about logging into a spare till to sell me my tickets. I should add that at no point did he actually stop to correct his co-worker on her error or her conduct.
After a 10 minute wait while he got manual authorisation for my credit card (yep, their entire till system does not support electronic credit card authorisation), I eventually got my passes.
Suffice to say, words need to be had with the managers in charge of the Odeon West End, before they deter and piss off any more people planning to attend Frightfest, especially with individual tickets going on sale in a week’s time.
I have alerted the organisers of the event to this incident, and I’m sure they will take swift action. They are a good bunch of people, and the last thing I want to see happen is for their festival to be ruined by a lazy, stupid and moronic cinema worker who couldn’t bring herself to do a few minutes work.