Trust me, I’m not the only movie lover upset about Regal Entertainment Group’s new nationwide policy to stop running newspaper ads giving the movie times. Since my column Saturday, I’ve been deluged with 180-plus contacts so far from readers who agreed with me. Only half a dozen wrote to say they didn’t and suggest that the times they are a-changin’ and I need to change with them.
The consensus was Regal Cinemas doesn’t give a hoot whether this inconveniences customers. Many vowed to take their business elsewhere, charging that this policy reflects poor customer service by the movie theater chain, which wants viewers to get the times via the Internet or by calling.
“I’m going to boycott Regal. I’m 70-years-old and I’ve never boycotted anything,” said Mike Gnatovich.
Julia Barker, who agreed with me that this discriminates against the elderly and disabled, said she was going to ask AARP to look into it.
Most agreed Regal has decided it’s worth inconveniencing the elderly who may not have computers, or even those who do. Out of the 180 contacts, 110 were from e-mails, so obviously they were from people who had computers, but didn’t want to use them to look up movie times.
Rosalie Marinelli actually timed how long it took her to get movie times. She e-mailed me: “You need to know that not only older, disabled moviegoers are inconvenienced, EVERYONE is. I timed looking up a movie in the newspaper and online; 9 minutes in the newspaper, 28 minutes online and you have to know the ZIP code both online and on the phone. I don’t know all my friends’ ZIP codes by heart. I’d have to complete the task with my address book in hand. Besides, I have a life and don’t always know what 50 movies are playing at any given time.”
Another reader complained because, when she called Fandango for times, she was stuck with an ad for an insurance company.
There’s a great deal of frustration out there from Regal’s customers who are faithful movie fans and feel dissed by the theater chain. They’re mad as hell and many say they’ll take their business elsewhere.
Don’t mess with seniors. They take a stance and abide by it.