Dear Ms. Patron:My first reactions were: "Ms"?? "Patron". That's like "wow". Talk about making a customer feel like you're taking the time to give them special attention. The above was sent with a From/Reply-To address of "Jamie.Stafford@regalcinemas.com". So, at least I know the robot's name, eh?
Thank you for contacting our office regarding Regal's policy to inspect backpacks and bags of any kind prior to entry into our auditoriums. We certainly appreciate the opportunity to respond.
Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission. We acknowledge that this procedure can cause some inconvenience and that it is not without flaws, but hope these are minor in comparison to increased safety
Again, thank you. We appreciate you taking the time to contact us over this matter. We value your patronage and hope to see you in a Regal Entertainment Group theatre soon.
Customer Relations Department
Regal Entertainment Group
I sent a reply to "Jamie". I did not make the assumpiont that "Jamie" is a Mr. or a Ms - more likely an "it" is it appears Regal bothered to pick a gender neutral name for their bot. I'm assuming it will never be read by a human, but it felt good to write it:
Thank you for your form letter. Its utter lack of personal response speaks volumes about your business practices and is a testament of your concern for your customers. I'm reasonably certain that nothing in my initial contact email provided indication that you should address me as "Ms.". Addressing me as "Patron" - when your web form asks for a name - means you can't even be bothered to do a simple mail merge. Your missive gave me the same kind of warm-fuzzies that receiving a letter addressed to "occupant" does. Way to really set a high bar on customer relations.
Having seen your bag inspection in practice, this weekend, I'd be embarrassed if I were associated with Regal Cinemas. If you're going to engage in this kind of farcical security-theatre, you should probably train your staff to at least not half-ass it. Asking my wife to open her purse and then just sorta glancing inside it is really pointless. While I'm not asking you to have your staff pawing through our bags, at least do something that indicates you're committed to the farce. If you're going to inconvenience me, don't make it such an obvious waste of my time. Frankly, your current bag-check execution makes the TSA - and their +80% failure-rate look like paragons of security. Your security efforts make feel more secure going to a nightclub in a bad part of town.
Should be interesting to see if I get any kind of response. I'm guessing either no response or yet another, completely impersonal form letter.
Oh well, fuck Regal. Their theatres are always filthy and poorly run, any way. Somehow, they even manage to fuck up the execution of theatres with luxury seating (seriously: no table service??).
I really wish Alamo would take a stab at closer-to-the-city locations.