Oh Sabres, I Could Never Stay Mad At You. I SHOULD, but I Won’t.

Because I am a member of the Sabres Blue and Gold Club (the paying season ticket waiting list), I was offered the opportunity to purchase a mini-pack this season.   A mini-pack is good to have because you get first dibs at the regular season tickets and the opportunity to buy playoff tickets in the event the Sabres make it to the playoffs (fingers crossed).

The story is too long and WAY too boring to tell, but the process of actually GETTING the mini pack has been one of the most irritating things in the history of the world. I won’t bore you with the details, but in my short experience, NOTHING has gone smoothly when dealing with the Sabres box office.  It’s a total clusterfuck over there.  After several WEEKS of frustrating non-communication with them, I got my credit card statement today and realized that, to my great surprise and horror, no tickets had been purchased.

Again, the story of how I got to this point with them is boring, but to put my level of distrust with the Sabres ticket office into perspective I can tell you that it never ONCE occurred to me that my problem could be solved over the phone today.  My experience dealing with them over the phone has been so horrendously unhelpful, that I didn’t even consider calling the Sabres box office.  I hopped right into my car and drove to the arena to kick some ass.

A quick word about me: I’m not a very feisty consumer.  I am a Minnesotan after all.  Civility and politeness are extremely important to me.  It’s not in my nature to pitch a fit when I feel I am getting poor service; HOWEVER, every once in a while I get a bee in my bonnet.  This usually happens when I feel a line has been crossed into the territory of THIS IS NOT RIGHT. I never raise my voice, and I try to be mindful of the poor person who has the unfortunate job of dealing with a pissed off Katebits, but on the rare occasion when my hackles go up I am an unmovable beast.  I was fully prepared to stage a sit-in in the Sabres offices today.  I was ready to declare war.  The level of customer service I have received from the Sabres has been RIDICULOUSLY bad, and I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.

So, I arrived at HSBC Arena, and I went storming into their ticket service area armed with righteous rage and a cauldron of boiling oil to throw on them in case they tried to put up a fight…….and then the very nice lady behind the counter solved my problem in about twenty seconds.  Seriously.  It was comical how quickly my ABSOLUTE RAGE dissolved into warm fuzzy feelings of Sabre-y happiness.  The tickets are coming.  My credit card will be billed.  All is well.

The Sabres really need to pull it together with how they run their box office.  It’s not right to be so discombobulated when dealing with a fanbase that loves the team so dearly.  At every stage of my experience I have been left feeling totally unsure about the transaction.  I feel like I am throwing my money into a black hole and hoping it turns into Sabres tickets.  I think I’m an excellent Sabres customer and all I really ask from the box office is that they are clear in their communications with me- but the bottom line is, I love the Sabres much more than I hate their box office, so I am stuck.

On my way into the arena I was prepared to dramatically overturn office furniture in a display of my mighty fury, and one minute later, on my way out, I stopped and paused to look at the giant picture mural and thought to myself, “I’m in the arena.  Hockey is coming back.  It’s almost here. It’s almost here.  It’s almost here.  Hooray!”

The happiest dumbest happiest customer in the world.


16 Responses to “Oh Sabres, I Could Never Stay Mad At You. I SHOULD, but I Won’t.”

  1. 1 Chaz September 8, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Dearest Katebits,

    We, Sabres Management, understand that our version of box office customer service is sub-standard. This is one our checklist of issues to be addressed going back to Mr. Golisano’s purchase of the Buffalo Sabres. Without Mr. Golisano’s generosity, you would not have the opportunity to be a member of the Blue and Gold club as the Buffalo Sabres would be the Las Vegas Hookers. We came to a mutual agreement with our best and most senior customer service representatives who now enjoy a wonderful retirement. We have had multiple requests by one, Chaz, to become our customer service manager. However, we felt there were more meaningful uses for our valuable dollars. We have re-invested the salaries of our retired reps and the manager into the new Slug Sabres logo, the fuckin’ ice bowl, Ryan Miller and Paul Gaustad.

    We would think you agree,
    Sabres Management

  2. 2 Katebits September 8, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Dear Sabres Management,

    I don’t think you have to spend more money on customer service, I just think you have to be BETTER at it. It’s not that hard! When I give you money, you should give me something in return, even if it is just an email or a copy of my invoice until you send out the tickets. Your policy of taking my money and then never calling, writing, emailing, or answering your phone again is LAME.

