Thursday, December 14, 2006

Listening Up: Red Sox Response on the Virtual Waiting Room

Even though it's the address on my blog profile, I don't always remember to check my g-mail account. Today, I looked in and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a note from Red Sox VP Charles Steinberg, responding to my recent post on my less-than-successful attempts to purchase Red Sox tickets online last weekend.

The proof, of course, will be if the Red Sox are able to make the online purchase process work more smoothly. I recognize that this may not be easy, given that demand outstrips supply - a situation that could only be remedied in one of two ways: build a new stadium (which, sentimental fool that I am, I'm not a huge proponent of), or field a really rotten team (which, for obvious reasons wouldn't be all that enjoyable for the fans). Frankly, given that this is such a seller's market, I'm impressed that the Red Sox brass responded to what one disgruntled fan had to say.

Here's the note I received - and keep reading - there's a Blackberry response from Larry Lucchino in there. In any business, I find it impressive when the top dogs get involved at this level. So I'll doff my (Red Sox) cap to them.

And, while I can't be bought off, I'd really love 6 (or 4, even) for Patriots' Day. (Yankees games make me just too crazy.)

Here's Charles Steinberg's note:

Hi Maureen,
I read with interest and alarm your vivid account of the ticket-purchasing process. I sent it to two of my ticket-related colleagues whose consciences I trust. I also sent it to Larry Lucchino, who, though the public may not know this side of him, is fanatical about seeking systems to improve the fan experience.

Below you see his response to my sending your blog.

I don't know the solutions yet, but please know that from the head of the organization on down, your words are read and heeded.

Thanks so much,
Charles Steinberg

-----Original Message-----
From: Lucchino, Larry
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2006 5:48 PM
To: Steinberg, Charles
Subject: Re: Google Alert - red sox

Get back to her please and tell her we are determined to make. It better
Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Device

-----Original Message-----

From: Steinberg, Charles <>
Kennedy, Sam <> Bumgarner, Ron
Mon Dec 11 12:06:02 2006
Subject: FW: Google Alert - red sox
I know we have answers, explanations, and limits, but we must understand the path of the experience that this writer has published for the world to read....

The Red Sox Virtual Waiting Room
By Maureen Rogers
On Saturday, Red Sox tickets for some April-May games, and a few packages, became available on-line. As I did last year, I logged on and took my place in the virtual waiting room. Mostly I spent my two hours staring at the virtual head ...


Anonymous said...

While you have their ears, don't forget to mention the that once you do get in, you chose a game, get all the way to the "enter this code" page-- and it comes back with a "system is busy at this time" error...isn't that why I was waiting in the fricken VWR in the first place? argh...

Oh and forget about the convenience fee, the part that galls me is that even while your in the virtual waiting room, tickets are going on sale on ebay.

watching games on the half million TVs at the cask and flag, or on the new roof deck at baseball tavern are rapidly becoming better alternatives.

When you think about it here's a couple of examples.

Low end estimate (cheap date):4 bleacher tickets for a Tuesday game against Tampa bay on a 38 degree Tuesday in April

$128 -- Tickets (25 + 7 per ticket in fees) =

$10 -- Tee pass (2.50 each from north station)

$80 -- Food (two 650 beers with tip, and a 4.50 hot dog each)

A pretty decent night out for most people...

A more realistic estimate?

4 moderate right field box seats for a day game in June against a decent opponent (California)

280 for tix (ebay/stubhub/licensed "reseller")

40 -- for parking

100 -- 2 Pre-game game beers food and burgers at Boston Beer works(x4)

80 -- Popcorn and Two beers (or soda/water) each at game (x4)

100 - total of 4 hats/tee-shirts

80 -- post game beers/potato skins at Game On/Cask (you're Irish)x 4


So its basically two games a year, or a 4 day cruise or a new plasma tv...

Yankees Game w/clients, relatives in town 4 Good Box Seat tickets

$400 -- Tickets (scalped,broker)

$250 -- Dinner drinks for 4 at capital grill

$60 -- Parking (or town car from north station)

$80 -- 10 premium beers(Sam Adams, guinees)w/ tip

50 -- in game snacks

200 -- Authentic Red Sox shirts

100 -- Post game drinks at whiskey park

$1040 - not bad if your expensing it.


9 7 8 . 7 6 6 . 0 2 7 0

Anonymous said...

I tracked down some other samplings of bad customer experiences with the system here.

I am glad that the Red Sox are passionate enough about their fans to monitor and respond. Now if they would only fix the problem!