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nysusan

ABT exchange week - it's déjà vu all over again

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nysusan   

Went to the box office this afternoon to exchange my subscription tickets and buy a few extras. Imagine my surprise when the guy told me that ABT is not allowing subscribers to buy tickets during exchange week. This is exactly what they did last year until they started getting angry emails from subscribers.

Last year I believe we emailed  jtimm@abt.org, I'm going to email him tomorrow

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Olga   

I called the box office on Friday and was shocked at how rude and unhelpful their person was.

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canbelto   

I also called (am sick) to buy extra tickets and was rudely told that I could only exchange via mail (not telephone) and also that I would not be allowed to buy extra tickets.

 

This winter I had a ticket to NYCB but was unable to go due to a malfunctioning train. Their customer service rep immediately arranged a makeup date in the spring and gave me a list of dates to choose from. They were very nice about the whole thing.

 

ABT seems determined to piss away its subscribers.

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abatt   

Here's my story.  I wanted to exchange into the gala, and was told that your cannot exchange into the gala. Moreover, subscribers are not allowed to purchase gala tickets until the  box office opens to the general public.  NYSusan mentioned to me that the new restriction about exchanging into the gala was in the cover letter that came with the subscription tickets.  I admit I never read that letter, but I have been exchanging into the gala during subscriber priority week for 20 years.  If they were going to change the policy, the time to mention it was in the subscription brochure.  I would have ordered fewer subscriptions if I had known.  Also, it's ABSURD that they are not willing to take my money now to buy the gala tickets.  Instead, they think I'm going to make a second trip to the box office line to do this next week.  Not happening.

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Olga   

The way to buy single tickets ahead of their going on sale to the general public is to become a member. Single tickets went on sale to members today. This applies to gala tickets as well. 

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canbelto   

I don't get why ABT makes it so hard for subscribers to buy extra tickets. You'd think that having healthy sales before tickets go to the general public is a good thing because then they can dynamically price performances that are already selling well? Whatever. It's their money to lose.

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33 minutes ago, Olga said:

The way to buy single tickets ahead of their going on sale to the general public is to become a member. Single tickets went on sale to members today. This applies to gala tickets as well. 

But you can't pick out your own seat, unless they just changed that from previous years.

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angelica   
2 minutes ago, California said:

But you can't pick out your own seat, unless they just changed that from previous years.

I'm a member (at the Patron level) and bought tickets by phone today, including performance-only tickets for the Gala. I was allowed to pick my seats and the representative was both knowledgeable and helpful.

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Barbara   

Oh brother! I'm going in to exchange/purchase today and hope I don't run into difficulties. This year they really screwed me up - for the last 2 years I've asked them to mail my tickets to my daughter in the city as it's easier for her to go to the box office to exchange. This year they sent some to me, some to her, and some I've never received! I was told by an agent that tickets that did not come in the mail can be reprinted at the box office. I hope so. She read off to me which  tickets I should have received and in one case the quantities were wrong. We'll see when I get there but I'm anticipating trouble. I did join as a basic donor this year (after being badgered with phone calls) so maybe this will help. On a more positive note, when I phoned a few weeks ago to order an additional ticket the agent mused aloud about why I'd been given such bad seats for my subscription when there were plenty of seats left in Dress Circle row b center. She made a note and a subscription employee phoned me back, asked me to mail back my subscription tickets and they would re-issue them. The seat I got on the second round isn't exactly center but better than before. I might ask why the poor seat was assigned in the first place. I'll report my experience tomorrow. PS - I don't think I ever got a mailing about their Trios subscription as in years past. This has been my preferred way to purchase for the last few years. Was this done away with? I only purchased a full subscription this year because there was only one performance I didn't care to see out of the 6. (bless NYCB ticketing!)

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abatt   

They still had the Trios this year. Maybe they got cheap and didn't mail out the Trios booklet, but they definitely offered trios.  In fact I'm looking at the Trios booklet as I write this, because that is the only printed material that has the season in calendar format.  The Trio booklets have been in the Met lobby for weeks or maybe months.

Best of luck with your exchanges, Barbara.

Edited by abatt

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45 minutes ago, angelica said:

I'm a member (at the Patron level) and bought tickets by phone today, including performance-only tickets for the Gala. I was allowed to pick my seats and the representative was both knowledgeable and helpful.

