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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » AMC Theatres & False Advertising

   
Author Topic: AMC Theatres & False Advertising
Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1855
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 07-23-2019 02:11 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yesterday, Monday, I went to see Lion King at the AMC in the Palisades Mall in West Nyack NY. Liked the film, the presentation was great, and I have always liked that theatre.

However, as a Stubs member, I qualify for AMC discount Tuesdays, which is $6 all day for Stubs members. However, the last trailer before the movie yesterday was for the various Stubs programs, that explicitly stated that the discount admission is $5 dollars. I don't know about the rest of the USA, but here in New Jersey and New York, advertising one price and charging a higher price is illegal. I was going to file a complaint with the NY attorney general's office today, but I decided to wait for my next trip to AMC to see if either they pull that promo, or correct the price.

The reason I am posting here is I was wondering if this is a nationwide AMC issue, or just this location. There was absolutely no management around to complain to, although I did let the teenage girl working the boxoffice of the problem.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12700
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-23-2019 02:37 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I wonder if $5 is an introductory offer, or maybe the wrong trailer was used?

I would send a note to "corporate" and see if you get a response.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1855
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 07-23-2019 03:59 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They are using an old trailer. For the first few years, the price was $5, they raised the price a few months ago. Ultimately, they are still responsible to comply with the law regarding advertised pricing.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2458
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-23-2019 04:09 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There's probably a "Prices subject to change without notice" clause in the fine print.

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Martin Brooks
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 883
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 07-31-2019 12:09 PM      Profile for Martin Brooks   Author's Homepage   Email Martin Brooks   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think you're incorrect about the law. I know that in NYC, if a supermarket accidentally publishes the wrong price in a flyer, as long as they post the error in the store window or near a cash register, they don't have to give you that price.

And certainly the cable and phone carriers get away with murder concerning their advertised prices, which don't include fake fees and taxes. They imply the fees are government fees, but most are not.

When I used to have RCN for cable, they had the following "fees": OVS, PEG Access, Broadcast TV surcharge, Sports Surcharge, Entertainment Surcharge, Network Access & Maintenance Fee, Municipal Construction Surcharge (+ State and local sales taxes). The fees alone came to $48 a month when I finally got fed up with multiple price increases per year and dropped them.

Verizon FIOS has: PEG Grant, FIOS TV Broadcast, Regional Sports Network, Municipal Construction Surcharge, Video Franchise Fee, Regulatory Recovery Fee-Federal, NY State and Local Surcharge (+ state and local sales taxes). Their fees come to $24 a month.

AT&T's cell phone service has: Administrative Fee, Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge, County Gross Receipts Surcharge, Federal Universal Service Charge, MTA Telecom Surcharge, State Telecommunications Excise Surcharge, State Public Safety Commission Surcharge, County Public Safety Commission surcharge (+ sales taxes). Those fees and taxes come to $17 a month and most of them, including most of the ones that sound "governmental" are not - they're fake fees.

All of these companies advertise their prices without the fees and they get away with it.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12700
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-31-2019 09:43 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My wife and I had some fun coming up with phony fees we could charge if the theatre business was like the rental car business or the cellphone business:

Cleaning fee
Service fee (for getting your concessions for you)
Projection fee
Wide-screen fee (for scope pictures)
Seat cushion replacement surcharge
Advertising fee

etc. etc. ...and then we thought maybe we could sell "prime seating" and get an extra buck or two for those center-of-house sweet spot seats.

But, sanity prevails.

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-31-2019 10:26 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm waiting for a fee service fee, i.e. a fee charged for the service of collecting the fees from you.

I have actually seen a forms form. It's an order form that you send in to get more forms. [Smile]

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8115
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-01-2019 08:16 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My current scourge is hotel "facilities fees," which seem to be multiplying like rabbits at the moment. Hotels will insist that these fees cover things like Internet access and health facilities, but that the fees are non-optional. My own (strong) feeling is that non-optional fees should be part of the base price, not added on in order to manipulate Interenet price searches.

I spent a night at a hotel in NYC last fall. I had booked it through Priceline, to whom I payed the room rate and associated taxes. I was never informed of any additional charges. When I checked in, I was told that there would be a $30+ "facilities fee" that would be due upon check-out. I flat-out refused to pay it, on the basis that I was never informed of the fee, would have stayed elsewhere if I had been informed of it, and did not use the services that it supposedly covered. Eventually, the hotel clerk gave up and did not charge the fee. I fear that others may not be so lucky.

Afterwards, I wrote letters of complaint to the hotel (which did not respond), Priceline (which gave a glib and non-apologetic response), and the NY State Attorney General's office (which sent a surprisingly good response, thanking me for helping them to gather data about this growing problem).

Apparently, Las Vegas is the worst city for this sort of thing, but NYC is getting really bad, too. How long will it be before we see $1 room rates with $300 non-optional "facilities fees"?

The sad part is that the travel industry used to be about helping people to have happy, fun times. Now, most airlines, hotels, and rental car agencies don't even pretend to have any interest in this. They just want to separate people from their money in the most slimy way possible.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2458
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-01-2019 09:00 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
The sad part is that the travel industry used to be about helping people to have happy, fun times.
That's what travel agents were for. They had access to all of the info about fees and packages, etc. They could also bargain to get the fees removed. Things weren't perfect, but we're on our own now.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9518
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-01-2019 09:30 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Just like airport improvement fees that you dont get told about until you arrive at a airport

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2458
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-01-2019 09:36 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Waiting for the Customer Service fee. Give them your credit card number before you can complain.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 880
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 08-01-2019 09:42 AM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I THINK I remember a court saying "resort fees" were ok, but there are now some attorneys general suing chains over them. Also, apparently the FTC sent warning letters to hotel chains years ago. Some info at https://hotellaw.jmbm.com/nebraska-v-hilton-resort-fee-litigation.html .

Harold

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 880
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 08-04-2019 01:13 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And, another article on "resort fees." https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2019/08/02/battle-against-resort-fees-is-who-will-win-war-hotels-or-guests/

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12700
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 08-04-2019 08:57 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Scott Norwood
Apparently, Las Vegas is the worst city for this sort of thing, but NYC is getting really bad, too.
The last time we were at CinemaCon, at Caesars Palace they had an optional $17 internet fee. My wife had brought a Verizon AirCard because she needed to use her computer for work. At the hotel, the AirCard was blocked and the only way she could get to the internet was to use their $17 service, which was none too fast. I always thought it was illegal to block cellular signals, but maybe those hubs are different.

It was a little tense at first because she works for a bank, which she had already jumped through quite a few hoops to get them to approve the AirCard for use during our trip, so they were none too pleased that she had to use a random hotel network. It took several phone calls back and forth to get it all sorted out between the hotel's IT people and the bank, but the situation finally got resolved. We still had to pay the 17 bucks a day.

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Harold Hallikainen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 880
From: Denver, CO, USA
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 08-04-2019 11:06 PM      Profile for Harold Hallikainen   Author's Homepage   Email Harold Hallikainen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Was that a Wifi hot spot, or something that plugged into the computer? Marriott got fined $600k for blocking WiFi. See https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-14-1444A1.pdf .

Harold

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