This is my local big screen theater. I rarely attend it – preferring instead to drive forty-five minutes into Asheville to go to the Carolina (bypassing Flat Rock Cinema, Epic Hendersonville, and Biltmore Grande). Unfortunately every once in a while, I just don’t feel like driving.
Epic cinema does live up to its name. The building is huge, the lobby is wide open, there is more than ample seating, and the screens are as big as you could ask for without Imax. Their digital projection is sharp and the sound is good and does not bleed through from the other auditoriums. For visual and aural presentation, Epic and Regal Biltmore can’t be beat in this area. Epic, thanks to the large lobby, often has great displays.
What is wrong with Epic? Let’s begin with their reward program. Like most others it is FREE, you get a point for every dollar spent, and at every forty points you get a reward rotating through large soda, large popcorn, and movie ticket. Sounds good?
To start with, their large is generally equivalent to a medium elsewhere, sometimes a small. Their FREE ticket is not usable on new releases, special events, or 3D movies. Most importantly, you can only earn 12 points per day. Who goes to the theater and only spends $12? It says see refreshment menu for additional points but I’ve never seen any on our board and several of the clerks have not been trained in use of the card.
My other reason is personal. It may not apply to most people but I use various FREE movie tickets found on food and Blu-Ray purchases to get my movie fix. Typically clerks have to be shown how to ring these in, either by me or a member of management. I almost always get the same lady ringing me up. She is almost comically rude, harrumphing her way through the entire process, and never thanking us for our patronage nor welcoming us after I have thanked her for the tickets. She always acts like we are a complete burden to her existence.
I had actually turned this into a comedy routine to amuse myself. After about the eighth time this happened (over several years – like I said we avoid Epic since they don’t care for our business), my wife complained to management inside. They apologized and encouraged us to write Epic about our experience. She did a month ago and NEVER heard back from them. That is how much customer service is valued at Epic. To be fair, the concession staff are always polite but the ticket takers are uneven – sometimes sweet, sometimes sour.
Concessions are typical. Selection of candy is okay but lacks good chocolate options. A single refill on large popcorn or soda is FREE but their large is Carolina’s medium (and Regal’s small :P). They typically have wonderful promotional plastic cups and popcorn buckets (currently Iron Man 3). Their soft pretzels are the worst I have ever had.
Epic does not have special showings but, on Tuesday, all shows (except Sony and Warner, who declined to participate) are $5. 3D showings only have a $2 upcharge which is really low for our area ($3 is standard).
Still waiting to hear back from management.
p.s. This is precisely why you don’t tell customers to file a complaint online – always handle complaints immediately and with courtesy.