5 January 2007

Teething problems at the new Dendy Premier Lounge

| johnboy
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Graham Smith has sent in a link to his detailed letter of compalint about the service in the new Dendy Premier Cinema in the Canberra Centre. (RiotACT is still awaiting any reply to several emails sent to Dendy management)

It sounds like they’ve got a long way to go with bedding down the concept.

Graham will let us know how they get on.

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Harden the f*ck up, Australia!

YouTube Link

So is Craig (Manager Dendy) going to take Macca77 (Craig) for a behind the scenes tour fight club style ?

Yah, maybe my training is just out of date.

Come on JB, you’re actually talking this notion of customer service !!!! That went out of fashion a decade ago when call centres became the rage…

A business doing its customer complaint resolution via the Office of Fair Trading has got a truly broken customer service model.

I can’t speak for Dendy’s training but at UCI in the UK they hammered into us from day one (literally, with tests) to never try and match wits with the customer and always treat a complaint (at any time and in any form) as an opportunity to put things right.

ihatestupidpeople1:05 pm 15 Jan 07

Sammy – you answered your own conundrum. If you sent the email, you should have been prepared to wait for the response.

If you think about it, when is a plumber going to get the time to check his email? He isn’t sitting in front of a computer all day and probably can’t justify next generation technology to manage it.

For those that are interested, the ACT Office of Fair Trading considers cinemas to be in the same class as restaurants and cafes when it comes to complaints.

This means that you need to bring the Management’s attention to the situation or problem at the time, not via writing three days later to receive any support from Fair Trading.

is sitting infront of a computer and whinging the only method understood!

If a business promotes email/web as a recognised means of contact, then they need to make sure it works.

Nothing pisses me off more than a business that promotes an email address as a means of contact, then treats it as a second-class form of communication. Example:

I email a plumber who promotes his email address in the Yellow Pages in large-type, about a non-urgent issue (quote for a new tap). I also contact other plumbers.

A week or so later I get an email response from the first plumber, and when I respond to say that the job has already been completed by another plumber, he responds that he only checks his email every week or so, and that I should have phoned. ARRGGH!

frankly I’m fascinated no-one ever ran a test on the contact box.

The website positively encourages customers to use it.

Well, nothing beats actually talking to a human being, JB. The internet’s a wonderful place to blow off steam and rant a bit. If you actually want something done, though, doing it in person wins every time.

Stupid lazy customers expecting the dendy website and email to work!

One other thing….. I also asked about parking.

For those who maybe confused Dendy do not own or operate any of the surronding carparks and as such have little to no say whatsoever in regards to the operation or pricing of them. Even as a major.

Craig said that he, and other senior managers at Dendy, had spoken with Canberra Centre Management on a number of occasions in regards to matching the “Free Parking Offer” available in the other centre. He said they will continue to push the issue with centre management until a satisfactory resolve is made.

For those of us who think that paying for parking is a joke make yourself heard…..

Place your complaint in writing to Canberra Centre Management via email to centremanager@canberracentre.com.au

OR post your complaint to
Canberra Centre Manager
PO Box 271
Civic Square ACT 2608

If you want free parking….make yourself heard!

After waiting just over a week for an answer to a comment lodged through the Dendy website I rang the cinemas today and spoke to a very friendly duty manager called Craig.

After explaining my situation to him he was very apologetic and said that I was the second person today that had informed him that they had tried to send something to them via the website and had not recieved a reply.

After resolving my problem he took all my details and said he would call me back after contacting his website IT Support team and let me know the outcome. (Not that I cared but it was a fantastic guesture.)

Late afternoon he called me back and explained that website IT guys discovered a coding error in the design of the “Contact us” page on the website only affecting Dendy Canberra.

He explained that this meant anything, anyone had submitted over the past 4 weeks since they had launched had disappeared into the black hole of cyberspace.

His biggest concern was that he was the Marketing Manager for Dendy in Canberra and it was the first he had heard about it.

He said that before calling me back he called all the other duty managers to see if any other patrons had complained and that they had all said no!


I’ve noticed that alot of people are complaining about Dendy and thier failure to return contact through the website.

Has anyone in here heard of picking up the phone or getting of your butt and following up, or is sitting infront of a computer and whinging the only method understood!!!!

Mistakes and computer glitches happen – computers AREN’T perfect – just like people aren’t either.

If myself or the other lady hadn’t called them today, and we had left it up to some of the other people reading this, it would have never been fixed.

Craig was sincerely apologetic and even offered to take me on a behind the scenes tour when I went to see my next movie. (As well as free tickets for my previous problem.)

