Friday, April 26, 2013

I should join movie popcorn addicts anonymous.

I love going to the movies. I can't think of a better or less toxic form of escapism, or at least, one that I love more than a big dark theatre with booming speakers, beautiful people and a great story with smashing dialogue, mach 3 car chases, or spectacular special effects. 

One of my favourite things about going to the movies is the. popcorn. With real butter. And yes, I know how bad it is for you, but that doesn't change the fact that going to the movies and NOT having popcorn is the 8th Deadly Sin.

I recently went to the movies and got charged twice after asking for layered butter, which irked me. And since I had spare time on my hands, and feel so strongly about the issue, I wrote the following letter to everyone and their mother at this cinema* and their head office.

Some people might call me a lunatic. 

I prefer to be known as passionate about movie popcorn.

Don't judge me.

Have an awesome day!

*all company names and dates changed

*Also, I call Kwesi my husband, because boyfriend seemed juvenile to me. No, we aren't married, and have no plans to marry in the near future.

Good afternoon,
As a frequent movie goer, I have never encountered an issue such as this before, and wanted not only to clarify for possible future trips, but also to obtain your feedback.
I recently visited your 123 ABC Street location in Ottawa Timbuktu with my husband to watch a movie, which began at 6:30.
$12.00 x 2 for entrance to the film = $24.00
We generally visit our local theatres an average of 1 - 2 times per month, sometimes with our son, sometimes on our own, or with friends. Despite feeling it is expensive, I enjoy the entertainment, and have since I was a small child.
Once we had our tickets in hand, we went to the snack counter. While my husband prefers to bring snacks in to the theatre, this isn't something I have ever been keen on, preferring instead to purchase the (let's call a spade a spade) insanely over priced popcorn. I also choose to upgrade my topping to real butter, and always request that it be layered halfway through the bag, so that I can avoid excessively dry popcorn mid-movie.
Our snack bar purchase consisted of: $13.69 for 1 combo that included a regular drink, regular popcorn and bag of candy.
$5.79 for 1 additional bag of popcorn for my husband, because no matter how much I love him, I hate sharing popcorn.
$0.79 x 2 for upgrades to real butter = $1.58
Once the young man at the register gave me my total of close to $26.00 I questioned him how he got that amount. He replied by reminding me that I had paid to upgrade to real butter. Of course!!! Butter!!! But $3.16 as my total for butter?
Man alive! I could buy a 1lb brick of butter for $3.79 at Costco for God's sakes!
And funny enough, that isn't even what my issue is, because as I stated previously, I am aware of the upgrade cost, and I always choose to pay it anyways. (As far as I am concerned, if you're going to eat fake butter, you may as well eat the container it comes in.)
My issue is that the young man serving us charged me twice because I asked him to layer the butter, which leads me to my questions: Is this standard practice at all your locations or is this a new policy?
I go to a number of cinema locations in Ottawa Timbuktu, as well as when I am on vacation throughout Canada and the U.S. Always paying for real butter, always asking for it to be layered through the popcorn. Never once have I ever been charged twice.
When I asked why I was being charged twice, and challenged him on the surprise extra charge, another employee (possibly a 12-year old manager?) came by. It was then explained that "5 squirts of butter" is what constitutes the charge of $0.79. 
Presumably, during the research and development process, you have chosen 5 shots to be adequate, so as not to saturate the popcorn. Fair enough. But to charge two times for one bag? Is the bottom line more important to you than irritating your guests and further inflating the cost of an already expensive enough night out? Is the cost of 10 shots of butter, on $0.20 worth of popcorn seeds that I am paying $5.79 for, really justified?
If this is indeed your policy, and it is one that I can expect to be presented with each time I visit your theatres, then the easiest and obvious solution will be to simply concentrate my loyalties with your competitor locations, of course.
I look forward to hearing back from you to clarify this policy.
I also leave you with this link, which highlights excellent feedback and customer service, by just giving a little bit extra back.
Thank you,Jennifer Bennett

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