With strong reservations, I just renewed my @WhitecapsFC season tickets for 2013.
— Chris Golden (@lyteforce) September 30, 2012
You could say that I have a love hate relationship with the Whitecaps FC. So when it came time to renew my season tickets for 2013, I did so with a few reservations. And while it might be assumed that I’m simply a “fair weather” fan who’s reservations stem from the play on the pitch, simply hear out my primary reservation first before you cast such a judgement.
Having placed a deposit down for season tickets way back in 2010 (or was it 2009?), I was genuinely excited that not only did the Whitecaps FC have an MLS franchise, but I was going to be one of their very first season ticket holders. And I listened intently as the organization listed of goals of making the MLS playoffs, winning the Canadian Championship, AND winning the Cascadia Cup all in the first year (sometimes I can be naive).
Then the trouble started.
I received a call from the team in late 2010 to choose my payment option for my tickets. Not having oodles of money just lying around, I elected to make a series of payments leading up to the season and gave my credit card information to the account manager/agent/person over the phone. The woman provided me a confirmation number and wished me well. Yet as the days continued to roll by, I never saw a charge appear on my credit card statement. Finding this odd, I tried calling the Whitecaps FC two weeks later only to get the virtual runaround from the call centre system. Not to be dismayed, I instead sent in an email asking for someone to call me to clarify. I also elected to call my credit card company to see if any charges were pending and simply not posted.
Not only had there not been any “charges” for the Whitecaps FC season tickets, but my credit card had been suspended only day or two earlier after some suspicious activity somewhere in Vancouver. While it’s a stretch to assume what I learned next to be a definitive possibility (that the Whitecaps FC were the issue), I simply chalked this up to a bad visit somewhere and accepted that a new card would be mailed out to me.
The following day I received my call back from the team – not only did they not have a record of my paying for my tickets (the original woman was “no longer with the organization”), but they required that I provide them a credit card immediately or lose my tickets and the deposit I had placed down. Finding this shocking, I explained the phone call only a couple of weeks earlier and also explained that I had found out the day previous my credit card was compromised. This new gentleman, while somewhat empathetic to my situation, said there were no notes on my account and again reiterated the need for a payment. Quite frustrated, I obtained my fiancée’s credit card info and her step up to cover. Concerned with what I felt was significant failing in customer service, I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager. I was told that his manager was not available at the time, but he would ensure I’d receive a callback.
It’s been two years and I’m still waiting. I’ve actually called and expressed my situation to others in the organization. I’ve sent email. I’ve even expressed my concerns to the account rep I renewed my 2012 tickets with in stadium – all to no avail and what I can best describe as, no concern. And in one final attempt before this post, I sent a “Contact Us” message through the Whitecaps FC Online Account Manager to my “real” account manager Josh Nanavaty in hope that someone would finally listen. That was a week ago. And again I’m still waiting.
At this point I’m not sure I should even expect to hear anything from the team. I don’t believe I’m looking for much other than an ear to speak to and a sincere expression from the team that they appreciate my commitment as a season ticket holder. And yes, I do have other reservations to express but I shall save those for another post in the coming days.
It just seems to me that they don’t care.