Customer Service in Moscow: a positive experience

Most of what I have written thus far is not exactly what you’d call positive, so I want to make sure that I get the message across that I’m not negative about Russia. Here’s an example of what I like about Moscow.

Last year, my wife and I decided to go to the Bolshoi Theatre before it closed for renovations. I bought the tickets via their website, which also showed me exactly where my seats would be and how to pick up the tickets, which I did later that day. A very, pleasant online experience.

But, as the performance day approached, I couldn’t find the tickets. I looked in my wallet, my pockets, my bag, my “important documents” file folder. I also couldn’t find the book I had been reading that day. I must have used the tickets as a bookmark and now the book was gone. Ugh.

But, with a few days left, I returned to the box office with my internet order. I told the cashier that I had lost my tickets, could she reprint them? I had all the details, my passport, etc. She said she couldn’t do that, but that I could go to the Administrator on the evening of the performance and speak with her. We did that and she wrote a note allowing us to enter the theatre and go to our seats. She just told us that if our seats were taken and the people could show their tickets, we’d be out of luck. If, however, the seats were free, then we would just sit down for the performance. Needless to say, our seats were unoccupied.

Apparently, this happens a lot, because there was a long line of people getting notes to let them in. Nevertheless, I can’t being surprised. I mean, if you lost your tickets in New York, London or Paris, would anyone let you in the door? I don’t think so.

Way to go, Bolshoi!

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