Last night turned into an impromptu date night with my wife, a trip to see the new Underworld Awakening in 3D at Marcus Cinemas. This past week at work we hosted some clients for onsite training at our facility to teach them everything there is to know about servicing their patient check-in kiosk. During conversation with one of the techs over lunch he mentioned an app for purchasing movie tickets and how much he liked it. This conversation resurfaced in my head when we decided to go see a movie last night, and so the story begins.
My first strategy was to go online to http://www.marcustheatres.com and purchase my ticket in advance, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a sellout or not, I don’t follow movies closely enough to know. So there I was, I had the movie and time selected and noticed this line:
“A convenience fee of $1.00 per ticket is applied.”
Right…. So now my $12.50 ticket just went to $13.50 (yes, that’s a $27 movie date, no snacks included, that’s a whole different gripe). The convenience fee was repulsive, they should give me a dollar credit for purchasing through this median! I was upset enough to cancel my transaction and grab my phone, recalling this gentleman had mentioned an ‘app’ he really liked. I went to the app store and found the iMarcus app, I downloaded it promptly. The interface of this application was fine, less the advertisement on that runs along the top, I selected my movie theater and began the process of purchasing my ticket. I was under the impression that maybe only the website had a convenience fee and that this app would be different, I was wrong.
Despite the same $1 convenience fee, I was intent on at least doing this once, I liked the idea of being able to show my phone at the theater and gaining entry. After going through the check-out process and hitting the “Purchase Tickets” button I was greeted with what I can only describe as complete amateur hour, an SSL certificate error.
So what’s wrong with this picture? First of all, let’s examine the instructions..
“Please tap Retry to try again, or tap Cancel to cancel this order.
I didn’t Photoshop this image and your eyes are not playing tricks on you, those options do not exist. The only option is to go “back”. What is not shown here is a popup I got that said there was an error and to “check my email to see if it worked” ??? Really, that’s it….go check my email?
Just to make sure it wasn’t me, I disabled my Wi-Fi, restarted the app and tried this via 3G, same result. No emails came through so I figure it did in-fact fail twice but it hasn’t shown up in my recent transactions yet to confirm.
At this point, i’m frustrated with the entire Marcus Cinemas online ordering experience, but I am more determined than ever to make it through this process ONE TIME. I go back to http://www.marcustheatres.com and start the process again, still willing to pay this scam of a convenience fee.
I have completed the purchase of my tickets and I kid you not, I am forwarded to one of those survey scams, “you have been selected for a $20 coupon, please fill out this form…” I go back to the other tab looking for confirmation and you know what I see?
Your Tickets Were Purchased Successfully.
Ticket Pickup Instructions
You may pick up your tickets at the ATMs located in the theatre lobby or at the box office and will need to bring your credit card under which your order was charged with you to pick up your tickets. Photo ID required when ticket is presented for admission to R-rated films.
No email, no confirmation number, a “tracking” number that I have no idea what to do with is all I get…
Your Ticket Selections
You’ve Selected – Underworld: Awakening 3D at 9:35pm, the evening of Sat, Jan. 28th at Marcus Menomonee Falls Cinema
Marcus Digital; Digital 3D
Tracking # 699238148-88756241
General $12.50 X 2 $25.00 USD Ticket Total: $27.00 USD
A convenience fee of $1.00 per ticket is applied.
Proof I paid the fee for this “convenience”, which in the spirit of avoiding confusion let’s look at what a covienence is.
The state of being able to proceed with something with little effort or difficulty (http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/convenience?region=us)
Thank you Oxford dictionary, precisely what I though, it was supposed to require very little effort and not be difficult…I was left wondering it my tickets had actually been purchased, but I tried my best to follow these instructions:
You may pick up your tickets at the ATMs located in the theatre lobby or at the box office and will need to bring your credit card under which your order was charged with you to pick up your tickets
What the hell? Why would I pick up my tickets from the Automated Teller Machine? Yes, there is actually an ATM in the lobby but being that I make a living in the kiosk industry I was fairly certain that these geniuses were using those words interchangeably… No need for a definition here, but I assure you an ATM is an ATM, a Kiosk is a Kiosk.
We drove 30 minutes to the theater and I nervously entered the lobby, ok maybe I wasn’t nervous but you get the point, I was curious to see this ATM. I found the actual kiosk and approached, it told me to insert my credit card and within 20 seconds my tickets and receipt automatically printed, no more input was need (My first good experience thus far). The kiosk itself looked hideous and had a poor design, it had a flat surface which made it awkward to use.
There was no line, so again I seen no justification for my lost $2 but it was an experiment. To end the evening, the projector wasn’t working in our theater and they had to come in and restart it, apologized and gave us buy 1 get one free coupons for another movie during the 10 minute delay, I haven’t read the fine print on it but i’m sure it’s good for a Tuesday morning movie that’s not in it’s opening month. The movie itself was a disappointment, in my opinion, but i’m no movie critic.
I have come to the conclusion that the techs who were up at our facility for training have a different movie theater chain, I will email him and ask to confirm but there is absolutely no way he spoke this highly about Marcus Cinemas or their use of Movietickets.com.