Sunday, February 21, 2010

Customer Go Home

It’s become a Saturday night ritual. I send a text message to my son and daughter-in-law: “10:00 @ AMF?”
He replies: “Yep” and most Sundays for the last six or so months, we have met at that time and place (on Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.) to bowl two or three games, then go out for lunch.
We’ve done this because we’ve come to enjoy bowling and we’ve done this because games during that time are $1.29 each – far less than the usual freight.
When we started going every week, we practically had the place to ourselves. We told everyone we know about this recession-busting special, especially friends with kids or those facing employment challenges. This was one of the few options available for family fun that was affordable. Now, the place is jumping with activity. Lots of families ... especially with young kids.
But this weekend we learned that AMF has apparently added a Highway Robbery Division to its organization chart. In two weeks, they will discontinue the $1.29 Sunday rate and open bowling will be $6.00 per game.
When I inquired about the change, the person at the “service” desk confirmed that starting in two weeks, yes, $6.00 per game. No explanation, no apology, no other special offer (frequent bowler miles) to mitigate the pain.
This is no simple rate change for understandable reasons. This is pure hostility. Message received: Dear Regular Customer – please go home and don’t come back.
We will.