It’s no surprise that the UK film industry is worth billions, but after a poor experience at my local Cineworld, I was left feeling like an undervalued customer.
I’m a great lover of watching the latest flicks at the cinema. The humungous screens and tasty popcorn often beat watching films on my small laptop at home.
However, having to wait 30 minutes just to enter the theatre definitely took the shine off my latest silver screen experience.
A monstrous evening at the cinema
A few weeks ago, I bought two tickets to see Monster’s University at my local Cineworld and arrived 20 minutes before the 5.10pm showing, as recommended on its website. But no sooner than getting to the top of the escalator did the problems begin. I strolled up to the theatre entrance, ticket in hand, ready to get a good seat for the film.
However, when I handed my ticket over to the staff member, I was told that the screen wasn’t ready and to wait to one side. No biggy, I thought. So, I stood with all the other Monsters, Inc. fans in the foyer for ten minutes before trying again. Once the ten minutes were up, I was again told that the screen still wasn’t ready but would be ready in five minutes…
You may be able to guess what happened next. Five minutes came and went without anyone being let in, all the while, the amount of loitering and frustrated cinema goers continued to grow. Eventually, at 5.20pm, 10 minutes after the film was meant to start, staff started letting customers into the screen. The trailers were then started from the very beginning, meaning the film didn’t actually start until 5.50pm.
Sweeten the pill with a gesture of good will?
At no point did any of the Cineworld staff explain why there was a delay, or apologise for the inconvenience of having to stand in the cinema foyer for 30 minutes. When you’re paying more than £10 per ticket, I expect much better customer service and a much more enjoyable experience. Having said that, the film itself was excellent.
I logged a formal complaint with Cineworld about my experience, to which they responded and apologised:
‘I can advise that on rare occasions unforeseen technical difficulties can arise when screening a film and I can understand your frustrations if they delay the start of the film. We always strive to eradicate any unforeseen problems that may arise as swiftly as possible, to minimise the disruptions experienced by our customers. We apologise if we were not able to rectify the problem more swiftly on this occasion.’
Cineworld added that they would speak to the management at my local cinema to make sure problems are dealt with swiftly in the future. However, I wasn’t offered a goodwill gesture – do you think I should have been? Have you ever had to wait an age for a cinema screening to open?