Sarah Kohl-Leaf went to take in "Shutter Island" recently at the St. Croix Falls Cinema, and it sounds like she didn't have a great experience. First, the theater doesn't accept debit or credit cards -- and the ATM was out of cash. Then, a snafu led to her missing the first part of the movie. So she did what a lot of folks do: She wrote a letter of complaint to the manager. What happened after that stunned her. He wrote back and told her to "go fuck yourself" and see the movie in White Bear Lake instead.
Kohl-Leaf and her husband then did what a lot of folks do in 2010: They started a Facebook group: "BOYCOTT St. Croix Falls Cinema 8." She posted her original letter to the manager, and what she calls his initial reply, and a follow-up, in which his tail is clearly between his legs. The page now has 2,962 members.
Here's her original letter, as posted on the Facebook page:
My husband and I just went to your theater to see Shutter Island. First off, the year is 2010 and your establishment does not accept cash cards or credit cards. We did not have enough cash on us and neither did your ATM. If you run out of cash by Saturday evening you should have a higher allotment of cash. Since most people expect to use their cash card, the ATM, I'm sure, is utilized frequently. Frankly, get with the time. I know you are charged for transactions on a card machine but frankly your customers would be better served. How many customers do you lose because they don't have cash or check (since 90% of establishments don't accept checks anymore).Thankfully, we had friends who had 1 check on them. We would have had to go to the bank to get cash to see a movie. Should we charge you for time and gas? Secondly, after the first 10 minutes a staff member came in and announced that there were 8 people who should not be in that movie. She proceded to check tickets of paying customers trying to enjoy a movie. She also brought in the ticket clerk to see if she would recognize the 4 remaining people who did not leave after the announcement. This ruined the first 30 minutes of the movie. Frankly, we lost the first part of the plot and new characters. I did not pay 18.00 to have a distracted experience. Are 8 people worth a theater full of refunds? Why not wait until the movie is over and check people leaving? Why not pause the movie? I expect a refund, but only by check card. Oh wait, sorry, we are all out of check cards. Get the point yet? I would rather drive to White Bear Lake, where they obviously know how to run a theater than have this experience again.
Drive to White Bear Lake and also go fuck yourself. If you dont have money for entertainment, get a better job, and don't pay for everything on your credit or check card. You can also shove your time and gas up your fucking ass. Also, find better things to do with your time. This email is an absolute joke. We don't care to have you as a customer. Let me know if you need directions to white bear lake.
Dear Mrs. Kohl-Leaf, I tried to contact you via a phone call to issue this apology personally and was unable to reach you. I sincerely apologize for my inappropriate response to your email yesterday. As vice president, I should never have reacted that way, no matter how I felt about your email. At Evergreen Entertainment, customer service is an important part of our business, and that clearly was not reflected by my use of profane language.
Our St. Croix Falls theatre has gone through a management change and that transition has not proven to be easy, although it is for the best. There have been several issues lately, including some brought upon our operation without our knowledge, that we have been working hard to address and it appears that we are not quite there yet. We will continue to work towards these improvements in the hope that it will allow our customers better service and an overall improvement in the entertainment experience.