I know what the FY stands for in FYE Music stores. Right back at ya, FYE!

This evening I had the pleasure of talking with the Queen of mean at a FYE store, a store I'll never set foot in again. She had the nerve to refuse to acknowledge that FYE is a Ticketmaster retail outlet. I looked it up, and they are. Her stalling and stonewalling cost me valuable TIME. At 5:30 PM I started to try and change the dates on Yankee spring training tickets I'd bought for my son and two guests for a birthday gift. The first FYE "manager" told me only Ticketmaster could do the exchange. After she tried to tell me FYE didn't sell tickets. By the time I called FYE the second time, it was nearly 7PM and the Princess of ice told me I had to change the tickets by 7 PM, or lose them.

I'd bought the Yankee spring training tickets back in February at FYE in Westshore Plaza as a birthday gift for my son. That game is tonight. Unfortunately, their ten plus year old cat suddenly became very ill this AM. She was brought to the vet this afternoon. By 5:30 PM she was in an oxygen tent. She died around 6:30PM.

Needless to say, nobody felt much like taking in the game at 7 :00. After the little one is asleep, the adults will bury Mittens.

At 5:30PM, after being told by FYE only Ticketmaster could change the tickets, I called Ticketmaster, waited on hold, explained to rep #1 why I needed to exchange the tickets for another date, was transferred to customer service(?) where I told my story again to rep #2. The Ticketmaster customer service rep said I had to change the tickets through FYE, because that is where I purchased them. My bank statement for this purchase shows payment to Ticketmaster. But Ticketmaster refused to step up to the plate and they bounced me back to FYE.

I called FYE for the second time, explained the situation to the manager on a landline. At the same time my son was on hold on my cell, waiting outside the vet's office with his daughter, whom he had just picked up from day care, and getting text updates on Mittens from his wife who had brought the cat in to the vet. He heard the conversation I had with the woman manager at FYE who tossed me right back to Ticketmaster, even after I told her Ticketmaster said FYE had to do the ticket exchange. I called Ticketmaster again, waited on hold, explained about the cat again. By this time, after being in an oxygen tent, and after being seen in two different veterinary offices, Mittens had died. The family was distraught. They did not want to bury Mittens in front of their three-year old , so they were taking her home to wait for her to go to sleep. Ticketmaster transferred me again to customer service. There's that magical misleading word again: service. What service?

I had my final conversation with someone who also said she was the manager at FYE but gave me a different name from the manager I'd spoken with less than an hour before. Explained to her the family cat died, and the family had been at the vet's all afternoon while she slipped away, and they didn't feel much like going to a baseball game. Could I change the tickets for another date? Maybe, Ms Manager said, but only if I could get there in 20 minutes. I don't think so, I said. I'm too far away, don't have a car, and I don't have the tickets because I bought them as a gift. My son had the tickets because until Mittens became ill, he and his family were going to that Yankee game. Even with a car, the ticket holders were maybe an hour away fromWestshore and FYE, saying goodbye to their beloved cat. I explained all this. It made no impression on the ice queen I spoke to.

I asked her, have you ever had a pet?

I don't remember her answer.

So this is how it works. You pay a lot o' money for tickets to an event you know will be enjoyed. Something tragic happens, the people have more pressing issues to attend to, so you ask for a raincheck date--before the event starts. By the time these corporate thugs get through roughing you up, jerking you around, the game has started. Nobody gets to use the tickets.

I don't watch much TV, and rarely buy newspapers. I heard something the other day about a Florida woman who supposedly called 911 because McDonald's or some burger joint was sold out of chicken McNuggets. So she got charged with abusing the 911 system. OK, sounds reasonable.

But wait. Today I heard someone talking about the case of the McNuggets emergency caller. Turns out she'd asked for her money back AFTER she paid for the mcnuggets and was told they had none. They refused to refund her money she paid for a product she didn't get. That sounds like robbery to me. Instead of a guy with a gun sticking up the burger joint, the burger joint sticks up a customer. Robbery by cash register? According to the news story I pulled up, the customer was offered some "other" kind of food. After they took her order for Chicken McNuggets, and after they took her money. If I paid for something, then was told I wasn't going to get it, I'd want my money back too.

It's a tough economy. Tough to make a profit, tough times all over; but turning a deaf ear to your customers' legitimate concerns isn't going to increase your profits. I'd be willing to bet the price of those tickets I'll never buy another damn thing from FYE again.

The jury's still out on Ticketmaster, but I'm leaning towards NO.

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