When the Customer is Wrong

Usually the mantra is “the customer is always right”.¬† Great brands go out of the way to resolve issues…often bypassing the details of who is wrong and who is right in a quest to prove customer love and win long time loyalty.

Well, one brand, Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, took a decidedly different tack.

Not only did the call out their customer for bad behavior. They made a public (albeit anonymous) spectacle of her.

The offense? Texting in a movie. Take a look at this video¬†posted on YouTube which features the angry customer’s call to the cinema’s voice mail after she was ejected from the theatre for texting. I promise it’s worth watching.

In this case, the theatre made the conscous decision to sacrifice the love of one customer to gain the respect (and business) of many.

As someone who abhors the glowing lights from texting in my movie watching experience I applaud their efforts.

Given the amount of views from YouTube (2.5 million at last count), I’m guessing the “customer is wrong” strategy paid off in this instance.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

Was the Alamo in the right or should all customers be treated with respect?

2 thoughts on “When the Customer is Wrong

  1. Yes they were absolutely correct in throwing her out for using her phone during the movie. You’re dead on about sacrificing one customer for the sake of many. I applaud them for taking a stance against someone who thinks they are entitled to do whatever they want and break the rules.

    They did what most of us want to do in a situation like this but are afraid of the consequences. They have a warning up on the screen prior to the movie starting and they actually followed through with the punishment.

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been a lawsuit filed against them…that girl sounds crazy enough to go after them for all her “pain and suffering”!

  2. @RobThomas thanks for the comment. I was just in the movies yesterday (seeing Bridesmaids), there was one text offender (mild case) but what was really distracting was the man laughing so loud in the front row and talking back to the movie. But I doubt anyone would throw him out for that.However,between the $23 (for two tickets) and the nearly $20 on refreshments (1 water, medium popcorn and boxes of Reese’s Pieces)I can’t help thinking if theatre’s don’t do something to protect, and dare I say improve, the movie experience they are going to see a contined decline in attendance.


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