The Customer Is Not Always Right

Making the rounds lately has been a YouTube video from the Alamo Drafthouse (headquartered in Austin, Texas) management featuring a recording of a semi-literate woman blasting the theater after she was kicked out for using her cell phone during the film.

Note the frequent references to her being a customer and them being impolite, as if they’ve broken Mosaic social code by creating a quiet environment for the rest of their patrons. Note also that she tells two different stories – one in which she’s using her phone as a non-communicative flashlight, and another in which she defends her right to text-message in the theater.

For its part, the Drafthouse is very clear in the notes for the YouTube clip:

“We do not tolerate people that talk or text in the theater. In fact, before every film, we have several warnings on screen to prevent such happenings. Occasionally, someone doesn’t follow the rules, and we do, in fact, kick their asses out of our theater. This video is an actual voicemail from a woman that was kicked out of one of our Austin theaters. Thanks, anonymous woman, for being awesome.”

How alpha of them to laugh in her petulant face.

The Drafthouse also filmed a no-talking PSA starring Lone Star State governor Ann Richards, but I think in this case reality is a better warning than fiction.

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8 Comments

Filed under media, this is just funny

8 responses to “The Customer Is Not Always Right

  1. I have noticed the same thing. Whoever first said, “the customer is always right” should be gang raped by farm animals. Every time I hear this now, it is from the lips of a customer who is definitely wrong. The business owner rasked his labor and capital to create the business and he makes the rules. If you don’t like it, go somewhere else. But don’t try to ignore or change his rules and then go off about how the customer is always right.

    It makes me just as angry as that stupid poetry on the statue of liberty. “Bring us your poor,…etc” is art, not national policy. If you are poor huddles masses of human debris, Stay the F**K home.

  2. i only needed to listen to 15 second of it. total entitlement princess syndrome. pardon my french, but what a little c**t.

    who, in the US, is unaware that you can’t use your cell phone in a theater. i guess she just thought she was special.

    bravo alehouse.

  3. Jack Dublin

    I would go there. Any place that has the stones to actually kick someone out for violation of rules( almost unheard of these days) is a place that will get my money. This is the best ad they could ever run.

  4. Hale, please spare the crudest of words.

    This should definitely be the attitude towards those outrageous fast-food house attackers too.

  5. Matt

    I think “the customer is always right” was more of a truism — a reality of early commerce — than a normative rule. Kind of like “vox populi vox dios” isn’t a mandate so much as an observation. These subtle differences are often lost on voicemail-leaving ex-patrons, I think.

    If I didn’t know this place wasn’t in Georgia, I would swear that that little princess was my step-sister. Shiver.

  6. Jack,

    Me too. I like a place that will risk alienating one customer for the good of the rest of the patrons.

  7. “who, in the US, is unaware that you can’t use your cell phone in a theater. i guess she just thought she was special.”

    Ain’t that the truth. What’s ironic is that she blasts the theater for being “impolite” when she was being impolite by (a) flashing her phone in the theater while others were watching the film and (b) cursing out the management.

    This also shows how the standards of most public accommodations have declined in America. This is the only theater in Austin that enforces a phone-off policy? Quality is a declining value.

  8. Lovekraft

    A simple expression I have come up with when encountering a superior who claims that the customer is right, EVEN THOUGH you know clearly that this is not the case:

    “Do not question my integrity, and I in turn will not question your authority.”

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