Jess took her ailing mom to see an American Idol concert in Massachusetts but was mistreated by employees who were less than willing to accommodate her mom’s special needs. The next day she took to Twitter, fired off a couple complaints and spurred Live Nation to make things right.
Here’s her story of how Jess bent the mighty near-monopoly to her whims in fewer than 280 characters:
Early last week, a friend, and I attended the American Idol’s live tour. My mother is on oxygen and is awaiting a lung transplant, so we wanted to arrive there early to ensure we got a space near the door. The doors opened at 6:30, and we got there at about 5:30 or so.
We got to the gate and realized there were no benches or seats anywhere for my mom to sit in while we waited. There was a plastic lawn chair just inside the venue’s handicapped entrance, so a I approached the security guard, and explained that my mother was handicapped and asked him if we could use that chair since no one had been sitting in it. He told me there was no way that he would let us use that chair, he said that “there are rocks in the parking lot, go sit on one of those”.
I thought that was incredibly rude, but I knew I was getting nowhere with this guy, so I just walked away. As I was walking away, he starts talking to the ticket taker that was standing at the gate with him. He says “These handicapped people want everything. First they want chairs, then what? If you’re so handicapped don’t come this early, or better yet don’t come at all”. The 3 of us are obviously very angry at this point. I walk up to him and the ticket taker and tell him that it’s not cool that he is making fun of handicapped people, especially while he is working at the handicapped entrance. He and the ticket taker just laugh at me. My mom yells at him “I hope you never become handicapped” and he yells back “I hope I do!”.
At this point I begin trying to get this guy’s name, none of the other employees will tell me, so I do the next best thing. I take a picture of him with my cell phone. He asks a nearby police officer what he can do if someone is trying to take a picture of him that he doesn’t want taken. The officer says nothing and ends up walking away. I get the picture, and a picture of the ticket taker and that’s that last time I saw him. He walked away and never came back. I posted the photo on twitter immediately and tagged @liveNation in the tweet.
Once inside the venue we seek out the guest relations department. We end up talking to the assistant general manager of the venue who says she knows exactly who we are talking about and says she will speak to him. She apologizes and offers us an upgrade to our tickets. We were sitting in section 8, so we were thrilled to get an upgrade to section 2.
We didn’t let this bad experience stand in the way of us enjoying the concert. We all had a great time. But it’s not over yet. When we arrived home, I checked my twitter. My post to @livenation had been retweeted by some of my followers, and I had a response from livenation asking me to email them more information. So I emailed them my story, along with the photos I took of the employees.
The next day, around 7 p.m. at VP from Live Nation called me to apologize. He said he spoke with the security guard, and said that while our stories were a bit different, he pretty much confirmed what happened. He then told me that the security guard was terminated, and the ticket taker was relocated to a different department. He a also invited us back to the Comcast Center to give them another chance, and sent us 3 tickets to see Rihanna and Ke$ha in a couple weeks.
Through the power of Twitter, and the excellent customer service of live nation, my problem was fully researched, investigated, and resolved within less than 24 hours.
Twitter has proven to be an effective customer service outlet. If you’ve used it to set a corporate monolith straight, share your story in the comments.