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The ODEON – The Opposite of Customer Service

As fervent cinema fans, my wife and I regularly go to the cinema.  Something about the atmosphere I like and particularly i like to settle down with my favourite snack – Nachos with Cheese and Jalapeños – pronounced hah-lah-PEHN-yo unless you’re an expert in the cinema in which case you’d pronounce them JALEEPEENOSE in a Geordie accent.

A few weeks ago we popped into the Odeon (formerly UCI) cinema in Silverlink in Wallsend and I was rather disappointed to see that they’d changed the all-important cheese sauce to something like looked a little more regurgitated and sloppier – and thinking about it – not that tasty.   This is particularly annoying because most American cinemas I’ve visited seems to have the same artificial, out-of-a-tube flavour cheese sauce whereas the UCI cinemas here always had great cheese sauce.

Anyway, the quantities were ok so though I protested internally, I didn’t bother to gripe officially, but I remember agreeing with Maureen that we’d be better off at the MetroCentre Odeon next time.

BAD mistake.  The MetroCentre for those not in the know is Gateshead’s premier shopping centre – used to be the second largest in Europe (though the supermarkets here are tiny and choice-restricted compared to say, some of the Carrefour in France or Spain) and when it opened it was a joy to behold – with sparkly new cinema, robotic policeman that talked to the kids and moved about – then it moved about, then it stopped, then they took it out.  Thinking about it most of the good new ideas they had, they took out – but that’s another matter.

Anyway, as usual I stood in the queue to be served up my snack by the highly experienced Odeon staff only to find it was training day and they had some real characters in.  As it came to my turn I ordered my Nachos with Cheese and Jalapeños and as one inexperienced hand came out to take my cash, the other handed me a pale imitation of my normal treat. Instead of a large happy looking pile of green hot delights…. there were SIX JALEPENOS.

I looked disappointedly at the sad excuse for a snack and asked politely if I could have a few more?  “Sorry sir, we’re cutting back, you’ll have to pay if you want more”.

A very CUTTING look followed by the announcement that I’d been using this cinema for several years and never seen anything so pathetic led to a swift apology and a doubling to 12 Jalapeños in swift order… but as I sat down to enjoy the film, I noticed… the cheese…. they’ve done it again – watered down plastic CRAP!!!

Most folk with any sense long ago abandoned the idea of buying obscenely expensive fizzy drinks at the cinema – instead we all go off to the shop opposite the cinema and buy obscenely expensive drinks over at the shop (to put this in perspective a can of coke at the supermarket is what, 40p or similar in a pack?  Just short of £2 at the value-for-money shop in the Metro-centre – great eh!

Well, I’ve decided they can stuff it, if they don’t care about their customers enough to feed us consistent quality, from now on I’m going to put some extra effort into finding the now elusive Doritos Cheese dip (glass jar, used to be in all supermarkets, now sadly missing from most) and bring my own supplies in TOTAL to the cinema – at tremendous saving.

ODEON – I hope you’re reading this – and the first chain to bring out an alternative to the Odeon – you’re history!

One Response to “The ODEON – The Opposite of Customer Service”

  • Just to add to your gripe.

    I’ve been going to Odeon cinema for the past 5 years solely because I prefer their Nachos and Cheese to Vue Cinemas. Over the last 12 months the crisps and the cheese have changed significantly. Last night, my partner and I returned our Nachos (and not for the first time) because they were disgustingly salty. When my partner asked for a ‘Nutritional Information Guide’ as provided in other major fast food retailers such as McDonalds, all he was given was an ingredients list. Well that’s useful… not. We want to know percentages of salt, fat and other stuff. This ‘crap’ that they are continuing to sell at extortionate prices is getting beyond a joke.

    Thanks Odeon, but no thanks.