Question: Last month, my brother and I went to the Blaisdell Center to pick up Elton John tickets. I was appalled to see that people who came after us were able to get tickets before us because they knew employees of the Blaisdell. We had a green token ticket.
Elton John fan:
Token system unfair
You couldn't go through the turnstiles unless you held a green ticket. But the girl in front of us, who had no ticket, got in because one employee said someone else had her ticket. Then a man who had a red ticket, given to people who came after us, got in before us. Afterward, he told one of the guys in the box office, "Thanks, eh," and walked out. Why have a token system if it's not going to be fair? There were a lot of employees, including supervisors there, yet still this happened. For me, it's just really disappointing because I also work for the city.
Answer: Alvin Au, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services, maintains the random token policy works.
But "we cannot prevent customers from teaming up to buy tickets or prevent the public from giving or exchanging their tokens with someone else," he said.
Au said your complaint was investigated by the department's productions manager, who reported the following:
On the first day of ticket sales for the concert, signs were posted throughout the Blaisdell notifying people of the random- token policy, ticket limit and hours of operation.
The tokens were separated by the productions or event manager on duty and placed in the token box in clear view of customers standing in line.
Customers were then lined up in numerical order to buy tickets. Tokens were checked twice -- once by the usher lining up buyers and second, at the window, by cashiers.
On the first day of ticket sales, several off-duty employees also stood in line for a token.
People who did not hear their number called, plus those who had to leave the line to get cash from the automated teller machine, were put in line at the next available space to buy tickets, Au said.
AuweEnclosed is a "request for payment" from North Shore Agency, a collection agency, in Westbury, N.Y., saying I owed Bon Appetit magazine $32. It said I should send my check or money order payable to North Shore Agency. But when I called Bon Appetit, they said my subscription was paid up and in good order. I hope no other seniors like myself fall for something like this. -- M.E.L.
(You can get information about a company or charity by calling the Better Business Bureau of Hawaii at 536-6956.
(According to the BBB of Long Island, N.Y., North Shore Agency was established in 1971. The BBB opened a file on the company in September 1972. In the past three years, the BBB received 546 complaints about the company, 190 of them in the past 12 months.
(The complaints basically were that the agency was trying to collect money for goods or services that were never ordered or had been paid for. However, a spokeswoman for the Hawaii BBB said the file indicates the company has responded to the complaints. If there were adverse responses, they would have been included in the report, she said. No such responses were noted.)
Yards of yarnI have "scads" of leftover yarn that I want to give to any organization or individual. Call 396-0706 if interested. -- A.F.
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