I don’t like ranting, but since receiving a reply to my complaint with Village Cinemas I thought I would make you, my readers, aware so that you don’t get caught out like I did.
Last Wednesday when I went to see the advanced screening of Bridget Jones Baby, I didn’t expect my night to turn to shit! It had nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with Village Cinemas. Since moving to Melbourne 2 years ago I have attended a few of the Flicks With The Chicks events with either friends or family. They have been so enjoyable that I have even often recommended these events on this website, not to make any money (I never have approached them re $ for a review) but because I thought it was so good, more people should know about it.
Before I get into the drama, let me explain what Flicks With The Chicks is about. FWTC is advertised as a special screening and the movie selected by the cinema tends to be a romantic film or romantic comedy. It even has the tagline “Gather the girls for the perfect night out at the movies.” The evening is a sponsored event and tends to support a charity. In this case, Bridget Jones Baby was supporting Guide Dogs Australia. The cinema is normally decorated in streamers, balloons and there are fun quizzes and/or giveaways held before the movie begins. Sometimes a table is set up for drinks and nibbles and staff in the designated cinema welcome patrons and help them find their seats. It’s a fanfare and most women go to these events for this reason.
Because I have been to a few of these events I knew Village Cinemas were holding a FWTC event for the soon to be released movie Bridget Jones Baby. So I visited the Village Cinemas website last Tuesday night looking for tickets. I quickly discovered the FWTC event was sold out. However going back to the original search screen I was able to see that Village Cinemas had released tickets and advertised another FWTC event at the same Village Cinemas Southland complex. I was a tad excited, YES!!! We still get to go!!!
When we arrived we saw that cinema #6 was decorated in what customers come to expect as a FWTC event. Streamers, balloons, a table set up for nibbles, 4 staff members to help patrons with finding seats… or what ever they needed. My daughter and I walked past to our cinema #5. When we walked in we stopped. We were not sure we were in the right cinema, so I walked back and questioned one of the staff members (since there was no-one to help in Cinema #5). One of the staff members told me I was in the right room, but because they didn’t list the second FWTC event to earlier that day, they simply didn’t have the time to decorate it.
I returned to cinema #5 but I heard those around me talking about the lack of decorations etc. It got me thinking… I don’t know how long the second screening was advertised for but it was definitely since the day before. Not the same day as the staff member told me. They had two days minimum to decorate it! Are we going to have any quizzes etc? So I returned to Cinema #6 and asked, the answer – no, they didn’t have time to set anything up. I looked around the room and watched 4 staff members helping people to their seats and one of them couldn’t read out some fun facts or something in our room?!!!
I returned to my seat and sat down. Within a minute or two a young guy came down the stairs, read out some information about Guide Dogs and how they need support and left like my pants were on fire. Great we get screwed over with the event and now we are supposed to give Guide Dogs money – hell no!!!! I watched the entire movie but by the time I got home I was still feeling a tad ticked off. So I got onto the Village Cinemas website and sent an email.
The next morning I received the following email from Village Cinemas Prahran office – “I am sorry to read of your disappointment with the latest FWTC at Southland. I have forwarded your concerns through to their senior management to look into who shall be in touch within 3 business days”.
Come Saturday lunch time, I received this –
“We take pride in our high standards of service and it is with feedback such as yours that we can continue to improve all aspects of the experience we provide guests.”
“In regards to your session of Flicks with the Chicks that you had attended, this was an additional session added due to the original programmed session reaching its full capacity. With this session at capacity the decision was made to only have our in Cinema vending stationed in Vmax 6 to cater for the high volume of guest in the cinema itself”
“While the additional session was opened a few days prior, unfortunately time constraints prevented us from setting up the second cinema.”
So in other words because the original programmed session filled so quickly another cinema was opened. They didn’t think about how they would be able to decorate, cater or staff it, just that they could make more money! The second paragraph said the decision was made to cater for the high volume of guests in cinema 6… wow, thanks so much. I guess being in the “spilled over section” we didnt deserve the same service. Oh but we had one staff member grace us with his presence… even though it was to ask for more money!
So my advice to you, if you have FWTC or anything similar available near you, find out if the session you have paid for is an added on session. Ask if what is offered per FWTC previous events will be offered in your session. And if you are not happy, send them an email. They wont do anything about it if no one complains.
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