Ambassador Theatre Group
Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:23 PM
I was told that as of last week, ATG has introduced a new ticketing policy: you cannot buy, whether online or by phone or in person, any seat or seats which would leave either one or three seats left together, because they find these harder to sell. I was offered instead a restricted view seat in the back of the upper circle, being the only one which did not infringe this policy. As a single visitor on this occasion, I was therefore not allowed to buy a decent seat in the theatre, even though there were a few left.
I find this quite disgraceful, especially as a regular visitor and supporter of the Old Vic, which they could see from their booking records. I was told I could write to Ken Pamplin at the New Wimbledon Theatre (The Broadway, London SW19 1 QG) to complain. But that's not going to help me to see the Norman Conquests from a reasonable seat, even though they have them.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:45 PM
You weren't planning on going for a Trilogy day, were you? Buy two and I'll come with you?
Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:02 PM
Sorry Weez, I wasn't.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:38 PM
These people run ticketing at the Donmar also ? There I was not allowed to exchange one ticket from a block of two to another night because "we can't sell the single seat it would leave" - errr - well I wanted to exchange the seat for a SINGLE seat on another night so it balances out, and anyway your queue for returns IS A MILE LONG. It is disgraceful a subsidised venue uses these commercial sector sharks with their assorted booking fees anyway.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:59 PM
(let's face it, most don't sell out completely) just going to be left with seats that they're not allowed
to sell, even if people want to buy them?
What happens if you have a group that want to sit together in one row, but that would leave one seat free?
Are they going to refuse to sell the group tickets, or tell them they have to be split up? Because the likely outcome is that the group won't go at all, if they can't sit together, and how likely is it that a reasonable popular production will have that many seats free elsewhere in the theatre that doesn't leave either a single or a triple set of seats free?
And what about me and my two friends, who often go to the theatre together - if they don't leave any 3 seats together, and we're not allowed to pick seats that would leave one seat three, how are we ever going to find decent seats together?
Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:07 PM
Consequently, I've decided to give this a miss and use my savings to see something at the RSC instead.
There must be lots of people who go to the theatre by themselves (or in groups of three!) I often find myself sitting next to another 'single' at a play.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:20 PM
Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:26 PM
This is outrageous. I have heard many bad things about the ticketing side of ATG recently, especially the telephone ticket centre, which is based in the NWT.
By the way, it's Kevin not Ken Pamplin.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:31 PM
Complain to the head of ATG, demanding to know why they feel the need to discriminate against people who are on their own through no fault of their own. Send a copy of the letter to The Stage and to the major national newspapers. State that an unsatisfactory or patronising reply may also be released to the press. Demand figures to show that the theatres have lost a significant amount of money by selling single seats. Aim to make this a publicity nightmare for them. If bad publicity means that just ten people are put off buying tickets for each performance then over the course of a year it'll cost them somewhere in the region of £120k to £130k.
It's arrant nonsense to suggest that they lose money because single seats are hard to sell. I looked into this a few years ago when Ticketmaster tried the same thing with me (and they ended up being reprimanded by the theatre, which hadn't authorised such a policy). If the show is popular enough to sell out then it will sell out, as customers would rather buy separate seats than miss the show. If it isn't popular enough to sell out then the scattered single seats aren't a problem. Either way, the theatre can't lose money.
Furthermore, think what this policy means. If there are five seats at the end of a row and a couple want to buy two of them they can't, because that would leave three. By induction, it follows that they shouldn't allow the selling of anything that would leave any odd number of seats free.
Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:43 PM
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