Prepare to be spoiled.

It is one hell of a tagline for AMC Theaters.  Their AMC Stubs card is pretty great.  It allows you to earn points when you watch films and use those points to get money that can be used for concessions or even toward the cost of your ticket.  You can upgrade your popcorn and soda (buy a small, get a medium!  buy a medium, get a large!) and get cheaper tickets on Tuesday nights.  There is a free card and the pay card (the Premiere card).  Pay for the Premiere card and get better perks.  For the most part it is a great, quality program that I am a part of.  Except for one very broken part at my local theater.

This is a line for Premiere Members.  It is separate from the general admission line for buying tickets and buying refreshments.  The thought process behind this separate line is if you pay for the card you get taken care of before the other customers.  It’s a rather neat concept.  You get to go ahead of everyone else because you pay for the privilege.

From what I understand AMC’s CEO actually got the idea from the airport.  You can now pay to go right through the TSA.  You can pay to board your plane first.  You can pay for extra perks like that – why not apply it to the movie theater?

It is great…in concept.  Unfortunately it seems that this concept only works about 50% of the time.  Sometimes I walk into the Premiere Members line and I’m called right up.  Other times I walk into the Premiere Members line and they call the next person from the General Admission line.  Sometimes someone from the GA line will just walk up.  Half the time the person behind the counter will look at me then say to them, “I’m sorry.  I have to take care of them first.”  And the other half they just say, “How can I help you?”

Talking with different people at AMC I get different answers.  I’m told it is not a training issue – that they know they have to take the Premiere Members first.  But sometimes, perhaps, the crewmember doesn’t like calling from the Premiere line because the General Admission people may get upset.  Sometimes I’m told if it is very busy they will alternate between both.  Sometimes they’ll take right from the Premiere Members line.

AMC Theaters has a great FAQ on the AMC Stubs card but I haven’t been able to find anything in writing about the Premiere Members line.  It is something they do if you pay for the card but they don’t seem to have it in writing.  Therefore even though they have this option when they tempt you to buy the card (they will say to people you can cut in front of the line by using the Premiere Members Only line) it is something they only use about 50% of the time.

So what do you do when you are me?  When you pay for a card that gives you perks and you don’t get the perks?

Let’s go back to the airport.  You are going to Vancouver with your friend.  Let’s imagine you are flying first class but your friend is going coach.  Do you expect that your friend not get water or something to eat or no entertainment because they are flying coach?  Of course not!  They pay for the flight they should get those things.  But when you fly first class you expect something more.  You expect when they are boarding the plane that you’ll be the first to get on.  It is a privilege that you PAY FOR.  Except maybe military members get to board before them – but as a veteran I wholeheartedly agree with that.

The same goes for the movie theater.  Should General Admission people be ignored?  NO!  But if someone is paying for the card that offers the privilege to get their tickets first they should be able to use that option.  If someone from General Admission gets angry just explain the card to them.  If they want to be able to go first you should pay for the card.  If not be prepared to get your ticket or your popcorn a bit slower.  You are going to have to wait.

I’m not really sure what the problem is.  Is it my local AMC Hamilton theater?  Is it that AMC Theaters doesn’t have the Premiere Members line clearly defined?  ME?  I just want to get what I pay for.  You offer me the card, you tell me the perks, I buy the card, so the perks should be delivered.  It is AMC that offered to spoil me – you aren’t delivering.

That’s just my two cents.  And if it happens time and time again unfortunately I’ll just continue to bitch and complain over and over again until something is done.  And continue to just post about it on Twitter.  Hopefully someone will pay attention.

A BIG P.S. – Beyond the line problem the card is actually pretty great and if you get to AMC Theaters often I recommend it.