Thursday, November 5, 2009

Flyover Hell

Sometimes I receive bad customer service that isn't worth getting into a raging fight over; sometimes I have that fight, anyhow, but for the other times, I'm implementing a new segment called FLYOVER HELL. What is FLYOVER HELL? It is the space between the customer service circles of hell where bad customer service happens but does not necessarily destroy you.

On a trans-circle of hell trip from Nautica to Time Warner, I stopped off at Connolly's Pub & Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan for a $5 Miller Lite. When I finished the beer, my glass was taken by the bartender--a reasonable facsimile of a world-weary Irishman--and told I could order another beer or leave. It was early afternoon. The place was mostly empty. I was waiting for my wife, who was supposed to arrive any minute, so I left and walked around in the cold. If you're looking for a bar where you can (1) spend too much money on domestic drafts, (2) be treated rudely unnecessarily, and (3) feel badly about your own ethnic heritage, let me recommend Connolly's Pub & Restaurant!

43 W 54th St.
New York, NY 10019

After that stopover, I figured I'd buy 8 Knicks-Celtics tickets. Since the Knicks, like most teams, take no real precaution toward third-party agencies scooping up all of the inexpensive tickets and then selling them at a premium--in this instance, a 350% markup--the cheapest tickets I could get were $35 on StubHub. Did I pay $280 then for these 8 tickets? No, I paid $320 after service charges and shipping. Which is fine, I suppose, because when scalping is institutionalized, you pay not only the markup but also other made-up fees. What I objected to was the unannounced $12 I was charged when StubHub sent my tickets to the wrong state. If you're looking for a ticket agency where you can (1) spend $35 on $10 tickets, (2) pay an additional $40 in fees and shipping, and (3) have your credit card charged $12 without warning for somebody else's mistake, let me recommend StubHub!

"Where Fans Buy and Experience Sadness"


  1. I got hung up on by customer service at Budget today. Hung up on!! I wasn't even yelling, I was just trying to solve a problem with a stupid policy. I thought you would appreciate that, and this was the most amusing forum to tell you.

  2. I once had an experience so horrifying with Budget, it takes up multiple circles. It happened in 2007, and I'm not yet ready to revisit it.