How To Defeat a Corporation
In 23 Easy Steps:
Why Moviefone Must Be Destroyed
Written by: Alex Sandell
"HELL-O, Alex - Welcome to Moviefone."
Step # 1: Select which time you would like to see The Phantom Menace. 12:01 AM on Wednesday morning? Sorry, that show "just" sold out.
Step # 2: Select another time to see The Phantom Menace. 12:02 AM on Wednesday morning? Sorry, that show "just" sold out.
Step # 3: Select another time to see The Phantom Menace. 12:03 AM on Wednesday morning? Sorry, that show "just" sold out."
Step # 4: Select another time to see The Phantom Menace. 12:15 AM on Wednesday morning? "Your Tickets have been purchased. Bring your credit card to the theater! Pick up your tickets at the ATM machine or will-call window. Enjoy the show. Please note your order: 4 ADULT tickets, for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace at 12:15am, playing at Mall of America 14, on The Fourth Floor Of The Mall Of America, Bloomington on Wednesday May 19 1999."
Step # 5: Jump around the room like a maniac, feeling truly happy for once in your life, being that you were up at 1:30 AM, and were one of the first to discover that moviefone is breaking there OWN policy and began selling advance tickets at 12:00 AM on Wednesday, March 12th, 1999, rather than at 3:00 PM like they, themselves swore was the first time they would sell you a ticket (or 12).
Step # 6: Feel slightly guilty about the millions of people who actually think "3 PM" means "3 PM," not "12:00 AM." Wonder why Moviefone would pull a stunt like this and screw so many people over. Figure it was probably because they could sell out all the opening shows BEFORE their site was swamped, and make a fortune. Wonder what the $1.25 "per ticket" service charge was for, when you did this all yourself, over the Internet.
Step # 7: Start doubting the integrity of "Moviefone." Wonder why they can't spell the word "phone" correctly.
Step # 8: Receive a call from a friend who says there is NO 12:15 AM showing of The Phantom Menace at the Mall of America 14 theatre. Only a 12:01, 12:02 and 12:03 AM showing.
Step # 9: Doubt the friend, because the receipt is right in front of you. It says "12:15 AM" on "Wednesday May 19 1999." Yell at the friend and hang up.
Step # 10: Begin shaking and sweating. Lie to yourself and figure your friend must have gotten it wrong. Why would "Moviefone," a "respectable" corporation, lie to you?
Step # 11: Call General Cinema's Mall of America 14 and ask them if there is a 12:15 AM showing of The Phantom Menace. Find out there isn't. There is only a 12:01, 12:02, 12:03 AM showing. BUT, there is a 12:15 AM showing on THURSDAY.
Step # 12: Ask to talk with a manager.
Step # 13: Find out the manager isn't in. But, the NIGHT manager is on. Ask for him. He's better than nothing.
Step # 14: Get a pretentious, condescending "McDonald's School" Graduate and listen intently as he explains that Wednesday really is "Thursday," and that you must be naive to believe anything else.
This goes on for over an hour. By the end of it, you're nearly believing Thursday really is Wednesday, and vice-versa.
Step # 15: Come back to your senses and insist that Wednesday, May 19th, really IS Wednesday, May 19th, NOT Thursday, May 20th. Remain persistent and Mr. "I'm Better Than You Because I Make $7.50 an Hour Managing a Theatre" man will tell you that, maybe you're right, "technically," but you're wrong in a "business" sense. "Unfortunately," In the "business" world, it is "Wednesday" until 4:00 AM.
Step # 16: Remind the night manager that, "unfortunately," in the LEGAL world, the one that you'll be suing him in, it is only Wednesday until 11:59 PM. Then, thinking swiftly, go on to ask him WHY, if in the "business" world, the day doesn't change until 4 AM, the 12:01, 12:02 and 12:03 AM shows are considered WEDNESDAY, rather than "Tuesday." I mean, really, if the 12:15 Am show, on THURSDAY is considered to be, in the "business" world, "Wednesday," why aren't the 12:01, 12:02 and 12:03 AM shows on WEDNESDAY considered to be, in the "business" world, "Tuesday?" In all fairness, they should be, right? But "Moviefone" and "General Cinema" are deliberately MANIPULATING and CHEATING people into thinking they have a 12:15 AM showing on Wednesday morning, when they actually don't. Hey, the show sold out, it must have worked. I guess they must not have figured Alex Sandell, Corporate Basher and hater of all things deceptive, would be attending.
