|by Mr Credit Card|
This post is written by Mrs Credit Card :
I was very excited to hear about the new exhibition at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia – Star Wars : Where Science Meets Imagination. It started on February 9 and ends on May 4. http://www2.fi.edu/
One of main attractions is a 4 minute “ride” in a reconstructed Millennium Falcon which costs $5 each, over & above the admission charges. Since the kids have a day off on President’s Day, I decided to call go online to get the tickets. It turned out to be a 2 hour quest and here’s my story.
1. I went to http://www2.fi.edu/ and found out from the ticketing link that American Express cardholders have $2 discount off the adult price but I need a promotional code. I called American Express Concierge to request for the code.
2. I explained the situation to the customer service agent – Leqina (may not be the right spelling) and she will check so I had to be on hold.
3. Minutes later, Leqina said they could not locate the discount code in their program but the box office is willing to give me the “partner deal” discount which is $2 off each adult ticket.
4. I said OK and clarified all the convenience fees. I informed her that I wanted to include the tickets for the Millennium Falcon ride and ask her to clarify if those will be charged convenience fees too. She said OK & will check.
5. Minutes later, Leqina came back on the phone and said yes, the $5 ticket charge for the Millennium Falcon ride will be subject to the convenience fees charge. I reckoned that it will be very popular, I might as well get it now in case it gets sold out when I am there.
6. We confirmed the dates that we wanted the admission and the types & number of tickets we need. The total excluded the Millennium Falcon ride and asked her why it was not included. She said it has tp be processed separately. I told her it shouldn’t be the case as the ticket window on the site allows me to purchase the option in one transaction. She nicely insisted that the system is such and even checked with the box office guy. By now, it’s been an hour already so I said OK – whatever you say. Just get me those tickets.
7. She went ahead to confirm my purchase of the admission tickets & reminding me that they are non refundable.
8. Then she said please hold on while I process the second transaction. I was on hold for so long and finally she came back with bad news. Tickets for Millennium Falcon is all sold out on President’s Day. I was furious. I reminded her of my point 6 above and insisted that they voided the transaction and rebook us on the weekend dates that have the available space for Millennium falcon. I believe that she and the box office agent made a mistake when they refuse to put them in one transaction as they would have known the problem before the transaction went through. I can only imagine my kids disappointment when we get there & they are not able to get in.
9. Leqina went back to box office and I was on hold again. I have been on the phone for an hour and a half already. while I was on the phone with her, I keep going to the internet to try to book the tickets through the ticketing link but there was 2 error messages after I selected the Millennium Falcon option. The first error message was I provided the wrong discount code and the second error message said the the Millennium Falcon Ride was no longer available.
10. She came back and said the box office manager agreed to cancel the transaction. She asked if we want to continue to find another date. I said yes.
11. Leqina came back on the phone to say that they finally found a date that can accommodate the Millenium Falcon Ride – March 15. I said OK, please proceed. Leqina said thank you and please hold while we process the transaction.
12. Then she came back to say she has completed the transaction for the admission and to give her a few moments to complete the second part of my transaction.
13. Many “moments” later, she came back and said there has been a problem. They have a problem booking for the Millennium falcon Ride and needs more time to work on it. I said OK but I have to go and pick up my kids now and ask her to call me back an hour later.
14. One hour later, she told me that in fact ALL the Millenium Falcon tickets are SOLD OUT ! I cannot believe my ears. Al the way to May 4 ! I wasted 2 hours plus for this !
I am so exhausted just retelling this experience. It is ridiculous to think that Franklin Institute allowed that to happen. I will try my best to alert the local media.
While it’s nice to have the platinum card, sometimes I wonder if the concierge service is overrated? Am I being too demanding? Care to share your amex concierge experience?