Susan canceled our class tonight. She's not feeling well. I'm ambivalent about it -- fine not going to class, not so fine that I spent so much time on Saturday preparing for this class. Oh well. We'll discuss it some time, I guess. I'm glad I took notes reading that stuff, because I'd never remember for another week. We won't discuss it on Wednesday, because we don't have class this Wednesday; she's having individual conferences with folks about their projects. My conference is from 7:30-7:45.
I left work at lunchtime, and went to Sam's to turn in our (six rolls of) film from the Greece trip. They'll be ready after 1:00 on Friday.
I worked from home this afternoon, and did homework this evening.
At 4:20, I called The Opera Company of North Carolina to renew my membership, and to purchase tickets for The Merry Widow and Tosca. The box office closes at 4:00. I'll call again tomorrow.
Mary and I are renewing "our" membership -- John and Mary Soto Martin. As members, we'll get 10% off the tickets to the operas, including the tickets we'll purchase for Robert and her friend, Kelly. We're "going for the gold" getting the orchestra seats. I told Mary to ask the lady while she was on the phone with them if we can get an additional discount for pointing out typos in the captioning. No dice.
I ordered tickets online for the Duke Performance's Soweto Gospel Choir program on February 1, 2005. Evidently, it's one of the first orders, as we have front row seats. Yippee.
At the end of the purchase, after noting a $7.00 "service charge" (that alone, a rip off), they added a $3.00 charge to mail the tickets to me, with no option of picking them up myself. I fired off this note to them:
To whom it may concern:
I just used the Internet to purchase two tickets to the Soweto Gospel Choir performance next February.
It is an outrage to charge $3 to mail two tickets to an event AFTER charging a $7.00 service charge to process the tickets online. You could AT LEAST offer an option to pick them up at the box office free of charge.
But, really, it will cost 37 cents (or 60 cents the most) to mail those two tickets to me, and you're charging me 3 bucks?
This will discourage me from buying any more tickets to Duke Performances. Please pass this feedback on to whomever is making these decisions.
I'm sorry that you felt the convenience and handling charges were excessive. While I agree they may seem that way and would love to see them eliminated, they are necessary and, frankly, competitive when compared to other on-line ticket sellers.
So you know, the $3 is retained by the University Box Office to partially offset the cost of the ticketing operation, which includes the 37 cents postage, but many other expenses including the ticketing software and hardware itself, as well as staff. The $3.50 per ticket on-line convenience fee you paid, is retained by our on-line partner that provides the internet web capabilities to our ticketing database. Neither the Duke box office or Duke Performances keeps this fee.
There are other, less expensive ways to purchase: For orders by phone (684-4444), mail, and fax, the $3 per order handling fee is still charged, but there is no per ticket fee. And there are no fees charged for window sales at our office in the Bryan Center or when tickets are purchased at the door.
Unfortunately, ticket prices do not cover the cost of all aspects of presenting the arts, and fees have become the norm in ticketing. We have kept window sales without fees to allow customers who choose, to be able to purchase without any fees.
I hope you enjoy the performance of the Soweto Gospel Choir and will return to other performances.
Director, Duke Event Management
I spoke with the Canon folks today, and the only advice they could give me, as far as something to try that I hadn't, was to take the batteries out of the camera for 10 minutes to "reset it." I tried this, and it didn't fix the problem. They sent me information via email on where to mail the camera for repair. It should be covered under the warranty as it's been less than a year since I bought it.