Step # 17: After asking why the 12:01, 12:02, and 12:03 AM shows, in the "business" world, aren't labeled "Tuesday," but instead, Wednesday, as is your 12:15 AM THURSDAY (real-world time) show, watch the night manager SQUIRM. Watch him FOG over the questions. Watch him refuse to answer. Watch him DENY ALL association with the "evil, manipulative" moviefone (which, on "General Cinema's" site, they claim to be partners with). Watch him offer you 4 tickets for the 3:15 AM show, but only after he calls you "stupid" and a "liar."
Step # 18: Accept the 3:15 AM tickets . . . temporarily.
Step # 19: Realize that it is a three hour drive to the Mall of America 14. Remember that you won't even be home until around 8:30 in the morning, if you accept the 3:15 AM tickets and attend the show. Remember that you have to write a review for the movie and that it won't be up until around NOON on the same day, and you won't be in BED until sometime around 1 PM. Pace the floor a few times. Tell yourself, "fuck this."
Step # 20: Call back the Mall of America 14. Talk to the night manager AGAIN. Tell him you WON'T accept the 3:15 AM tickets and that you WILL be at The Phantom Menace at 12:01, 12:02, or 12:03 AM, being that they can't provide the 12:15 AM tickets you were offered. YELL, SCREAM, FREAK OUT LIKE YOU'VE NEVER FREAKED OUT BEFORE. Threaten a lawsuit, MEAN what you threaten. Get the dildo to give you 12:01 AM tickets to the FIRST "sold-out" showing of The Phantom Menace.
Step # 21: Accept this. It is what you wanted in the first place. Plan on suing for the mental anguish and your long-distance phonebill. Get the "behind-the-scenes" number to "Moviefone," the incompetent demons who set all this crap up. Make the night manager promise to give you the tickets. Have him tell you that his "word" is his "bond." Remind him that if you drive three hours and find that he hasn't kept his "bond" you're going to get his ass fired, sue off his fired ass, and have him making McNuggets again. Make him apologize. He hates doing that.
Step # 22: Call the "Moviefone" number the panicky manager gave you.
Step # 23: Repeat steps number 1-21. Enjoy!
ENDNOTE - "Moviefone" is a totally dishonest company. As I mentioned previously, they "mysteriously" ended up selling tickets to The Phantom Menace 14 hours before the designated time, most likely to load up on the cash before the "Phantom" onslaught. At this point, they have REFUSED to refund my money, although they charged me for a NON-EXISTENT ShowTime. I now have 4 tickets sitting in limbo, at "12:15am on Wednesday May 19 1999" that have been paid for, but can never be used. They, after my persistent calling, and the inevitable complaints of others, have changed the 12:01, 12:02, and 12:03 AM Wednesday showings to "Tuesday" to try and get their asses out of hot water. If anything, this only makes them all the more guilty. The operator I talked to at "Moviefone" was EXTREMELY rude, and refused to answer a simple "yes" or "no" question. The question was: "are the Wednesday morning shows marked down as Tuesday?" She literally would NOT answer. She refused to get me a supervisor and ended up hanging up on me. THESE PEOPLE ARE CROOKS! DO NOT SUPPORT MOVIEFONE! Boycott at ALL costs and, if you've been screwed over like me, don't EVER submit, FIGHT like a madman and get what you paid for.
I've heard stories of people on hold for three HOURS only to hear, I'm paraphrasing, "we are not currently selling tickets to this showing, please call again," and then a rude *click* of the phone and dial-tone. I am not just a "specified incident." There are nearly 300 people that bought tickets to the 12:15 AM showing (this is just in my state), and a lot of these people seriously believe they are seeing it Wednesday morning, like their "confirmation" says. They will drive across the state (like I would have), if not the COUNTRY to see this movie. They will get there and be told they are a "day" early, and that Wednesday is really Thursday unless it's Wednesday, in which case Wednesday is Wednesday if it is within 3 minutes of the witching hour.
This is FRAUDULENT. If you have had ANY problems with Moviefone, bring it to my attention. Star Wars should be a FUN experience. Not a stressful nightmare brought on by corporate bastards with a bit too much power and not enough common-sense. PLEASE don't let this rest. Fight until "Moviefone" and anyone RELATED with it, is put under. DEAD under. Out of business. Where they belong. We have enough tragedies in this world, we don't need a billionaire thief of a company stealing the small amount of cinematic innocence that we have left.
©1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll . . . well, I can't even be HALF as nasty as "Moviefone," but, I'll try!!!
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