I love the Winnipeg Jets – True North…Not So Much
I’d like to start off by saying, although I am extremely disheartened with True North right now, I still love this team and will continue to cheer for them!
When it was announced the Jets were coming home, I thought I’d be a season ticket holder until I died. I still remember the day season tickets went on sale, we had 2 computers set up at my house, and a friend on the phone on another computer. When we saw that we were one of the few lucky ones who got “the option” to buy season tickets we were thrilled. A group of us got 4 seats in a row. I purchased a pair for myself, and my two friends grabbed one each next to me.
I’ve been a season ticket holder since day 1. I’ve been to every home opener, every playoff game (except one, where I hurt my back and couldn’t go). The first few years, I went to almost every single home game, the last couple years, I’ve gone to about 20-25 (now that I have two kids it’s harder to go to as many). At every game, I have a few ten dollar beers, spend ten or twenty bucks on fifty-fifty, and usually grab a popcorn or some Twizzlers. I went to both Heritage classic games, I own 6 different Jet’s jerseys. Needless to say I am a big fan, who over the years has spent a lot of money supporting the team.
Over the years, True North has done a few things that have annoyed me, but they brought our team back, so I tolerated the changes. A few examples:
- Holding our “deposit” until we decide not to renew. In my case this is $1500 for the last 7 years.
- Increased the ticket price, every single year since year 1 (even when the jets were one of the bottom dwellers)
- Made preseason games have the same face value as regular season games, basically forcing season ticket holders to go to these games, as they are not realistically a sell-able game
- Ruined the street party atmosphere
- Provided no real benefit to be a season ticket holder (aside from first crack at playoff tickets)
- Removed the function to print tickets at home, citing convenience. This year, the only way to sell or give a game to someone else is to transfer the tickets electronically.
This brings me to 2 weeks ago.
I decided this year, I would try and do something nice with my preseason tickets. I asked some friends on Facebook if any of them would like to take their kid to a preseason game free of charge. I had a bunch of responses, and gave away all 4 home games.
Everything went smoothly for the first 3 games. The fourth & final game, is where everything went downhill…
For the final preseason game, I sent the tickets to my friend Tamara who was going to take her son to the game. A couple days later I got an email that someone named Ryan had claimed my tickets. I thought this was odd, so I messaged Tamara to find out who Ryan was, or if she had transferred them to someone else:
The conversation below is from September 22nd. The game was on the 27th.
I was leaving to go out of the country for a work trip on Monday the 24th, so I wanted to make sure everything was sorted out before I left. I emailed & called my ticket rep, explained I am the season ticket holder, somehow my ticket was stolen, and Tamara should be the rightful owner of this ticket. I explained I’d be out of the country all next week, so I’d like this resolved before I go, she said she understands, and that she will deal directly with Tamara going forward.
A couple days passed, I was now in England, and I messaged Tamara to make sure everything was sorted out.
As you can see, by this point I am starting to get upset. First of all, I try to do a nice thing by giving some tickets to friends so they can take their kids to a game. Then something goes wrong, with the new “more convenient” ticketing process that we are FORCED to use, I give them almost a full weeks notice prior to the game to get it resolved, and now it is the day of the game and not only is it not resolved, nobody has called me back, or let me know what is going on. Tamara finally got an email response saying:
“We unfortunately are unable to accommodate this request”.
I messaged my friend who has tickets in the seats right next to me, and asked him to ask whoever was in my seats how they got the tickets. He wasn’t going to the game, but his sister was. This is the message he sent me back during the game:
“A guy named Kevin claimed the tickets and then sold them to the guy beside my sister”
At this point I was furious. My tickets had been stolen, I had given the Jet’s front office 5 days notice to correct the issue, AND Tamara and her son were not able to go to the game.
When I got back from the U.K I decided to look up this Kevin guy on Facebook & send him a direct message to see if I could get some answers on what happened.
Although I had left two voicemails from the UK on the day of the game, I still hadn’t heard back from my ticket rep, so I followed up with another email asking for a meeting. On Tuesday October 2nd, I finally got a call back. I thought it was outrageous that I was chasing them to call me back, and not the other way around. I thought for sure they would be calling, apologising profusely and seeing what they could do to make it up to me (as a 7 year season ticket holder, who has spent over $40,000 over the last 7 years on the team).
After about 10 minutes on the call, the ticket rep basically told me they cant prove that Tamara didn’t send the tickets to someone else, and that all they knew was that the tickets were “intercepted”. She must have used the word intercepted 10 times on the call. They offered me 2 tickets to a regular season game.
Barely even an apology, and what they offer is 2 friggin’ tickets to a game. First of all, I have two tickets to every game. I am a season ticket holder. Secondly, i’d assume at the absolute bare minimum you would have to give two tickets to a game, considering the two tickets I already paid for were stolen, never used by me, and they did nothing about it. And that’s it. The bare minimum is exactly what they did. True North knows it has a monopoly in this town. They know I am locked in until the end of this season. They know they have a waiting list of other fans who will buy my seat. I get that….but the lack of customer appreciation and taking the fans for granted is going to come back and bite them. It won’t be this year, it won’t be next year – but it will happen unless they change their tune.
I asked my ticket rep if I will be reimbursed for the two tickets that were stolen from my account. The answer was a firm NO. Apparently I should be grateful that they were giving me two regular season games (she reminded me they are more valuable than the preseason game that was stolen).
I asked to speak to the manager, he called me later that day. Again somewhat foolishly I was expecting him to apologise, and offer up something to keep me happy and to keep my business, but of course I would be wrong again. The call ended with “So do you want the two tickets or not”.
The funny thing is, with 5 days notice, and to a game that had a lot of empty seats, all True North had to do, was say, sorry about the inconvenience, and offer two complimentary two tickets to the preseason game, so Tamara could take her son. Instead they let this drag on, don’t resolve the issue, and infuriate a 7 year paying season ticket holder. Whatever happened to customer appreciation?
It’s not about the money – I was giving my tickets away for free. It is about constantly being taken advantage of. It is about there being no actual benefit of being a season ticket holder. It’s about a complete lack of respect. For this reason, barring some miraculous change in their tone towards their customer base, I will not be renewing my season tickets. A lot of my friends have season tickets and are also thinking about not renewing their seats. Truth be told, I hope things turnaround, and True North starts showing some appreciation to their fans before it’s too late.
All that aside. Go Jets Go!