Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Was a Mets fan told he's a "bad fan?" by a ticket rep?


Earlier today I was asked to call a Mets fan who emailed me.  

I spoke to the fan, Albert,  who told me a story that suggests a Mets ticket rep basically told him that he wasn't wanted.  Albert has shared his story below.  

I asked Dan from Mets Police to reach out to Mets VP Craig Marino who recently was very gracious to Dan, but Craig is out of the office through the holidays which is understandable.

I'm not out to sandbag the Mets, so before we get to Albert's story let's revisit some other stories of customer service.  Here's an example of good customer service, in a letter (repost) from the Media Goon:

I have to say with all the problems the Mets have as an organization they do answer the emails I send them quickly.

The first one was over the summer. I emailed The Mets to complain about one of their parking lot supervisors and the way he talked to me when I called him out on doing something shady with the parking. I went to NYMETS.COM, looked up where it said contact me and after a few prompts emailed away my complaint. 

In the email they ask for your phone number and e-mail address. Now I figured it would be a few days before I received a form letter e-mail saying they were sorry yadda yadda yadda. 

To my surprise, the head of the parking department called me up two hours afterI sent the complaint. He asked for all the info about which lot it happened in, the description of the worker, and what was said to me. 

I was offered his cell phone number to call him the next game I was at for VIP parking to make up for
the incident. I said thank you to him but also that I would never use it because I didn't e-mail for the sake of a freebie.  I just wanted to let the Mets know what kind of people they hired.

In the mail, I received my renewal invoice for the seats I had at Cit Field last year. I was in left field and I couldn't see the left fielder at all. That did not bother me too much believe it or not. I was actually pretty happy with my seats. I decided though that I wanted to treat myself to an upgrade. But alas, on the renewal invoice there are no options to upgrade. So I went and contacted the Mets through e-mail again. Two hours later I got a phone call. 

A cheery woman from the ticket office called me to let me know that she put in a request for me to have an upgrade for my seats but can not upgrade me until after December 18th. She said best thing for me to do is re-up my seats and then call them again after the 18th about the upgrade or someone from the office would call me up.If i get the upgrade they will charge me for the difference in ticketprices.

For me that works out pretty good. I am not displeased with my seats, so if i happen not to get the upgrade I will still be ok with the seats I already have.

Maybe if fans start to email the Mets about the things that are wrong with the ball park or jerseys things might actually get changed. I am going to e-mail the Mets to see if they can go really retro with their jerseys. Maybe turn the black jerseys to an ashen grey with orange piping. Yeah I know. That makes as much sense as the new "natural" colored home jersey with the retro black drop shading.

Another one...

Ben dropped me a note telling me that he too sent a letter to the Mets, and he too got a return call - this one from a nice lady in the customer relations department.  Ben tells me he asked if the Mets were hearing from lots of frustrated fans and that she gave an emphatic "oh yeah."

That's the good.  Here's Albert's version of what he says transpired today.   I spoke to Albert and I believe his version of the story, I heard the shock in his voice.

Hello all,

Here is the letter that went out with regard to my experience with the Mets ticket office earlier today.  Please feel free to share with all other fellow Mets fans.  The sad part is that I didn't even get a chance to talk about sad the state of the roster or the obstructed views.  

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read.  Happy Holidays to all!


Dear Mr. Wilpon, Mr. Ianniciello, and the entire Mets Organization,

I am writing this letter to inform you of my recent dealings with your ticket office.  I have been a plan/pack holder since 2005 (account # XXXXXX) and my wife also had a pack in 2007 and 2008, but due to a multitude of reasons, I have chosen not to renew my plan this year.  It is unfortunate because I do love to go to watch the Mets, but I do not see how purchasing a plan this year would be a wise investment for me or my family.

This morning, at approximately 10 am, I was contacted by one of your agents inquiring about Friday Plan renewal. (I am including the date/time because if there is any question about the details of this letter, I urge you to pull the recorded call logs and listen for yourself).  Upon receiving the call, I asked the agent to hold while I left my office so that I may speak freely and be as honest as possible.  Your agent complied and proceeded to inquire about my decision of not renewing my tickets.  My initial response was the following:

The organization is a disgrace, from top to bottom. Also, a big reason for me is that I despise, capital letters, bold print, underline, DESPISE the new stadium. I mean, there isn’t even blue in it, (chuckling) and the sepia pictures drive me nuts.

The agents response was “And you’re a Mets fan?” To which I answered that I indeed was. I also added that my family was trying to see all the MLB stadiums and we had seen 14 already.  Moreover, of the “new” ones, which excludes Wrigley and Fenway, this one is the worst or, at best, 2ndworst next to Washington.  At that point, I was told that my opinion was that of “only 1 fan and that it didn’t make a difference”.  I responded that he must not have read the papers or blogs because there were indeed many others that felt the same way as I did.  It indeed was a shocker that my opinion was dismissed since I thought that the Mets were supposed to be a first-class organization who cared about their fans and their opinions.

