kshandra: illustration of the classic drama masks (Comedy/Tragedy)
[personal profile] kshandra
I just sent the following letter off to Fathom Events.

To whom it may concern:

My husband and I were on vacation with extremely limited access to the internet when you announced your special screening of Young Frankenstein back in late August/early September. Not wanting to run the risk of the event selling out while we were away, I purchased two tickets for the AMC 16 Cupertino Square.

At the advertised start time this evening, we were shown the Fathom Coming Attractions reel over the audio for the movie. Close to 15 minutes later, we started getting the video of Mel Brooks live on the 20th Century lot - with no audio. It was another five minutes before we got the correct audio, and were finally able to enjoy the remainder of Mr. Brooks's presentation in the Zanuck Theatre. When that portion ended, we got another five minutes of slides, then returned to the film, which had apparently continued to run in the background - and again, no audio.

At no time during this process did a member of theatre staff or management come in to address the audience; when multiple attendees went out to talk to the staff to ask what was going on, the responses they received were largely dismissive. My husband and I finally left the theatre 45 minutes into the advertised run-time, having seen less than ten minutes of the scheduled event as it was meant to be seen. We spoke with the manager on duty, who half-heartedly apologized and claimed that they were having problems with the "live DVR download."

I have attended a number of Fathom screenings at multiple theatres throughout the SF Bay Area over the company's 11-year history, including NT Live's Coriolanus, the Grateful Dead Meet-up at the Movies, and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary screening of Day of the Doctor. I have NEVER been so thoroughly disappointed in a screening.

Hopefully, you will be able to retrain the employees involved and ensure that my experience is the last of its kind in that location. I look forward to hearing how you are able to resolve the matter.


(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-06 05:13 pm (UTC)
gingicat: drawing of me based on wedding photo (Default)
From: [personal profile] gingicat
That sucks. I hope you get a nice response that includes a couple of pairs of free tickets.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-06 02:10 am (UTC)
ashbet: (XsForEyes)
From: [personal profile] ashbet
Oh, man -- I'm so sorry that you had such an unfortunate experience! I hope that they do another showing, the RIGHT way, and allow people with tickets to the original show to attend . . .


-- A <3

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-06 02:24 am (UTC)
ashbet: (FasterPussycat)
From: [personal profile] ashbet
I'm glad you got the refund, at least -- but still, I agree, that was totally unprofessional on the part of the theater.

And, yeah, it sucks immensely that you were only AT that venue because of the risk of selling out. Grr.

Hoping that it works out that you can still see and enjoy it! <3

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-06 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
To be excruciatingly fair, it's *very* hard to handle a customer complaint of that nature. When it's that much of a cluster, uh, foul-up, there's an instinct not to start offering refunds immediately because of a fear that the theater will empty, and "maybe things will start working better SOON!"

But that's really like saying "to be excruciatingly fair, people in traffic accidents are emotionally volatile, so it's not *too* surprising the person who caused it yelled at the person whose car he hit". It's kinda like "wow, that should never have happened, but it doesn't make the person a total asshole, forever and ever. They might be a localized (asshole/incompetent/whatever)."

(no subject)

Date: 2016-10-06 05:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] johnpalmer.livejournal.com
Nod. And I *do* get that. Some level of honesty - even the statement "we're having horrible problems, we're sorry" - is always the best policy.

I suppose I was flashing back to my first attempt to support Microsoft Azure. As a Support Engineer, I wasn't supposed to say "Damn, man, you fucked up! you trusted us!" Still, that was what popped into my head, and sometimes that was the best explanation I could give. Of course, we weren't allowed to.

I do want to emphasize, much of these were "growing pains". These problems have been corrected. But ay, did I learn how hard it can be when you know you can't say bad things about the higher ups, but that's the only honest answer.

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