Four dollars is better than nothing right? Right?
I sent my complaint to Mike Smith at Artist Arena and got this annoyed email in response.

Dear Pissed Of AA Customer (okay it was actually my real name there but that is a secret :))

I will make sure your information gets to our accounting department so you mailing fee can be refunded.

I am tempted to launch into a long-winded response to your email in defense of Artist Arena and the surfeit difficulties in organizing a band halfway across the world with a schedule as hectic as Fall Out Boy’s. However, it seems the thesis of your email is a basic “I want to get what I believe I paid for,” which is, of course, entirely valid. Now, I was not with the company the last time Fall Out Boy toured Australia, so I have no first hand knowledge of how things were organized. But I am here now and I will pass your complaints along to the higher ups so that they are, are the very least, heard and noted.

Meanwhile, keep an eye on your inbox over the next few days. Once all the details are finalized of how the Meet and Greet and Early Entry will be run, the Overcast Kids folks will send emails to those involved.

Well the absolute nerve of me expecting to get what I paid for. I should be ashamed. But he is the one who stupidly left his email address on all those notification emails and probably woke up to an inbox full of disgruntlement.

And Mike you can leap to the defense of Artist Arena all you like. You can leap up and down until you are blue in the face but the truth is you work for a badly run company that never addresses any customer's concerns in a way that resolves anything. I am sorry FOB tour a lot but unless it was their job to stuff the tickets in envelopes for you their 'hectic schedule' has nothing to do with AA being crap at their job.

But hey on the up side if you complain to Mike Smith (msmith@artistarena.com) he'll make sure you get your mailing fee refunded which might help people who bought multiple tickets recoup a little something for their troubles. And then he'll tell you to feel bad about asking.

feeling: cynical cynical

nabii From: nabii Date: February 10th, 2009 08:20 am (UTC) (www)
are you fucking SERIOUS? i can't believe that is a direct copy paste of the email you received. oh my god, what.
f_lexi_ble From: f_lexi_ble Date: February 10th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC) (www)
I do not think he understands how capitalism works. I pay money and you fucking give me what I paid for. I mean how hard is that to get??

I amswered with

Dear Mike,

Thank you for organising the refund, I appreciate you promptly addressing my concern.

Now in response to your other comment, as a consumer I do want to get what I paid for. That is the nature of commerce in a capitalist society, I pay money for good and services and I expect to get what I paid for from the company with which I am dealing. I would also like to be treated as a valued consumer by Artist Arena. Unfortunately judging by the tone in your email (which is hard to asses from the written word but which from my reading is patently annoyed) is not actually occurring. You can launch all the defenses you like but it is AA's job to be able to organise tickets for a band wherever they are and regardless of how hectic their schedules are. These FOB dates were arranged a long time ago and I bought tickets the day they were released. Artist Arena knew when tickets had to be in Australia in time for the gig but for whatever reason did not manage to do this, I am not sure how FOB's 'hectic schedule' affected that planning process.

If this was the only problem I have ever had with AA then I might well have just sucked up the issue of the mailing fee, despite the fact that according to you I am apparently only in it for what I can get. It may be that you were not with AA for the last tour but I know my complaint was not the only complaint as people have consistently had difficulties with AA (including the Overcast Kids fan club) and this is not a one off issue. In fact numerous people have tried to raise these issues with AA (including contacting members of the band themselves and via a concerted effort via an Live Journal community) and never were issue addressed to any one's satisfaction. It's not an isolated 'the tickets are not ready' issue it is a history of ongoing problems, both here and in other countries, that make people contact AA with their issues.

I doubt that I was the only complaint letter you found in your in box and I am guessing your tone is probably as a result of answering a number of probably quite similar complaints. You may well be bearing the brunt of AA's long history of poor customer service and I am sure that can't be any fun.


I just can't deal with how they pretend everything is okay and no one is complaining when we know they must be getting complaints left right and centre. I'll probably end up with my tickets cancelled for bitching that guy out now /o\
nabii From: nabii Date: February 10th, 2009 08:28 am (UTC) (www)
if they cancel your tickets i'm quite sure we'll all fly to new york and draw angry emoticons all over their walls after proceeding to kick mike smith in the balls.
f_lexi_ble From: f_lexi_ble Date: February 10th, 2009 08:31 am (UTC) (www)
Yay. Road trip \o/. Mike Smith be warned, we will come in a group and we will be very angry and wear pointy toed shoes. Ha.

