Cinema-goer owed apology

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 April, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 April, 1997, 12:00am

I refer to the letter from Clara Wong headlined, 'Cold reception at booking office' (South China Morning Post, March 26).

We are deeply concerned about the views Ms Wong expressed with regard to our ticketing service.

The attitude problem she mentioned has been thoroughly discussed with the staff member concerned and we apologise on her behalf for any brusqueness.

In our business, there can be no real excuses for treating our patrons with less than complete courtesy. It had been an extremely difficult day for us, but we should not have allowed our own problems to have affected our dealings with Ms Wong. However, there are a few things we would like to clarify.

Ms Wong said she thought writing down what tickets she wanted should have saved time. However, it can sometimes take a while for our staff to work out all the information supplied by a patron since the film codes on the piece of paper can differ from the ones in the box office's computer terminal. It saves time for everyone if the patron can tell staff what they want. This is important if there is a long queue of other people wanting to make bookings.

Secondly, in the past, our ticketing staff have been repeatedly told by patrons to raise their voices when providing information, especially during lunch hours when the main foyer is packed.

I think what happened in the case of Ms Wong was an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Thirdly, although our box office strives constantly to prepare accurate ticketing information and to operate smoothly to meet the very highest standards, sometimes things happen which are beyond our control.

As we operate through the Urban Council's Urbtix computerised ticketing system, unless otherwise indicated in the terminals, we have to rely on the information provided by them. Notices of last-minute changes and cancellations of films are hung on the window behind the ticketing counter for patrons to take note of.

IRENE CHUN Box Office Manager Hong Kong Arts Centre