For all the badmouthing and whinging that people are carrying on with about Dendy, I for one will remain a loyal customer for many years to come if they offer even near the service I recieved today.

again i am in agreement with vg

Empathy: identification with, and understanding of another’s situation, feelings and motives.

You may also need to learn the meaning of words you teach

….and your surrender to a superior mind is complete. I catch you on your good days, which is a little sad.

Hard to hear your voice when you type it


There is no empathy in your posts whatsoever. There is a major hint of smart arse though admist a pathetic attempt to ignore the crux of the complaint raised because the word “depressed” was mentioned.

Again, I offered possible reasons for said use of the word and you didn’t want to hear anything but your own point of view.

If there is a lack of reading “charge” it’s all yours.

As for your last statement, thanks for the laugh. You couldn’t catch me on a bad day.

Finally, perhaps some inner reflection is needed. You obviously don’t want to hear anything but your own voice.


Your debating skills don’t extend much beyond simply repating back to me what I say do they?

What part of these following quotes from my posts indicate a lack of empathy?

“He had a shitty time…yes that is bad”

“Upset, saddened, pissed off….yes”

“agree he should be fairly compensated”

“I’m sure he had a shithouse evening”

Lack of empathy, eh?

I’d suggest, once again, lack of reading on your part. It really hurts getting caught out by me time and time again, doesn’t it?

Get a reality check vg, I offered possible reasons for him indicating that it was depressing to him, not a diagnosis. You offered nothing except smart arse comments and a lack of empathy.

If you can’t take it, then don’t respond.

Oh and btw, it’s you that needs to get a grip – on reality.

“Clinical depression – oooh big words.”

Thats why I thought you may have to ask an adult what it means.

So Dr. Nyssa, was he depressed or just pissed off by the experience? You seem to know all about it.

Get a grip

Can you distinguish “too trivial” and too trivial?

I put those words as so (“too trivial”) to distinguish you words from my inference.

Simple really.

Clinical depression – oooh big words.

I offered possible reasons as to why he might be depressed by it all. People can be depressed by something without being clinically depressed. They can be sad, angry, let down etc without needing a psychiatrist. Most people experience the “blues” over a situation at times.

Feel free to continue making incorrect assertions and inserting your own words to substitute for mine to suit your own hysterical ends though.

Try the other way around.

If there’s any bridge building to be done it is your histrionics that could do it. I commented on embellishment, you go on about how clinically depressive the whole experience could have been.

Again putting words in my mouth, I never said it was ‘too trivial’, I said it doesn’t warrant an issue that would cause clinical depression.

But, like I say, you’d have to read my posts, not selectively pick out stuff you don’t like, to work that out.

He had a shitty time…yes that is bad
Caused clinical depression….I very much doubt it. he could have used other phrases to get the point across more effectively.

Feel free to continue making incorrect assertions and inserting your own words to substitute for mine to suit your own hysterical ends though.

All together now:

‘We are the world, we are the children……..”

Actually vg I know a little more about depression than you think.

Woody’s right btw.

You say he embellished, I said you don’t know as you weren’t there, so what did I miss? I said it was his opinion based on his experience, you said it can’t be depression because it’s basically “too trivial”, so what did I miss?

Reality, you weren’t there and are assuming. Look at the facts presented, even with “embellishments” – you’re trained to look at the facts without them.

He had a shitty time and stated he was depressed about it. Build a bridge and get over it.


I went there last night and have found that the 24hour car-park is not free after hours. The movie theatre cannot even validate car-park tickets.

Go to one of the suburban theatres and get free parking.

Woody Mann-Caruso12:26 am 07 Jan 07


So you’re saying you can’t be “low in spirits; dejected” about paying $300 for frozen party pies?

Having had more than my fair share of experience of depression, and significantly more than a teacher I would suggest, I can guarantee that it isn’t brought on by an experience such as the above. I’m guessing he never went to the trouble of having his guests on the evening in question diagnosed either.

I feel for the guys involved but my point, which you have once again spectacularly missed, is the embellishment in the letter is a little too much. Sure he should be adequately compensated, but ‘depression’ is about the point in the letter where a sympathetic manager may lose a bit of the sympathy. The story was good until that point.

Upset, saddened, pissed off….yes

Thank you Woody, your name will be forwarded to the copyright police, since it ain’t come out on DVD leagally anywhere in the world yet…

No, not really, but there’s an unwritten law that you don’t boast about that stuff on open bulletin boards. ’cause sooner or later the copyright nazis will getcha.