    Thank you for signing Crunchy and Goose long term.

    I still think you suck,

  3. 3 Becky September 8, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    I got an email anyway. My billing cycles are so messed up I wasn’t really expecting it to appear yet.

    Did you put your deposit towards the tickets? Did you actually get the credit? That part I’m not sure about – when I see the bill I’ll know.

    My tickets weren’t guaranteed, just “hopeful” or something like that.

    I can’t wait for hockey to begin!

  4. 4 Katebits September 8, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Oh, I don’t have anything actually helpful like a bill or anything, Becky. All I have is the assurance that I haven’t been royally screwed over yet. We’re all in the same boat. Apparently they just started entering the mini-pack requests today. I assume they’ll tell us something by opening day, but I have my doubts.

  5. 5 Shari September 8, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Where in the world is Jason Pominville??

  6. 6 Patty (in Dallas) September 8, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    I HATE it when I’m full of righteous indignation and braced for a big fight and I storm into a customer service office and they don’t even ask for my story. They just fix it.

  7. 7 Katebits September 8, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    I KNOW, Patty! And honestly, they didn’t fix it AT ALL. They gave me juuuust enough information to stop me from tipping my cauldron of boiling oil onto them.

  8. 8 Schnookie September 8, 2008 at 11:46 pm

    I HATE it even worse when I let my tipping-a-cauldron-of-boiling-oil rage totally dissolve because I’ve been given just a smidgen of information/satisfaction. The Sabres Box Office is being so sneaky here, but I’d be in exactly the same boat. I’d hate myself for it, but what can you do? They’re the Sabres! They’re your beloved, warts and all! (And no, they’re NOTHING like Blobby. Not at all. It might be a dysfunctional relationship, but it’s hardly abusive. Entirely. Per Se. Heh.)

  9. 10 Pookie September 9, 2008 at 9:46 am

    And no, they’re NOTHING like Blobby. Not at all.

    Although when the ticket package arrives in the mail, it might be covered with a mysterious slime.

  10. 11 Matt September 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Although when the ticket package arrives in the mail, it might be covered with a mysterious slime.

    In the interest of full transparency, you can’t blame that on Blobby. It’s more likely the direct result of me coveting your tickets while they are “in transit”.

    I cried when I found out that a 21-game package of Devils tickets cost 2000 per seat. Full season tickets at the same level cost 2500. What the heck?! That makes no sense…

  11. 12 Kathee September 9, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    So let me get this straight…they gave you nothing, yet managed to deter you from a full-on boiling oil assault?? Those ticket office peeps are GOOD! They should be on the suicide hotline instead. WOW!

  12. 13 Katebits September 9, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Matt….ew. (Also, heh.)

    $2000 a seat?!!! That’s effed up. I suppose I should take a tiny little minute to be grateful that the Sabres tickets are affordable. But just one minute and then it’s right back to oil-cauldrons-of-rage.

  13. 14 Jennifer September 9, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I hate when I get my panties in a bunch over something and then don’t get the satisfaction of properly “unbunching” and releasing my wrath of revenge.

    I wish you luck on getting the tickets; however, I am also SO jealous. It’s just NOT fair. But I’d have a hell of a time making it from VA to NY for the games and then back to VA in time to go to work the next day. *sigh* I’m just gonna go sit in the corner and pout. :(

  14. 15 SAM September 9, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    ahh the dreaded black hole between the ticket representative and the actual box office where they run credit cards. ANd here I thought it was just minor league hockey.

    See, I worked for an ECHL team for a year. I was the person on the phone selling tickets and handling the orders. Then I filled out a form and sent it upstairs to the ticket office, whereupon it was (supposed to be) entered into the credit card machine and the ticketing system.

    Only these papers seemed vanish or find a back room and party somewhere in transit. It was maddening. And of course *I* was the one getting calls when no credit cards were charged and people were worried about losing their seats, yet I could do NOTHING to fix it. Literally.

    But i thought it was because we were AA hockey and low-budget and that my boss was an idiot. All of those were true, but it seems to be something that happens all over the place. I knew of instances of this occuring in the AHL as well and now the NHL.

    I’m sorry the Sabres are so bad at customer service, but I am thrilled they (at least claimed to have) fixed it for you! YAY! :)

  1. 1 Seriously, Sabres. Buy a Computer. « The Willful Caboose Trackback on July 9, 2009 at 6:02 pm

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