Some consolation, but still far from what other companies offer. Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Colorado all let subscribers and friends pick their own seats from seating charts before the general public, using a code they are sent to log in or by logging into your friends account first. I, for one, like to see what's available in several sections I prefer and pick my favorite option for each, for about a dozen programs during the two-week season.

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NinaFan   

I agree with everyone that nothing beats NYCB ticketing.  Aside from their formal polices, NYCB staff are usually very accommodating.  That being said, I was still very pleased to get an e-mail from ABT saying that as a member I could buy single tickets at the box office this week.  I called the MET box office today just to make sure that I could buy tickets before March 26.   I was all prepared to buy my single tickets on Sunday (I’ll be there for Paul Taylor anyway), but a few days jump is even better.   I like to look at the seating chart and see what is available before going to the box office, but since it is not available I wrote down my favorite seats in descending order and hope that I get those seats or close at the box office. 

I didn’t get the trio brochure this year either.  It was very short sighted of them not to mail it.  However I did see it online, and like abatt picked up a copy at the MET to mark up for planning purposes.  Not that I don’t have the season memorized already…..

Edited by NinaFan

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abatt   

New York City Ballet also has some oddities in the way they deal with subscribers.  In fact, NYCB is the only company I know of that does not have a subscriber priority ticket purchase/exchange period.  Additionally, each and every year NYCB sends out the subscriber tickets about a month or six weeks AFTER the box office has opened to the general public.  Subscribers should at least have their subscription tickets by the time the box office opens. 

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NinaFan   

Yes, it has always annoyed me that NYCB tickets arrive after single tickets have gone on sale.  I’ve never tried it, but there may be a way to exchange tickets before receiving them (with your subscriber number) since all they do is tell you to discard your old tickets anyway.   At least you can buy additional tickets (at the subscriber rate) before you receive your subscription tickets. 

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Barbara   

Happy to report that I was pleased with my interaction at the box office yesterday. I made my exchanges and purchased additional tickets. The agent did mention that she wasn't really supposed to reprint the tickets I didn't receive because it looked as if they'd just been printed and would probably be in my mailbox very soon. They're being mailed when we're halfway through exchange week? I didn't say that since she did go ahead and reprint all tickets not received and I'm happy with the seats I was able to pick. But this year does seem to be very haphazard. In any case, I'm excited about the season and hope to see many of you there to chat!

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mimsyb   

I went on Tuesday to BO for exchange.  No problems whatsoever.  Even got improved seating from my usual subscription location.  AND was also able to buy additional seats.  AND the lady at the box office window was extremely nice and helpful  What are people talking about.?  

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abatt   

Glad you had a good box office experience, but it seems clear that the box office policy changes daily, and your experiences are based on the mood of the box office person you happen to get.  I also think people write and or call ABT to complain about stupid restrictions, and by later in the week the box office allows more flexibility.  For example, on Sunday I was told I could not exchange into the gala, and that I could not buy gala tickets until the public on sale date of March 26.  I returned a few days later when I was at Lincoln Center for a performance, and had a completely different experience.  The box office allowed me to exchange into the gala without any difficulty.   New day, new box office rep, completely different result.  Based on my experience, I'm starting to believe that interacting with the Sunday box office crew is not a great idea.   By later in the week, things are more relaxed.

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mimsyb   

Perhaps you are right.  Going a day or so later also means one doesn't have to stand in line.  I walked right up and was done in less than ten minutes.  I think there may be some "hype" as to tickets selling out, etc.   I have never found that to be true.   Sometimes it's better to wait because then those tickets that are "exchanged" become available.  I'm sure someone was thrilled to get my exchanged ticket for Misty Copeland's "Don Q".

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bingham   
23 hours ago, mimsyb said:

Perhaps you are right.  Going a day or so later also means one doesn't have to stand in line.  I walked right up and was done in less than ten minutes.  I think there may be some "hype" as to tickets selling out, etc.   I have never found that to be true.   Sometimes it's better to wait because then those tickets that are "exchanged" become available.  I'm sure someone was thrilled to get my exchanged ticket for Misty Copeland's "Don Q".

Why? Is Misty's Don Q a sold-out already?Just curios.

Edited by bingham

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mimsyb   

No information on Misty's "Don Q".  But her performances in the past have always sold very well.

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