Mellon Arena – Customer Service WIN.


I guess saying something does get you somewhere (other than the satisfaction of venting) sometimes.  I’m sure you read my email to Mellon Arena about the tickets we had purchased for Star Wars: In Concert… and if not, read it now!

Interestingly, in frustration, I copied my email to a few news outlets… and it had an every so slightly different subject line.  The reply that I got from Mr. Scalzott (Mellon Arena Event Coordinator) had the same subject line as the email that I sent to the news outlets… so he had to obtain the message from someone other than me.

  • To Mellon Arena Directly: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert
  • To The News Outlets: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

At any rate, a positive reply is a positive reply… so I’m happy with the outcome.  And, hopefully it’s as interesting/entertaining to you as it is to me.

There’s actually a few exchanges here, so provided you’ve read the 1st one, these should all make sense.  I’ll start with the initial reply:

From: Derek Scalzott  DScalzott@mellonarena.com
To: me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 2:52:23 PM
Subject: RE: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

Hi, Eric –

I would like to take the time to discuss your seating situation over the phone.  Is there a number at which I may reach you?

Thank you,

Derek Scalzott
Event Coordinator
Mellon Arena
66 Mario Lemieux Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
email: dscalzott@mellonarena.com
phone: 412.642.2189
fax: 412.642.1905

The phone?  Ah!  My secondary response…

From: Eric Carroll  me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 4:07 PM
To: Derek Scalzott  DScalzott@mellonarena.com
Subject: Re: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

Hello Derek,

Thank you for taking the time to read my message & initiate a response.  I’m not much one for phone conversations, and I’m not sure if I really have anything else to say other than what I’ve already written.  I just felt the need to express my disappointment, and that it was echoed by several other concert-goers around me.  I understand that viewpoints and seating have become an issue over the years, and that it will be (hopefully) fixed by the creation of the new building.  I’m sure that you & your staff have nothing but the best intentions when hosting an event… but sometimes things like this seem large enough to not be overlooked.

I would look forward to any comments that you may have on the matter.

Thank you,
-Eric

…And we have a coherent, intelligent, apologetic and gracious reply:

From: Derek Scalzott  DScalzott@mellonarena.com
To: me@myemailaddre.ss
Sent: Tue, December 1, 2009 4:57:12 PM
Subject: RE: Horrible seats for Star Wars: In Concert @ Mellon Arena

Eric,

First, I thank you for taking the time to express your disappointment and, furthermore, to articulate it so clearly.  Sometimes, though it is unfortunate for both us and the occasional guest in your shoes, it takes a patron’s voice to point out an oversight on our end.

I’d like to first attempt to explain part of our procedure in order to clue you in on what happened for your own reference, elaborate on what I would have hoped to have had happen, and, then, explore our next step.

During a normal concert, one more typical than this Star Wars production, our box office works to pinpoint every seat in the house that is anything less than full-view.  Normally, a limited-view seat is one that has an obstructed view of the stage itself.  The same was done for this Star Wars show, but because the screen played an integral role in the production, the box office had to dilligently account for both the stage and screen in deciphering full-view seats from limited-view seats.  However, certain areas including your section were mistakenly labeled full-view because the stage itself was completely visible.

In an attempt to best serve our guests, we hold back a small number of tickets so that we can remedy any seating issues like this one.  Ideally, your situation would have been brought to the attention of management on the spot.  I only wish now that we would have had the opportunity to relocate you upon your discovery of the frustrating seat location.  I understand that patrons often question confronting event staff with problems, but I would certainly encourage you to feel free to voice your concerns in any building in the future!  It only helps us to make your stay better, which is our goal in the end!

Regardless, I understand that the show has come and gone and that the experience cannot be reclaimed.  Unfortunately, I am unable to refund your money for the Star Wars tickets since it has been passed along to their organization.  However, I wish to try and compensate you by inviting you back to another non-hockey event at Mellon Arena compliments of us (we do not control Pittsburgh Penguins tickets).  I am happy to offer (4) four tickets to Harlem Globetrotters, Sesame Street Live, Shrine Circus, or Disney On Ice, for example.  Please let me know if you have any interest and we will look forward to better serving you on your next visit.

Again, Eric, I apologize for the less-than-desired experience and I hope to have the opportunity to provide a better experience in the future.

Sincerely,
Derek Scalzott
Event Coordinator
Mellon Arena
66 Mario Lemieux Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
email: dscalzott@mellonarena.com
phone: 412.642.2189
fax: 412.642.1905

Well, I think you’ll agree that’s an awesome reply, no?  Not only does he acknowledge the problem, but explains where & how the error occurred, and how I could have perhaps handled the situation on the spot.

Sadly by the time we realized that our view was so bad, I didn’t think we had the time to remedy the situation before missing out on any of the music.  This will be a lesson to me though in how these things work.  Address the issue immediately, get immediate results.  It’s interesting to me that no money for a show can be refunded once it’s passed on to George Lucas and friends.  Ha ha ha.  Not that I was looking for monetary compensation.

Offering us 4 tickets to an upcoming event (albeit not for a hockey game which would be sweet) is over-compensating.  I didn’t do this for a refund or free stuff. I did it because I just felt that someone needed to know.  Not that I’d insult the man by turning him down…  but I don’t think the circus is coming any time soon, and it’s about the only thing on that list I’d be interested in.  The Globetrotters might be cool…  I saw those guys when I was a little kid.  Remember how they were all over Scooby-Doo back in the day?

Oh well, I’ll send off a reply and let you know what happens!

8 responses to “Mellon Arena – Customer Service WIN.

  1. Globetrotters FTW.

    Like

  2. I guess, if you like elephant poop and creepy clowns.

    haha

    Like

    • Once upon a time, I was a creepy clown. Learned tricks of the trade from actual Barnum & Bailey and Ringling clowns. But, you are right… all clowns are pretty creepy.

      Elephant poop… Yeah, I can’t really say anything good about elephant poop off the top of my head.

      At any rate, I did score 2 tix to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra… So it’s all good. I need to post that, I guess. Ha ha ha.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Mellon Arena & the Trans-Siberian Orchesrta! « World (and Lunar) Domination

  4. “Address the issue immediately, get immediate results.”

    These are words to live by. If you don’t take action for yourself noone is going to do it for you.

    Like

    • Oh, I agree. To me, in this situation though… Immediate action would have meant missing part of the show, and that would have been worse to me that having bad seats. I would have spent at least 2 or 3 songs worth of show trying to find a manager & get new seats.

      Like

  5. Pingback: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Mellon Arena (Review) « World (and Lunar) Domination

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