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TOPIC: Ticket Checker Protocol

Ticket Checker Protocol 11 May 2008 19:50 #18505

  • rufusjack
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We have had a few ticket checkers lately, so a few questions:

1) How frequently do you see them? We have been open for 18 mos. and we just started seeing them the past couple of mos.
2) All of them in the past have checked in with us and shown some sort paperwork saying what they are doing until today. A guy walks in with his kid and goes straight into the movie. After a few minutes I confronted him and asked of he would check in before he walks in next time. Is that the right thing to do?? No one gets into the room wihtout a ticket or a good reason right??
3) Does the person get to stay and watch the movie for free? What about anyone they bring in with them? So far only the person today (his kid) watched the movie for free.

Oh yeah, the kid went in to another movie and wathced it without paying! I asked to leave to leave when I found him.

Thanks

[This message has been edited by rufusjack (edited May 11, 2008).]

[This message has been edited by rufusjack (edited May 11, 2008).]
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 11 May 2008 20:03 #18506

  • BurneyFalls
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I have them show up occasionally. They have always identified themselves at the Box Office. I do not allow them to watch the movie for free. They get to count the patrons and/or watch the trailers and record what they count and see. After that, they check in with me and leave. Occasionally they want to watch the feature and they pay for themselves and their guest (if they have one) when they come in.

The forms I have seen state explicitly what their role is and that they do not get to watch the movie for free.
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 12 May 2008 00:36 #18507

  • rodeojack
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A checker is hired to verify attendance for a single title, and can stay until you close your ticket sales for the show, or the day, depending on what the checker was hired to do.

You aren't supposed to charge the checker. However, you aren't required to let their guests in for free... and we don't. That's a good point about charging checkers who stay past the closing of sales. We sell through the feature (being a drive-in), so that doesn't come up for us.

Based on a recent experience we had, I'd offer the following personal advice. Make sure you keep a copy of the checker's authorization letter, AND his/her ID. The letter should specifically state the film concerned (we've seen blank ones). If you're asked to sign the checker's form (you probably will be), make yourself a copy. You'll probably have to use a copy machine, as they usually don't offer one.

We had a numbers difference on one film last year, and it took nearly 6 months to get it resolved. The discussions between the studio and us would have been MUCH shorter, had we kept a copy of the checker's report form.
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 13 May 2008 07:20 #18508

  • Pieman
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Down Under the checkers are mystery shoppers..we aren't supposed to know who they are..they buy a ticket like everyone else and get in first..we've figured a few out over the years (always first in ..and standing up the back with a clipboard kind of gives it away!!LOL)..I haven't noticed any for a long time..either theyve got better at disguising themselves..or the distributors just aren't bothering these days
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 13 May 2008 11:26 #18509

  • NSCInemas
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My theory has always been to make nice with the ticket checker, you never know when or why you might need them to be on your side! A little professional courtesy never hurt anyone.
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 13 May 2008 15:40 #18510

  • trackfood
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I would agree with the above comment. I would allow the checker and 1 guest in to check and view the same movie if they wanted to watch it. I wouldn't let them have free reign of your theatre and be walking into various movies, or allowing others to watch with them. And yes, the checker should always announce themselves to the box office cashier who can notify management if needed.
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 13 May 2008 21:28 #18511

  • mannooss
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I always try to make nice with the checkers. You can learn some interesting things from the ones who've been around for a while. It's interesting to hear the lengths at which other theatres have gone to "hide" ticket sales.

I also feel sorry for the ones that had to see Titanic for nine straight weeks.

One last thing: Our Sunday ticket sales are embarrassing and usually a 90% drop from Saturday. Having the checker helps back-up my reports to the studios.

- mannooss
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 14 May 2008 00:43 #18512

  • rodeojack
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I would allow the checker and 1 guest in to check and view the same movie if they wanted to watch it.

As noted above, we're courteous to the checkers, but in context to their professional reason for being here. We accommodate them as much as possible, usually toss in a cup of coffee for them and a water bowl for their dog. They are not supposed to be bringing guests with them. They're on the job, so we don't go there and they don't expect us to. We also don't let our employees bring their family or guests with them when they're on the job. Granted, I know there are theatres that are geared for this kind of thing, but we're not able to be quite that informal.

Guess I'm a bit curious why anyone would feel they need to "make nice" to a checker.

On the "mystery shopper": That kind of thing also happens in the 'States, but more often by request of the exhibitor in larger chain operations. You don't know they're there, and they don't have access to your POS reports, making their presence less formal than an authorized checker.

BTW... my attitude could be colored by the regional way the checkers are set up over here. They're not well paid, and don't seem to be trained particularly well. We've had some problems with individual checkers in the past few years, ranging from them being generally clueless about their job, to some inappropriate interaction with our employees. Once, we had to eject a checker when she hid 5 of her friends under the tonneau cover of her pickup. These are extreme examples. Generally, they try to do a decent job where they make much less than our concession staff. A few years ago, they seemed to come from a better contractor. We didn't have to pay much attention to them back then.

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited May 14, 2008).]
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 14 May 2008 10:40 #18513

  • NSCInemas
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I have found that checkers seem to have all the good gossip about the other theatres in town. You also never know when an employee might try to run a scam and the checker could fill in the film co that you already caught it and rectified it before they start a big to do about it. I just feel that the more people (especially in the studios) you have on your side the better.
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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 15 May 2008 09:44 #18514

  • jenhelene
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I'd love to have one come by our theater!

Our numbers are downright embarrassing some days!

We have one regular that comes in alone on later weekday showings and every time he has EVER come in, he is the only customer in the building!

We call him the jinx man. When he walks in, we know we can break down the pop and popcorn


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Re: Ticket Checker Protocol 15 May 2008 15:03 #18515

  • Mike
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checkers are hired by classified ads and at web sites that hire people to do product check, product placement, etc. at stores. They get paid a very low flat fee + very low mileage. There's a reason you never see the same checker for a long time: money is very poor. We've had mostly nice people but we also had a lady who was high, wanted to squat at the feet of the ticket seller in the booth (I threw her out), and needed a break to go to the bar next door.

Secret shoppers/ checkers are when they seem to lose trust in you.

If you do not like the checker call the distrib: it's your business. I'd let them go for free but no guests. But you can see why someone would sign up for that thinking they could bring the kids.

Michael Hurley
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Michael Hurley
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