So, we saw the comedy act of Stella (ex-The State members) last nite, after being big fans of their 10-episode show, as well as their even-funnier Shorts that were released before the show. IT SUCKED A LOT.
Yes, I understand the concept of general admission. But when you’re hosting an event at a frickin’ synagogue, you can’t sell EVERY seat. YOU CAN’T SEE THE STAGE FROM 50+ SEATS. We showed up a bit late (50 minutes after doors opened), but the line still went around two corners. Yet upon getting in, there were no seats where you could see the stage. We managed to find a place where 2 people could sit, and I could manage to see the BACK OF THE HEAD of ONE of the 3 members, only if other people’s heads in front of me didn’t move.
Some other people walked out, and we moved to their seat. If I sat on the back of the pews (ass pain!), I could actually see the top of all 3 peoples’ heads. But my ass could only handle that for 5 minutes out of every 30. Standing got similar results, but we still couldn’t see the sreen behind them. You know, the screen where they show videos that they talk about? The screen used for 10-30% of their act. Never saw it. Not until the last bit, when more people walked out to beat the crowd.
The only time a venue has ever disappointed me more is with Ram’s Head Live and their false advertising for Danzig‘s show as being “Classic Songs By The Misfits“. But at least that was on the marketing side, not the logistics side. The Stella show was a logistically disaster.
I called the venue, but not before I mistakenly spent 30 minutes trying to deal with the assholes at Ticketmaster. I’m also more convinced than ever that the people who actually buy tickets are the *least* of Ticketmaster’s concern. I “liveblogged” my phone experience (see below). I’m also going to report this to the D.C. Fire Marshall. People were sitting on the stairs everywhere because of how overbooked they were. You screw me, I screw you.
Anyway, the people at the synagogue were at least a bit understanding. They would not give me a refund, but Carolyn & I now have two free will-call tickets for the unannounced Feb 2nd Tim And Eric show at the synagogue. I couldn’t be more excited. But I wont believe I was actually put on the list until Feb 2 when I call. And if I wasn’t, it may be too late to buy a ticket. So they will either screw me twice (if they make me miss Tim & Eric), or once. Free tickets for Tim & Eric means that I paid once for one actual show, but still had to drive up there twice and lose two evenings. That still counts as screwed over in my book. Phone log below. Stop reading now.
2:56PM – So I looked up Ticketmaster’s customer service number on their website, and called it. “National Customer Service: 800-653-8000″, says their website. They had confusing menus, including asking me to enter my order number “12-1234/WDC” on the phone, using stars as slashes and dashes, and typing in the letters as well. Finally after failing out 3 times, I get a representative and explain my issue. He tells me that he will transfer me to customer service. “That’s funny,” I say, “the number I called is listed on your website as being the contact number.” “I don’t know what happened”, says the representative. “I’ll transfer you there. It’s an internal number. It will pick up right away.”
Yea, it will pick up right away AS HOLD MUSIC. For 10+ minutes!
3:12PM – finally get a guy, who says they don’t do Washington, D.C. 202-432-7328 is the right number. Guy sounds like an ignorant yokel from an Oklahoma call center. “I don’t know why D.C. is handled differently; maybe because of National Security”. So I tell him — “this is all going up on the internet to show people that Ticketmaster doesn’t actually care about their customers. I was logged into my account, where I only buy tickets for DC events. I went to the page and clicked contact us. I called that number, and it took 5 minutes to find out it’s the wrong number and transfer me here. Where it’s taken another 10+ minutes to find out that THIS is the right number. I have no faith that 202-432-7328 is going to be the right number either.” The guy then tried to make up an explanation, and I had a few choice words with him and hung up before he could reply.
3:15PM – call 202-432-7328 – GUESS WHAT? It’s been disconnected! “No further information is available about 202-432-7328″, says the lady. Of course not, because Ticketmaster DOESN’T WANT TO PAY TO SUPPORT its customers. So Let’s start at the beginning again.
3:16PM – call National Customer Service again – 800-653-8000. dealt with menus. On hold by 3:18PM. While on hold, found the webpage that confirms that if you are in d.c., the national line is a valid number to call: http://www.ticketmaster.com/h/states/wdc.html .. But the page also confusingly mentions 800-527-6384 for customer support. “This call center you got routed to doesn’t handle D.C. It’s not your fault.” Woman finally tells me – 1-800-527-6384. This is the number I found while on hold. She was unable to call while keeping me on the line. I guess it’s my own damn fault for calling the first number they told me to call? Jesus man.
3:26PM – okay, maybe I should have found this number on the web first, but they absolutely aren’t helpful about this on the phone. calling 1-800-527-6384. explained the situation. “nuffin’ we can do about dat, we jus sell da tickets”. can give the # for the 6th&I venue. He put me on hold for 3 minutes, came back and said he couldn’t find the number. I then proceeded to find it in 5 seconds ((202) 408-3100). I told him how useless he was for not being able to google a simple phone number, and hung up on his dumb bluecollar ass before he could reply (again). I guess I could have saved myself the last 35 minutes of trouble by calling the venue first. Ticketmaster are useless fucks.
Maybe I’ll dispute our tickets via our credit card company. I paid to see a show, and I didn’t see shit. (3:33PM: took 3 minute brake)
3:36PM – calling 202-408-3100 6th&ISynagogue. Got a hold of someone right away. Mentioned I was complaining about last nite’s show. She asked for some general info before transferring me to a customer service representative. I told her. about everything and then Erik came on.
Erik – understands complaint, can’t give a refund, free tickets to one of our upcoming concerts of events.
I told him I’d be calling the fire marshall and blogging this. He said I was taking it too seriously. Be that as it may, I value me & Carolyn’s time greatly – far more than our money.
He would not give a refund, but did tell me about an unnannounced show – Tim And Eric – Mon(?) Feb 2nd…. 2 tickets were placed on Will Call for us for free. Let’s hope he was honest about that and it really happens. Done: 3:45PM
Mood: annoyed at shitty customer service and shitty venues and shitty management
Music: Tiamat – Wings Of Heaven