Dear me!

Back at the beginning of the year I was intending to have a good moan on here, but somehow ran out of time and energy for it and thought ‘what the heck, I’ll just leave it.’ So it was left.

The it was drinks at the local cinema, Vue in Stirling. What with the government meddling with the sugar content of fizzy drinks, for some reason this meant the prices were going up. Obvious, really. Put in less sugar and the drink costs more. I almost understood it at the time.

However, what got me was that while the change was happening around Easter, our Vue decided to put the prices up after Christmas. It was an experiment, intended to show the powers that be that customers minded – or didn’t – the drinks costing them more. So they asked each customers if they felt the price was OK. Very scientific way of getting results.

Not only did they get to charge more when the time came; they got an extra three months of overcharging their customers before it.

Whether this was a local bright idea, or a countrywide Vue thing, I don’t know.

However, it would seem that the Stirling Vue charges more for cinema tickets than any other Vue in the country, including London. The local paper had discovered this and made some enquiries. After asking Vue about it, we now know they have a ‘dynamic pricing policy.’ So nice for them. And convenient. Whatever dynamic means in this instance.

Maybe it means we don’t have anywhere else [much] that we can go to for films. I even have a friend in deepest Perthshire who comes here for the movies.

We can go to one other place, without actually travelling to another town. The arts centre at the university has both a cinema and a theatre. It’s a nice cinema, smaller, and cheaper. But it gets the new films later than Vue, so it can’t compete. It also offers the narrower films that Vue customers aren’t expected to be interested in, like Edie a couple of months ago.

I had a little look at prices for Mamma Mia! as both cinemas show it right now. On Sunday my pensioner ticket – so already cheaper – would be £11.24 at Vue, and £7 at the Macrobert. Tuesday is better, with a mere £10.24 for old people at Vue and £6 at Macrobert. But that is anyone at the Macrobert, as Tuesdays are their cheap day. On a Sunday Vue charge £1.50 more for a normal adult ticket, while in the week it looks as if pensioners only save £1.

Earlier in the year I heard from a London friend that he goes on Mondays, when all tickets are cheap. £5, I believe. After some searching I discovered we too have a cheap Monday offer, which we had not been given, or offered, when we went on a Monday. Seems you have to sign up for something online, and after going round in a lot of circles I still didn’t quite grasp how to join or what to do, or even where to find it again, once I’d gone in and out a few times.

But that’s pensioners for you. Less dynamic.

If there is a cheap day of the week, it should be offered openly and upfront to all, whether or not they know about it, or if they don’t book online. The one thing to turn you off will be if it gets too crowded, but then it’s always possible to pick another day. Not like when we went. We got the queues and the crowds but no discount.

Might have been that dynamic pricing policy.

One response to “Dear me!

  1. The Observer have started a petition if anyone feels like signing it.

    Interestingly, when I checked the lone competitor for last screenings of Mamma Mia! this weekend, they were sold out.

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