Woody Mann-Caruso8:51 pm 06 Jan 07

Now I know why I watched the new Casino Royale on DVD at home, in my own recliner and nursing a keg.

If your birthday was ruined by elements out of your control, you felt embarassed by the entire situation and you paid a mint for the experience, you too might be slightly depressed. Are you qualified to diagnose depression? I don’t think it is a part of the police training manual.

I read your entire post btw.

There are dramas in life and there are embellishments. I’m sure he had a shithouse evening. I’m also sure no-one suffered from depression as a result of it.

I didn’t say I didn’t agree with him Nyssa, but you would have had to read my whole post, not just the bits you disliked, to work it out.

To refresh your memory, this line from my post may give it away

“I agree he should be fairly compensated, but to use depression amongst it is a little, how do you say it, bullshitty.”

Two of clubs3:00 pm 06 Jan 07

“It’s not all Dendy’s fault – the reason there are no call buttons installed yet is because the builders simply refuse to install them during their christmas leave.”

Yeah, how dare those builders refuse to work when they’re supposed to be on leave.

Regardless of whose lack of planning resulted in the call buttons not being installed in time, the Dendy staff shouldn’t have misinformed the customer.

Dramatic embellishment?

How do you or I know? We weren’t there.

He may well be upset. I would be too as $300 is a shit load of money to pay for bad service. How do you not know that he was extremely embarassed for taking people along for this bad experience?

Whether you like it or not, it’s his opinion of the night and what he witnessed as a patron. If he didn’t complain then how would management know how poor the service was to a customer on the opening night?

For him a birthday might actually be something important. So of course he would see it as ruining his birthday if that was the case.

It’s called putting yourself in other people’s shoes to see more than just your own opinion.

And birthdays are birthdays. Unless its your 18th, 21st, 40th or 50th they really aren’t life-stopping milestones, rather an excuse for a piss up

I agree he should be fairly compensated, but to use depression amongst it is a little, how do you say it, bullshitty.

Simply expressing, in gentlemanly terms, that his evening was f*cked because of the inadequacies of the establishment should be enough, but then again a little dramatic embellishment can go a way further

Birthdays are emotional enough times as we grow up, to be promised a premium experience, take friends along to it, pay a serious premium price, and then get a shoddy evening can be pretty wrenching depending on where your head was to begin with.

If I was managing I’d be offering a full refund and a stack of comps, but we’ll see what happens.

I love the embellishment though. Depressed…..puhleez!!! It was a bad movie experience, not a death in the family.

Sounds to me like typical new business teething problems. Having said that, the customer shouldn’t suffer, so I hope Graham receives adequate compensation.

“It’s finally happened – we’ve disappeared up our own arses…”


When I go to the movies I generally: just want to see a movie. Without distractions. This sounds more like paying big bucks for a public kind of TV dinner.

VYBerlinaV8_now with_added_grunt6:17 pm 05 Jan 07

Sounds to me like a crap load of money just to see a movie. When I go to the movies I generally:
a) scam some sort of concession, or have a discount coupon
b) go to a session that I know will be quiet so I can stretch out without having to touch other dirty humans
c) purchase food/drinks/alcohol at Woolies beforehand and take it in with me.

100 bucks for a couple to see a movie is just nuts.

/end judgemental Friday

From talking to someone who works in the Premium area at Dendy, they say that on the first day of any new service such as that there are problems to be expected. You have to learn an entire new way of doing things, and while you might be shown beforehand, it is never the same as learning under pressure with real customers.

With regards to the food – the staff did not have the experience of cooking yet, hence the poor quality. No excuses for that though.

It’s not all Dendy’s fault – the reason there are no call buttons installed yet is because the builders simply refuse to install them during their christmas leave.

However I have been assured that the cinemas are much better now then they were 2 weeks ago.

(Oh by the way: I don’t intend on making excuses for Dendy)

hence the irony….

and yes, it is a valid complaint, but would you then forward it on to other people, something that you’ve written probably in the heat of the moment etc or whilst remembering the pain,for riotact readers to read? isn’t it between you and the service provider? all i meant was the tone of the whole thing and the tone of the “in support” comments, it’s like some real tragedy had occurred, rather than someone choosing to eat at a cinema and not getting high dining.

As far as I’m concerned, the only good part about this danged Dendy thing is that a nearby competitor has reduced its prices to $8. When I asked ‘how long for’, I was told ‘indefinitely’. Whack-o!

