Tuesday, December 13, 2016

I whinged, they listened

If I'm going to slam a business, however mildly and humorously, it's only right that I recognize the ways they've made good.

And it's always nice to be reminded that when I write things on this blog, I'm not just shouting into a void.

So as you may recall, in this post, I discussed how the Hoyts kiosk had failed to hold my reservation for the movie Nerve. I wrote the post not to give Hoyts a hard time, because it was really only a mild annoyance to me that could have been caused by any number of technical or other factors, one of which it actually was caused by (which I'll get to in a minute). The experience was even less of an annoyance to me in retrospect, given that the movie I rented in its place (The Purge: Election Year) ended up being a huge hit with me. In fact, I wrote the post only to tell a boring story about a meaningless transaction -- a story I probably only considered newsworthy because I thought of the irresistible title "The Nerve of them." (God, are my standards for posting to this blog really this low?) That title was probably my most critical thought directed at Hoyts in the whole piece.

Well, Hoyts took that post very seriously.

You can imagine my surprise when I received an email from them last Friday entitled "Hoyts Kiosk Experience." It went on to mention that they had heard about my recent experience (they didn't say which) and would like to discuss it with me.

I hadn't, of course, actually reported the problem to Hoyts. It could only mean that they had read my blog. But I didn't quite think that was possible. It just seemed too unlikely.

I forgot to contact them over the weekend (I think I had to wait until business hours anyway) so a second email came on Monday. Intrigued (and seeing that the call would close in three business days if I did not respond), I took some time to step away from my desk and call them.

Indeed, they had read my blog. I laughed out loud.

It's not that I'm such small potatoes, but, well ... I'm such small potatoes. Or at least, I tend to forget that my blog does actually get seen by people, especially people who are seeking out references to themselves. It wouldn't be the first time. I half suspect that Kevin Smith has read everything I've ever written about him, though the only evidence I have is that Smith is known for that type of thing. (Fortunately, most of it has been good.)

So yeah, they came across my blog, and I later discovered that it wasn't even that far down in the search results when you google "Hoyts kiosk Nerve." They doubtless were not googling those particular key words, so they came across it in some other way.

The nice woman I spoke to advised that the issue had to do with using the same credit card you've reserved the movie with when you go to pick it up. I did, and that should be obvious, but I didn't consider the fact that I've recently gotten a new version of this card. Maybe the Hoyts system should be smart enough to figure out this is what happened, but I can't really blame it. I mean, that kiosk was trying to save my movie for me, and considered this other guy trying to rent it to be an interloper.

The end result of the conversation was that they sent me codes for two free movie rentals. Good on them. Or maybe I should say "Good on you," since they/you will probably be reading this.

What I find funniest about this is that this is the second time a movie kiosk company has interacted with me through my blog. Years ago I wrote a post about an illogical interface on Redbox, and one of my readers brought the post to the attention of the company. A Redbox representative actually commented on my post that they appreciated my feedback and were going to change the problematic user interface.

Now if only movie studios would start contacting me and giving me my money back for movies I didn't like ...

Anyway, kudos to Hoyts for being proactive. I hope everything you read about yourself on the internet is nice from here on out.

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