After this exchange, he stated that if I was a fan, then I was a “bad fan”.  I explained to him how I had travelled to Florida every year to see the team. In addition, I had taken numerous road trips to watch the team, and I had even driven 6 hours to Pittsburgh with my 6-week old daughter to watch them clinch in 2006.  Therefore, I do not consider myself a bad fan, but rather a fan who wants to see some change and promise. 
After a little more dialogue, he ended the call by telling me that “obviously you are not the type of fan we want in the stadium”.  I agreed and said that “obviously this is why I am not renewing my tickets, but would I would like to speak with your supervisor.”  At this point the call was disconnected. 

After a few minutes, I called back and spoke with a supervisor.  Mr. Luis Morales attended me and was very cordial.  He said he would look into the call logs, and assured me that this would not happen to anyone else.  He acknowledged that the whole conversation had been handled poorly and that the agent’s statements were not the beliefs of the organization.  I did inform him that while I accepted his apology, I would be writing this letter to inform others of the poor treatment of fans.

Although I was not going to renew my package, I had planned to attend numerous games via the single game ticket sales.  After this conversation, I must say that I will be revisiting that decision.  If I am not the type of fan that the Mets want in the building, then maybe the Mets should realize that they are not the type of organization that many fans want to root for anymore.  We, the fans, are treated too often as sheep who will follow without a voice, and that is not the foundation to a good relationship. Perhaps, you will revisit that approach in the future.  Having an opinion does not make me a bad fan; it makes me a passionate one. In the end, I will continue to support my team because they are my team, but I will no longer support them financially in any respect.


Albert (I'm withholding his last name)

I really worry if someone in the ticket office is chasing fans away.  I'm sure the Mets (or any team) want every fan they could get.   Albert told me this morning that the supervisor was going to pull the  tape.   It sounds like Mr. Morales is the kind of employee the Mets want, and the unnamed rep is not.  It's three days before Christmas, I don't want anyone to lose their job, but Albert deserves an apology - and if I'm the Mets I hand Albert two 15 game packs (one for him and someone to go to the game with) and make sure that annoying bloggers know about it.  For the $600 it would cost them they would buy an awful lot of goodwill.  The seat is likely to be empty anyway and Albert might even buy a hotdog or pay to park.

I welcome any response from the Mets if that interests the organization.  Email shannon@metspolice.com or you have Dan's phone number and Dan emailed Craig earlier today.

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6 Responses to "Was a Mets fan told he's a "bad fan?" by a ticket rep?"
Don Cheech said :
December 22, 2009 at 3:36 PM
I'm glad the rep said that to him.. what a tool
Ceetar said :
December 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM
I doubt the seat would be empty, I'm sure most of the games will be pretty full.

But yeah, that employee should be fired. But that's it. I understand that every employee 'represents' the organization, but this guy is a grunt and means nothing. It's not like it was an executive screaming at Albert, merely a guy who wanted a commission and berating a fair weather fan who he thought could've been providing it.
BPALM said :
December 22, 2009 at 3:49 PM
I understand Alberts frustration and anger. The problem is this was probably 1 disgruntled employee who was either very defensive of his organization or having a bad day. Not making any excuses but this should not be a reflection on the entire organization.

This rep should certainly be reprimanded and/or fired. Christmas season or not you have a job to represent whoever your employer is in a good light whether you hate it or not. The Mets do need to confirm the situation and offer Albert some type of restitution. I don't think 2 15 games plans is exactly fair but good tickets to a game would be a start.
Dan said :
December 22, 2009 at 7:10 PM
To begin: That rep is horrendous. Screw him.

But I can't believe anyone thinks the ballpark is one of the two worst in baseball. Because there's no BLUE? I think the brick and the green is fine. Of course, if there were blue but no orange, people would complain about that, saying it was too "Dodgery." (Yeah, I'm aware of those issues, too, and I understand them. As has been written on this site, it was a mistake to not announce the other plans for decor when the park opened.)

But what's wrong with New Shea? It's nice and clean and open and a ballpark and not a stadium. I saw a lot of games at Shea and loved the memories from there, but man, it was little more than a dilapidated warehouse.
kjs said :
December 22, 2009 at 8:26 PM
What? Elmer Dessens doesn't excite you? Obstructed views don't turn you on? Greasy crowds blocking the escalators eating dry Shake Shack burgers served by Yankee fans doesn't float your boat? Seven EXCLUSIVE clubs for the rich have you feeling inferior because Freddie and Jeff only want millionaire "clients" in the attendence intimidates you?---well, you're a failure for not making $500K a month! No shelter from sun and rain? No problem, dude. You're a failure. Root for the Yankees.

Sincerely yours,

The NY Mets (aka, the New St. Louis Browns)
triao9 said :
December 22, 2009 at 10:40 PM
Ok all...the letter was mine. I was called at about 5:30 by the supervisor's boss. He was very apologetic and allowed me to vent my frustrations with the park and team in general. I explained to him my frustrations with obstructed views and the over all state of the team. He at least listened. I wasn't offered anything, but I never asked. Thats not what this was about. I just hope he listened to my parking complaints. Then it all would have been worth it.

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