It’s finally happened – we’ve disappeared up our own arses…

U realise you’re whingeing about us whingeing?

jgangsta, i think it is a valid complaint. if i had spent $300 on a night out, i would like to feel i enjoyed it.

Paying $300? What do you expect – it’s the movies at movie prices. You had a birthday party there? More fool you. Did you expect it to be like The Rubicon or something? “depressed” – people have real depression and real problems – why do Canberrans whinge so bloody much. A bus is late – whinge, traffic is jammed for more than 2 minutes, whinge, a business has just opened and going through teething problems – whinge.

Re: The annoying $6:05 thing. From my experience working at a cinema, prices like that cut down on potential employee theft.

Most people don’t have exact change for an awkward amount like that, so change from the till is required. If its an amount such as $6 even, then change isn’t required as often, and unscrupulous employees could pocket the cash without running the order through the till.

Hope that makes sense!

Saw the Queen on Boxing Day at Dendy Regular. For the 1st 5 minutes of that movie and the ad before it, there was no picture just sound. An audience member went out and complained in the end and the picture came on about a minute after he had sat down.

I do expect that the projectionist(s) have a video feed to their monitoring site to see if there is picture on screen.

It was totally appalling that they did not even think of stopping the movie and restarting it.

We visited the Premier Lounge I think on the first day it openned (The Queen).

The electric seating wasn’t an issue for us – the button is located in a position where you’d expect to find it.

Don’t be late otherwise you can barely find your seat number (I used my mobile as a torch).

Certainly signage is an issue (in the Lounge you don’t have any idea where the theatres are). Prices are on par to an expensive wine bar – although I guess you could casually bring in a wine cooler bag and glasses. Our cheese platter was generous.

Had no troubles paying with credit card or booking the ticket (they need internet booking badly).

Was $100 all up (for 2 people, bottle of wine and cheese plate).

NB: this was just in a regular theatre not the Premier one, but it shat me to tears (nonetheless) especially as there was no effort to correct it despite it being an obvious problem (and the film is 2 hours plus).

sounds like they had the scope lense on rather than the widescreen.

it’s a very easy mistake to make which is why it should be on the usher’s checklist at the start of the feature.

Woah. I went to see Casino Royale at the Premier Lounge just after Christmas and it was the single best cinema experience I have had. The service from the staff was amazing (we were walked down to the theatre and shown how to use the seats and everything), the food was great, they had EFTPOS working for me to pay for all the stuff. The seats and sound and vision were top notch.

I guess I was either very lucky, or they ironed out a lot of problems for the theatre I was in.

I saw Babel there on the 27th, the picture projected was too big for the screen, it fit the screen horizontally, however, it was projected 2 to 3 feet above and below the screen onto the black wall (and was thus not very easy to see). I don’t know much about this stuff but I would have thought getting the size of the image right would be a fairly fundamental part of a projectionist’s job.

Went there to watch happy feet with the tribe last week in the normal section. The theatre was A-grade, sound was at a good level but the ticket staff really need training. I asked for tickets for the second session showing (at time of purchasing the tickets) but they gave me the next session showing. Upon pointing this out, it took 5 minutes for them to cancel those tickets and re-issue me the correct ones. Then on top of that the really annoying thing, was for each ticket given (4 in total) there was a voucher ticket printed directly after. I had to pull the whole mess apart just to put the actual tickets together to present them.

I may be nit-picking but its the small things that make the difference between an ok experience and a great experience.

In a similar story, we and the outlaws went to Rydges Lakeside for Xmas day – more than $400 for the privilege of each standing in a queue for more than a hour to fill a plate. And as someone had to look after the kids, no chance of eating together.

Best of luck getting it sorted Graham.

I am going to go to “La Premiere” movie cinemas in Melboure.

Same deal as this Dendy – hope its not as much of a debarcle – maybe I should take my own pre warmed party pies.

If I were the manager receiving that letter, I’d be worried. (And getting on the phone to Graham quick smart.)

I’m not surprised, though: we went to Casino Royale just after Christmas in the regular cinema, and the service was really bad. Long queues at the ticket counter, untrained and unhelpful staff, no EFTPOS at the Candy Bar (and with prices like that, who carries enough cash these days?), and so on.

Dendy needs to address this quickly — I’ve been to several Dendy cinemas around Australia and have never had this kind of experience.

Canberra’s is also the most expensive Dendy in Australia (albeit only by 50c per ticket); they need to get the basics right!

(And give Graham his refund, too. That’s an absolutely outrageous story and I look forward to reading the update on the response he gets.)

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