Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Benefits that Aren't

We have a party invitation for Saturday night, so I had to swap my SFS ticket - for Edo de Waart's crazy program - for Friday night. I noticed that the ticket was in the Second Tier, then remembered a subscriber benefit from SFS that I hadn't taken advantage of, a one-time opportunity to upgrade to a better section.

I called the Box Office and said I'd like to exchange my ticket....and I'd like to upgrade.

It turns out that I didn't remember or had never known the details of this offer.

  • You can only get the upgrade within the two hours before the program for which you want your ticket upgraded. The box office told me this is because "then they know what turn-ins there have been."
  • You can only ask for the upgrade at the box office.
  • You're supposed to produce a piece of paper about the offer, which was enclosed with your tickets. have to take a chance of not actually getting your upgrade; you have to wait in line during a busy period to exercise it, and you need to have a piece of paper with you that you probably haven't seen in months. It's sort of like getting a rush ticket! 

Did I mention that the SFS web site says very little about this benefit? 
Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with your favorite artists with a free one-time seat upgrade coupon, good for most performances. (Based on availability.)
The nice person on the phone did tell me that you can simply tell the box office that you lost the card with the offer. Okay, then - you don't really need it! But those other requirements must certainly limit the number of people who actually get this benefit.

Yes, I do have a draft of letter number 5 to SFS about this, with some ideas about how to improve this program so that it is a benefit, not a PITA.

(What did I do about Friday night? I upgraded to an orchestra seat for an additional $67, including the annoying $10 ticket exchange fee, because while there are plenty of available seats now, I am not much of a gambler. Why did I have a seat in the second tier? Because I bet you can hear that honking big organ perfectly well from any seat in the house.)


Tom Merle said...

Seems like the SFS makes the upgrade pretty easy. Yes it's like a rush ticket, but there are always plenty of seats available. No real gambling necessary; or put another way, it's fun to see what you land. By waiting until the eve of the performance there are many more choices available.

Lisa Hirsch said...

I disagree that they make it pretty easy; they could easily make it easier.