Jason used Fandango to buy two tickets for “My Bloody Valentine 3D” at the Regal Union Square theater in NYC this past Saturday. When he got there, he discovered something we’ve noticed several times at that particular location: the self-serve ticket kiosks are always broken.
After waiting in line ~10 minutes I swipe my credit card only to get the following message “Tickets cannot be found, please try another machine.” After trying several other machines, I quickly realize that nobody can find their tickets.
Jason and his girlfriend waited in the normal ticket line to get help, and were asked to provide a confirmation number. The only problem was, the receipt Fandango emailed to Jason didn’t provide one.
The box office staff suggest I call fandango for a refund, as they are “not authorized” to refund tickets purchased via fandango. It is now 8 o clock, and I am getting a bit upset. [The showtime was 7:55. -Ed.] Finally, an enterprising staff member decides to enter my credit card information into a mysterious web-enabled computer. Miraculously, after 10 more minutes, she finds proof that I had, in fact, purchased tickets and proceeds to print them out for me.
Jason and his date went to the theater and found a single open seat on the front row, which they shared. Which we guess is romantic in a way.
Jason complained to Fandango about the terrible experience, but Fandango’s response pushed the blame back on Regal Union Square:
Please be assured that in conjunction with our theater partners, we are in the process of streamlining our ticket redemption process. Additionally, a representative from our organization will be in contact with Regal Union Square Stadium 14 to see if we can assist in rectifying the problem with their kiosks. The kiosks are owned and operated by the individual theater, not Fandango. Because the kiosks are beyond our control, we are not able to offer you a refund of our service fee due to kiosk malfunction.
We understand that there may be times that a kiosk is not functional, so we do make an effort to make sure our customers are aware that other redemption resources are available in these cases. The order confirmation page does instruct our ticket purchasers to “ask Theater Personnel for help or ask them to call Fandango’s Theater Support Hotline” should any problems arise.
Jason is pretty angry at Fandango, but we think Regal’s to blame on this one, largely because (like we said) they always seem to have kiosk problems. Here’s what we don’t understand about Regal’s handling of the situation:
- If multiple customers were having problems, we would assume more than one person had complained to a Regal employee. Why didn’t Regal have someone intercepting and resolving kiosk issues for the affected customers?
- Why wasn’t the Regal employee trained to contact Fandango for help as soon as Jason described the problem? Pushing this responsibility onto the customer, as Fandango did in its response to Jason, is unacceptable. The customer shouldn’t have to be responsible for conveying troubleshooting instructions between the two companies.
- Why, seriously, did the Regal employee go ahead and print the tickets for a show that had already started? Surely Regal can and should refund the tickets for a missed showtime when the delay is clearly not due to any error on the customer’s part.
We think Regal needs to reimburse you for the price of those 3D tickets—at $15 each, they’re not cheap, and that doesn’t even count the Fandango surcharge. Jason, try contacting Regal Entertainment directly at their corporate contact page.