Saturday, June 22, 2013

PVR Cinemas - Quantity kam, price jyaada!


Theatres have long been associated with over-charging customers on the eateries that they serve inside their premises. Soft drinks and popcorn can almost rival the price structure of any super-luxury hotel. But what happens when they promise more and deliver less?

Fame Adlabs at Andheri West, Lokhandwala was recently bought over by PVR Cinemas and the Lokhandwala theatre was quickly revamped in PVR style. The new theatre was christened PVR - ECX, with ECX standing for Enhanced Customer Experience. Being my first visit to PVR, I was delighted to see an improvement in almost everything from the miserable Fame Adlabs that previously occupied the same premises.

The problem arose when I was ordering for refreshments with my father during the interval. Not wanting a very large serving of 7up, I settled for their 'regular' size which the menu mentioned as 550ml. After ordering for a popcorn + pepsi combo along with the 'regular' 7up, my father realised that the billing machine punched in a quantity of 450ml whereas the menu explicitly mentioned 550ml. When we asked the cashier why this is happening, he gave a clueless reply and asked his colleague to call for the manager. After waiting for a good 5 minutes for the manager 'Vishal' to appear, my father told the cashier that we did not have time to stand here for the entire interval to wait for 'Vishal' to arrive and that we wanted a change in our order to the large 650ml option. To my utter shock, the cashier rudely snapped back that he had intially told us to go for the large one and that we should have made up our mind then and there. This is what really ticked me off and I lost my cool too. Eventually a lady in a blazer appeared who obviously was not 'Vishal' (10 minutes have now passed since we have asked for him) who gave vague reasons about weekend/weekday changes in price. I pointed out to her that the issue is not the price but the quantity being sold for that price is incorrect as per the menu. Another vague explanation of weekend vs weekday rates was given which clearly reflected that the management was trying to hide the issue by giving lame excuses. At this point, I walked off.

Issue Summary:
1. Rude people serving customers behing the counter who had no obvious training in soft skills
2. Quantity mentioned on the menu was not the same as the quantity served
3. Management was trying to give a vague response to this

PVR has definitely taken their ECX motto to a different level by 'enhancing' my experience with them to another level. The entire flare up of the issue would have never taken place if the Manager had apologised and given me a solution to the problem. The fact that they were trying to provide explanations and covering up reflects that this is a known oversight on their part and as long as no one has taken a strong stance against it, they are continuing to overcharge you.

I tried to take an image of the menu but sadly my phone camera was unable to overcome the shine of the overhead menu. I request anyone who visits the particular theatre or any other PVR cinema should take special care of this matter. In fact, why should the buck stop only at PVR? Each time you shop for something, ensure that you are paying for the product, price and quantity as promised. Please share any such experiences you might have had in the comments section below.