Oh man this suddenly sounds like Criss Angel's Twitter about Ryro *g*
nabii From: nabii Date: February 10th, 2009 08:34 am (UTC) (www)
i still can't get my head around what is going on with that. i just can't put two and two together but oh ryan i love that your rockette girlfriend has to defend you.

will i only be seeing you in sydney? ):
f_lexi_ble From: f_lexi_ble Date: February 10th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC) (www)
I am going to Perth as well. Are you going to the West? The rest didn't fit in with work so I am going down to Melb for Soundwave instead.

I was going to do the whole tour but the AA thing soured it so much I could not bring myself to do it.
nabii From: nabii Date: February 10th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC) (www)
adelaide, melbourne, brisbane, sydney. D:< perth D:< no D:<

lol, idk. i couldn't really justify the expensive flights, because the band would probably be cranky and it wouldn't be worth it (missing valentines day, not having been home in a few weeks already). also because i have no money so why am i considering adelaide soundwave? why?
f_lexi_ble From: f_lexi_ble Date: February 10th, 2009 09:16 am (UTC) (www)
You are considering Adelaide Soundwave because so. many. good. bands. OMG. I am just glad I am getting to 2 SW or I;d be missing out on people I want to see. Too many clashes *sighs*. Also I am tragically going down a day early to see Jack's because in Sydney they overlapped with the Amanada Palmer date we had booked /o\ and I couldn't miss Andrew.
nabii From: nabii Date: February 10th, 2009 09:24 am (UTC) (www)
the clashes are heartbreaking! and NFG and say anything are playing at the same time, and then they announced the sideshow and it was a godsend, and then bemis realised he'd be playing with NFG and pulled out.

f_lexi_ble From: f_lexi_ble Date: February 10th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC) (www)
Oh bemis you big fail boat.

I am said about trekking to Eastern Creek though...curse all the bands I want to see most being on early. Damn you all >:(
cookiedough From: cookiedough Date: February 10th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC) (www)
you should do it. it will rule.
nabii From: nabii Date: February 10th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC) (www)
wtf you're still online? aim was being a fuckhead and wouldn't let me reply and i thought you left
From: irradiatedsoup Date: February 10th, 2009 08:32 am (UTC) (www)
In Mike's defense, I was completely polite to him when I asked about getting a refund, and he was completely polite to me in return.

From: katielovex Date: February 10th, 2009 08:42 am (UTC) (www)
that is true, i was pretty polite to him, just saying that i was dissatisfied with their service, and he seemed okay back to me. aa brought this open themselves though.
From: irradiatedsoup Date: February 10th, 2009 08:44 am (UTC) (www)
Look, yeah, they fucked up majorly, and I was pissed, and I'm not saying people shouldn't complain, but Mike? is a peon. Yelling at him is essentially the equivalent of yelling at a check out chick at because the prices are high in the supermarket they're working at. You're yelling at the wrong person.
From: katielovex Date: February 10th, 2009 08:47 am (UTC) (www)
True, and myself being a checkout chick, I understand that...
cookiedough From: cookiedough Date: February 10th, 2009 09:55 am (UTC) (www)
He sounds so frazzled, here's what he sent me:


I will get your information to our accounting department so they can issue the refund. I ask for your patience as we have a lot of these to go through. It may take a few days to sort them all out.

Mike Smith | Artist Arena
chameleongirl79 From: chameleongirl79 Date: February 10th, 2009 11:36 am (UTC) (www)
Hmmm, does that mean they've had a lot of requests for refunds, or are they just going to refund everyone?
I wonder.
cookiedough From: cookiedough Date: February 10th, 2009 11:43 am (UTC) (www)
I think they've had a lot of requests.
rayneing From: rayneing Date: February 10th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC) (www)
I kinda want to sit Mike down, give him a beer and go through job ads with him. The poor guy has earnt his annual leave already!
toutetrien From: toutetrien Date: February 10th, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC) (www)
I think he's trying to be polite and relatable but still professional. Of course, this never works but it's much nicer than a lot of emails I've read from AA
papercompany From: papercompany Date: February 11th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) (www)