Incident at the Met — RESOLVED

I’ve taken down the post I wrote yesterday afternoon regarding my terrible, very bad customer experience at the Met. This has now been resolved. Read on:

Briefly, here’s a non-dramatic summary of the initial incident:

I won the lottery (Full disclosure, I object to the lottery for a number of reasons and miss the rush ticket line, but that’s another post.)

The way the lottery works is you get an email telling you that you won. You click a link from the email and you purchase your one or two $25 tickets up to two hours before the show.

When I pressed proceed to cart, I found someone else’s name, address, phone number, type of card, last four digits of card and order. I couldn’t remove that information and I couldn’t order my tickets.

I was spooked by seeing someone else’s stuff, and frustrated because I couldn’t buy my tickets.

I called Customer Service who could not help to buy the ticket, but advised me to print my “you are a winner” email and go to the Met box office to purchase the ticket. She also said she would report the computer glitch. Then things turned really sour as the Box Office clerk told me there was nothing he could do because you have to buy the lottery tickets online. This was after I told him about the glitch AND that customer service had told me to go there.

I got “assertive.” I did manage to get my tickets but it wasn’t pleasant, and I still had concerns that the Met wasn’t taking the computer glitch all that seriously.

I went to the opera. It was lovely.

So after blogging about it and maybe alerting the media (because that’s the way we roll in the Big Apple), I did hear back today from the Director of Customer Service. We had a long chat. She assured me the information I saw was “dormant” and that no one could have used the person’s account to buy anything. I let her know that wasn’t my only concern. There was still more information than I should have seen. It was information that an unscrupulous person could use to get more information.  She agreed, and said they were looking into how it happened and keeping it from happening again.

She assured me that what customer service told me was correct. That was a big deal because part of why I was upset was because I thought I’d been given the run around — either inadvertently or on purpose. Here’s the important take away: Lottery winners who are unable to purchase their tickets online, can present the “winner” email to the box office, and even if you don’t have the printed email with you, they should be able to look up your customer information. She said once I presented the “winner” email, there should have been no questions asked — “Here are your tickets. Enjoy the show.”  She apologized and took responsibility for that human glitch, and said it was being looked into.

She also patiently let me vent about the lottery system and how it might not be working out too well. There were lots of empty seats around me at that night’s performance. And while the lottery may be make the cheap seats more accessible for some nine to fivers, the fact that tourists who don’t live in the US (and residents of Florida!) can’t participate is an issue. I felt heard on that. It’s not often we (the little people in the cheap seats) get a chance to feel heard.

Yay Met!

Full disclosure: I’m getting comped for my troubles.

I still don’t like the lottery and I’m not feeling 100% confident about their website handles private customer information, but overall this was a pretty good outcome.

(Updated to add: Just went online and ordered a couple of tickets for Un Ballo in Maschera as a special present for myself. After logging in, the system asked for credit card info instead of automatically charging me to a stored card. I consider this a good thing.)

2 thoughts on “Incident at the Met — RESOLVED

  1. ha! I too hate this new ticket lottery system..glad you got your tickets eventually, but I think you are being “artificially” mollified by that Met representative…that is, I think there’s still a lot to criticize about this stupid lottery and I don’t think you should let this one incident persuade you that now everything is fine, ’cause it worked out for you…

    1. I’m not really “mollified” on the issue of the lottery. I still stand by the criticisms I made in the post: I think the mix of the line and the senior and weekend lotteries was a better system. I also think given the number of seats that are empty on any given night, the Met should be doing more in the way of discounts, and there’s probably room for a mix of lotteries, rush ticket lines, and day-of-the-performance discounts.

      I was “mollified” only regarding the specific problems I ran into — the computer glitch and the way I was treated when I went to the box office to try to buy my winning tickets. I honestly believe the person I spoke to understood the seriousness of the computer glitch and was sorry about the miscommunication with the box office.

      I took down my original post — written in the heat of my anger and frustration — and wrote the “resolved” post because the first post wasn’t the complete story, and it wouldn’t have been fair to leave it. But again, I stand by my critique of the lottery system. I also plan on using the lottery system, as I don’t have a subscription and it still winds up being the best deal for full view tickets — especially given that they don’t add the $10 for facility and administrative fees to every ticket. It’s not as good as the line, but it’s better than no rush tickets at all.

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