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MUFC finally acknowledge ‘Official Complaint’

After last weeks reply Paul has received further correspondence regarding his complaint letter sent way back in February of this year and the club have finally escalated the complaint to ‘an official complaint’, it’s only taken them three months!

Read on to find out what the club’s latest response is.

Dear Mr McGeady

Thank you for your recent email dated 6th May, which has been passed through to the Customer Care Team to be officially logged.

We have been advised by Ticketing & Membership Services that should season ticket relocations from Tier 3 be necessary ahead of the 2012/13 season, the Club will offer subsidised relocations for those fans affected.

I must stress that a decision on a permanent move has not yet been made. Here is the link on our website which gives you the information on the proposal:

I can completely understand why you are unhappy that member’s tickets are going to increase next season and ultimately the pricing structure is a decision which is made at Board Level.

I have formally documented your complaint on this issue, under reference number 24138 which our senior management team access on a weekly basis.

Kind regards

Lisa Entwistle
Customer Care Team
Manchester United Limited

In response to the latest reply Paul has not surprisingly taken the opportunity to issue a reply of his own for which he now awaits further response.

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your reply and for formally logging my complaint under reference number 24138. I’ll make sure I refer to this number in future correspondence now that you have formally documented it for your management team to access on a weekly basis.

When you say “ultimately the pricing structure is a decision made at board level” it almost sounds apologetic. It’s only fair that I draw your attention to the “delight” attributed to the announcement on the club web site.

“The Board is delighted to announce that for the second time in three years prices for Season Tickets at Old Trafford have been frozen.”

A small point. The first price “freeze” did coincide with the UK reduction in VAT, so actually, that meant the cost of a match ticket had actually risen. Strange how a reduction in VAT did not lead to a discounted ticket, yet when VAT is increased, that is used as the reason to increase ticket prices. (The club stated “the decision is a result of the increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, having absorbed the initial rise since the start of 2011.”)

And with the potential move of the tier three season tickets, the 2 out of 3 price “freezes” did/do generate additional income. (the other year of the three was when the prices were increased by £1 per game. United did this in a year when most other clubs really did freeze prices because the UK was in a recession).

Is it coincidence that these freezes and “small increases” have also come at a time when the club has appeared to ditch its policy of a new home shirt every two years, and is about to release the fourth home shirt in four seasons?

I’ll acknowledge your comment that anybody being moved from tier three will be offered a “subsidised relocation”. But the pessimistic side of me believes the will just mean it’s a “bit” more expensive.

My brother contacted you at the end of the 2008 season when, again, prices were raised. He was told by one of he customer services staff that “this is the value attributed to the product you are watching.”

A year later we sold Ronaldo and saw Tevez leave and we were no longer champions of Europe. Given this year may well be trophy-less, and looking at the quality of performances displayed this year in particular, do we not have an argument to suggest that the quality of the “product” is now poorer? If so, should we not in fact get a reduction in prices?

My belief is that your continued support of the automatic cup scheme has led to season ticket holders ditching their season tickets in favour of taking their chances as members. This is a growing trend. We’ve already seen the advert for “join the season ticket waiting list” turn into text messages pleading us to sell our souls and “join now.” Supporters clubs have pleaded to make the season ticket a more attractive option requesting the trivial action of reducing the prices of cup matches.

To counter this trend, the club has chosen to do nothing but make the membership option more expensive.

Shame on you.

The introduction of the membership scheme was originally introduced into the UK to help combat football hooliganism. Now it’s just being exploited as a vehicle to drive revenue one way or another.

I don’t mind if you append this correspondence to complaint reference 24138, or you could submit a new complaint reference 24139 (assuming no other complaints have been logged this week).

Paul

Good luck as always Paul, sincerely hoping your efforts are not in vain.

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